Although the word "activist" often conjures the image of a radical, semi-crazy person who just can't put up with authority, an activist is really just someone who thinks carefully about how she or he wants to live life and is not always satisfied with the way things get done through the conventional political process. When we look at activism this way, it becomes possible for all of us to be activists in our own way. In fact, many people take action through everyday activism. Others organize their lives around activism; they are engaging in lifestyle activism.

Activism in general can be seen as the quest to answer the following three questions:

  1. What decision is being made?
  2. Who is making that decision?
  3. How can I influence that decision?

Whether we are talking about government or business, the same three questions apply.

One thing we need to do better in teaching about struggle is talking about our heroes. Because of the way we are taught history as a function of empire building, instead of critical thinking, we all know a few of the "popular" leaders of the movement, but there are thousands more Everyday Heroes. History leads us to believe that you need to have special qualities to do good work. This is just not correct. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a spokesperson for thousands of people who were working their asses off for change with little or no recognition.

Remember this quote by Myles Horton of the Highlander Center

"You can accomplish a lot of good in the world if you don't care who gets the credit for it."

Other types of activism exist, so let's explore them all.


Activism on specific issues[]

Activism in specific areas[]

Jobs / Careers in Activism[]

See also[]