Do Something Activisim for Everyone – Kajal Odedra review by Amy Dowrick

Written by: Amy Dowrick

With protests such as Extinction Rebellion, the “Me Too” movement and the Hong Kong riots
receiving mass media coverage and attention worldwide, I was drawn to Kajal Odedra’s discussion
about people power in her book “Do Something: Activism for Everyone”.

Not only is Kajal the UK Executive Director for Change.org, but she has clearly always had the
willpower to promote what she called the “vulnerable people’s voice”. She opened with the story of
her parents’ struggle as immigrants coming to the UK, who became involved with activist groups
that sought to change their local community. She showed a more personal side to the injustice that
stems from the people in power in our society belonging to the same circle of white, male Oxford
graduates. Change.org has improved this; making campaigning and the ability to make change so
available to anyone on the internet, it has prevented people in positions of power and privilege
being the only ones able to speak out.

One of the first notable campaigns to make change was concerning periods and the tampon tax. A so
called ‘taboo’ topic. Despite already being campaigned for by female rights groups, it took one
university student to create an online petition using Change.org, and use the power of the internet
for it to reach thousands of people. They garnered signatures and gained media coverage- and
eventually got the attention of MPs. This accessibility to more people because of the online coverage
allowed for not only public backing but support from the government- with George Osbourne
eventually saying the ‘t’ word and stated that money raised from the tampon tax would be used to
support women’s groups. A small win for womanhood.

Her book represents the power of the normal person – someone who may not know how to step up
or know what they’re even stepping up for. Someone who doesn’t know enough about something so
doesn’t say anything at all. But Kajal explains these issues plain and clearly in her book, definitions
that anyone can grasp. Her discussion made clear how she feels that “political education” is the main
important weapon for change.

‘Unconscious activism’ was coined; campaigns that don’t even need to be big to work and make
change. Everyday activism of normal people simply “seeing something, recognising a sense of
injustice and speaking out”. The modern blueprint to activism that relies on the passion to do good.
Online sites such as Change.org on the internet allows activism to be ageless, with young people
feeling more powerful and represented in today’s age than ever. People listen to stories, not
statistics- and with more involvement from people on a global scale, more outreach for the passion
to change is made.

 

 

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