Here's to a new year full of building new relationships, sharing experiences and embracing solidarity.
1. Don't stop learning.
If you're a reader, check out this list of activism-centered books. If you like magazines, check out Sojourners, a faith-based approach to social justice. If you're into informative documentaries, check out anything by Frontline: I've seen The Choice 2016, Separate and Unequal, Secret State of North Korea, and they were great. A week ago, I rewatched the Netflix documentary 13th, on mass incarceration of people of color to supplement a new book I plan on starting soon, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. Pick a topic and dive in.
2. Consume a diverse array of news sources.
Media literacy is important for social awareness. I wrote more about this in "6 Questions You Should Consider When Consuming News." Make a point to understand the sources, the evidence, alternative perspectives and what you gained from the information when consuming news.
3. Make time for action.
A recent opportunity that has taken off through social media is the Women's March on Washington, scheduled for the day after the presidential inauguration for thousands of people across the nation to walk in solidarity. But you don't have to attend a protest or rally to make a difference. Check out this link to look up your local, state and federal elected officials and contact them when important legislation requires your input and their vote. Taking action could even mean gathering a small group of friends each week in fellowship to talk about social justice and establish accountability for your activism.
4. Globalize your knowledge.
This year, make it your goal to tackle the social justice issues you've neglected to educate yourself about. (For me, I'll admit this is environmentalism). Seek to understand perspectives on a global scale.
5. Remember to prioritize self-care.
If you are actively involved in social justice issues that personally impact your identity, don't forget to prioritize your emotional health. This could be going to dinner with friends, taking a break from following certain news stories and watching a good, mind-numbing movie or TV show, taking a bath, listening to a new album. Empathy is key, but it takes fueling your own needs so that you can help others.