Anything that requires a change in motivation is difficult. The biggest challenge to creating change in my community is changing motivation. Lack of awareness and feeling disconnected and powerless are barriers that make this shift complicated. In my community, there are people who work with populations in need and know firsthand the desires of groups I may not come in contact with. I rely on them to educate me about the needs of others. By telling the stories of women I work with, I hope to increase awareness in my community to the plight of these women, but even more important is to share their narratives as forces of forgiveness, love, and empowerment. I will continue to relay experiences in hopes of keeping them in the forefront of readers’ minds. Perhaps a particular anecdote will strike a chord and create a connection. I believe online communities like Pulse Wire help women find and stay connected. Women are looking for little pieces of change that fill their hearts - something that is meaningful to them. It may be to improve their relationship with their mother or daughter, it may be to learn about the needs in their local community, or it may be to start writing their Senators and Congresspersons about an issue that moves them. Whatever their passion, it is important to offer ideas to empower women toward their goal. I remember feeling so empowered when I started writing letters and making phone calls to my representatives. In these days of busyness, advocacy is an important and effective means of change for many issues that are important to women. ONE MOTHER can offer assistance on how to get connected to outstanding advocacy groups at www.onemother.org . Groups like The ONE Campaign, Bread for the World, and Oxfam make it easy and are excellent examples of online communities. Once women have been motivated to action, support is an important role of any online community. I have already been given support from so many Voices of Our Future members. You can see and feel the good will, empathy and understanding. This does so much to keep people motivated to continue their work. Pulse Wire makes you feel like you are part of a team. At home and with friends, women may not be getting the support they need. I know I am not always comfortable starting up a conversation about stigma and discrimination at book club. Online communities offer a likeminded audience and great support.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.