One of the most common questions today regards how to promote social change as an individual. We know that there are large organizations that advocate for human rights, push for new legislation, and provide funds to those in need. Sometimes it can feel like your personal voice gets lost in the sea of it all. However, you can use your voice to raise awareness, benefit causes you are passionate about, and contribute to GR8 social movements. The key is learning the most effective ways to do so.
If people like you didn’t exist, change would never happen. It takes a collection of single individuals, just like yourself, to stand up for what you believe in. When considering how to promote social change, always remember that even the biggest wave starts as a small ripple.
Making Your GR8 Voice Heard
There are many actions you can take on your own to begin promoting social change. Today, social media provides a digital, public platform to voice your opinions. One post can be shared hundreds of thousands of times, seen by millions of sets of eyes. When people see that there are others like them, with the same views, they are more likely to come forward and voice their opinions as well. If you see something, and you feel something, do not be afraid to advocate for your beliefs.
There are also many ways that you can help promote change outside of social media. You can get involved in your local community and start organic conversations with others around you.
While social media is a powerful tool and a platform to share your voice, posting memes and sharing news articles is only the very start of promoting social change. You have heard the term “slacktivist,” which refers to individuals who post online yet never take action themselves. While spreading information and news is important, if you are truly looking to take action it requires much more than posting memes and online statuses.
There is more that you can do and these things don’t have to be radical measures.
How to Promote Social Change at Home
Social change begins with a conversation. Just as a social media status can be shared infinitely, in-person conversations can have a ripple effect as well. If you are considering how to promote social change, start a conversation at your dinner table or with a friend. The more we normalize having these important conversations the more common they will become and your voice will encourage other voices to speak up too.
Using the Internet as a Tool
Being online doesn’t mean you are “slacktivist.” There are meaningful actions that you can participate in on the internet and many tools at your disposal that can help encourage change.
First, find online petitions you can sign, but be prepared to provide your full name and possibly your address. Remember, social change does not happen under the guise of anonymity.
Find Your Local Representatives
Additionally, look up the phone numbers and addresses of your local government representatives. Their office information is public record and is accessible to anyone. Use this information to encourage those who vote on behalf of your county, state, or country to stand up for what is right.
Write letters and mail them to their office or place phone calls. This is not unusual for those looking to promote social change and there is no need to feel uncomfortable doing so.
There are many templates online that you can use to write a letter. Encourage your friends and family members to do the same thing. The more your representatives see that voters want change the more likely they may be to vote in favor of supporting legislation. Always share the information you find.
Connect with Other Individuals
If there is a cause there is a social media group in support of it. Search for groups that are in your area as well as national, or international, groups to join. Doing so provides you with an opportunity to come together with like-minded individuals to organize something GR8ER.
It’s a way to stay in-the-know of events and initiatives that are taking place near you so that you can go out and get involved. It also helps you remain aware of what is taking place far away. Having the ability to digitally connect is something we have never had before and is essential when looking at how to promote social change.
Another GR8 way to support social causes you care about it to donate using online platforms. Most major organizations have secure payment portals where you can donate an amount of your choice. You can usually choose between a one-time donation or a recurring payment.
However, be careful when donating as a way to promote social change. You want to look for reputable organizations. It’s usually best to steer clear of fundraisers set up by people you don’t know that circulate on social media. Use the FTC Consumer Information Portal to look up the charity you are considering donating to.
You can also use tools such as CharityWatch and the Better Business Bureau Giving Alliance to vet a potential charity. In addition, all non-profit organizations are designated as 501(c)3 charities and must provide an IRS identification number that you can verify online or by phone.
How to Promote Social Change in Your Community
There are many ways you can get involved with your local community to come together for a worthy cause. There may be existing initiatives that you can join, or you may want to start one on your own.
Join Events and Awareness Walks
If you’re part of a local social media group, they are just as dedicated to learning how to promote social change as you are and likely set up events in your area. Keep an eye out on their account pages and calendars for events and awareness walks that you would like to attend.
Another way to help promote social change is to volunteer at local organizations that support your cause. This may also include door-to-door canvassing through an organized effort to gain petition signatures or canvassing in public places.
Or, find a way to volunteer to help the population that is affected by the issue you are trying to change. Search for “____ organizations near me” to see what’s out there.
Self-Development and Promoting Change
GR8 change doesn’t happen overnight, as much as we would like it too. Sometimes it takes months and sometimes it takes many years. What’s important is that you never stop advocating for what you believe is right. Learning to voice your beliefs in an effective and appropriate manner is all part of your never-ending journey of self-development.
Do not be deterred. The more ways you can find to get involved when looking at how to promote social change, the larger impact you will have. Keep advocating for your cause, GR8NESS readers.