I have recently become worried that I have spent my career supporting people to overcome the issues in their lives on such a small scale that it has not changed anything in society. I now work in academia and feel even further away from local or national impact. I document some of the issues that people face, but write about them in books and academic papers that no one is really likely to read. If they’re not read, they are not changing the world, and my efforts are wasted.
At an Action Research Conference in America recently I was challenged by the keynote speaker who accused researchers of collating stories of misery and suffering on their living room floors and not really doing anything with them. This made me sit up and think what I could do. Weeks later having read many books on revolution, social action and being radical (what else do academics do!) I have realised that I do have a voice, I do have something to say, and I can have a platform for those to happen.
Here it is! The Wellbeing and Social Justice Blog.
This is grounded in a model of wellbeing, social justice, empowerment and agency that myself and colleague Lucy Maymard developed. Only recently did I realise I was not empowered to make a difference in the world.
So my pledge…. as regularly as possible I will post evidence of wellbeing issues and social injustices that affect us nationally and what these issues look like in Cumbria and Lancashire where I work. I will post these publicly and send them to local councillors, MP’s and relevant members of parliament to lobby for action on them.
I hope to hear from you about social issues that worry you, that you notice, that you want to do something about. I look forward to hearing what you think you might do to play your part.