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A guide to positive change

Activism is about creating social, political, economic or enrivonmental change. However, activism can create division as it encourages people to take sides. 

Positive activism uses the enrgy of difference to stimulate and creat change. Difference creates the opportunity for listening and dialogue. Rather than focusing on the negative and what divides us, focus on the positive and what could unfold in the space between us as we come together. 

Your SU have created a resources hub to help you learn about positive change. Whether you like to listen or read - we believe you can learn to find your voice. 

  • Adopt inclusive language: Communication in activism is really important. Try and be mindful of the language you use; look at the way you address others - is your language clear, inclusive and positive?
  • Try to view activism as an inspirational, positive role. Reshape your perceptions around activism – not everything you see online is true.
  • Find your allies in a team: "A problem shared is a problem halved" is a great motto to have when finding allies to build a strong personal support base. Find allies in your team; whether these are colleagues, friends or people who have the same interests as you. Find friends who you can connect with, exchange ideas and who can positively stand by you.
  • The importance of listening: Remember to be attentive, understanding and respectful towards others. Try to listening in an active way and make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but more importantly the complete message being communicated.
  • Avoid assertive language: Introduce your contribution with 'in my opinion' or 'based on what I've read'. Don't be afraid of silence too! Making space for replies allows people to think and get their point across.

Ted Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity with subtitles in over 100 languages.

The magic of spoken word!

  • Black Lives - entwined experiences from 13 Black people living in the UK and their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, its relevance in the UK in 2021 and the future of BLM
  • Cry Power with Hozier - a podcast in partnership with global citizen, talking to inspirational artists and activists about how you can change the world
  • Pod Save the World - a weekly podcast that breaks down international news and foreign policy developments
  • Intersectionality Matters - A podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory

Campaigns require careful thought and planning; you need to be clear in what your outcome and goals are to make change. The Student Voice team are on hand to offer help and guidance, contact: yourvoice@sunderland.ac.uk to arrange a meeting.