As a member of an organizing or activism group or progressive nonprofit, you can help build a large and diverse movement to champion progressive causes; prevent burnout among committed activists; and help all of your members feel more valued, supported, and safe. Even if you are not working with a political group, you can help your workplace or school be more inclusive and reduce levels of bias, harassment, and violence.
Which of the following practices accurately describe your group, organization, workplace, or school? Not every practice will be realistic for every organization, but this checklist can help you identify room for improvement.
Building strong movements and preventing burnout
- We take an active approach to recruiting activists and volunteers
- We use effective tactics and are successful in our activism and organizing
- We have an intentional messaging strategy for recruiting activists and volunteers
- We support or fund volunteer and extracurricular opportunities for youth, youth organizing groups, and/or cooperatives
- We take an active approach to addressing and preventing burnout among our membership
- We match up volunteers and members with tasks that suit their interests and skills
- We offer a supportive and friendly community
- We celebrate our successes together
Promoting social justice and combating oppression
- Our approach to diversity values people’s different backgrounds and contributions, instead of trying to pretend we are all the same
- We have policies against harassment, discrimination, and violence
- Our anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, and anti-violence policies are easily accessible and regularly shared with our staff or members
- We have clear mechanisms for how to report harassment, discrimination, and violence
- We have multicultural and inclusion training for staff, leaders, and key members
- We have support groups for marginalized members (e.g., women’s circles, LGBTQ meet-ups, people of color luncheons, etc.)
- We promote or host social justice-themed events
- We have social justice or diversity-themed art and posters in our space
- Our staff and leadership are diverse
- If we have group decision-making meetings, we choose empowering facilitators, rotate facilitation, and/or give facilitators training
- We support activists working to tackle the root causes of oppression by offering free meeting spaces, financial support, and/or endorsements
How do you feel about your organization’s current amount of progressive and inclusive practices?
Are there any practices you want to start implementing within your organization?
Can you anticipate having any difficulties or challenges implementing new practices?
What will you do if you run into difficulties?
Because individuals enter our lives with years of indoctrination in an oppressive system, we often cannot completely prevent or eliminate acts of oppression in our organizations. What other work do you want to engage in to help reduce oppression and promote social justice in your community?
Now that you know how to help build a strong progressive movement, it’s time to move on to our last main section on individual actions in order to learn how to incorporate your activism work into your daily life.