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Academic Activism: Letting People In Or Keeping People Out?

Social change does not just happen, things do not just get better; the change is worked for, fought for and died for. Many of the changes we fortunately take for granted today exist because people fought for them, on our behalf, even before we were born.  

My mum is a human rights lawyer, she started in refugee law and after 16 years moved into child care law. Her long history in activism and advocacy has greatly influenced my sense of social justice. She has shaped my understanding of the different forms of activism, from boycotting, to marches, to policy and legal change. The core to activism and any social change movement is shining a light on a topic, in order to change a situation. In order to shine that light, messages need to be shared in an understandable way. We need to have an honest conversation about the way language is used to dominate social change movements, to keep some people in and others out.