It is impossible to be a social work activist without paying tribute to the amazing change work that is currently reverberating throughout our activist communities.
With a loud, visible and intentional forum for decrying the entrenched systemic inequality that governs much of our modern day North American society, activists and change-makers—those deeply committed to sustainably co-creating the intersecting needs of social, environmental, racial and economic justice—are literally holding space in hundreds of communities throughout North America and around the world. As we continue to witness this unfolding, not only has the Occupiers’ intention grown, strengthened, and clarified, but we have seen a mainstream awareness of this movement slowly becoming a stronger and deeper presence within our cultural narrative.
Fairly, this awareness has shown a spot-light on both support and critique of the occupy movement. Regardless of how this message is perceived, it is being brought acutely into the direct field of vision of the mainstream, therefore affecting each of us in the process. We are constantly being shaped and influenced as we integrate new opinions and experiences, internal and external critique, and varying sources of diverse information. This slight changing of awareness—a cornerstone of basic consciousness raising—is, at the same time, both simple and radical.
As I look to these inspiring lessons being taught by our brave allies in the streets, I’m more and more interested in how we intentionally work with differences in ways that respectfully and collaboratively work toward change and progress. How does this loud forum around issues of justice affect our own anti-oppressive, justice-centered practice? How are the lessons of these days changing your own consciousness, and how does that, in turn, affect your work, framework, and offerings as an advocate of justice? Where does your own activism intersect with this shared vision of justice and equality, and what will be your contribution?
The Social Work Activist Reader (http://socialworkactivistreader.blogspot.com/) is seeking contributions for the Winter 2012 e-zine. Articles should be in diverse areas of humyn service work that strengthen our vision and skill with social work activism and justice-centered, anti-oppressive practice. Written contributions will be accepted through December 22nd. To submit articles, be added to the SWAR e-zine distribution list, have the zine automatically emailed to you upon publication, or otherwise connect, email email@example.com.
“You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”[i] This is a vibrant time of change and inspiration, and we are both witness and author to it.