Monday with Ms. Marvel: take action locally


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief

There’s been a lot of talk about activism lately, and what exactly that looks like to different people, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Whether it is attending a protest or signing a petition, we’ve seen an incredible response from young people starting to participate in recent movements, and it’s been awesome to see, however, I know that many teenagers feel lost and helpless. They want to help, but they don’t know how to. 

What does bringing change look like? What does activism look like? 

These are real questions, and it may seem like participating in movements that you’re passionate about is a difficult feat, but in reality, it may be easier than you think.

Social media has tricked many teenagers into thinking that the only way to bring change is on huge national and international levels, by making posts and petitions with hundreds of thousands of likes and comments and retweets and signatures. While social media is a great way to raise awareness and start change (e.g., Greta Thunberg, March for our Lives, etc.) one of the best ways to bring change and progress is to start with your own community. 

Local activism is vital to bigger movements, and anyone can start bringing change and raising awareness in their own county or city. 

If you are passionate about climate change, join your city’s green program, and if there isn’t one, help create it. I started working with the city of Frisco’s Teens4Greens program a few years ago, and I learned so much about our community’s recycling policies and got to help raise awareness and implement greener practices. Through this program, I learned about so many volunteering opportunities to help plant compost gardens, reduce waste in schools, and I even helped my former middle school implement a recycling program that not only reduced waste but helped donate extra resources to the food bank.

If you’re passionate about social justice, participate in your local elections. You don’t need to be eighteen to be able to participate, you can apply to be an intern or volunteer on local campaigns that you support. Making calls, putting up signs, and knocking on doors might not be what you picture when you think about being an activist, but bringing change is also about the tedious, hard work, not just the celebrity protest pictures on social media. 

Start a voter registration campaign, and write to your representatives when they make decisions you disagree with. Attend school board meetings and make your voice heard against policies you find unjust, and organize a group of your classmates who agree with you. Start looking at the information you receive from social media and news outlets and ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help solve that issue in your community, and if there is, do it. It’s not going to be easy, but it will definitely be worthwhile.