We are not the first to say that Latinx need to be more civically active concerning issues that affect our communities.
Most people know that activism is needed, but they don’t know where to start. Or they might think civic engagement is too much work and involvement. -For some people, the fear of police and immigration because of lack of trust and negative perceptions, involvement is a scary proposition.
But there are many levels of involvement, and they are perfectly safe, as we’ll discuss here.
And most importantly, we’ll discuss how we can become more motivated.
THE LAND OF THE FREE
Many of us are so busy with our day-to-day lives, trying to make a living, that we forget why we are here. We forget why our parents or grandparents came here in the first place. Or that they have been here for generations, since before this country was called “The United States of America.”
We believe that it is because we all share the same core beliefs of equality and justice, coined by Jefferson in the The United States Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But we all know that inequality is still prevalent throughout the country.
No matter where we come from, the fact that our Hispanic-sounding names have been resonating in these lands for generations, means that we have a responsibility to fight for the justice we and our Latinx brothers and sisters deserve.
NOT ONLY SEEN BUT HEARD
Latinx are here to stay because we are and have been part of the fabric of the USA.
We must remind ourselves: We belong here. We have rights.
However, it is not enough to be seen. Does it matter that we are now the largest “minority” group? Let’s not accept labels nor set limits on who we are, who we could be, or with whom we show solidarity.
Solidarity is first about listening to and sharing stories about people that don’t have a voice. Although we are slowly improving, we are not there yet.
So, let’s talk about taking action!
On our first podcast of 2022, we were thrilled to have a fantastic conversation with Beatriz Abascal. Beatriz has organized activism in the Latinx non-profit space for over 20 years. We shared our views on some misconceptions about activism.
Here are the main takeaways of this conversation with Beatriz:
- There are many levels and ways to get civically involved, and simple ways to start fighting for justice.
- You don’t need to be in the front lines. You can always decide how far you want to go or what amount of time you can give.
- Maybe start by being aware of existing disparities, and ask yourself how you can help.
- Listening is a good start.
- It is about solidarity, little acts of solidarity in everyday life, like helping a friend, a neighbor, and building from there.
- Take care of yourself. Self-care is an act of activism, the first step to being able to help others. We know this, but we don’t always do it.
- Grassroot activism is changing, one person at a time. You will find more satisfaction that you can imagine through grassroots activities and by just being out there.
- Activism is taught to the very young by example. When children grow up in an environment of solidarity, they will want to continue that path. They will discover that it is necessary to have a role and find purpose in their world.
- Form a group. Be creative to get people’s attention so you can raise funds and share resources, shift a trend. Doing it “solit@” (all alone) is hard!
- Join an organization, like the Gaston Institute if you live in Massachusetts, or look for info on Google. Search for Latinx community organizations close to home.
YOU JUST NEED “LAS GANAS”
In conclusion, let’s remember that “de la unión nace la fuerza”, because it’s true. Unity breeds strength.
Power, colorism and gender are systems of oppression that exist everywhere, even within our own communities. Let’s start by ”decolonizing” everyone’s mind, one privilege at a time.
We have to be aware that social issues affect us all. Wherever there is inequality, we are all at risk. So we MUST show up.
We should also be aware that this fight is our fight, no matter what state we live in, what our gender identity is, where we are from, whether rich or poor, educated, or uneducated. We are responsible for finding our mission because this is a fight for justice.
Don’t wait to be ready. You already are!
You just need to show up.
There is always a place for you.
We’d love to hear from you. Let’s chat and see if we’re a good fit for each other.
Contact us: email@example.com