Creative Activism: Interview on Pantsuit Nation Podcast
It is no surprise to us that the Parkland students who are leading the #NEVERAGAIN movement were in their school’s theater program. We believe that creativity is *the* essential ingredient to effective leadership and civic action. It’s by learning how to find your true voice, envision the future you want to see, articulate that vision, and amplify it through creativity that you can galvanize a movement, as the Parkland teens are showing us so powerfully today.
As teens, we did theater, music, and visual arts. Right out of college, Sabrina chose to work in the arts education field, funding arts programs in the Massachusetts public schools that had been slashed through repeated budget cuts and a focus on high-stakes testing. In 2003, we joined forces to start Hello!Lucky, a creative design studio that since 2016 has used its design chops and platform to publish Women’s March protest posters that were downloaded 5,000 times, raise $15K for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU through our cause pins, and, now publish our new book, Be the Change: The Future is in Your Hands.
At the Women’s March on Washington, we were blown away by power of the creative groundswell on display. Those thousands of protest posters MADE the march. Each one was passionate, personal, and unique. That’s when it truly hit home: creativity is a force multiplier for change. Not only that, WOMEN are the strong, visionary, connected leaders our country needs now and in the future. Not only that, YOUNG PEOPLE, with their natural ability to harness social media and that unencumbered view of the world’s potential (the internet makes just about anything seem possible), are the creative leaders who can break through the old, oppressive beliefs and usher in a more compassionate, just, inclusive, kind and caring future.
That’s when we decided to write our new book Be the Change: The Future is in Your Hands, coming out March 8 and now available for pre-order. Be the Change speaks to young people, particularly ‘tween and teen girls. It invites them to use something that they are likely naturally passionate about -- creativity -- to get civically active. It gives them simple, inspiring crafting projects -- everything from protest posters to bumper stickers to t-shirts to postcards to their representatives to invitations for fundraising parties. It also breaks down what it means to be the change, what it means to be creative (it’s more than just drawing well!), and how to turn inspiration into inspired action -- with everything from some basic civics to step-by-step instructions for organizing a community service project to what to bring to a protest. Being the change starts from within. Your inner world reflects your outer world, so we’ve included a good dose of age-appropriate motivation and insight on how to stay grounded, resolve conflicts, and cultivate a strong, grounded inner world that will help young women to tap into their creative voices and stay true to themselves in the face of the inevitable noise and conflict in the civic arena.
In activism, as in life, there is no “right” answer. There is no black and white. Change comes through collaboration and creativity. It comes through listening to multiple points of view and leading by example. It comes through understanding why you believe what you believe, knowing your facts, and knowing yourself. It comes from being the change you want to see, through creative expression and action, and letting go. None of us can do it alone. None of us is in control. But, as evidenced by every story shared in the Pantsuit Nation community, we can each have ripple effects that can lead to change beyond any one of us could ever imagine.
Listen to this week's episode of The Pantsuit Nation Podcast to hear more about our work:https://apple.co/2CcYyG2 You can also listen and subscribe on Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.