We live in interesting times. Like a 24/7 roller coaster, the news cycle and feelings of helplessness in the face of big issues can relentlessly nudge us toward the edge. When things get particularly tough, it’s easy to feel as if you’re constantly revolving from furious to numb and back to furious. 

So how do we cope? In our quest for social change, we all subconsciously assume roles to help us push through the ups and downs in our lives and in our work. Sometimes we find ourselves taking on multiple roles or roles we’re not a 100% comfortable with. We can also find ourselves wishing we had someone else’s role or thinking, “that should be me.” But really, it takes all kinds to create forward movement.

After reading Deepa Iyer’s Medium piece “Saying Goodbye to 2018’s Seesaw of Outrage and Numbness,” we were shook. 

You see, we’ve been exploring activism since the first of the year, and Deepa gave us some new perspective. In her Medium article, she offers a thoughtful look at these roles and shares some advice on how to incorporate them in your experience as a human who wants to make a difference.

After processing her powerful words, we felt compelled to share her writing in our preferred medium for speaking truth to power: design.

Each role has been illustrated as a totem, an archetype of an activist. The collage and graphic elements are symbolic of the actions each takes in the activism landscape: bridging gaps, connecting resources, raising voices and providing guidance and healing.

What role do you play today? Is it shown here?