The world is in crisis. Our sense of equality and social justice is being threatened and global communities are more and more fractured. In this upheaval it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the change that needs to happen.
That’s why we launched Crowdcast for Activists. It’s our effort to help those fighting for justice and human rights by giving our platform away for free to activists doing important work.
Our most recent Talk was focused on this topic so we could showcase how amazing folks are using Crowdcast for activism. We invited Ashley Williams, Chaumtoli Huq and Elbert Garcia to share how they use technology, including live streaming, for a social cause and learned a ton about movement-building in today’s age.
About our guests
Ashley is an activist, host of the podcast Green Is the New Black and was a member of President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s political campaigns.
Elbert and Chaumtoli run the organization Law@theMargins, which uses multimedia and online community to shine a light on how the law and legal institutions affect the rights of the marginalized.
Here’s what we learned. 📚
Live video is an easy entry point for people to get involved in a cause.
Some people are new activists who are just beginning to get involved. Others are busy or don’t have the time to show up to in-person events. Live streaming lets organizers reach these people who are excited to join but limited by time, distance or knowledge.
Live video and other technologies today can expand access to information and organization, making them powerful tools in movement-building.
Be focused in how you use technology for the best results.
Another tip the guests emphasized: define your goals for your live events or any other technology you’re using to spread your message. If you’re hosting a live video event, then educate, but also have a follow-up strategy so you can channel the interest into action after your event is over. It’s important to be focused about the role technology plays in progressing your cause beyond just sharing information.
Interdisciplinary work across different skills and issues is thriving.
Of the many trends in today’s new surge of activism, two are especially powerful: the joining of forces across disciplines and the growing realization that getting involved across multiple issues is more effective than working in “silos.”
From social workers to artists to lawyers, people are coming together to contribute their unique tools and skills, bringing a diversity of resources to important causes while encouraging everyone to pitch in.
Not only that, notes Chaumtoli, but more and more people are realizing that many of the injustices we face — from racism and sexism to immigration and employment — are inextricably linked. Solving one requires learning about the others. Participating in causes with this in mind will fuel real systemic change.
Your fear of public speaking is actually your power. Use it.
What if you want to organize and lead but aren’t ready to speak publicly? Don’t worry, says Ashley. Those jitters you feel at the thought of talking to a large group aren’t a bad thing. They’re a sign of your power. Embrace it.
And even if you are scared, remember that everyone’s unique skills are needed and that real, large-scale change requires us all to contribute. Besides — there are plenty of ways to help that don’t involve public speaking. :)
The best way to get started is to just show up.
If you’re concerned about current events and wondering how to get involved, just show up. Bring a friend. Be humble. Show up to that Facebook event your friend invited you to or to that cool video event you heard about. In whatever way is most accessible to you, show up.
Want to see the full replay? Check it out here. 🎥