IDEAS FOR ACTION

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ACT ON RADICAL EMPATHY

We have a goal to inspire 10,000 actions. If you’re motivated by Umano’s videos or projects to mobilize in your community, please let us know. 

We certainly make significant impact towards solving global crises by being mindful of our individual habits but we can not divorce the need for collective action to resist and counter the drivers of

social and environmental destruction, and renewing communities and economies – to prompt systemic change.

For us, radical or critical empathy is intersectional and takes our fellow humans, animals, and the environment into account. Engaging in empathy is anxiety-inducing as we can never be sure if our assumptions of the experience are correct. Studies indicate that knowledge, courage, and self-empowerment play a key role in taking empathetic action. 

Furthermore, systematic change occurs when media coverage, mass public opinion, and legislative powers converge.

When we change our own practices, combined with developing a deeper understanding of the relevant systems, we lay the groundwork for effective collective action. Lasting change starts with our own individual actions and radiates outwards. Small wins help to build the motivation and momentum for bigger community projects.

We encourage you to consider two crucial things: 

  • how can we actively build more critical empathy amongst participants 
  • how will you measure the impact and results of your organizing

So let’s get started! Here’s a list of ideas for action:

Note that some of the actions suggested below involve gatherings. Please follow the latest advice about COVID-19 and physical distancing from your local public health agency before organizing or attending any gatherings. Consider organizing virtually in the meantime.

EDUCATE and comprehensively assess the issues at hand
CONNECT to build the critical mass needed for a strong movement
RESIST the models that create oppression
RENEW and build strong and equitable policies and systems

  • Take the time to consider what sustainability and justice mean to you
  • Take time to consider how to dismantle unjust systems that harm our fellow humans, our animal friends, and the environment. 
  • Start or participate in a community garden initiative with veganic farming
  • Renew the sharing and repairing economy, consider upcycling through tool-lending libraries, repair cafes, etc.
  • Create and implement workshops on radical critical empathy
  • Host a local vegan potluck with your neighbors (if it’s safe to do so in your area)
  • See education and knowledge as activism and start a bookclub with purpose
  • Organize documentary screenings followed by discussions
  • Harness the power of your social media accounts or online networks and strategize the messaging
  • Learn to beyond dominant news sources to find materials produced by investigative journalists, activist groups, and alternative media
  • Write an op-ed article
  • Organize writing campaigns to government officials
  • Sign and create petitions
  • Organize a community clean-up
  • Research the most dire issues in your immediate community and the world
  • Carefully consider your purchases and their journey and potential conflicts. Learn about fair trade and share ethical options with your network
  • Volunteer your time for a non-profit organization
  • Identify needs in your community and brainstorm solutions
  • Evaluate your environmental footprint and consider solutions to reduce it and galvanize others
  • Plant trees and other flora while considering the pollinators 
  • Brainstorm and act on other ways to protect or renew our ecosystem
  • Research effective advocacy initiatives historically and presently

If you’re interested in starting a non-profit, feel free to reach out to us. We’ve got a great team of volunteers who are happy to advise.

If you need financial support to actualize your idea, visit our Community Grant page.

BE THE CHANGE.
THEN BUILD THE CHANGE!

Have another idea you’d like to see on this list? Reach out to us at makechange [at] umano.org

THE KAAVAN PLEDGE

 

I pledge to think critically and with compassion about my relationship with animals 

- I will advance my knowledge about the sentience of animals
- I will research and consider my decisions to use products and support activities that abuse and exploit animals
- I will learn about what happens to animals in industrial farming, laboratories, zoos, circuses, and fashion
- I will abstain from participation in animal exploitation and educate others 

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THE EMPATHY PLEDGE

I believe that Empathy can reduce suffering in the world, therefore I pledge that:

- I will make a conscious effort to enhance my empathetic abilities

- I will be mindful of my ego which can discourage my ability to relate to others

- I will stand and speak up for the well-being of humans, animals, and our planet

- I will align my thoughts, speech, and actions with the core principle of empathy

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