Talking about social justice is easy when those around you are working for the same issues. The real work begins when you talk about social justice issues with those who don’t see the world through the same lenses. Teach them what you know. Convince spectators to take action. Embrace the uncomfortable. Know that means you’re doing something right.
It’s okay to be vulnerable. Just because you see injustices that other people suffer from, doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from injustices of your own. Your struggles are not any less valid than theirs. Let down your walls. Take time for self-care. Vulnerability is not weakness.
Just because you see your privilege, doesn’t mean you are any less of a social justice worker. Privilege is not something to feel guilty about. It does not mean you cannot do social justice work or that the work you do is less real. Being an ally is a powerful tool.
Never stop learning or listening. If you’re brand new to social justice work or if you have years of experience, consider the value of other’s experiences. Listening to new ideas could very well improve your own movement.
Relish the small accomplishments. Often times, progress is slow moving but it does not mean you aren’t making a difference. Standing in solidarity can be just as big of a step as passing a law.
Recognize all of the work you have done. Take the time to look back and appreciate how far your movement has come. Appreciate how much your numbers have grown. Count all of the lives you’ve impacted. Embrace what you’ve learned.
Thank you for all the work you’ve done and all the work you will continue to do. Whether you’re affect one life or one thousand lives, thank you.
A fellow Social Justice Worker