“People don’t see all of that strategy that goes into making something happen. I always talk about—used to write about, though I don’t write like I used to—but the spectacle. People see that, and some people think the spectacle is the actual thing, right? It’s all the things that are behind it and underneath it that are really making things move, and I think that’s what I’ve seen, especially in the women I really admire, is that kind of movement, that kind of strategy.”

—Paulette Brown-Hinds
Photo by Kurt Miller
Photo Copyright Odello Images
Photo by Kurt Miller

“The revolution is for our mutual liberation and pleasure. And to me, it’s not that I’m not angry anymore; it’s I’m trying to add to the center the concept of well-being, the concept of well-being in the work, and well-being as the outcome that we want for our communities. So, if well-being is the center of our social change, then why is policing such a huge proportion of our local government budgets, for example? It’s the majority of our local budgets at the county, it’s a huge proportion, it’s the majority for many city budgets; and if our well-being is to be centered, our well-being is to be centered when it comes to housing, when it comes to health outcomes, when it comes to education, when it comes to mental illness, when it comes to reproductive rights.

—Elizabeth Ayala
Photo Copyright Odello Images

I don’t think you’re born an activist, or, like I said, I never considered myself one, but I think the term itself is action-related. You cannot be an activist until you espouse a change of some sort. It has to be tempered by what’s going around you and your experience of what change you want to see. It cannot exist in a vacuum.

—Rose Y. Monge
Photo copyright Michael J. Elderman

First and foremost, I always feel in a general sense, find your passion. Find your mission in life. Everyone were put on this earth to do certain things, and once you find out what that is, do it to the best of your ability and be true to yourself. Don’t do something just because you see another person do it, because you will not have the energy to or whatever it takes to stick to that. You will be going from one thing to another. That’s where it goes back to find your mission. And the next thing is to do something that will help the next generation of young people. Pass it along.

—Rose Mayes

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