By Norma Nyhoff, Field Intern
So, you’re committed to the cause and fired up for feminist activism. What now? How do you get informed on issues and decide what direction to take?
Getting involved with your local NOW chapter is one great way of jumping straight into activism. To contact them, check out our chapter page. Contact information should be available for state and local chapters. Fill out the contact form and tell them you want to get involved. Easy as pie!
There are also many resources online to stay informed, starting with email. Sign up for NOW emails, and stay up to date with NOW’s latest actions and press releases.
But you can also stay connected and informed right where you already are online. The National NOW Action Center and many local NOW chapters also have their own Facebook pages — just visit facebook.com/NationalNOW. Click the “like” button and you’ll stay up to date with what NOW is doing. You’ll also be able to share issues you are passionate about with your friends quickly and easily. (Check out the “favorites” section of NationalNOW and you can find chapters from across the nation to follow, too!)
If you don’t already have one, getting a Twitter account is also a good idea to keep up with the latest breaking news. It makes activism easy. Twitter is a constant stream of user-generated information in 140 characters or less, and its content includes to-the-minute updates on issues and calls for activist mobilization. Twitter allows word to spread fast, and you should use it to network on issues locally and nationally. Follow the National NOW Action Center’s Twitter, pick out some choice activists to follow and you can spread and receive information about the latest feminist events and issues from your computer or cell phone. As with Facebook, you can also follow chapters from all around by checking out the NOW chapters list on Twitter.
There are also simpler solutions. Really simple. Following NOW’s RSS feed (short for Really Simple Syndication) can be an easy way of keeping up with the latest updates from NOW without constantly revisiting the website to find new material. You can add different feeds to your reader and use it as a personal, online “newspaper,” covering new material from all of your favorite websites.
Probably the most popular means of managing RSS feeds is using an application like Google Reader, but you can also treat an RSS feed just like a bookmark Just go to the feed of your choosing (for example, Say It, Sister!), click to subscribe, and your browser will walk you through the process.
Being up to date on the latest information-sharing and social networking methods will keep you on top of feminist issues and help make your activism relevant and successful, so try to get acquainted with as much of it as you can. It’s technologies like these that allowed NOW to organize a rally against Stupak-Pitts only three days after it was introduced last year.
Check the headlines, follow legislation that affects women and talk with other feminists about the latest issues. Share personal stories, issues you’re passionate about or emerging strategies for activism. Sharing this blog post with friends who are ready to take the next step technologically might also be a good start.
The world is getting smaller and smaller, and being informed on the issues is now easier than ever. Find at least one issue that gets you fired up, and use all of the tools at your disposal to address it. You will find that other people care too.
This is part two of a blog series on grassroots activism. Upcoming posts will cover local involvement, NOW chapter meetings and more!