Resources for Protest and Change

A thicket of sticks and a blue sky

If you’re stuck in a fear spiral and you can’t find a way to take action for what you believe in (and you don’t want free coaching), some research can be a good way to unlock your own power. Here are four resources on social change.

  1. New York Magazine has a nice piece on why some protests works and others don’t, with the pro-life movement as a model for a protest that has worked. Following the links in the article brought me this wikipedia article on the repertoire of contention and the broader ideas of social movement theory. (that last link is both dense and poorly formatted, but a great read if you can get through it)
  2. This article on setting the global health agenda and the focus on newborn health is also a useful resource for learning about advocacy and change.
  3. The indispensable Duncan Green wrote us an entire book on How Change Happens.
  4. Friends of the Earth has a historical review of major movements (they use the term campaigns) that have changed the world, and they look for lessons we can use. This is long but accessible and well written. One of my favorite points: ” a campaign based on vision and values rather than a technocratic campaign ‘will counteract the fear narrative’. For example, in slavery the phrase and image ‘Am I not a man and brother?’ powerfully overcame the economic scaremongering by opponents, and in campaigns for the legalisation of homosexuality a narrative of love worked powerfully”

We’ll drop the mic right there. A narrative of loves works powerfully. Let’s go create one.

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