Slacktivism refers to the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions and often involving very little effort or commitment. With issues like the many, we are collectively dealing with at the moment, police brutality and sexual violence at the top of the list, it’s easy to find ourselves engaging in slacktivism. Sharing posts online and signing petitions, particularly in spaces and countries where accountability to the electorate is nothing but a concept, we must encourage everyone to do more meaningful work. Below, we have highlighted some ways you can creatively use your talents to help different groups and organizations.
We must dedicate time to organizations doing the work we admire and consider important. This is particularly important going forward and when the anger that is commonplace with new cases passes. Organizations always need a lot more services than we can imagine and so we need to assess how our talents can be useful to these groups and their larger purposes. Helping financially is great and while it’s not possible for everyone, it is possible for all of us to dedicate our time and skills. For instance, as a lawyer, you could lend your time to representing a victim who decides to press charges. As a graphic designer, you could assist with creating visuals. The list of services needed by these organizations is endless. Reach out and find out how you can be useful.
Each of us putting our money where our mouths are is important. Every single event these organizations put on, every single initiative requires money to succeed. Staff has to get trained to provide psychosocial support to victims. The list of expenses is endless. If you can afford to, definitely put your money where your mouth is.
Challenge Your Network
Everyone you have access to in positions of power is useless if they cannot utilize their power for the greater good. Challenge everyone in your network with the social capital to make a difference to make donations, facilitate access, and lend their voices to the causes we’re fighting against.
Educate Yourself and Create Safe Spaces
Dedicate time to educating yourself and ensuring those around you are educated on these issues too. Support victims and never blame them. Learn what kind of language is useful and helps not to trigger the ugly moments. Above all, incorporate policies in any ventures you find yourself in that protect victims. At your place of work, for instance, you can commit your time to ensure there are seminars dedicated to addressing workplace assault and documents detailing the repercussions of sexual harassment.
Keep The Fire Burning
We’re angry right now and this anger must not subside. The stories of Tina Ezekwe and Uwa Omozuwa are the two we heard about, but believe it or not, cases of sexual violence and police brutality are a part of our fabric in Nigeria. Many more assault cases than the statistics cover are the reality and everyday, Nigerians continue to die at the hands of police brutality. We must continue to express our anger and hold officials accountable.