Women aren’t free until all women are free. Our rights are not fulfilled until all of our rights are met. It is time for us to take things personally and it is time to show true solidarity.
Girls’ Globe is all about raising the voices of women and girls and sharing inspirational stories to create lasting change. We bridge the gap between cultures and communities and have become a global network of young women and grassroots organizations working tirelessly to improve the lives of women and girls in their communities. We also bridge the gap between young women and international decision-makers, creating meaningful meetings for young women to hold leaders accountable and for leaders to learn from true changemakers. We know that more needs to be done – especially after this year.
2016 has been full of scary events that have deprived people of their dignity, rights and lives, and it is more important than ever to stand together and stand up for each other. We cannot move forward if some of us are held back. We need to realize our interconnectedness.
As I look ahead to the new year, I am filled with hopes for a fresh start and to leave some things behind. This week, my good friends and I will be sitting down for a goal-setting evening, where we will discuss S.M.A.R.T. goals to stay healthy, motivated, and engaged. I know that I am a dreamer, an optimist and a true believer of positive change, and although some may call it hopeless, I have seen firsthand how goal-setting has led to real breakthroughs and lasting change.
If there is one goal we should be setting this year, it is this one: show true solidarity by taking action for other people’s rights in my everyday life and through online activism.
Now, this is not very Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant or Time-bound, so, let’s break it down.
Let’s be specific.
When it comes to showing solidarity, it is often found in the little things related to showing another individual that you see their struggle and that you want to support them. Now, one person can’t do everything, but we can all do something. Often times it is related to speaking out when you see something that is wrong. Here are a few examples:
- Talk about the rights of women, girls, minorities, refugees, and LGBTQ individuals, with your friends, colleagues, and family. Talk about it during lunch and even at your New Year’s Dinner Party. Don’t let fear stop you from saying something, even if you know that the person you are speaking to doesn’t share your sentiment. Alyssa Singer, Senior Account Executive at Fenton gives some handy tips for difficult conversations (related to the US election, but can be used in many other situations too).
- Raise your voice and speak out when you see someone being discriminated against, if you’re afraid call for help or report it.
- Sign petitions that show your support for other people’s equal rights and opportunities.
- Treat everyone with dignity and worthiness. Smile and say hi to the beggar outside of your supermarket and offer to help in some way.
- Get engaged through a human rights organization, mobilize more people to do the same.
- Donate to causes that strengthen the rights of minorities and support refugees
Now, let’s make it measurable and time-bound.
This goal can be quantified in several different ways to measure success, e.g. number of times I have been in uncomfortable situations because I have stood up for someone else’s rights, number of actions I’ve taken online or that I’ve spoken with my family about something important and found an organization to volunteer with. Choose to quantify or measure this in a way that works for you, to make it both achievable and relevant to your life.
The most important thing in setting a goal and resolution that is achievable is by setting sub-goals that are time-bound. I am going to take these thoughts with me to my friend’s dinner party this week and specify sub-goals with due dates. I am going to share these with my friends, family and colleagues for accountability and to gain extra support to help me keep them.
Solidarity has nothing to do with being comfortable and content – it is time for us to take action – be bold, brave and dare to do the things that you once did not believe you could. The best thing about solidarity is that you’re not alone, you have an army of peaceful activists and friends who will support, encourage and inspire you to take action, and it is easier than ever before to get connected!
As we go into 2017, I’m excited about what lies ahead for Girls’ Globe – we are a growing global community of true changemakers and I know that we are making a real difference.
Video Credit: Creative Director // Kimberly Graf, Film Director // Tiffany Jackman, Director of Photography / Editing // Skyler Whitehead, Whirlwind Productions LLC