As I continue to work with the Eagles, I have noticed many differences between my life experiences and theirs. One of the notable differences is the role and significance of activism in our lives.
For instance, I never knew that National Women’s Day existed until coming to Western. In my small-town high school and public school, I don’t recall the term appearing on our calendars whatsoever. However, in Mwanza, there is a three-day long conference for the girls to attend where there are speakers, dancing, food, celebrations, and more. Nearly every woman attends this conference. Many important issues are discussed at this conference, including violence against women or unequal pay / rights. While my community partners recount the events, I can see fireworks of passion light up their eyes. The raw feeling of strength and support thrives between the women in Mwanza. The impact of this event astounds me. It is prioritized and talked about for weeks, something that I have never heard of before.
Comparing that event to those in my own town, I feel disappointed. Disappointed in myself for lacking the same drive and passion for social change. Disappointed in my community for the lack of care they give days like Women’s Day. Most of all, disappointed in the society we live in where a simple comment on a social media post is enough to satisfy our participation in activism. Most people pretend to care about important issues to stay relevant on an invisible platform, or to prove their worthiness in a way. I do agree that social media allows messages to travel faster than ever before, but some movements turn into shallow actions depending on the intent of the poster. Personally, I feel like it can be more isolating than unifying.