Hi there! My name is Emily and I’m so excited to guest write this blog post for you today! A little about me: I’m a recent college graduate who majored in Politics & International Relations, and I currently work in media. I am extremely passionate about social justice and believe others should be too! However, I often hear from people that they feel intimidated by the political or social justice realm and don’t know how or where to start.
Especially in the current state of political affairs, political activism and mobilization are crucial. As such, I wanted to create a short list of easy ways for anyone to get involved and make a difference — including introverts!
1. Contact your representatives
This is a task that often seems daunting to many, especially to introverts. Despite being an extrovert, I had quite a bit of phone anxiety while growing up. Now there are many ways to contact your representatives without having to call or leave a voice message! If you’re not comfortable calling, try:
- emailing your representatives. If you don’t know them, you can find them on the government websites: https://www.house.gov/ & https://www.senate.gov/.
- downloading an app. Countable finds your representatives for you and you can compose messages to send to them within the app.
- using ResistBot. ResistBot is an awesome new tool — all you have to do is text “RESIST” to 50409. It’ll ask your name and automatically compose and send messages to your representatives based on your location. It’s customizable based on issues you care about!
Consider donating if you have the ability and means to do so! There are many organizations doing amazing work to support marginalized communities and even the smallest contribution helps. One example of a great organization to support is the American Civil Liberties Union, check out their work here: https://www.aclu.org/.
3. Be a mindful consumer
Consider where your money goes. Your money is equivalent to your support. Who makes your clothes? Are their workers being paid fair wages and given reasonable hours? The companies that you purchase from — what causes are they donating to? When you purchase a meal at a fast food chain or attend a music festival, which organizations and candidates are you indirectly supporting? It’s not always possible to abstain from or boycott all problematic companies, groups or people, but educating yourself and promoting transparency are always good things.
4. Speak up and show up
Whether it’s voicing your opinion on your social media or even sporting a shirt or sticker from an important cause you care about, this sort of thought-provoking dialogue matters. Consider volunteering for an organization or a campaign and doing tasks that you’re comfortable with (it doesn’t have to be knocking on doors or making calls)! And in your own personal circles, it is so important to keep discussing these issues — we have to remind ourselves to keep pushing for change, and that it’s not okay to normalize the violence happening around us.
This is the last and probably most important task you can do to make a difference. If you’re not registered to vote, you can do so here: https://www.usa.gov/register-
I hope you take these small steps towards action but also remember to take care of yourself. It’s easy to feel helpless and bogged down by the weight of what’s happening around you — and that is perfectly valid and okay. Political apathy is different from taking care of your mental and emotional needs. Sometimes you need to unplug for a while, take time to process and regroup. And lastly, remember that your voice and your contributions matter!
Emily Shon is a recent graduate of Scripps College, where she graduated with a degree in Politics and International Relations, with a focus in Social Policy. She currently works in social media and digital marketing. In her free time, she likes to explore new cafes and eateries in Los Angeles, travel the world, and spend time with her family and two dogs.