How to be an Activist is a new original blog series that will be running on the Day of the Girl-US Blog. Here you will find all posts that have been published for How to be an Activist thus far. If you have a question or would like to contribute to How to be an Activist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Activist”.
“In How to be an Activist we show you how anyone--and we mean anyone--can be an activist. As the creator and editor of this series, I wanted young activists to know that though we all have our own unique circumstances, and advantages and disadvantages in our lives, there are still ways we can involve ourselves in activism and contribute to our communities.
In this series we take some of the most common quandaries concerning activism --“I want to get involved in social justice, but I don’t live in a big town where there are many opportunities for me!”, “How can I, as a white person, show support to the POC of America?”, “How do I balance my health as an activist?”-- and dedicate a blog post to approaching the topic, with tips and suggestions for you. We give advice based on your specific circumstance, showing you how to be an activist under different conditions. This series is written by other young activists who know how you feel and have integrated their own experiences into the topic they are writing about.
You can be an activist no matter who you are, and we’re here to prove it!”
- Adriana Chavez, Day of the Girl Action Team | April 21, 2017
By Eliana Stanislawski, 21
Teenage heartthrob Harry Styles blew up the internet a couple of days ago when made the groundbreaking statement that girls should be taken seriously. People shared his quote from a recent Rolling Stone article all over the place:Read more
Day of the Girl's "Punk Feminism" series highlights the voices of people in marginalized groups in the punk/DIY music scene. It is such an honor to talk to musicians about their experiences in this community. This time, I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Sofia Verbilla of Harmony Woods, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Read more
By Alejandra Granado
Having come from immigrant parents I’ve always been told how lucky I am to have been born in the U.S. and to have the wonderful opportunities that I do. Although I am not an immigrant, immigration has played a huge role in my life. Every so often, I think about how lucky I am, that I get to go away to university right after high school, and don’t have to sit at home to cook and clean like many oppressed women in other countries have to instead of receiving an education. I also think of how fortunate I am to be able to get an education, to then get a career that’ll make me a nice salary, which will allow me to support myself and not depend on others. The reason I’m able to do all of this and more is because my mother was lucky enough to immigrate to this country 20 years agoRead more
By Brindha Kodlapur, age 17
We are raised to conquer our dreams, not to be reared for marriage
“The only purpose to women gaining a job, is to make a suitable wife”.
100 years later, and this Hindu moral still applies to the lives of many Indian women around the world. Historically, marriage in many cultures is an everlasting social construct placed upon women. Whether it is the 21% of women married before the age of 18 in Pakistan or the widely popular ‘mail order bride’ program prevalent in Russia, marriage has often been a dynamic preventing women from achieving their goals in life. Marriage shouldn’t be a hindrance, but rather a personal choice.
Women in these marriages are often forced to stay at home, thus giving up their forward dreams, or are subject to the constant desire of their husbands in order to produce children - often causing domestic violence. Of course, the causes for this constant discrimination can often be attributed to our culture's social roots of males exerting their masculinity over females. Yet, this is no excuse for the way women have been treated. Although most Americans believe that these orthodox ways are limited to third world nations with a plethora of poverty, it is time to accept that America may not be as perfect of a country as immigrants hope it to be.Read more
Throughout this year, we have learned about inspiring girls and women who truly define Black Girl Magic. We have heard from fashion designers, community activists, filmmakers, and students. I started the series with Day of the Girl in the Summer of 2016, and many people enjoyed reading all the amazing interviews and being inspired by each and every girl. I created the Black Girl Magic series to celebrate black girls and women who are doing amazing things. To end the series, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview my cousin Akirah Crawford. Akirah is a community organizer, educator, and a student. She won the Fulbright Scholarship, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Malaysia to teach English and develop programs. Akirah graduated from Virginia State University and is currently in graduate school. She is currently serving in Swaziland Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Read on to hear her inspiring story.
Name: Akirah Crawford
Facebook: Kirah Simone
Instagram: akirah_simoneRead more
Nandi Rose Plunkett was the second female musician I ever saw perform live. Admittedly, I don’t go to as many gigs as I’d like to, but just two women up onstage – even if it’s a foot-high stage at a punk show – is not a high enough number.Read more
By Leighanne Scheuermann
It wasn’t until I graduated from college, spent a year as an Americorps member, and entered graduate school that I first came across this quote from Ghandi. You would think working as a social worker I might have been more mindful about the ways societies make change. Yet, I was young and wanted things to just transform…now. I was well into my twenties and I’ll admit it’s taken me many more years to actually apply this concept to my life. Some days I am better at it than others.
Now as a teacher and a mother, I feel a responsibility to help my children and students be self aware of their role within their communities. So my husband and I are trying out small ways we make change. Recently, I read about a family that discussed their "highs, lows, and an act of kindness" at the dinner table. Dinner in our home had become pretty chaotic, a stepping stone on the way to bath and a dreaded drawn-out bedtime, so we immediately tried it out and it’s made a huge difference not only in our dinner conversation but also our daily actions. Some days I volunteer my time or donate materials and other days I just try to send a nice email to someone, smile or refrain from honking in traffic unless fully warranted (which as a former New Yorker takes a lot of restraint). Knowing that my family will ask me at the end of the day what I did to change someone else’s certainly helps me follow through on the commitment. If you are looking for ways to explain social movements or protests to your children and the upcoming March on Washington you might want to check out some of these picture books about change within America.
You’re sitting or standing there, and from their mouth comes an outpouring of every painful thing that has become endorsed by our government, our media, and our people. They’re saying something that stings, something about you or the people you love, something that you know is wrong.
I know you’re angry. I know you feel frustrated, tired by the idea of having to explain that everyone deserves freedom and respect. You don’t understand what is so fundamentally wrong with this person that they could think that taking away someone’s basic human rights is acceptable. You want to walk away, to escape those words. You want to scream.
Immediately after the election results came out, I was left reeling. It was as though some part of me had been ripped out, some veil of idealistic innocence torn away from my eyes. Perhaps it was the universal childhood belief that “good” always triumphs over “evil,” endlessly perpetuated by fairytales and TV cartoons. Although I hate to reduce politics and people to concepts so absolute, the numb feeling in my gut on November 9th allowed for no grey areas. The fear and anger Trump inspired in Americans made him worse than any supervillain. Unlike TV supervillains, however, Trump was undeniably real.Read more