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What are the most common pitfalls in social impact, and how can they be avoided?

The Pitfalls: 

  • Addressing social issues only when they become unavoidable. This article is a great example: “Why removing Blackface Episodes Is ‘Just Trying to Band-Aid Over History” 

  • Lacking intersectionality 

  • Not listening to the target group that you are trying to help. The Activist was an example of a TV show imagined without sufficiently working with grassroots activists to assess their needs.

How to Avoid Them:  

  • Create a long-term strategy. Even if the impact campaign will only last for a few months, think about how you want it to contribute to long-term cultural change. 

  • Ask yourself: who is missing from the table, and then bring them in. For example, if in a campaign on women’s reproductive justice, you see that you aren’t amplifying reproductive justice work done by BIPOC women, then actively search for BIPOC-led organizations and activists. 

  • Work with the most impacted communities to identify what can achieve real impact. Involve them from the very beginning, and do a listening tour!

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