I’m David Marquis, and this is the Activist Heart.
What is your Goal?
What is your Objective?
Look, the January 21st marches were inspiring and powerful, but if we want to go beyond the march, goals and objectives really matter. Let me give you an example. The Montgomery Bus Boycott.
In December, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, she refused to sit in the back. We know that part of the story.
But how long did it last? And what was their goal?
Any of you youngsters know your history?
Sorry, I used to teach history. I never got over it.
Okay. Stop trying to google it. The boycott lasted 381 days, meaning that the African American citizens of Montgomery who normally rode the bus to and from work walked for more than a year. It was kind of a march, wasn’t it? For 381 days.
They had a goal and they met it. The boycott ended with a signed, legally enforceable agreement stating that African Americans no longer had to sit at the back of the bus. And that led to a US Supreme Court decision to desegregate public bus systems all over the country.
Today, we might call that a measurable or a takeaway. They won. They had a goal. They met it. They went beyond the march.
Marches are great, they can energize people, bring people together, help them know they are part of something bigger than themselves. But there are pitfalls. They eat up a lot of time and energy, a lot of dollars, and when they’re done, it’s easy to feel like we’ve had our say, we’ve done our part.
But the march should always lead to something– not just the capitol building, not a rally, not to a roster of speakers. A could march should lead to clarity.
TO SPECIFIC GOALS.
TO ACHIEVABLE GOALS.
TO WELL DEFINED MEASURABLES THAT CAN BE EVALUATED WITH DATA AND PRODUCE OUTCOMES.
Look, I am deeply spiritual and I am heart driven. But we need clear, objective goals. And we need to win.
So I want you to write these down. Now remember, we started with asking you to choose one issue. And then looked at yourself as an activist. What are your skills? What are your motivations? And now, what are your goals?
That’s your assignment, that’s your homework.
What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish?
We’ll be back.