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Tilted S2: Episode 3

Listen to “From the ground up: Building movements”

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On this episode

We know big problems require big solutions. But change almost always starts small, with one person rolling up their sleeves and deciding to go all in. In this episode of Tilted, we talk to two people who did exactly that. Jamie Margolin and Shannon Watts both started grassroots movements aimed at addressing huge environmental and social challenges. They share stories from their early days as activists, tips for starting or joining a movement, and suggestions for driving change in your own life.

More about our guests:

  • Jamie Margolin is a Colombian-American writer, community organizer, and the founder of Zero Hour, an international youth climate justice movement that led the first Youth Climate March in Washington, D.C., and 25 other cities around the world. Youth To Power, her debut book, is a guide to changemaking, with advice on pitching op-eds, organizing successful events and peaceful protests, utilizing media to spread a message, and sustaining long-term action.
  • Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, with nearly six million supporters. In addition, Shannon is an active board member of Emerge America, one of the nation’s leading organizations for recruiting and training women to run for office.

A few things you’ll learn:

  • Pinpoint your “why.” What makes this issue important to you? What’s your vision for a better future? As Jamie said, you need to hold on to that—it’s easy to lose sight of it in the day-to-day work of building a movement.
  • Apply the skills you already have. If you’re an artist, scientist, marketing expert, or computer whiz, share those skills and find a way to use them in service of the movement.
  • Take care of yourself, and ask for help. Driving change doesn’t have to be a solo effort. Find other people who share your passion, whose skills complement yours, and who can take the baton when you need a break.

Discussion starters

Whether you’re listening to this episode with friends or your Circle, these questions are designed to help you dig deeper into the topic of creating change in your community.

  • Name one or more causes you care about, and “pinpoint your why”—why is this issue important to you personally, and what’s your vision for a better future?
  • Take inventory of your skills, and think about how you might be able to use them as an activist. What are some unique things you could contribute to a movement?
  • How do you cope with setbacks? How might you “lose forward” the next time you face a challenge?

View the full discussion guide