Individual Action-Item Checklist
You have the potential to create an enormous impact on the world through your individual actions. Which of the most effective individual actions can you commit to implementing in your own life? You do not need to select them all—pick the actions that line up with your values and goals and that you believe will help you on your journey towards becoming an effective activist the most. We’ve included some links and resources to help you get started.
Most impactful action areas
Choose a high-impact career
- I will read the 80,000 Hours career guide in order to learn how to choose a highly impactful career
- The 80,000 Hours career guide is available for free at: http://www.80000hours.org
- I will read The Lifelong Activist in order to learn how to prevent burnout and empower myself to engage in activism long-term
- The Lifelong Activist is available for free at: http://www.lifelongactivist.com
Give what you can to effective charities and progressive organizations
- I am a student, unemployed, or low-income—I pledge to donate 1% of my income to the most effective charities in order to save lives and improve the world
- I have a steady job—I pledge to donate 10% of my income to the most effective charities in order to save lives and improve the world
- Take the Giving What We Can pledge at: http://www.givingwhatwecan.org
- I will investigate cooperatives near me to see if I can use my monthly rent, mortgage, and/or grocery expenses to build community power
- Search for a housing cooperative, co-housing community, or intentional community near you by using the Fellowship for Intentional Community’s directory at: http://www.ic.org/directory
- Search for a food cooperative or buying club near you by using the Co-op Directory service at: http://www.coopdirectory.org/
Adopt lifestyle changes and take individual action
Create ripple effects in your community
- I will make small lifestyle changes that will make a big impact if others join in
- Think about some of the lifestyle changes you want to make
- I will support other progressive activists and organizations, even when I disagree with some of their values, tactics, or politics, in order to more effectively build the progressive activist base and maintain activist infrastructure
Leverage your power and influence
- I am a respected leader or influencer—I will publicly endorse progressive policies, candidates, and causes
- I am a decisionmaker in an institution or organization—I will implement anti-oppression and social justice practices in my organization to protest marginalized groups
- I am a decisionmaker in a progressive organization—I will support our members and volunteers to prevent them from burning out
- I am a decisionmaker in a progressive organization—I will choose the most effective tactics to increase our chances of success
- I am a professional expert—I will contact my elected officials regularly to encourage them to pass progressive bills
- I am an elected official or local gatekeeper—I will support and implement progressive policies and infrastructures
Vote in every election and contact your elected officials
- To build progressive power and encourage others to do the same, I will vote in every election
- To see if you’re registered to vote and to learn how to register in your county, visit HeadCount’s website at: https://www.headcount.org/
- I will contact the elected officials in my district, regardless of their political affiliation, using personal communications, values-based messages, and incorporating specific requests based on local issues
- To receive summaries of recent policy and to get the contact information for your representatives, visit Countable’s website at: https://www.countable.us/
Challenge oppression and promote social justice
- I will set a positive example for my community by publicly endorsing social justice causes and standing up for my beliefs
- I commit to confronting oppression whenever I see it and it is safe for me to do so
Communicate about progressive issues in an effective way
- I will communicate about social justice and progressive causes with others by using values-based and compassionate messages
Which of the actions are you most excited about implementing?
Can you anticipate having any difficulties or challenges implementing any of the actions?
What will you do if you run into difficulties?
Now that you know the most effective tactics for creating change, we need to review how to create an effective activism plan. This will help you integrate everything you’ve learned so far into a realistic plan for action.