Make Your Anti-Oppression Work Sustainable and Stay Motivated In Challenging Moments
Are you feeling less motivated, and more cynical and pessimistic about the world? Are you noticing the employees from your social justice organization have been stressed, on edge, or detached from the work lately? Are you looking for tangible ways to build self-care and healing into the workplace so your employees feel? Have you been feeling short of breath, nauseated, forgetful, or unfocused?
You might be experiencing burnout. Giving more energy and compassion than you receive, can result in feeling hopeless and stressed, among many other things. So how do you keep yourself or your social justice organization staff from getting burnt out?
It’s easy to feel like you need to be constantly engaged, informed about everything that’s going on, and actively involved in the action for every cause. That’s not sustainable, and it leads to feeling fatigued, apathetic, depressed, or unmotivated. It’s easy to become emotionally drained when you’re seeing and experiencing oppression every day while you’re doing this work.
We all need to build sustainable practices into our social change work. We need to know how to keep doing the work even when our efforts fail or we encounter devastating setbacks.
If you’re in a leadership position at a social justice organization, the work you and your employees are doing needs to be sustainable, especially when you’re faced with everyday oppression and setbacks while doing this work. Even if your organization is grassroots or short staffed, there are actionable steps you can take to support your employees’ mental and physical health, and help them prioritize self-care.
In today’s political climate, where we often have constant exposure to oppression over the Internet, we need to practice regular self-care to keep from getting burn out more than ever.
Not only because we can’t do the work and create change if we’re exhausted, but also because we’re human—and we need to prioritize ourselves sometimes in order to survive.
In this webinar, you’ll receive:
- Resources for building a sustainable activism and social change practice
- How social justice organizations can support their staff and volunteers so they’re able to practice regular self-care and not get burnt out
- The best practices for navigating social media and other forms of media so you can disengage and recharge regularly
- How you can make radical self-love and self-care a priority in your life, and why that’s important for continuing to be involved in activism
You should leave knowing that no matter how exhausting the world is and how hard fighting for social change can be, you’re empowered and ready to be a part of it without sacrificing the parts of life that bring you joy.
Course Leader, Editor & Activist
Alaina Leary is an editor and activist from Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently a social media editor and internship grants associate for the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She has served on a number of panels, including Emerson College’s Teach-In “Building Community” and Bookbuilders of Boston’s “How Do We Make Publishing More Inclusive?” In the past, she has worked with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Rock the Vote, and the Great American Condom Campaign, for which she served as an on-campus sexual health educator for three years. Along with fellow writing consultants, she worked with Westfield State University’s writing center to advocate for the creation of a veterans’ lounge on campus using a community-based participatory approach and helped secure grant funding for its inception. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post, The Week, Vice, Cosmopolitan, The Establishment, The Rumpus, and more, and she regularly reports on social justice, activism, disability and LGBTQIA+ rights, and consent and sex education. She serves as one of the fiction editors for The Deaf Poets Society, a literature and arts magazine by and for disabled and d/Deaf people. She has an MA in publishing from Emerson College, and was awarded a 2017 Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship for her commitment to authentic diversity and radical change in the publishing industry. She also has a background in animal rights and environmental conservation from her time in an agricultural program, where she fell in love with volunteering at no-kill animal shelters and sliding scale veterinary clinics.
Letter from the Webinar Leader
After the 2016 presidential election, I genuinely thought: What’s the point? It feels like we’re always fighting for justice but we’re not getting anywhere.
It didn’t help that for the last 4 years, I’ve been directly involved in managing online social change communities, where I see the same thing over and over again: Apathy, exhaustion, and an inability to care about “just another cause that won’t change anything.”
As someone who works regularly on issues like disability and LGBTQIA+ rights, rape culture and sexual assault, and representation and diversity in the media, I have to admit I feel exhausted often.
I don’t believe that we can’t change things. I think everyone has the ability to be a part of social change work, but what’s stopping many of us is how easy it is to get burnt out, especially when our social media news feeds are bombarding us with upsetting images and headlines every day.
I was burnt out and devastated 2 years ago and I didn’t know how to take a break. I wish this course had existed then—but I learned how to prioritize self-care and build it regularly into a sustainable activism practice. And I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you.
Here are answers to some common questions, but contact us if you have others!