Working Together to Change Hearts and Minds (Part 3 of 4)

Continued from Part 2…

Our Outreach Efforts

We can make use of the vast array of resources out there available from activists across the globe. We can join or start groups and projects to get more involved with issues. The opportunities are endless and they can be as creative and ‘DIY’ as we like!

Make use of the arts – whether you choose to influence others through music, visual art or the spoken word, they all have their place; organise a march or demonstration and invite others from across the movements to join you so it can be even bigger and more powerful; hold an education stall providing people with information covering a broad range of issues; organise events at social justice-based centres instead of mainstream venues to support them and the wonderful work they do; or even just sit down with a friend and really talk through an issue. We are all different so there are bound to be an array of different ways in which to spread our message! Don’t be afraid to explore these and find out what works for you and where you feel you can be most effective.

International Animal Rights Day - Madrid, December 14th 2013 by David Ramalleira, Igualdad Animal
International Animal Rights Day – Madrid, December 14th 2013 by David Ramalleira, Igualdad Animal

Furthermore, an important point I would like to touch upon is that prejudice should never play a part in our activism. Whether this is in the language we use when engaging the public or in our campaign ads, etc. We need to take the time to look at our tactics and approaches and question their effectiveness and downfalls in order to improve upon them. Language of a sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. nature should not be tolerated in any movement. Our movements should be ‘safe spaces’ where anyone who genuinely wants to learn more about getting involved can feel comfortable in doing so.

By promoting one form of prejudice in our efforts to address and combat another we are causing as much harm as good in terms of awakening society to the issues of inequality. Instead we are helping to reinstate these attitudes within society. The only way we will effectively challenge these attitudes and their resulting behaviours is if they are recognised and addressed in ourselves too.

By challenging prejudiced attitudes we can change people’s perceptions for the long-term. It’s very much a process of course, so yes it involves patience (which I’m sure you will agree is hard when faced with the truth of what is going on out there), but it’s all about planting a seed and letting that seed grow. It is important that we remain focused and communicate our message with optimism, highlighting what we need to stop doing but also showing all of the brilliant things that can result from changing our attitudes towards others.

The experiences, the people you meet, and the new adventures and explorations – making a change can be very exciting too!

Check out the final part of Working Together to Change Hearts and Minds.

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