Before I was even fully aware what the ‘How to be healthy women in activism’ workshop entailed, I was pretty positive from the name alone that it was an event I wanted to go to.
One of my favourite things about Alyssa Harris’ workshop was her tangible passion for women’s rights. There is something very inspiring about listening to someone so passionate about their cause speak with such ease about it. Her own passion motivated me to tap into the same passion I feel and try to channel it into some constructive activism.
Harris’ philosophy on how to be healthy women in activism reminded me of the Myers-Briggs personality test. It broke activism down into 8 different ‘types’ of people within activism, such as an archetypical activist (The Agitator) as well as types of people I had never considered before such as The Councillor.
This system highlighted that to be involved in activism you don’t need to be an in-your-face shouty goes-to-every-march loud activist (although we do need some of these guys).
There are many other roles within the systems surrounding activist work that people can be a part of.
Harris’ system is a great comfort to me because it encouraged me to think about activism in a different way, and to consider what my natural abilities best tailor to. It motivated me to get more involved in activism in the ways that most suit me.
One criticism of the workshop - which I can understand was hard to make work - was that Harris helped you identify what type of activist you are, but not where to go from there. I think the workshop would have benefitted from taking all the motivational energy it sparked in its participants and flagging up things they can get involved with in Newcastle.
However, nonetheless the workshop was an inspiring two hours and has filled me with feminist-fuelled motivation to get out there and go do some good.
Carys Rose Thomas