Top Five Acts that Make Your Activism Not Grass-Roots
Too often activists and social change organizations identify themselves as grass-roots, which is clearing defined and articulated by many social movements, scholars, activists, and authors. While, grass-roots, is so clearing defined, people and organizations like to claim grass-roots, because it fosters authenticity.
1. Grass-roots means no employees as those employees are the ones making money from the struggle and are engaging in doing most of the work of the movement. This does not mean that there are great and important groups that have employees, they are just not the organizations at the very lowest level within the trenches of the movement.
2. Grass-roots means being organized by the group that the organization is working for and with for justice and change. Not from outsiders or those that have pity for the marginalized groups. It does not mean being organized by those that are not from that marginalized group.
3. Grass-roots mean not taking pictures to promote leadership or logos to raise funds such as Greenpeace. It means addressing the injustice and give attention to a specific justice. Not knowing the leaders, but knowing the causes and effects of the problems, is more important.
4. Grass-roots does not adapt to legalities or politicians, but rather conducts acts based on the needs of the marginalized group. Therefore, grass-roots may include occupation of buildings, taking over streets, and blockades in-order to defend the marginalized groups.
5. Grass-roots is about being real and not performing respectability politics, meaning dressing and behaving in manners that are acceptable by society. It is about reading stories of activists such as Malcolm X Autobiography not Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It is not in favor of professionalism, whiteness, or colonialism.