My Role in a Social Change Ecosystem: A Mid-Year Check-In

  • What role(s) do I feel comfortable and natural playing, and why? What role(s) make me come alive, and why? Are there any differences between these two responses for me to explore?
  • What role(s) am I often asked to step into by others? How do I feel about assuming those roles?
  • What is the impact of these roles on me physically, energetically, emotionally, and spiritually? Is there an impact on others as a result?
  • How can I stretch myself? Where can I take bolder risks, especially if I hold different forms of privilege? What do I need to learn more about before I do that, and who can teach me how to do that?
  • Am I visioning and dreaming in my role? Or am I caught in a cycle of repetition and redundancy, or compromise and sacrifice? How can I generate creativity and innovation?
  • How do I move through different roles without feeling like I have to pick just one in order to be effective? At the same time, how can I make sure that I’m not a wanderer or a short-term amateur? Or positioning myself as an expert within a silo?
  • If I work in or adjacent to the non-profit and movement ecosystem, how am I holding onto purpose especially given the pulls and contradictions of purity (proving “wokeness”), productivity (maintaining constant performance and output at the cost of overwork, replication, martyrdom, and low impact), personality (the over-emphasis on celebrity activism and social media relevancy), and perfectionism (expecting to get it right all the time and being afraid to own up to mistakes)?
  • When (and not if) I make mistakes, how do I acknowledge them and course correct without feeling like I’ve failed?
  • Who is my support system — the people who hold me accountable in a compassionate way? Write their names into the various roles if they play them, or on the sides. How can I widen this community? What have I asked of them in terms of support?



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Deepa Iyer

Deepa Iyer

Author of We Too Sing America; Host of Solidarity is This podcast; Senior Advisor at Building Movement Project; South Asian American activist/lawyer. @dviyer