By Liz Moore
For best results, read this in your head — or out loud! — in David Letterman style.
10. Trust Women. Trust Workers. Trust People of Color. Trust Trans Folks. Trust Black Women. Trust Immigrants. Trust Young People. Trust the 99%.
9. Invest in the Long-Term. Be conscious of how much energy you put into what’s urgent instead of what’s strategic.
8. Love Yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself.
7. Unlearn Oppression of All Kinds. How do you use internalized oppression against yourself? How do you use internalized privilege or superiority against others? Does class oppression tell you that you must “produce” in order to be worthy? Does internalized sexism tell you that you should be nice? Does internalized privilege tell you that you know better than someone with life experience?
6. Cultivate Your Consciousness of Power. How does power operate in your community? Who has power? Who doesn’t? How have those arrangements been maintained? Look inward as well as outward. Cultivate a consciousness of power in all directions & situations.
5. Do a Landscape Analysis. Once you know your passion, look around & do your research about who’s already working on that, what’s worked or not worked in the past, and why things are the way they are now. Don’t assume you need to launch a new effort or organization.
4. Listen. Nurture relationships. Use the “2-ears-1-mouth” rule: listen twice as much as you talk.
3. Be authentic. People can tell if you’re shining them on, and they don’t like it.
2. Practice Pro-Active Solidarity. Be consistent; develop a track record that makes you someone trustworthy. Show up, then show up again, then show up again.
And my number one piece of advice:
1. Think of yourself as an organizer, instead of as an activist. An activist is someone who is themselves active – but an organizer is someone who moves others to act!
Cue the band!
With thanks to Rachel Dorfman and the Washington Labor Education Resource Center for inviting me to part of the Spokane Regional Labor Council’s Labor Education & Activism Program, and to my fellow panelists on the Community Activism for Working People: Rick Cologne, Sandy Williams, and Jim Dawson.