Is Activism Effective?

Sometimes, dear readers, it feels as if fighting the injustice we see in the world is like the punishment of Sisyphys, condemned for eternity to roll a boulder uphill only to have it roll down again. And I feel tired, and hopeless. That has been the case all week – there are lots of things going on in my state and in neighboring states that frustrate me to no end. My campus is losing a key player in the fight for diversity and inclusion, and I can’t even blame that person for seeking greener pastures. I am not sure I’d have had the patience to stay as long as he did. The boulder is rolling downhill.

And then I read Raced-Based Activism is Changing College Campuses, by Dr. Lisa Wade. From the article:

The American Council on Education asked 567 presidents about their experience with and response to activists on campus organized around racial diversity and justice.

Almost half (47%) of presidents at 4-year institutions said that such activism was occurring on their campuses and that the dialogue about such matters had increased (41%). The majority (86%) had met with student organizers more than once and more than half (55%) said that the “racial climate” on campus was more of a priority  than it had been just a few years ago. The trends for 2-year institutions were weaker, but in the same direction.

The boulder may be rolling downhill right now, but each time it does so the path is just a bit shorter, and we get the boulder higher on the hill during the next push. There’s hope, my friends. We cannot let ourselves lose sight of that fact. Again, from the article: 5-3

Dr. Wade cautions that it is premature to assume that all of these changes will have positive outcomes, but it is clear that the efforts of students, professors and allies across the board ARE making a difference. Don’t lose sight of that!

Back to the boulder.

TMCN

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