Social action has many names and can take many forms. You might hear it called 'activism', or by Quakers, 'witness'. It is an important part of putting our faith into action and working to see our Quaker values flourish in the world.
In this blog I want to introduce a new resource (PDF) that will support you to explore social action. The resource focuses on taking action for climate justice – addressing the root causes of climate change – but it also contains lots of information that is useful in other contexts as well.
It answers questions like: what is social action? What forms does it take? How are Quakers engaged with it? And how might we begin our own social action journey?
So, what is social action?
You might be familiar with social actions like participating in strikes and demonstrations or lobbying decision-makers. But these are just some of the more well-known ways we can take action.
Childcare, emotional support, cooking or administrative tasks are also forms of social action. These are often less recognised but are essential to building and sustaining social movements. In our resource, we explore some of the many ways in which Quakers take social action, and how Quaker structures can support you in doing this.
What is a social action journey?
We decided to make the social action journey the heart of our new resource because we know how useful it can be to have a framework to guide our action. The social action journey is made up of four key components: learn, connect, take action and build for the future.
In our resource we offer ideas for each component, along with some case studies of action. The social action journey is not linear and you can engage with the components as much or as little as you find helpful. We offer them as a way to think strategically about how you take action.
Why does the resource focus on the UN climate talks?
Along with the G7 economic talks (which will take place in Cornwall in June), the UN climate talks happening in Scotland this year are an important moment for climate campaigners in the UK. We designed the resource to mobilise for this moment. That's why part of the resource explores why you might want to take action now.
However, it was important to us to create a resource that wasn't just about a moment in time. Although the UN climate talks and G7 economic talks are big opportunities for climate justice work in the UK this year, they are just that: a moment. Addressing the root causes of climate justice, as Quakers are called to do, will take more than raising awareness about the need for bold leadership to tackle climate breakdown at the talks.
This thinking informed the design of our resource and it's why we named it 'Taking action for climate justice'. We hope it will continue to be useful to the movement for climate justice for years to come. We also hope it will serve as a resource within and beyond the Quaker community and that it is applied to other work towards a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.
How do I use the resource?
You can see the contents and a quick guide to using the resource on pages 2 and 4. We have also provided this companion list of other climate justice resources to go with the resource. From books and articles, films and documentaries, to podcasts and even games, we hope everyone will find something of interest!
We'd love to hear what you think about the resource and how you get on. Email us at email@example.com to share any thoughts, questions and updates about your actions.