A story of a movement
|The Blogging Circle of Friends prompt for February 24, 2017 is "Social justice movements require strong leadership, organization, and resources, often starting with a demonstration leading to more action. Write a short story in which the protagonist wants to organize a demonstration for a cause. What events lead her to this point? Who does she turn to for help? Use the backdrop of this activity to reflect on the growth and development of your character as a leader."
I don't really have to do all of that. I can simply tell you what happened with a grassroots effort I was involved in. It was a mental health consumer group. I had been selected as the Executive Director. It was quite a responsibility to take on and I was way to manic at the time to take on such efforts. The problem was that i didn't know I was manic nor did anybody else.
The movement was to raise awareness of the stigma attached to mental illness. We had all kinds of crazy ideas like removing the Mounds candy bar ad for television because it said people sometimes felt "like a nut."
We organized a small movement in Marietta Ohio in which the mayor made a proclamation in behalf of our movement and we made several newspaper appearances. Well I made several newspaper appearances. We held a candlelight vigil to draw awareness to our cause and it was well attended, though looking back I can see that the people in attendance were all consumers of mental health services or professionals. As usual the people you have in attendance are your own people so you end up preaching to the choir.
Next I made a television appearance where I held captive an audience of mental health consumers and everybody else went to bed for fifteen minutes. After that I became an advocate for a statewide consumer group and lobbied the state and federal government to get bills passed. I finally quit the whole thing when I moved from the area sometime later. it was fun but not my forte'.