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2 posts from May 2011

May 12, 2011

Giving Birth to Your Activist Self: Finding Your Voice as a Mother Activist

Workshop Handout for

 

Giving Birth to Your Activist Self:

Finding Your Voice as a Mother Activist

International Conference on Motherhood Activism, Advocacy, Agency

May 13-15, 2011 - Toronto, Ontario

 

Presented by

Sharon Aschaiek and Ann Douglas

 

  • Awaken. Hear your activist voice.
  • Respond. Know what to do with that call to action.
  • Collaborate. Form meaningful connections with other activists (online and in real life) to reduce isolation and maximize your effectiveness.
  • Communicate. Connect with the public and generate media interest in your cause.
  • Lead. Achieve consensus and inspire your fellow activists to action.
  • Succeed. Learn from successful activists. Discover what takes some movements over the top?
  • Sustain. Avoid activist burnout, which zaps your energy and enthusiasm. Fuel the fire within. Self care, professional development,  and sabbaticals are ways to nurture your activist self.

 

Books

Ansell, Jeff. When the Headline is You: An Insider’s Guide to Handling the Media. Jossey-Bass, 2010.

May, Elizabeth. How to Save the World in Your Spare Time. Key Porter Books, 2007.

Moyer, Bill et al. Doing Democracy. The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements. New Society Publishers, 2001.

Sussman, Amanda. The Art of the Possible: A Handbook for Political Activism. McCelland and Stewart, 2009.

 

Websites

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)’s Media Activist Kit

The Citizen’s Handbook: Practical Assistance for Those Who Want to Make a Difference

Campus Activism.org: Movement Action Plan by Bill Moyer

Campus Activism.org: Event Planning Worksheet

Campus Activism.org: Four Core Elements of Strategy

Campus Activism.org: Organizing: Lessons Learned

 

Useful Social Media Tools and Platforms

Appbistro:  Directory of apps for Facebook Pages.

Bit.ly: URL shortening service (useful for Twitter).

Facebook: Social media platform

Flickr: Photo-sharing community.

Klout: A measure of social media influence.

LinkedIn: Showcase your resume and connect with others.

ManageFlitter: Manage your Twitter followers/following.

Oneforty: A directory of business-oriented apps for Twitter.

Posterous: An easy way to publish to multiple channels.

Storify: Combine content, including chat tweets.

Twitter: Social media platform.

YouTube: Video-sharing.

 

Sharon Ashchaiek

Sharon Aschaiek is a mother to a five-year-old boy with autism, a professional writer and an autism services activist. Sharon leads Autism Resolution Ontario, a grassroots, non-partisan, parent-run advocacy group protesting against Ontario’s severe autism services gaps, and working to achieve appropriate treatment and social justice for kids with autism.

Ann Douglas

Ann Douglas is active in the democracy movement and the women's movement, She volunteers with Citizens Advocating Political Participation and serves on the Board of Directors of YWCA Peterborough Victoria Haliburton. She is an author and mother of four. www.anndouglas.ca and www.onewomanoneblog.com

May 03, 2011

Did Democracy Just Break Your Heart?

If democracy just broke your heart, this post is for you.

Sometimes democracy can do that to a person. And when it happens, it feels like you've just been betrayed by a lover.

You trusted democracy to safeguard something sacred, only to discover too late that the sweet-nothings that were being whispered between democracy and other voters were nothing like the sweet-nothings that were being shared between the two of you.

So what do you do the day after your heart has been broken?

Allow yourself to grieve. Your dream of a better Canada has been ripped away. You invested in that dream with every action you took during and leading up to Election Day.

Don't indulge in "if onlys." We can't turn back the clock. We can only move forward.  Honour the passion for democracy that erupted in you by vowing to continue to work for a Canada that reflects the hopes and dreams of the true majority of Canadians.

Understand you're not alone. Because of the way our voting system works, there are more people feeling sad than celebratory today: 60 percent versus 40 percent, in fact. If misery loves company, there's no better way to find company than by voting in a first-past-the-post election.

Find strength in your community -- the community of Canadians who are not satisfied with the outcome of last night's election and who will not be satisfied until Canada finds its way back to its more progressive, socially conscious, democratic roots. We have four years to map out that journey. For today, just commit to supporting your fellow travellers.