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What is activism? Here are 5 misconceptions


At ONE, we‘re big fans of activism. Activism and action are at the heart of change, and ONE has a network of activists and supporters who are working towards that every day.

Now, you could read the Merriam-Webster definition, but why click away? Activism is anything that works toward raising awareness for a variety of issues or making a change. It‘s about demanding fairness and dignity for everyone. That‘s what we‘re all about at ONE: bringing activists together and being your megaphone for justice. But we know there are a lot of misconceptions about activism.

Keep reading to discover a few.

1. Activism = protests

Protesting is an excellent form of activism. It‘s a very public and obvious way to get messages across. But it‘s just that — a form of it. Activism is far more than just attending protests.

It can range from attending protests and signing petitions, to staying informed, making a donation, volunteering, or getting others to care about a cause. Activism comes in all shapes and sizes, so no matter what you choose to do, you‘ll be making a difference.

2. You have to be an expert to be an activist

It‘s easy to assume that activists for a cause are experts on that cause. They know everything there is to know about the cause and how to demand change. But that‘s another misconception.

If you‘re not super well-read on a specific subject or issue area, you can still be an activist. The point of activism is to stay informed, and part of that is learning about a cause. You don‘t need to be a policy expert, you just have to do your part to make your voice heard.

3. Activism is only for specific groups of people

Activism is for everyone, plain and simple. There‘s a space for everyone, because standing up for a cause you believe in is universal. Activists can be protestors, petitioners, information warriors, expert persuaders, passionate advocates, or avid learners. No matter what circumstances you come from or why you‘re drawn to fight for change, if you want to use your voice and some of your time to create a better world, then you‘re an activist!

The most important thing is just doing what you can to fight for justice and equality.

4. It‘s hard to make your voice heard

It might seem like a daunting task to get world leaders, policymakers, and change-makers to hear your voice, but it‘s a lot easier than it seems. It‘s about putting our voices in places they can‘t be ignored, whether that‘s through signing a petition, tweeting at your local government leaders, or simply just keeping your community informed. Remember – it‘s not about how loud your individual voice is, but what we can do together. And when we put all of our voices together as one, our voices will be heard.

5. You can‘t be an activist if you don‘t have a specific cause to fight for

Being an activist isn‘t about getting super specific about a single cause. It‘s about standing up for justice and what you believe is right, regardless of whether you‘ve narrowed your focus or are just learning about what you‘re passionate about.

You can be an activist for climate justice or racial justice, an activist pushing for local change or and fighting to end extreme poverty around the world. As long as you‘re doing your part to make a difference in the world, that‘s all that matters.

Now that we‘ve cleared things up a bit, are you ready to take action?

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