More than ever before and with trends in the global market and a global pandemic proving it, it’s clear that the entire world is systemically connected. People from every country of the world can be impacted by strangers they’ve never met. What impacts someone who lives across the globe can inevitably have an impact on our own lives in one way or another. For this reason, a new generation of workers is springing up with their eyes on social justice and human rights.
The great news is that there are many ways to get into the human rights field and make a positive, systemic change for the world. Whether you have an interest in psychology, law, sociology, or healthcare, there are a number of ways you can use your skills to join the human rights movement. From advocacy and volunteer work to organized projects aimed at improving conditions for all people, the ways to make a difference are only arguably limited by your imagination, persistence, and creativity.
Start by looking at role models
It’s always easier to get started in anything new when you have a map to refer to. In finding role models you look up to, you’ll be able to get ideas about ways you can get involved in the human rights field.
One way to dip your toe into the field is to look at the career and lifetime work of someone like Malliha Wilson. Wilson currently serves as a partner at Nava Wilson LLP in Toronto, Ontario. She was formerly Special Legal Advisor at the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO) She specializes in human rights, Indigenous, constitutional, corporate, and labor law, and other complex litigation. She has dedicated her career toward changing the law at the governmental level to make sure that human rights are honored in the workforce.
In studying a career like Wilson’s, you’ll have a better idea of what it takes to make positive changes in the world around you. While you don’t have to enter the field as an attorney or even go to school for a law degree, using someone like Wilson as an example might give you ideas on ways you could get started that feel like a better fit for you.
Put your skills, passions, and education to use
Where Wilson’s passions and career are around workplace fairness and the law, yours might be centered on things like gender equality, equal access to education and college guidance services for minorities, or the gap in mental health services for underserved communities. When considering entering the field of social justice, it’s a great idea to access your own skills and interests to make a bigger impact.
Perhaps you have a degree in marketing and are familiar with digital blogging, vlogging, and SEO. You could become an online advocate for fairness in education. Something as simple as starting a blog offering lists of minority scholarships could add up to making a big systemic difference in the world. That is, it’s okay to leave your mark on the world differently than someone you admire might. The truth is that it takes many people and creative thinking to create long-lasting and systemic change, and the world needs your unique contributions.
Consider all options
While you may enter the field of social justice with ambitious goals, the reality is that it’s a good idea to weigh all your options. There are as many solutions as there are problems in the world and realizing that you’re one person will be important. Focus on your strengths and be open-minded about how your interests might change as you dig further into the human condition.
Where you might enter the field thinking your interest is poverty and childhood homelessness, you could soon learn that your passion is helping minorities with equal employment. It’s okay to make changes as you go. The best social justice advocates and professionals have dabbled in many areas of the field along the way, and human conditions and needs change.
Network with like-minded professionals
Surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded professionals is a great way to make a bigger impact. To enter the field, start with volunteer work and building strong relationships now. You never know whose help you might need as you begin projects, fundraisers, advocacy work, and fight for change. Best of luck to you in your decision to enter this important field. The world needs you now.