The Activist Heart | Activism 101-7: Institutionalize the Change
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Activism 101-7: Institutionalize the Change

Institutionalize the Change

Video Transcript

I’m David Marquis. Welcome to the Activist Heart.

So, we have chosen an issue, examined our skills and motivations, set measurable goals, found our narrative, and internalized the change.

Now, we find a way to make the change real, to make it lasting. We institutionalize the change. It’s a fancy word, but it helps us realize what we’re doing.

This is really important, so I’m going to use an example.

Let’s talk about food and food deserts. Hot topic these days.

So, you want to bring lasting change to a truly underserved neighborhood. First go talk to the neighborhood.  Remember we do things with people, not for people.

Say the neighborhood is on board. So you begin to ask questions.
Is there a local, credible, solid food bank anywhere nearby? And if there is, then why aren’t they serving this neighborhood? And if you did the work to connect the neighborhood to the food bank, would you consider that lasting change?

That’s your question to answer.

Or, perhaps you love to garden, to farm, and you want to help this neighborhood grow its own healthy produce. Wonderful vision! Now, who’s going to pick all those cucumbers and tomatoes? Not just this year but next? And who’s going to distribute all that produce?

Could be a great means for creating lasting change, if you can staff it and maintain it.

And are you going to create a nonprofit to provide an organizational structure?
Or, are you a negotiator, a sales person? What if you went out and convinced a good quality grocery store to build a store right in the middle of the food desert? And got the support of the community, and the city council person, and the zoning change… But, once it’s built, you’re done.

Look, I’m not trying to make the task too daunting.  Instead I’m saying that there are a variety of valid choices on almost any issue.

This goes back to what I said about self-knowledge earlier.

You have to internalize the change then institutionalize it.

We’ll be back.

In this video, David provides an example of one of the many different ways
to create lasting change on an institutional level.

Assignment: How do your strengths relate to the kind of institutionalized change you hope to see?

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