Civil activism refers to the measures that individuals and organizations institute to ensure that citizens get more say in formulating policies and decisions that affect the public. In many definitions, you are likely to read of political movements too. Well, there is no denying the fact that such movements take part in activism. However, it’s not entirely true to state that all civil activists are necessarily politicians.
For most people, any discussion on civil activism would be incomplete without mentioning some activists who made a name for themselves campaigning for human rights. These individuals excelled at agitating for non-political rights of citizens in their respective countries. Names such as Martin Luther King Junior, Rosa Parks, Mohandas Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, and Nelson Mandela immediately come to mind.
What is Civil Activism?
Writing a school paper on civil activism should always commence with a proper definition of what it actually is. Additionally, the research should also consider how this type of activism came to existence in the first place. Primarily, this form of activism is all about ensuring that everybody has access to non-political rights. This type of activism is never haphazard. It is a highly organized activity with specific goals to boot. These goals often which include:
- Seeking to increase access to literacy and education to those who lack it
- Opening the space for people to participate in different political activities
- Spreading new norms where human rights and pursuit of justice is concerned
Mostly, normal citizens organize civil activism. They consider the suffering of their fellow citizens and seek to do something to change the situation. Therefore, the research has to look at the individuals who were at the forefront of organizing activism. Such activists need special mention. The role they played in the entire process, how they were able to rally different people around a particular cause also needs highlighting.
History of Civil Activism
A well-written school research on civil activism will also delve into its history. Where did it originate? Has it always been around? As the research will establish, the activism started somewhere. It had a starting point. In the United States, its origins are traceable to the era of the Civil Rights Movement when activists emerged to champions causes that affected different segments of the population.
Civil Rights Movement was at its peak between 1946 and 1968. Its primary focus was to secure full rights for a particular group of people; that is, African Americans. This group sought specific economic, political, and social rights. For some reasons, including discrimination based on race, African Americans had been neglected for centuries. During this era, civil activists employed different strategies that included:
- Bringing lawsuits in court
- Petitioning the federal government
- Organizing mass direct action
- Planning black power movements
What does Civil Activism Incorporate?
Civil activism is quite wide-ranging in terms of the activities that activists can engage in to push their cause. There is no limit to what any activist can do, especially if there is enough support from other quarters. Obviously, the masses would need proper education and enlightening to understand why this form of activism is necessary for improving their lives. A bit of advocacy is also more important in such cases. Nevertheless, the full remit of what one can do include:
- Educating others
- Advocating for legislation
- Running for leadership positions in the community
- Carrying demonstrations and protests
- Creating and improving public awareness
- Undertaking surveys regarding the issue/cause and sharing the outcomes
- Raising funds
- Writing letters and protest notes, including seeking help from social media
- Engaging in community service
- Roping the media in
In conclusion, civil activism is alive today just as it has ever been. As long as human rights are at disappearing of not being honored or granted, civil rights activists will always have important roles to play in the society. With this guide, you should be ready to prepare a well-written and researched paper on civil activism. The paper should mention its history, some of the most important leaders of civil activism, the roles they played, and the outcome of their activism.