Mara Keisling’s Lessons for Activists

Mara Keisling of NCTE spoke here at Lawrence a little over a week ago and she talked not just about trans issues and policy and legislation, but also about the importance of white people talking about racism and about what kinds of things are required of an activist.

She presented this list:

1. Have a worldview. Know what is right and wrong for you.

2. Be intentional. Don’t just do things the easy way.

3. Remember that you are in service with your activism.

4. You have to love the people you serve. If you don’t love them, you can’t serve them.

5. Respect other people’s work.

6. Know your superpower.

7. You can’t be amazing unless you are amazed.

And I found the list pretty astonishing. I’m certainly not perfect at it, but it does summarize so much of what I’ve been thinking these past few years about my own work.

I’ve got #s 1 & 4 down, at least. I’m pretty good at #s 3, 5, & 6. #s 2 & 7 are my weakest. I wonder, if you’re an activist, how these measure up for you.