By: Allison Upchurch, Staff Reporter
This Monday, November 5, Regis’ annual Social Justice Week kicked off with the first event called “Activism for Introverts”. During this event, a group of Regis students came together to have an open conversation about how someone who identifies as an introvert can get involved in the demanding work of activism. The discussion was led by Regis student Isaiah Pramuk who based this event off a workshop of the same name at a conference he had previously attended.
To start off the discussion, the group focused on sharing life experiences and stories that all had the goal of unpacking what it means to be identified as an introvert. A general consensus* among the group was that those who identify as an introvert tend to step away after spending time in groups of people to recharge their energy levels and center themselves again. Another general consensus was that an introvert is observant and more likely to want to listen and process instead of facilitating a conversation.
“We often establish the bounds of introversion by looking at extroversion,” Pramuck shared with the group, commenting on how he had observed that most of the other people involved in activism work tended to be more outgoing and willing to engage in dialogue in a large group environment.
This led into the discussion of how these characteristics of an introvert can enhance the process of activism while balancing the need to manage emotional output and process the conversations of whatever issue is on the table. The group discussed how work in activism for introverts is geared towards the behind-the-scene work like doing data research that is just as fulfilling as standing up in front of a crowd with a megaphone.
“I make a newsletter,” one participant shared about her activism experience. “And I feel that is just as effective as going around and telling people stuff but it’s not as draining, and it still gets the message across.”
Work like this in activism tends to play to the strengths of an introvert, such as the ability to actively listening to others and understanding, assess a situation without being too rash, and address fundamental factors that may be overlooked in the big picture.
“Having the capability to recognize and have conversations about these things really allows us to stay not only in touch with ourselves but in touch with each other,” Pramuk offered. He continued, explaining introverts are able “to support each other because it is something that requires support and we are uniquely capable of supporting each other”
At the conclusion of the discussion, the group was offered generalized tips that can be employed by introverts in activism such as recognizing that no one is alone and that many people go through similar experiences of introversion. Another tip was to be mindful of the importance of self-care and the need for one to draw back every now and then to maintain a healthy emotional balance of work and personal time.
*Author’s Note – Everyone experiences introversion in a different way and should not feel limited to defining an introvert on these discussions and assumptions alone.