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Activism

Everyday Heroes

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Everyday heroes are the people who take part in activism but receive no national recognition for doing so. When most people think of social movements and activists, they think of famous people like Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malcolm X. These are the leaders of the social movements we are familiar with because we are taught about them. It is important to recognize that the vast majority of activists are unrecognized, regular people who decided to act in order to make a difference in the world. The Civil Rights movement involved thousands of people, and thinking of it as "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s movement" falls into the trap of the expert model.

Often we do not notice everyday heroes because they are not giving speeches or in the media. They may be in the background organizing people or doing important tasks that are intended to boost the social good.

Most activists do not achieve the goals they set out to accomplish, but it should still be recognized that any effort for the social good is successful in that it is one more action for change. It is important to recognize that recognition by the media is not neccessiarily a measure of success, but often it is only the big movements that really get noticed by the main stream media.

Just as in any period of time, many participants in movements today do not engage themselves by taking to the streets or striking at their place of work. They use other methods of everyday activism rather than the sensationalised methods - they choose to direct their everyday lives to reinforce and reward the values in society they agree with. Since this type of activity requires very little coordination, is not based on conflict, and is generally very difficult to notice, it is very rarely given attention in the media.

Richard Florida refers to the recognition of this activism as the CreativeClass.

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