Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How Are Your 2008 Activist Resolutions Going?

At the end of December 2007, I posted about creating activist resolutions for the New Year based on Latoya Peterson's activist resolutions post on Racialicious.

We're half way through 2008, so I thought I'd share how mine are going, and check in on yours. My resolutions were to:

1. Continue reading and learning about why genocide happens, and what I can do to encourage the United States to be a part of the solution.

What I've done:
Read What is the What by Dave Eggers.
Read Darfur Diaries by Aisha Bain, Jen Marlowe and Adam Shapiro.
Watched Darfur Now.
Interviewed Janessa Goldbeck of the Genocide Intervention Network.

Challenge for the rest of 2008:
I'm feeling a bit discouraged about what feels like a lack of progress in the situation. Need to figure out how to get energized to take action around it.

2. Interview more activists/visionaries of color for the Big Vision Podcast.

What I've done:
I've done so-so with this so far. This year I've interviewed Christina Arnold of Prevent Human Trafficking, Cristi Hegranes of the Press Institute for Women in the Developing World, Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women, Anisha Desai of the Women of Color Resource Center, Janessa Goldbeck of Genocide Intervention Network, and Ari Derfel of Save Your Trash.

Challenge for rest of 2008:
I only have 6 more interviews for 2008. I do one per month. I would like to do 3 interviews with activists/visionaries of color who are having fun and doing good. Feel free to send me suggestions.

3. Carry at least one cloth shopping bag with me at all times.

What I've done:
This has been easy. I take my Envirosax most places with me.

Challenge for 2008:
I've gotten paper bags a few times because otherwise we don't have anything to put our recycling in (ironic). Any suggestions for an alternative container to put your paper recycling in? I don't think you can just throw all of your individual papers/newspapers/magazines into the recycling bin they pick up, can you? Seems kinda messy.

4. Write to the woman I am sponsoring through Women for Women International, each month.

What I've done:
Written her a letter each month.

Challenge for rest of 2008
She hasn't written back. When you sign up to be a Women for Women International sponsor, they make it clear that some of the women are experiencing circumstances that make it difficult for them to write. I totally understand that, but it is getting harder to get motivated each month when I'm writing into the void.

5. Donate 5 % of my income.

What I've done:
Donated 3%

Challenge for rest of 2008:
Step it up to 5%

6. Have more fun while doing good.

What I've done:
Started doing yoga again (I'm a certified instructor and used to do it every day for years). Made some changes in my work life to give me more space for creative projects and down time.

Challenge for rest of 2008:
As I've let go of some things, I've noticed that the space fills up again with new opportunities. Gotta be particular about what I say yes to.

How are your 2008 Activist Resolutions going? Here are what some people wrote in the comments of the original post on Have Fun * Do Good and BlogHer that they were going to do :

Green LA Girl said she would pack her own chopsticks.

Cooper of An Unforgivable Hell on Earth said she would continue supporting two women through Women for Women International, volunteer at a women's shelter, start grad school to study public policy and interntional relations, continue her blog about Darfur, and participate in local activism around Darfur.

Michael of All Day Buffet said he would like to, "inspire more young people that wouldn't normally act to do something that changes the world!"

Amy of Shaping Youth wrote, "I hereby 'resolve' to mobilize youth by activating core caring in various forms of content creation. We'll help empower kids in upbeat, social/media forms of fun, to make a difference in communities online and off."

Ryan of Riches for Good wrote, "My resolution isn't specific to 2008, but I made it this year: My goal is to help at least 1 million people out of extreme poverty, or $1-per-day poverty, during my lifetime."

Photo by me.


  1. Um, you aren't carrying cloth bags with you. Envirosax are made from plastic. (I know, I have a couple of plastic reusable bags as well.) If you aren't going to use a cloth bag, at least say it isn't and say it's reusable. Sorry but it just drives me nuts when people use reusable bags and don't realize they are still using plastic.

    And we have the same problem: Have to get paper bags for recycling paper. AND we have to use blue plastic bags for recycling plastics/glass/metal. We're always running out these days since we use the cloth all the time.

  2. Still in the process of making that goal happen. Through AllDayBuffet, we've created new projects for people to get involved. We did a fundraiser for ETM which raised $15K. We hosted an Internet Week event called "Make Good Ideas Happen" which inspired 100s of NYers to donate their time and skill-sets. We're also in the middle of launching a whole new initiative that will allow creative professionals to change the world!

  3. annmarie - thank you for correcting me.

    mike - keep up the great work!

  4. Hey Britt - the Economist magazine had an article about another book, this one about civilians in war. Might be worth checking out:

  5. Thanks for the link, Mark. It looks like an interesting resource.


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