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Lavaille Lavette

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Are You the Change We're Looking for? Change.org a Fresh Avenue for Social Action

Posted: 09/14/11 07:23 PM ET

The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner (Jossey-Bass 1995), found that "the most effective change processes are incremental; they break down big problems into small, doable steps and get a person to say yes numerous times, not just once."

Do you want to make a positive difference in the world?
Do you want to team with others who want to make a positive difference?
Are you willing to do something that makes a difference?

If you answered "yes" to any of the three questions listed above, you are an agent for change. The key to making profound life and or social change is finding out what you can change, and then taking action.

The beauty and challenge of life is that things will change with or without you. Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher said that, "change is the only constant."

The person that you are right now, did not exist one year ago, or even six months ago. Most of the cells in your body go through a regular, continuous process of change and replacement that does not end until you do. You are literally a walking billboard for the reality of change.

We (you, me, all of us) can't continue going down the path we have been traveling as it relates to education (savage inequalities), jobs (lack there of), politics (Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Tea Party), and a number of other problem areas that hinder the fulfillment of what many call the American dream.

The last two decades witnessed a dramatic expansion of change models and strategies .The change process bantered about by many has become status quo and formulaic -- thus offering little or no change at all. We need to think about what is the most effective way to facilitate change. It's time we take control over the things that we can change and develop our own strategies for implementing those changes.

A perfect example of this is a company called Change.org, which piqued my curiosity when I viewed a story about them on the CBS Early Show. The segment highlighted Lauren Todd, a JCPenney website shopper who found one of their products highly offensive and demeaning to little girls -- a t-shirt that stated "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." Within hours, this ordinary, everyday woman was able to get JCPenney to not only stop selling the product, but to make a formal statement of apology. What intrigued me was not so much her cause but the mechanism she used to accomplish her goal -- Change.org.

"The goal of Change.org is to use a platform via the internet to change the world; to democratize the tools of activism and over time to create the most robust tools to help people win," said Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Change.org's international human rights organizer and director of communications.

Anyone can launch a Change.org online petition at no cost, on any issue, as long as it doesn't promote violence or bigotry. The site also offers potential change agents strategies, direction and key contact information.

Founded in 2007 by Ben Rattray, a graduate of Stanford University, Change.org is lauded by many as the world's fastest-growing platform for social change. They are literally changing the change process by empowering, connecting, tutoring and equipping ordinary people to produce extraordinary results in their efforts to bring about social change.

Change.org embodies the best in the human spirit -- that caring part of us that meet in college dorm rooms, community centers and around the kitchen table dreaming of making a difference in the world. Whether the issue is climate change, homelessness, human trafficking, fair worker compensation, etc., change.org provides the tools to make those dreams of social action and impact come true.

Each day we are blessed with a new set of 86400 seconds to use at our discretion. Change.org destroys the myth that there are not enough seconds in the day to do the things we really care about. By adding Change.org to our make-a-difference equation, we have nothing but excuses standing between us and the world we envision. We are change agents that can move from idea to action, from talk to walk and from dreaming to doing.

Lavaille Lavette is an author, educator, inspirational speaker with time management expertise, a former special advisor to the U. S. Secretary of Education, (2001 -2005) and an advocate for various charitable causes. Lavaille has combined two of her passions with the creation of the "86400 Be The Village" Mentor Tour and the 86400 Seconds Movement. (86400movement.com) The movement is the instigator for a renewed life of intention and relevance. Her new book, "86400, Manage Your Purpose to Make Every Second of Each Day Count," offers guidance and examples on how to live every second of each day purposefully and with renewed intention.

 
 
 

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