Think of powerful movements for change throughout history such as nonviolence efforts of Ghandi in India, Martin Luther King in the United States and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. I reflect on the efforts of women’s movement over the last century and the efforts that continue today. I also think of Marcus Garvey pan African efforts that heavily influenced the world about one century ago and the efforts of the Central American Black organization over the past two decades. Events of incredible injustice moved everyday persons to get involved and make these movements happen. They were successful because they sparked cords of agreement in others who also got involved. They were successful because they were inclusive.
World Pulse initiatives are excellent examples of grassroots movement building in the 21st century and it is important for every individual who seeks to better understand and define him or herself. It helps the individual articulate and stand behind personal principles, philosophies and integrity in a visual way. It is not possible to ‘sit on the fence’ when you are involved in grassroots movement building.
I was always an advocate for the marginalized, stigmatized and mistreated, engaging in several small grassroots movement around social issues that have impacted women unjustly. Most recent engagement has been in two areas: prevention of violence against women and sustainable economic empowerment of Central American African descendants, especially women.
For grassroots movement building efforts to succeed, historical and current experiences teach lessons of patience, determination, perseverance, inclusion and collectivity. The ‘messiah’ approach is not the best one but the servant leader who rolls up her shirt sleeves and get down in the dirt side by side with the others. Experiences teach a principal lesson of willingness to invest (some call it sacrifice) oneself for movement building to happen. It is a struggle to gain AND keep momentum an initiative.
My online connections through World Pulse have helped me solidify the understanding and appreciation of the resources and support needed. So now I am ready to apply this new consciousness to the actions I take to empower myself and others for economic and political leadership. I claim my space!
Enjoy these Helen Reddy 1970s song lyrics that are relevant today.
I Am Woman
I am woman, hear me roar In numbers too big to ignore And I know too much to go back an' pretend 'Cause I've heard it all before And I've been down there on the floor No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes, I am wise But it's wisdom born of pain Yes, I've paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to, I can do anything I am strong (Strong) I am invincible (Invincible) I am woman
You can bend but never break me 'Cause it only serves to make me More determined to achieve my final goal And I come back even stronger Not a novice any longer 'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soulGrassroots Mobilizing