Growing and Supporting Activists

G R O W I N G  A N D  S U P P O R T I N G

 A C T I V I S T S 

Growing Activists expresses the need to empower people to recognize the power they hold as effective agents of change.

 
Since 2009, PeaceUp has been exploring the idea of creating a nationwide network supporting activists, emboldening them to take effectiveaction. Last Spring, we experimented with our PeaceUp Back-Up model, following the Citizen’s Filibuster and DOI actions in Washington, DC. However, we ran into logistical complications realizing that as a 501(c)(3) we couldn’t raise money for legal fees, which led us back to the drawing board. Hence, launching this novel PeaceUp CoRR model. As our friend Josh Kahn Russell poignantly says, let’s "build a movement that holds one another."

For us, growing activists means helping people find their place in this movement. Through personal transformation, we discover our niche, then confront our own boundaries and limitations. We refine and expand our set of skills, through workshops and skills trainings. Then we craft a narrative, hoping that it will move others to follow suit.
As a movement, we often shy away from taking action, awaiting the perfect action with the optimal amount of planning and resources, but history has shown us that sometimes it’s just about being ready to seize an opportunity. In those moments, Ingenuity takes precedence over training -- as it did for Tim, when he waltzed into that 2008 BLM auction.
Over the years, we’ve witnessed time and time again the transformative power of sharing personal stories. Ours include trials and errors, joyand resolve, success and despair, as we’ve come together to support our own and “built our wings on the way down.” Imagine our collective power, if activists felt supported enough to seize opportune moments, knowing that an entire movement was standing behind them. Trusting that somewhere, someone that you may not even know yet has your back if you take the risk. That’s what a supportive national movement would look like.

Challenge to all of us: Growing as activists in our communities, building a national movement that truly holds and supports each other. And finding creative ways to reach out to others who may or may not have been yet awakened to their own personal power to become salient agents of change.