Got an issue that no one seems to be doing anything about? Don’t just talk about it, take matters into your own hands and lead the pack to a brighter future, by starting or joining an Action Committee.
GLBTQ history is loaded with grass roots activism and just because we're silver doesn’t mean that has to stop. In fact, the world needs our skills and experience to lead the future more now than ever, whether it knows it or not.
Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” was never truer than it is in today’s connected world.
Whether you believe it or not, the power is in you. Remember there are enough people in the world who are ready and willing to discount you, you don’t have to be one of them.
Still not sure you how you can fit into making a difference in the world? Check out this fascinating short video: First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy for a simple example of how a movement grows in the real world.
So, maybe you know “something must be done” about the issue at hand, but are not sure what or how to do it. Don’t fret, that’s actually a great place to start. What you need is to connect with like minded people and begin working together.
Problems are fixed by focusing on the solution, not on the problem.
So the very first step is easy, simply sit down and write a brief statement about the issue. It doesn't have to be eloquent, it just has to express your point of view and your frustrations. You can begin by simply writing a list of gripes, then spend some time crafting it into a statement that expresses your thoughts accurately.
Next, create a new post on Ozma Social Club, include "ACTION COMMITTEE FORMING" or something similar in the title. Post your statement and a clear request for people to contact you.
Now it’s time to organized. Once you have a handful of people interested, setup a meeting. Remember, with Ozma Country Club you can meet via chat and never have to leave your armchair!
During your first meetings, keep your agenda light and focus on refining the issues the group wants to deal with. You want to get people talking about the problem, just remember take copious notes. If you can use a whiteboard or facsimile thereof, it will help in the note taking process. Set initial group goals that focus on filling out each individual’s education on the issue, its history and context.
Within the first few sessions, be sure to develop some actionable tasks for each member. While it’s important to “brainstorm” ideas and look at different sides of an issue, talk without action can quickly devolve into pointless complaining.
To build empowerment and confidence it’s important to remember that actions speak louder than words.
So once everyone in the group has had a chance to give input, you need to develop a focus and then develop a plan.
The fact is there are personal benefits to be gained even beyond making change in the world. The intrinsic dialogue and exchange of ideas with others who share your values can make friends out of neighbors and help to stimulate your mind because let’s face it, apathy is just plain boring.
When you are ready to take the next steps, here are several resource guides to help you through each phase of your process.
8 Steps to Successful Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns
How to start your own grassroots group
Grassroots online tips
11 tips for building an organization from the ground up
Alliance of Youth Movements Field Manual