I have not considered myself an activist until after taking this class as I had always thought of activists as the people out on the front lines in protests, the people who were out picketing and actively working to make a difference. After taking this class I realized that there are multiple types of activism besides those on the front lines. There is also passive activism, those who stay up night after night creating pamphlets, or editing websites, or working phone call hotlines. There are so many ways to be an activist that I had not considered the people working behind the scenes to make it possible for those out on the front lines to be doing the work that they are doing. For example, when former Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike in protest of the state of her community, and this would not have been possible without the endless people committed to supporting her like those who brought her chicken broth to keep warm throughput her fight.
Before taking this class, my outlook was, ‘what can I as one person do to make change?’ Now after its conclusion, I have come to understand that there is a lot that just one person can do. It may seem intimidating but instead of letting your friends and family continue to make bigoted comments that do not align with your views, it is ok to say something. If someone makes a racist or sexist joke it is okay to tell them that it was not funny. I have learned throughout this course just in my own experiences, that it is okay to agree to disagree but, some people have never been called out for their ignorant comments before and some times it just takes that one instance to make them stop and think, “okay maybe I need to re-evaluate my values, how I am conducting myself is not working anymore.” I have always known that not everyone is going to agree with me but throughout this course and the various readings I have come to accept this. You can not change everyone. Some people grow up in environments where all they are taught is how to hate and we can not change years of conditioning overnight. Instead of focusing on the home for a moment, what can be done is advocating for there to be more multiculturalism taught in schools to combat racism, and more education surround sex ed and gender identities. If there is a broader education spectrum to combat the ignorance then that is going to be a lot more effective in bringing about change for the future, it is not an overnight process and that is the most important thing I have learned from this class and will continue to keep it in mind throughout all my future endeavours.