If you’re just starting to become more active in addressing social issues such as racism, it’s tough to know where to start and how to make an impact. There’s so much need in endless directions.
To get myself organized for activism and kick start momentum, I created this tracker that you can download for free. I update it regularly with new concerns, solutions, resource links, and information on non-profits that are doing great work. I’ve built in filters to make it easy and fast to focus on specific chunks of information.
Here’s a brief overview of the tracker’s eight tabs:
- Heart and Mind: A key part of my own self-care and ongoing personal growth is practicing the “Five Mindful Trainings,” derived from Buddhist teachings and compiled by Vietnamese Zen monk and activist Thich Nhat Hanh. I summarize these trainings here on the first tab, so I can always keep them top of mind and remember daily practice. The five are: Reverence for Life. True Happiness. True Love. Deep Listening and Loving Speech. Nourishment & Healing.
- Daily Ongoing Actions: This second tab is for staying on top of ongoing action steps to take for any issue of concern, including specific actions that are needed now.
- Policy Change Focus Areas: This third tab is for high-level summaries of the most pressing issues within an “umbrella injustice” such as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I focus my specific efforts on racism and racial justice.
- Deep Focus: This fourth tab is a space to “drill down” to the sub-categories and nuances within a single issue from the third tab. I’m drilling down on voting rights and access. While I plan to stay on top of the issues delineated on the third tab, voting rights is getting the lion’s share of my attention.
- Data Links: This fifth tab is a convenient place to store and retrieve links related to the issues on the third tab.
- Petitions to Sign: This sixth tab is for capturing ongoing and new petition websites, aligned with the issues on the third tab.
- Email Addresses and Links: This seventh tab is a handy place for frequently-used email addresses or email web links of elected and appointed officials.
- Non-Profits: This final tab is for identifying and providing helpful information and links on non-profits who are effectively influencing policy changes related to the issues on the third tab. You can also use this tab to track your financial or voluntary support of these organizations.
My use of this tracker is a constant work in progress. I encourage you to download it, and make it your own through customization and topics that are relevant for you. I hope you make it better and email your version to me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Read this post for some overall guidance on approaching activism, focusing on specific issues, and mitigating potential burnout.