I hope you will find things among my random thoughts that resonate with you and yours. I'd love to read your reactions in the Comments, and I'll be sure to visit you in return. Best regards, Mary

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Activism and Advocacy

You'll propbably agree that this is a heavy opener for a blog about the "spice of life". If you dropped in to be titillated I apologize! In the future I'll take a lighter hand, but this is a day for reflection. It's a day to contemplate my own good fortune compared to the lives of so many others, and to ponder ways I might make a difference for some of those others.

I find it hard to be playful when 239 people on a 777 airplane are lost over the ocean, when Syria has become a nation of refugees, and the Central African Republic is a literal death camp. Equally distressing is awareness of the plight of many right here in Wayne County, Michigan, USA.

The differences between my life and theirs keep nagging me, urging me to seek ways to address that difference. That's where Activism and Advocacy come in. I won't spend a lot of time "word-smithing", but I need some tools to help me find ways to be involved. Advocacy is aligning oneself with an issue or idea, then working within its structure to raise awareness and work toward improvement. Activism is more "impatient. It usually operates outside an established structure to initiate steps toward quick change, often in confrontational ways.

As an experienced "organization person" I'm looking for a suitable advocacy group. I know my capabilities and limitations, so when I find something that appeals to me I'll know where I might fit in.

The Devil is in the Details  Important aspects of the "right" organization:
  • It will probably be a non-profit, perhaps an NGO (non-governmental organization). 
  • There will be lots of "grunt work" where I can start with little training.  
  • There may be some pay, however small. (I don't know if that is possible.) Volunteering is noble, but after contributing hundreds of hours since "retiring" I know that burnout and lack of respect are inevitable no matter how good the cause.  Even a little pay would make up for the loss of personal time and inevitable failures.  
For practical advice I reviewed  Everything You Need to Know About Working for a Non-Profit.

Ready, Set, Go . . . 

That's my plan. I am searching the internet for suitable groups and I'll report to you under various letters in this blog. Whatever else I post you can be sure I'll be working on this project "in background".

Oh, yes - if you have any suggestions for me to look into please put them into comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

I'll see you later,