Importance of Empowering & Purposeful Self-Advocacy in the Midst of Unprecedented Social Change

By Dr. Margarita David 

CEO/Founder of Dr. Registered Nurse Success Academy

In today’s society, many of us are forced to behave, act, and progress according to the “status quo.” When I mean many of us, let me be specific: minority groups in the United States of America, i.e. Hispanics, African Americans, Mexicans, etc. In recent events involving filmed racism, violence against the mentioned minority groups, as well as the coming out of those individuals that were considered “closet racist” before the 2016 election year, have made these past years somewhat unbearable for a significant number of people. These events and the evident “white privilege” exhibited by many, without its proper use that would benefit all groups, have become extremely transparent in the workplace, as well. 

Before 2016, I glanced at those around me and wondered why there was a continuous lack of diversity, especially in management positions. Don’t get me wrong; I am fully aware that racism has been part of this nation’s DNA for hundreds of years. However, somehow recently, it has started to bother me how “in your face” this practice has become. Why is it that I have to constantly say, “We have to work harder to accomplish things?” How many of you reading this article, who are part of a minority group, have used that phrase before? How many of you work in an environment where some are treated better than those who put in the hard work? 

Guess what? I have worked in that type of environment for years. I have seen individuals who were extremely qualified to fill a management position not get the position, as it was given to someone who did not even meet a basic minimum requirement. Do you want to know what the difference was? The color of their skin. How can we empower ourselves to advocate against these “in your face” actions? How can we empower others to advocate for themselves in an environment where the odds seem to be against them? 

I struggle every day to try and figure out ways to do better and empower others to make purposeful changes that will result in positive outcomes. Seeing the injustice that exists all around me makes me doubt and second-guess myself. It was not until I read the following quote by Anita Koddick that I realized small change can have a major impact:  

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”

Recognizing the lack of diversity and representation in many forums, I decided to use social media as a platform to provide people with information that will empower them to make a change. Through my Empowering & Purposeful Mentorship Club, social media outlets, and via my YouTube Channel, Dr. Registered Nurse, I strive to help them become knowledgeable enough to become influential and courageous and find their voices. 

Feeling empowered to make a change comes with the strength of believing in a cause worth fighting for and understanding the importance of having the confidence to speak up.

Here are some ways that you can find your voice in a world of silent majorities:

  1. Do not lose hope.
  2. Believe in yourself, as this will give you the courage to take a stance in what you feel strongly about. I live by the following motto: “Your only obstacle is you.”
  3. Think positive; this will provide the force needed to attain the goals you want to reach, while negative energy will slow you down and scramble your thoughts.
  4. Surround yourself with encouraging and positive people who will be an asset to your growth, serve as an inspiration on your path, and provide you with the motivation needed to achieve your goals.
  5. Setting priorities keeps you focused and allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel empowered only when your objectives are aligned with the goals you’ve set. 
  6. Dedication, reflection, and meditation are essential parts of feeling empowered, because it takes hard work and commitment to get things done. However, stress and an unclear head can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to meditate and think of positive coping strategies that you can use when the empowerment path meets obstacles that you will need to overcome.
  7. Confront and Not Complain: In the words of the now-deceased civil rights leader John Lewis: 

We need to make it our mission to confront and not just complain; we need to list our demands like Dr. Roslyn Pope and her friends, and we need to make more noise and use our voices so that they do not drown in the silent majorities, and take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”

I want you to know that you are worthy of blessings, success, and prosperity. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, and if they do, make sure to use that negative energy to recharge yourself to make even bigger and better empowering and purposeful moves!

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