Making A Personal Social Justice Plan


Sometimes it feels overwhelming to think about all the injustice in the world, and it's hard to think about what steps we can take to make a difference. It can also feel like our actions might not have much impact. Still, we know that many small actions can have an impact. And our actions also have a ripple effect - they affect others, and they affect the actions others choose to take.

Here is a tool I have used to help organize my plans for how I want to work toward social justice in ways both small and large. I encourage you to write this outline down and then fill it in with your own plans. (The actions given here are simply examples.) You can be as vague or as concrete as you like, although writing down more specific plans will probably be more helpful to you and will help you to focus on action rather than ideas.

Some of the plans you write down can be ones with a specific goal (e.g. working to stop a particular corporation from developing your area) while others can be things to work on for your whole life (recycling; understanding your own racial identity). It can be very useful if you return to it regularly - maybe every six months or every year - to see how much progress you have made on your goals and whether you would like to change anything.

If you wish, you can also choose to focus this entire worksheet on one goal - for example, if you have decided that one issue needs to be a priority for you. And you may certainly want to change around the categories (e.g. maybe right now you don't have any money, but you have a lot of time; or maybe there's a particular community you belong to which should have its own section. Maybe you have access to other resources besides money and time (building space, connections to organizations, family members or friends who have the necessary resources)



My Social Justice Plan


WITH MY MONEY, I CAN:

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    (- Plan ahead, rather than just giving to the first few charities that ask me for money)
    (- Give to social justice organizations as well as charities)
    (- Give to organizations that support the following issues: ........)



WITH MY TIME, I CAN

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    (- Research organizations and choose one to volunteer X hours a week.)
    (- Find a volunteer position where I can use the following skills: ........)
    (- Attend large demonstrations.)



IN MY WORK, I CAN:

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    (- Advocate for workers' rights within the company/ agency.)
    (- Set up a recycling program in my workplace.)
    (- When looking for a new job, I can choose to work a company whose goals, ethics, and methods I agree with.)



IN MY __________ COMMUNITY, I CAN:
(This could be a religious community, a hobby/ leisure activity group, or any other group that is a regular part of your life.)
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    (- Speak up against appropriation of Native American culture)
    (- Challenge heterosexism when I hear it.)



IN MY SOCIAL LIFE, I CAN:

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    (- Work to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of my circle of friends)
    (- Have movie nights where I show thought-provoking movies about issues like racism, workers' rights, etc.)



WITH MY __________ SKILLS, I CAN:
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    (This really depends on your specific skills and the issues you are focusing on: Are you a lawyer who can lead legal teach-ins before a demonstration or offer free legal aid to low-income victims of abuse? Are you great at taking care of kids, and would be willing to offer child care during workshops, demonstrations, meetings, etc.?)


IN TRYING TO PUT THESE STRATEGIES INTO ACTION, I AM FACING THESE DILEMMAS:


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    (- How to move into a multicultural neighborhood without contributing to gentrification)
    (- How to diversify my group of friends without making people into "tokens")
    (- How to convince my coworkers to recycle more without becoming annoying or obnoxious)





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