The Introverted Activist

As an introvert who lives with depression and anxiety, most forms of traditional activism are uncomfortable, stressful, and sometimes terrifying. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

However, introverts are passionate people and crucial components of a social change ecosystem. There is a lot we can do besides marching on the streets or participating in more intense and visible forms of direct action.

Increasingly, I do feel compelled to literally raise my voice and challenge myself to do things outside my comfort zone. In the coming weeks and months, I will explore that journey, as well as chronicle various forms of activism for introverts.

If you’re an introvert too, I would love to hear your stories and strategies for showing up for what you believe in, and performing quieter or less obvious forms of activism.

Ideas for the Introverted Activist

Like me, this page is a work in progress. More ideas coming soon!

Related Reading & Listening

You Are a Crucial Component in the Social Change Ecosystem

I return to My Role in a Social Change Ecosystem by Deepa Iyer again and again, and I encourage you to read this resource too. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or someone in between, it’s hugely instructive and validating.

Some of us are frontline responders who quickly and ably transition into rapid-response mode instinctively and organize resources, networks, and messages.

Some of us are healers who tend to the individual and intergenerational traumas of white supremacy, racism, colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and nativism.

Some of us are community storytellers and artists, binding the past and the present, channeling the histories and experiences of our ancestors to shed light on what is possible today.

Some of us are natural bridge builders who can work across divisions with patience and compassion.

Some of us are proud disruptors who speak up and take action — especially when it is uncomfortable and risky.

Some of us are caregivers who provide nourishment to organizers, exude concern and love, and create a community of care.

Some of us are visionaries, with the ability to find, articulate, and reconnect us to our north star, even when we cannot clearly see the sky.

And others of us are builders who are actively developing the ideas, the structures, and the scaffolding for our organizations and movements.

Not all of us can (or should) play each of these roles. We might also find ourselves falling into different roles depending on personal and external circumstances. Or, we might be observers and supporters from the side from time to time. An effective, healthy, and sustainable social change ecosystem requires different actors to play these roles, and often, at different times. 

Deepa Iyer