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#ICommit: What does it take to effectively organize across generations?

“There is no other way of organizing. It has to be multigenerational and intersectional, or else we do a disservice to what we stand for and what we want to create.”

 Pramada Menon, YFA e-discussion, 2013

Through the work of AWID’s Young Feminist Activism (YFA) program on effective multigenerational organizing, we have found that understanding the what, how, and why of effective multigenerational organizing is difficult to articulate without looking at concrete examples. The multigenerational dialogues, webinars, and e-discussions that we held from 2008 – 2013 indicated that while we can have discussions about what multigenerational organizing is and why it is important, the most exciting learning comes from stories of activists building, working, mobilizing together in concrete action, and seeing the results of these actions as powerful tools, initiatives, and contributions to women’s and social justice movements.

#ICommit is a hashtag campaign created by AWID, to put forth an alternative way of talking about multigenerational activism: one that starts from the personal, and identifies when, where, and under what conditions multigenerational organizing is effective. The blogs that we received present some of these personal stories (see below). These stories are both personal and analytical, and most importantly reveal the hidden dynamics, relations, and processes that have led to some revelations dof what makes multigenerational organizing happen effectively.

Effective multigenerational organizing is simply the ability to meaningfully organize, plan, and develop partnerships and networks across ages and generations so that we are building effective multigenerational movements. Women’s movements have always involved women of many ages, but the deliberate effort to “connect the dots” and work coherently and effectively with activists of different ages and generations has sometimes been missing.

As feminists, we have been good at deciphering power differentials and dynamics associated with age and between generations – particularly between “older” / “senior” and “younger” / “junior” activists. However, our discussions on working more intentionally across generations and ages, especially with regards to what are the ways in which we can act, work, behave differently to foster relationships across generations has not gone very far. Often, effective multigenerational organizing has been met with apathy or seen as not as urgent as the various other political issues and challenges that activists are facing particularly in the complex geopolitical climate that we find ourselves. But it is because we are facing such paramount challenges, that now more than ever is the time to think more creatively and intentionally on how to foster these multigenerational relationships.

We are hoping through the #ICommit campaign to explore with all of you what are the personal and collective commitments that we can make as activists and movements in seeing effective multigenerational organizing come to fruition. Beyond what effective multigenerational organizing would look like, we want to urge you to think about, along with others, what does it take to make it happen?

Join us in this collective brainstorming on DECEMBER 16th on Twitter – read and share the blogs, tweet your thoughts using #ICommit, follow the tweets by following @AWID.

You can download and use the following Memes and sample tweets to help spread the message.

Read and share the blogs on Multigenerational Organizing:

An open letter to the feminists of my life: mothers, grandmothers and sisters 

The heart and soul of multigenerational organizing: Dialoguing through archives

 

Learning from the Girls Advisory Board

 

On air activism: the feminist magazine collective 

Age and activism: Some reflections on my experience

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