Monday, February 11, 2013

3 Steps to Becoming A New Millenium Activist

Back in college, I really wanted to FIGHT the POWER! I wrote controversial articles in the student newspaper. I challenged racist professors. I wore an African medallion so people recognized  my value for cultural identity. Then I graduated and I had to get a job in the real world and in most cases, the white world.
Activism starts within
Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis
This reality check forced me to confront my ideas about being a revolutionary. I hadn't changed my revolutionary leanings. But I did change how I lived my beliefs. Instead of protesting on the picket line, I began tutoring kids in my neighborhood. If I met a racist co-worker or boss, I filed a formal complaint instead of blasting off Public Enemy quotes in their ears. I learned to apply my activism under a new reality, the reality that I had to keep food on the table.

Everybody can be an activist. But everybody doesn't need to sleep in a tent in front of the White House. I have developed 3 ways you can still live your values while positively changing the world.

1. Eat Light & Live Right! 
It may read dissapointingly simple and boring. But the biggest challenges facing our community are the stark health disparities. There is no point in standing up for a cause if you can barely hold yourself up. Hospital bills and long term health ailments have taken its toll on our families and finances. Self care is the new health care and health is the new wealth. Just by taking care of yourself, you can be a revolutionary!

For more on the nutrition revolution, contact Anacostia's own Tambra Raye of NativSol Kitchen.

2. Get on Your Knees... and Grow A Garden
With food costs soaring and organic food reserved for the affluent, food justice will be a major threat to our quality of life. Veritical gardens can grow indoors.
Vertical Tomato  Garden
 You can turn your house plants into an herb garden. Or create a community that shifts caring for a collective garden. Fresh food will be the real cash crop of the future. The First Lady Michelle Obama even wrote a guide called American Grown to help kickstart the home gardening revolution.

For more on home gardening visit Brown Girl Farming.

3. Get Fired Up with Alternative Energy
If the recent east coast earthquakes, hurricanes, and that weird "El Derecho" storm wasn't enough to send you running to an underground bunker, then consider yourself warned! Climate change is here. Hopefully not to stay,  but a force that we can't ignore. Some people went for hours without energy. Families in Connecticut and Long Island, NY went without energy for weeks. The local and federal governments were completly unprepared to take on these challenges. The true new millenium activist will explore solar, geothermal, wind and alternative energy sources.  These climate anomolies are simply a precursor of what's to come.

Fore more info on renewable energy visit

Read the recent Ebony Magazine article by Dr. Marshall Shepard on black communities and climate change.
Modern day activism is shifting to focus more on health, wellness and the planet. The new millienum activist can prepare themselves by simply changing how we live.
The real revolution starts within!

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