Picture an “activist.” What comes to your mind?
A person holding a protest sign? A megaphone?
Someone chanting? Yelling?
I suspect the activist in your mind is taking action.
I’ve fought on the frontlines for animals since 2005. I’ve volunteered thousands of hours at animal sanctuaries, helped convince my city council to ban horse-drawn carriages, coordinated festivals and events that introduced animal rights to tens of thousands of people, and protested in more than a dozen states. Here’s what I’ve learned:
There’s no one way to be an activist. Activists break molds. And we’re each drawn to certain roles within our movement.
Four Roles of Social Activism—Who Are You?
Bill Moyer, influential organizer in the 1960s with the Chicago Open Housing Movement, anti-nuclear campaigns in the 1970s, and much more, went on to study social movement theory and designed powerful insights and tools for creating change. One of these tools he called the “Four Roles of Social Activism.” These four roles can help us see that diversity not only of individuals, but of strategy and tactics, are needed to achieve our goal—to end animal experimentation within our lifetime.
Social movements thrive when they have all four of these activist roles.
Although I am a full time organizer for NEAVS, I like to wear several hats and I think it’s important to be self-aware of what role naturally calls to you. I am a rebel at heart. And knowing that—embracing my rebel role—I make sure to join actions that fulfill my soul. That’s how I stay energized for the fight ahead.
It’s a fight we will win with you by our side.
That’s why I’m calling to all you Helpers, Advocates, Organizers, and Rebels. We need your skills, perspectives, and enthusiasm. Join our monthly virtual workshop series to meet other activists from around the country.