Guest Blogger – Anna Glennon – Change Starts With You
In wake of recent news spreading across the country of rallies, protests and Facebook comment fights, it’s important that you prep yourself in order to effectively try and further the causes and issues you are passionate about. How you present your topic is how many people will decide whether or not your issue is a serious matter. Here are 5 simple tips to help raise awareness for important issues that are close to your heart.
1. Get connected with your community.
One of the easiest ways to get started in making a change is finding other people who are just as passionate as you are. With the power of today’s technology, this gets easier every day. Nearly every individual has the power to connect with hundreds of people at their fingertips. Everything you are looking for beings with a Search; check your favorite social media communities for public groups or pages supporting your cause. By connecting with these groups and others, you can find out new ways to support causes you are passionate about – whether it be donations, movements, rallies or simple discussion – you can make a difference from anywhere with the power of your mobile device.
2. Check yourself.
When you’re passionate about it, you might want to go tell it to the mountain – but it’s important that what your sharing is accurate, and informational. When sharing your cause with new people, or people without an understanding of the basics, they can get confused or worse – turned off. It’s important that you check the sources of what you share on your social media outlets regarding your cause, and that you check your own facts. Don’t let your passion get in the way of the importance of the message you are sharing.
3. Immerse yourself (and take your friends).
Events like the Show me Justice Film Festival are a great environment to not only raise awareness on important issues, but to have a good time around other passionate people. Finding events in a safe and positive environment are a great way for you to voice your own opinions, immerse yourself in others and to introduce new people to issues that you are passionate about. You can find events with a simple online search of your issue and your area. If you are interested in protests or rallies, it’s important that you have an understanding of what behavior is protected and what is not, be sure to study up before you head out.
4. Take your stance somewhere other than Facebook.
Social justice is defined very simply, but envelops a broad spectrum of issues and topics. Different people are affected and passionate about different topics, but we each have different talents and ways to express ourselves. Facebook posts and comment arguments are not the only way of expressing our opinions – find yourself some new ones. Art has long since been a popular method of expression, but we often forget that art is not strictly paint and brush. Film, photography, acting, writing, music and other methods are other creative ways to express and act upon your ideas – and are easily shared and spread online.
5. Check yourself (one more time).
One of the simplest and most important tasks of anyone who wishes to represent a cause comes from how they represent. For those one the outside looking in, do they see a well-versed, passionate person? Or do they see a crazy thinker who doesn’t listen? It’s important that when you share your opinions, ideas and issues that are close to your heart, that you consider how you present them, and yourself. One of the most important steps in solving problems comes from raising awareness and getting more people involved, but if people won’t take you seriously, consider how you are presenting your ideas – change starts with you.
Anna Glennon is a junior at the University of Central Missouri studying Digital Media Communications. She is a National and World Champion Jet Ski racer and media professional for the TPJ Racing professional motocross team.