5 ways to embrace “Change is Her.”

| Jarinete Santos

Everyone knows that no matter where you live you will find women who are committed and involved every day in the wellness of their communities. They invite action, support, and care; and dedicate their time to bring change around them. We think these are all great qualities to prepare to run for office, but maybe you’re not ready for that yet but still want to be involved with creating change. Here are some great ways to get started:

 

  1. Tell the stories of the people and issues you care about

Many people are unaware of the interesting, challenging, or important things happening in their backyard. Molly Shiot is an artist, photographer, director, and skilled storyteller who has prioritized her dedication to telling women’s stories into the Instagram account, @TheUnsungHeroines. She shares “it is paramount that we honor women who paved the way for us, b/c without visibility our history becomes lost.” 

You can help elevate the stories of people and issues that are important to you. Maybe you have a role model and think she should run for office, you can use social media to share her story and invite her to consider it. You can attend a city council meeting and talk about your experience at your next family dinner. You can write a letter to your congressperson and use stories from your life to prompt legislation you care about. 

Your stories and experiences are important, and sharing them gives them power. 

 

  1. Volunteer for a local nonprofit 

There are thousands of nonprofits across the US serving communities at the national, state, and local levels. There are organizations focused on specific groups or topics, and chances are they need help to deliver on their mission. If you want to make change, you can donate to their cause, contribute your time as a volunteer, or find out what other services they need and fill the gap. 

Ebony N. Mayo is an actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist located in Los Angeles. She has a particular interest in women and children trauma victims and wants to ensure they have their needs met. When she first moved to LA she became connected with the Brown Bag Lady organization and during the pandemic alone has assisted in providing over 15000 meals to homeless individuals.

Find an organization you care about, check out their volunteer page or follow them on social media and get started. 

 

  1. Become an advocate for your community 

Community means different things to different people. For Alexis Sanchez serving her community meant traveling across the country to the site of different gun-related hate crimes which culminated in a rally for common-sense gun reform increased hate crime protections for the LGBTQ+ community. 

The intersections of our lives and experiences present a variety of opportunities for advocacy. The most important parts of being an advocate are taking time to stay informed, and share what you learn with others. This can be in small ways, like one-on-one conversations or in large ways like organizing rallies or events to share learning with others and invite them to act. 

For those looking to get started, Alexis offers this insight from her own experience, “I started looking up events on Facebook. Just seeing what was going on in my community and showing up to all of these things and getting to know who was on the ground doing the work and seeing what I could help with and what I gravitated toward.” She now serves on the City of West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board.

 

  1. Join a local board or commission 

Local elected officials make several decisions that impact us every day, but they don’t do it alone. Boards and commissions are a huge resource for examination, idea-sharing, and decision-making with elected leaders. 

Maybe you care about the environment, immigration, education, family services, health, and safety, etc. There is likely a board or commission dedicated to this cause in the area where you live. You can join a local board or commission and make sure your voice is heard in defense of the communities, experiences, and positions that matter most to you. 

Audra Luke serves as a board member of the Department of Family and Children Services, representing Fulton County District 6. Audra loves that she gets to serve as a source of accountability for her elected leaders. In her role, she is involved with city and county government and when they say they are going to do something for their constituents she makes sure they follow-through. 

 

  1. Ask a woman to run for office

Asking the women in our lives to run for offices forces us to get smart about politics ourselves. Additionally, it helps us look around our community and identify who the change-makers are. Our Change is Her campaign showcases three incredible women whose friends and communities have identified as the elected leaders they hope to have. Without question, there are women like that near you who are just waiting to be asked. If you want to learn how to craft the perfect run for office invitation, we got you covered. 

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No matter what you decide, choosing to be an active member of your community is a leadership step that demonstrates how much you care. These are also steps that will prepare you to be an exceptional elected official yourself. If you want to learn more about creating change in your community check out our Be The Change: Discover the Confidence within Yourself webinar. And for more information about what it means to consider a run for office be sure to check out the She Should Run Community.