A Word About Activism From an Activist.

A Word About Activism From an Activist.

I’m Sheri Heitker Dixon, founder of Keep Her Safe, a mother, business owner, and activist. My experience includes phone banking, letter writing, boycotting, door-to-door canvassing, political campaigning, demonstrating on street corners, fundraising, and check writing.

When there’s something happening in the world that irritates, upsets, or horrifies us, we have two choices: do nothing or do something.

Activists choose to do something to help right a wrong. Sometimes the action is small, like recycling a bottle or turning off the faucet while we brush our teeth. Lots of us do small things. Sometimes the activism is the work of a few exceptional, inspiring human beings like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Few do such big things.

I couldn’t get through a two-day juice fast, let alone a 21-day total fast as Gandhi did. Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities between the ends of the spectrum. And remember, Gandhi and MLK, Jr. were leaders; they had legions of activists sharing their goals and taking their own action to achieve social change.

To make a positive difference, you must do something. And complaining doesn’t count. Since you’re here, I assume you’re irritated, upset, or horrified by the epidemic of sexual assault of women on college campuses. Do something about it. The action will be gratifying, you’ll be part of something special, and you’ll be making all our daughters safer.

Change rarely happens quickly, but it will never happen if we don’t start. Keep Her Safe is jumping in to create safer campuses at a pivotal time, when publicity over sexual violence on campuses is increasing and many people, colleges, agencies, and other groups are starting to pay attention.

Many groups are taking action on this issue. The government is getting involved with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and notalone.gov; the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is making some pointed recommendations; and the survivor founded group End Rape on Campus is providing support and advocacy for students. And there are many others jumping into solving this problem. Keep Her Safe approaches the issue from a different angle and hopes to add to the successes of the other groups.

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Sheri Heitker Dixon is the founder of Keep Her Safe, a non-profit organization committed to making college campuses safe from sexual assault.

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