Looking around us, we will quickly realize that ways to fight injustice are needed now more than ever. Some have said America is on fire, but I would argue the world is on fire and has been for a very long time. Injustice is everywhere we turn, but there is hope and we can each be part of the solution. Here are five ways your family can fight injustice in everyday life.
1. Start the fight against injustice at home.
If you have kids, start having conversations about injustice over dinner or a weekend breakfast when you have time to chat. Talk about orphans, explain modern-day slavery (start with kids who are forced to work in the fishing industry, quarries, or fields). Bring up racism and how people are treated based on their skin color. Talk about people who are hungry or starving. Acknowledge that we are so privileged and blessed if these very real injustices have never happened to us directly.
These are not light and fluffy conversations, but they are so very important. After you’ve talked about it, take it a step further and suggest ways you can make a difference. Let your children give input on how your family could be a part of the solution. Here are some simple ways my family has thought up to help fight injustice around us:
- Skip eating out for the month (even if you only eat out once per month) and give the money you would have spent to an organization doing good work. Here are some of our favorites: Mercy House Global, IJM, Be the Bridge, and Preemptive Love.
- Volunteer at a food pantry, Brothers & Sisters program, pregnancy crisis center, or in a neighborhood that needs help re-building. Bring your kids with you. Not only do they need to see you volunteer, but they also need to learn to do it and be involved in the community.
- Make new friends who don’t look like you. This one is maybe easier said than done and to be honest, we haven’t done a great job at it. Our community is over 95% white. We have to be diligent to cultivate friendships with people who are different than us. We need to work on this too. (yes, we do have a child that is brown, however, she has been raised in a white family and identifies as white).
2. Use your dollars to combat injustice with more good.
If you’ve read this blog before or follow me on social media, I may sound like a broken record, but I don’t care; your dollars have power! You vote for the world you want with how you spend your money. You decide who to support and what to fund.
Tired of feeling like big corporations are eating up all the little guys? Wonder why artisans in other countries can’t seem to get ahead? Change the way you spend by researching the companies you buy from. Is there an ethical, fair-trade alternative? What if you switched to buying your candles and soap from Preemptive Love, Mercy House Global, or Thistle Farms? It will cost more, but it will also support refugees so they can feed their families. This is a simple way to impact another family’s future.
I have an entire list by category (underwire, basic tees, jeans, shoes, etc) of ethical clothing companies here. Many of these brands employ women who have been rescued from sex trafficking. They pay their workers living wages and treat them with dignity and respect. I know shopping this way requires a whole new mindset. It can feel shocking and overwhelming at first, so start slow and make one intentional choice at a time. You can learn more about my journey to slow, ethical fashion here.
A huge part of my journey includes starting Sela Designs, a nonprofit jewelry company that is working to give women practical tools to make an impact in everyday life & open the door to educate others to make an impact. We believe in radical generosity and give 100% of profit to charity to care for orphans, stop human trafficking, and break the cycles of generational poverty.
3. Listen and learn about injustice around the world.
We all have learning to do. Never stop learning. As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Information is literally everywhere. How do you know where to start? Who do you trust? Start with one (free library) book or one podcast. Complete it and then move to the next one. I tend to trust people more who are actually doing the work and living the lifestyle I want to emulate vs. those who just report facts. Here are some favorite books/authors:
- Books by Kristen Welch, founder of Mercy House Global (I mentioned two above)
- Something Needs to Change by David Platt
- Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison
- When Helping Hurts by Stever Corbett and Brian Fikkert
- Love Anyway by Jeremy Courtney, founder of Preemptive Love
- The New Activist by International Justice Mission (IJM is fighting human trafficking all over the world)
- Love Anyway by Preemptive Love
- Business With Purpose by Molly Stillman
- Relevant Podcast Network
4. Start conversations about fighting injustice.
I always say, “What has God put in your hands to do? Use it. Start there.” You have influence wherever you are. You have some form of other human contact. Start talking about what you are learning to your kids, spouse, mom, sibling, cousin, friend, co-worker, teacher… anyone.
Start asking questions. Ask them what they think. Brainstorm ideas for what you could do to stop injustice together. What if you made a meal for another family that didn’t look like you? What if you got some people together and started a book club centering around injustice? What if you took a talent or skill you have and volunteered in your community or church?
I started making jewelry in a very humble way. I sold it to my friends so we could pay for orphans to go to school. It was meager. It was not glamorous. For years I worked one or two nap times a week so eventually I’d have enough jewelry to go to a market and pray it would sell.
It probably won’t look like a jewelry business for you. It might look like a bake sale or lemonade stand. Maybe it will look like fixing things for other people or building a website for a nonprofit trying to get off the ground. Whatever it looks like, start there and do the thing that God has already put in your hands to do.
5. Pray. Give. Repeat.
In all of this, prayer is so vital. Ask God to open the doors. Ask Him to show you where and how you can fight injustice. It might feel minuscule. That’s okay and that’s beautiful. It’s in the small, hidden acts of love that the best work is done.
Give in whatever capacity you can. I think we can all figure out a way to give something financially. The tiniest gift can help. Try it. You will probably want to do it again. You can also give your time, skills and attention. Your time might be your currency (it’s mine). Give it. Use it to fight injustice.
And finally, don’t stop. Do these things again and again. The conversations change and evolve over time. That’s good. That’s progress. Don’t stop having them. Don’t give up on good work. It might feel mundane at times, but someone has to be in it for the long haul if we trying want change. I think that someone should be me and it also should be you.
Let’s change the world, friend. Let’s stop injustice.