When Salisa met Zoe…

By Salisa Grant, Minnesota NOW Intern

As people who care deeply for the world and all that inhabit it, activists are many times stretched too thin, burned out early, and extremely tired. This is something that I am learning as a young activist and a person who seeks justice and peace. The work of advocacy and activism is not done without a cost and there will always be moments when one questions the impact of the work that is being done. “Am I making a difference?” “Can I really do anything about this?” “What’s the point?”

The world is big and the world’s problems are even bigger and so often times activists end up feeling like wanna-be superheroes. This is a very real experience that we must all struggle against because it is important to remember that we as activist cannot be invested in social justice and social change for others alone. We must also be invested in these issues for ourselves, if we do not have a stake in it, it becomes about saving the other and that can never be fully impactful.

I met Zoe Nicholson last month at the Minnesota NOW screening of March On, and I walked away from that experience with a renewed appreciation for the life work of activism.

Activism is not simply a nine to five; it’s not a hat that we wear some days and not others. Activism is constant and the struggle is constant. Zoe said something that night that stayed with me and I have reflected on it nearly every day since the screening. She said (I’m paraphrasing) that when faced with a world budding with problems and social issues, as activists our only choice is to “do what’s in front of us.” We cannot go searching for issues that have little to nothing to do with what is right in front of our minds and hearts. That sentiment stayed with me because I’ve wondered many times if there is something else that I should be doing, something bigger, something greater, something more important. But I recognized now that everything that I am doing right now is what I should be doing. So thank you to Zoe, and thank you to MN NOW for the opportunity to meet such an amazing activist and change agent.