Am I Doing My Part as a Social Activist?

Am I Doing My Part as a Social Activist?

Many of you expressed regret for not attending any protests over the weekend. Many of you expressed that you had no desire to attend a protest, but you still want to be an advocate for social justice and do your part as an activist in your communities. I’m just going to say that if you didn’t attend a protest or stand on the frontlines…that’s okay! I came across a recent post discussing that how as writers, artists, and creators, it is our job to speak about these things, but at the end of the day, in my opinion, they are just words. I’m more interested in how those words are received. I’m more interested in the actions behind those words, so yeah I can write a blog post about social injustice, police brutality, and political warfare again racism in the hopes that they will inspire you to get out there and do something or I can just show you the best way I know how.

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When most people think of social activism, they only see this…

There were a plethora of protests that took place in Jersey over the weekend and I could’ve taken a train to get to any of them, but instead I was at the public library assisting with a kid’s book club in Trenton. It dawned on me, that change began right there where I was at.

I thought about the kids. The next little girl that will walk in my shoes when she gets to the age 26 or the next little boy who will celebrate his eighteenth birthday in the years to come. Don’t get me wrong, I will fight for my brothers and sisters. I will fight with them, but for the people who don’t know how to do their part, I say start right where you are. For me, it was at that library, helping those children read.

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…not this…

Maybe protesting isn’t your thing, and it doesn’t have to be, but you’re really good at organizing workshops and programs for different audiences such as children, or teens or other ethnic groups. Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe you’re a lawyer or someone interested in practicing law and you’d like to teach a compliance workshop or a “know your rights” class. Maybe you’re a doctor and want to discuss the mental and physical effects of protesting. Maybe you’re a teacher and want to teach an educational class on diversity and tolerance to small children. Maybe you’re a chef and you do your part by providing food and drinks for people who are protesting. Either way start wherever you are with whatever you have and that’s how you can do your part as a social activist.

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What can you do with what you have?

What I Learned Hosting My First Girl’s Empowerment Summit

What I Learned Hosting My First Girl’s Empowerment Summit

I’ve been absent from the blogsphere for a while since I’ve decided to go back to school and pick up a new profession (teaching) and during that time I saw it as an opportunity to really give back to an audience I’m truly passionate about: adolescent girls of color. I wanted to create a brand and organization that would allow them to fully understand that they are in complete control of the direction of their lives. As women, we are often told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and where to do it so much that there are times when we stop and wonder if anything we are doing is because we genuinely want to do it. So on January 28, 2017 I launched Curate Your Life, a girl’s empowerment and enrichment organization that focuses on sisterhood, leadership, social justice, wellness, and media literacy for teen girls of color, but the idea was birthed in June 2016 and there were a number of lessons learned along the way.

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Community is SO Important

I knew that this wasn’t something that I could do on my own and be effective at the same time, so I built a community of professional women and organizations who would see and understand my vision. The day of the launch, I didn’t realize I would be doing so much running around and improvising when things were absent, but the community that I built was there every single step of the way. I just asked them to show up and facilitate workshops, but they’ve become family with every “You got this Deja.” or “I’m proud of you Deja” or “Tell me where I can help Deja.” Even my mother came and catered the event with my grandmother. I say all of that to say, you are as strong as the tribe you build and God blessed me with an amazing one. Continue reading “What I Learned Hosting My First Girl’s Empowerment Summit”