Rise Up: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Justice


With a Donald Trump presidency on the way, the world is a frightening place. Our country has been fucked, but with a fascist leader empowering hate, things can only get more dismal. After you’ve gotten through several stages of grief, follow-through and organize.

If you’re looking to get involved with social justice, here’s a guide to get you started featuring books, websites, terminology, and other resources to get familiar with. This guide is not intended to be all-encompassing, there are a lot of topics to cover, but this guide is intended to move you forward in the right direction.

Here are some terms to become familiar with:

Privilege – a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others.

– the study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. For example: I am a Black woman. I am Black, and also a woman. These identities intersect.

– the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

– a social theory deeply rooted in the racial and gender-based oppression of black women.

Safe space
 – a space dedicated to the safety of marginalized groups; the space is typically regulated by not allowing hate speech and/or any other forms of violence whether verbal or physical.

Tone policing
– a silencing tactic; telling people how to react to their oppression; is usually used when people are justifiably upset about the violence/oppression they face.

– also a silencing tactic that abusers often use to make the victim question their sanity. Gaslighting often involves sayings like “you’re crazy,” “that never happened,” etc.

– the policy of a strong nation (usually “developed” nations) in seeking political and economic control over a nation (usually poor or less “developed” nations) or geographical area without claiming said nation as a colony.

– racialized misogyny specifically affecting Black women.

Cisgender – having the gender identity associated with the sex you were assigned at birth.

Transgender – (NOT: “transgendered”) having a gender identity not associated with the sex you were assigned at birth.

– misogyny that specifically affects Trans women.

Hegemonic masculinity
– the belief and justification of men being superior to and having more access than women.

– discrimination against people with disabilities.

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