As organizers, we know that our work is built on relationships, interconnection and focused on making significant systemic change. Why then, is it sometimes so hard to explain what we do? In this video Beth describes the difference between a movement and a campaign and how they are used to motivate involvement and build power. In just two minutes, she offers a frame and a clear analysis of what movement work is, why it matters, and how we can amplify our impact in the world by choosing effective narratives that lift up our values and our interdependence. This video is a must-see for anyone doing work in social movements, and for anyone training organizers to think beyond campaigns and towards movement-building. Special thanks go to Team Dynamics for their prodding, partnership, and support to create this video.
Here is what Beth’s friend and colleague Liz Loeb as to say about the video –
I am honored to receive this award and recognition. And at the same time it is a bit odd and awkward because this recognition is of me and my work, when as an activist and an organizer, I think of movement work in the context of us. It is our work, our accomplishments, our losses, our joys, our dreams, our movement for justice.
Having said this, I am really happy to be here.
Honestly, I never imagined that I would be here. When I started doing LGBTQ activism in 1980, it never occurred to me that I could have a career as a professional lesbian that spanned three decades. I also never imagined that this work would ever be celebrated by anyone; certainly not at a big swanky event at the International Market Square in which I got to wear a sparkly dress and heels.
Beth Zemsky, Rebecca Voelkel and Barbara Satin celebrated their 60th, 50th, and 85th birthdays and their collective 195 years of activism on May 30, 2019, during an event hosted by the National LGBTQ Taskforce at the Dodge Nature Center in West Saint Paul, MN. In this video you can watch the event slideshow and hear Beth’s remarks. To read Rebecca and Barbara’s remarks, continue below.
“Change can be challenging. It disrupts our sense of equilibrium, safety, and security. To manage change, we often try to overemphasize that which we believe we can hold constant. However, the only thing that is really constant is the ongoing state of change. Biologists call this “homeorhesis” — being in a constant state of change, development, and evolution. Organisms change and develop, people change and develop, communities change and develop — and so do our organizations. ”