Guidelines for Contributors 

  1. Social Change Makers should be able to self-evaluate and recognize their own privilege as well as acknowledge their positionality.
  2. Social Change Makers must be able to create and maintain respectful dialogues.
  3. Social Change Makers should be able to recognize other forms of injustice and become allies in the fight against other forms of oppression.
  4. Social Change Makers should understand and promote intersectionality.

Contributors should incorporate one or more of the following criteria in their texts/advocacy to emphasize how their communities are impacted by these common elements of oppression. Please submit your "Speak Up" contributions to

economic power and control
limiting of resources, mobility, education, and employment options to all but a few

myth of scarcity
myth used to pit people against one another, suggests that resources are limited and blames people (e.g., poor people, immigrants) for using too many of them

defined norm
a standard of what is good and right, against which all are judged

the other
those who fall outside "the norm" but are defined in relation to it, seen as abnormal, inferior, marginalized

keeping "the other's" existence, everyday life, and achievements unknown

selective representation or rewriting of history so that only negative aspects of "the other" are included

generalizing the actions of a few to an entire group, denying individual characteristics and behaviors

violence and the threat of violence
laying claim to resources, then using might to ensure superior position

lack of prior claim
excluding anyone who was not originally included and labeling as disruptive those who fight for inclusion

blaming the victim
condemning "the others" for their situation, diverting attention from the roles that dominants play in the situation

internalized oppression
internalizing negative judgments of being "the other," leading to self-hatred, depression, despair, and self-abuse

horizontal hostility
extending internalized oppression to one's entire group as well as to other subordinate groups, expressing hostility to other oppressed persons and groups rather than to members of dominant groups

physically isolating people as individuals or as a "minority" group

pressuring members of "minority" groups to drop their culture and differences and become a mirror of the dominant culture

rewarding some of the most assimilated "others" with position and resources

emphasis on individual solutions
emphasizing individual responsibility for problems and individual solutions rather than collective responsibility and collective solutions

Elements of Oppression: Suzanne Pharr (from Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism).
Please visit her website