All of our sustainable steps so far can be taken from the safety of your mom’s basement. Maybe that’s the way you like it. But civic engagement is really a group activity. So get out there and find your people. This looks different for everyone, but here are two routes I’m exploring:
Find a big event that speaks to your interests, and drill down
- I attended a United State of Women event last year and was energized by the people in attendance and the opportunities in front of us.
- From there, find a smaller group with which to engage
- A popular non-profit was tabling, and I signed a postcard to state my interest. This group is well organized, and sent me me an SMS invite to an Action Forum–a meeting where I could engage with issues of my choice and answer specific calls to action.
Use your professional networking skills in another arena.
If you have a specific goal in mind for your kind of activism, think of your connections. Reach out to that friend-of-a-friend who is close to the topic, send them a message and ask if you can treat them to coffee. They’ll give you ideas on how to get involved, and probably be great conversation partners who leave you feeling energized.
My first intimate tribe of social justice fighters is now spread out all over the world (and beyond). Now, I’m making the shift from student engagement to regular human activism. It’s not always easy to show up to an event alone or put your networking face on over the weekend, but you’ll know it’s right when you leave an interaction with more energy than you showed up with. That’s my benchmark, at least for now.
Tell me: How are you finding your communities for civic engagement?