My Role in a Social Change Ecosystem: A Mid-Year Check-In | by Deepa Iyer

At the start of 2019, I shared a mirrored image about the best way to transfer off the seesaw of shock and numbness that many people discover ourselves on nowadays. To my shock, so lots of you resonated with the picture and guiding questions in that reflection, and used it in your individual work and at your organizations. I’ve edited the picture and guiding questions in mild of conversations I’ve had and the useful suggestions I’ve obtained. I hope that this framework continues to be helpful in your mid-year particular person and organizational check-ins. (November 2022 Replace: For the latest updates to the framework, please learn this article and go to

In our lives and as a part of actions and organizations, many people play completely different roles in pursuit of fairness, liberation, inclusion, and justice.

November 2022. All rights reserved. For extra data and utilization tips, please go to

A few of us are frontline responders who shortly and ably transition into rapid-response mode instinctively and set up sources, networks, and messages.

A few of us are healers who are inclined to the person and intergenerational traumas of white supremacy, racism, colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and nativism.

A few of us are group storytellers and artists, binding the previous and the current, channeling the histories and experiences of our ancestors to make clear what is feasible immediately.

A few of us are pure bridge builders who can work throughout divisions with persistence and compassion.

A few of us are proud disruptors who communicate up and take motion — particularly when it’s uncomfortable and dangerous.

A few of us are caregivers who present nourishment to organizers, exude concern and love, and create a group of care.

A few of us are visionaries, with the flexibility to seek out, articulate, and reconnect us to our north star, even after we can not clearly see the sky.

And others of us are builders who’re actively creating the concepts, the buildings, and the scaffolding for our organizations and actions.

Not all of us can (or ought to) play every of those roles. We would additionally discover ourselves falling into completely different roles relying on private and exterior circumstances. Or, we could be observers and supporters from the aspect every now and then. An efficient, wholesome, and sustainable social change ecosystem requires completely different actors to play these roles, and sometimes, at completely different occasions.

Listed below are some guiding questions to make use of together with the picture above.

Organizations may reply the identical questions with a watch in direction of understanding and assessing how they perform as a part of a marketing campaign, coalition, community, or ecosystem, and the way they’ll course appropriate or deepen their impression.

Individuals and teams, from non-profits to lecturers to college students to “skilled” activists, have used the picture and guiding questions at workers conferences and retreats in addition to to help with your individual private reflections and check-ins. I hope you’ll achieve this as properly! And, you probably have suggestions, I’d love to listen to it. Please drop me a line at