Social Justice for Beginners

At the MLK March and Rally at the State Capital today, I looked around and saw so many individuals who had come together to honor and celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was truly inspiring and I also felt sadness. The daily news is a reminder that there is still so much work to do.

Have you ever wondered how social justice fits into your life? Being curious is a great place to start. Therapy can be a space to safely explore attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in relation to gender, race, sexual identity, and immigration (just to name a few).

What’s your personal history? How do you define yourself? White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh is a helpful resource that allows for personal questions and reflections about race and privilege. Being aware of personal biases and stereotypes can shed light on how and why we interact with others the way we do.

So, while social justice work can be inspiring, engaging, and motivational, it can also lead people to feel stuck, overwhelmed, emotionally drained, or even helpless. Everyday Feminism has an awesome article called 5 Self Care Tips for Activists. Yes, self-care is essential when you are doing social justice work. It’s about knowing when to take action and when to slow down.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl,

but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

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