Practicing self-care and collective wellbeing in activism
Campaigning and advocating for change is hard work. The challenges are enormous and the world is changing fast. Changemakers are not superheroes. They’re very human and, under trying circumstances, are susceptible to anxiety and stress, burnout and exhaustion, depression and poor health.
How can busy and dedicated campaigners take good care of themselves and others so that we have enough energy and resilience to be effective in our missions?
On 31 May we talked about centering self-care and collective care in our work for social change and how to sustain ourselves, colleagues and our work.
Our guest speakers included Ledys Sanjuan (Advocacy Officer, FRIDA Fund), Hava Gordon (Associate Professor, University of Denver) and Susan Comfort (Comfort Consulting)
Miss this MobLab Live? Watch a recording of the conversation below or on our YouTube channel.
Advocacy Officer, FRIDA Fund
Ledys is a digital activist and specialist in feminist international political economy from Bogotá, Colombia. She studied International Relations at the University of Edinburgh and has a Masters degree in International Critical Theory from the University of Exeter.
Ledys contributed to student and worker movements in defense of public services by organising women of colour collectives in the UK. Additionally, she coordinated international volunteers in a youth collective in Hebron, Palestine. Currently, Ledys lives in Bogotá where she writes and recites poetry, practises kundalini yoga, trains women’s self defense, cuddles her cats and organises with her queer ecofeminist collective doing creative interventions, workshops, bike rides, urban gardening and political actions in defense of mother earth and women’s bodies
Associate Professor, University of Denver
Professor Hava Gordon specialises in the social construction of inequalities such as gender, race, class and age; social movements; schooling; and qualitative research methods. Her previous research explored how multiple social inequalities shape youth political movements, and is the subject of her book, We Fight to Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism (Rutgers University Press), as well as journal articles.
Gordon teaches courses on schooling, gender, globalisation, and qualitative methods, as well as service learning courses on social movements and youth cultures. Recent research contributed to the report “Breaking Through and Burning Out: The Contradictory Effects of Young Peoples’ Participation in Institutionalized Movements.”
Susan Comfort has been hooked on social change since first learning how messed up our planet is. She has since spent 28 years fundraising for nonprofits, directing field campaigns, serving on boards, and developing advocates and leaders.
Susan now coaches and consults with nonprofit, government and corporate leaders. She is enrolled in Georgetown’s Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership program and is a graduate of Green Corps, Midwest Academy, Rockwood Institute, Dismantling Racism, Landmark Education, and Anusara Yoga Teacher Training. She considers 15+ years birthing and raising two amazing humans her most intensive educational (and joyful) endeavor. She developed “Take Five” for the Pentagon and now presents it to schools, medical practitioners, companies, and nonprofit workers.