Activism is the practice of working, often vigorously, for or against social or political change, moving beyond theory to action.  Action can be direct or indirect.  Activism can include lobbying decision-makers, boycotts, strikes, marches, sit-ins, running for office, supporting candidates for office, donating funds, or establishing organizations.  Activism is a form of organized action to bring values to the social, economic, cultural, and political community.

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Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.

— Harriet Lerner

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

— Howard Zinn

ACTIVIST: One who has a record of power or policy change.

— Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.

— Joanna Macy

Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year — it is the struggle of a lifetime. Be persistent and consistent. We shall overcome.

— John Lewis

Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning. We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.

— Joy Harjo

We are naive and moralistic women. We are human beings who find politics a blight upon the human condition. And do not know how one copes with it except through politics.

— Kate Millett

It’s not easy being green.

— Kermit the Frog

Peacemakers who challenge the prevailing concept of peace achieved by violence are often, ironically, called disturbers of the peace. That is only true if peace is defined as an uneasy ceasefire in a world dominated by the corrupt, a tenuous subjugation of the weak by the powerful, a hurting humanity suffering silently en mass for the profit of the bloated few. If, though, peace is defined as freedom, equality, safety, health, opportunity, and a voice for all, then we, the peacemakers, aren’t disturbers of the peace. We are purveyors of peace because we are disturbers of the status quo.

— L.R. Knost

If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

— Lemony Snicket

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.

— Malcolm X

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

— Margaret Mead

You really can change the world if you care enough.

— Marian Wright Edelman

Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

[E]verybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

— Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.

— Pema Chödrön

Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws — but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.

— Robert F. Kennedy

It isn’t until you begin to fight in your own cause that you become really committed to winning and become a genuine ally of other people struggling for their freedom.

— Robin Morgan

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

— Susan B. Anthony

Organize, Agitate, Educate must be our war cry.

— Susan B. Anthony

Remember, there are two things that keep us oppressed: them and us. We are half of the equation. There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now OK to express ourselves publicly. We must make that day ourselves, by speaking out publicly — first in small numbers, then in greater numbers, until it’s simply the way things are and no one thinks twice. Never doubt that we will create this world, because, my friends, we are fortunate to live in a democracy, and in a democracy, we decide what’s possible.

— Tammy Baldwin

I don’t mind expressing my opinions and speaking out against injustice. I would be doing this even if I wasn’t a writer. I grew up in a household that believed in social justice. I have always understood myself as having an obligation to stand on the side of the silenced, the oppressed, and the mistreated.

— Tayari Jones

Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

— Walt Whitman

Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve.

— Wangari Maathai
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