“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
Raising awareness about a certain cause definitely can change the world. Do not doubt the power of critical consciousness. Critical consciousness is when a large amount of the right population become aware of an issue to make societal change happen. For example, virtually no one knew of modern-day slavery twenty years ago. However, thanks to a few communicators, namely Kevin Bales and Peggy Calahan of Free the Slaves, human trafficking is almost common knowledge. They wrote multiple books and spoke at multiple events, despite any insecurities and naysayers.
If you are anything like me, hearing the words “raise awareness” makes you cringe because it feels like something a cause is telling you to do so they don’t have to find something else for you. Also, because you may feel that you do not have any real influence to raise awareness. Maybe you are not a speaker or the most confident person, but you can still raise awareness. Your voice, in whatever form, is powerful. Use it.
Students at UCS Bury truly showed how everyone can use their unique talents in order to raise awareness about the disease Multiple Sclerosis, which in turn can raise funding for research and help for victims of the disease. This particular group of students were studying music production and created a song about this terrible disease. The song is on an independent film soundtrack and can be purchased on iTunes.
If you cannot think of groups to direct your awareness efforts toward, great places to start include your church, workplace, school, or group of friends. Be sure to get the proper permission first, but once the leaders you address see your passion for a certain issue, they should not have any problems with letting you hold a meeting, put up flyers, or speak to indivuals.
This brings us to different mediums that you can use in order to raise awareness. Be creative. God has given every single one of us gifts that we can use toward his passion for justice. Whatever it is, you can use it. Do not doubt yourself. Prayerfully consider different ways to raise awareness and which mediums would be appropriate for the different settings you find yourself in. However, here are some suggestions to get your brain working on ways that you can raise awareness.
- Organize an event with food and a short film or presentation about your passion
- Pass out or put up fliers, brochures, information packets, etc.
- Plan a “learn and volunteer” day where participants (namely, a couple of your friends) spend an hour learning about an issue and then another hour doing something for it.
- Ask to speak at club or church meetings about an issue
- Talk to people at your work about starting a fundraiser. Many workplaces have different departments, so you could do a competition to see which one raises the most money for a cause.
- Start a club at school centered around your passion
- Write your congress people and politicians, and ask others to do the same
- Wear T-shirts promoting your passion
- Have an information table at large events with information about the cause you are focusing on
- Be creative! Just like the UCS Bury students, you can use your own unique talents to make a difference