There is a growing population of activists in our country and Texas has more than its fair share of impressive hard-working change seekers. This lifestyle is a mystery to many and the individuals dedicating their free time and sacrificing to make a difference deserve to be recognized.
In Dallas, the activist crowd is growing. That growth is fueled by individuals who show up and regularly do the work. A big part of the ‘work’ is supported because so many in the movement find friendships with like-minded people who sacrifice everything from social gatherings, family events, quiet nights at home, and lazy afternoons or evenings binge watching the latest Netflix drop in order to serve the Political Revolution.
Welcome to “Way-to-go Wednesday” A weekly column I will dedicate to shedding light on the reality of Activists Lives.
Working Hard to Knock Down Oppressive Systems on the Reg
Way-To-Go Heather Allen and Kristian Hernandez
Knocking Down Bowling Pins to Provide Safe Access to Abortion Services
Have you ever wondered what a political activist does when they are not leading the organizations they serve or showing up to events and actions that push for progressive reforms?
Of course, they do all the other things we all do like work, chores, bills, and spend time with their family. But I mean for fun. What do political activists do in their free time?
Well, Kristian Hernandez and Heather Allen have joined forces with other activists to take part in a fundraising event for The Texas Equal Access Fund. That’s right, their idea of fun is doing more for their community and supporting another organization that doesn’t just fight for a better future but is out in the community serving those in need of access to healthcare right now.
Annually, the National Network of Abortion Funds holds a nationwide coordinated campaign called National Abortion Access Bowl-A-Thon. Locally, the Bowl-A-Thon is organized by and supports the TEA Fund.
Kristian and Heather are good friends of mine and I love working and organizing with them. It’s rare that we ever see each other more informally, unless it’s food and drinks after a big event or occasionally a birthday.
As an activist, I tend to hyperfixate on how I can engage friends, family, and volunteer networks to support the issues that matter to me. The other reality is that as much as every diehard activist can see and knows about the efforts on so many intersected issues, it’s impossible for any one of us to support all of the efforts all the time.
When opportunities like a fun day of bowling are dangled out there and the bonus of it to me is the competitive edge it provides, well sign me up!
Heather Allen is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and leads the Welcoming Committee of the North Texas Chapter. She joined the Bowl-a-Thon because it’s for such a great cause and as she says, “I love the bowling!”
To support Heather’s fundraising efforts click here. Like Heather, I have set a fundraising goal of $150. We have just over a week to get that part done. Although neither Heather nor I will end up on the Leader Board for fundraising, don’t count us out for a Bowling Victory! And be assured we will each still garner that feeling of setting a goal and meeting it! (With a little effort these next few days.)
Our pal Kristian is really on a whole other level in the fundraising arena. She has a large following and a steady voice on social media. It’s always exciting to watch and take part in her efforts. She was on a team in the 2017 Bowl-a-Thon, “Last year I only raised about $50. I am at $680 raised, at the moment, and I’m hoping to reach more than that.” Here is her link.
Kristian puts time and energy in this effort “because it’s a great way to support orgs who are directly funding abortions for those who need it across the nation.” Kristian is one of three Co-Chairs for the North Texas Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. She also serves on the Board of the North Texas Dream Team and the list could go on and on. She is a tireless force in the fight for equality and human rights on every front.
Kristian is too focused to add that the Bowl-a-Thon itself will be a fun activity, but allow me to assure you that on April 22nd at Bowl USA in Dallas, she will be all-in on the fun of Bowling. Her competitive side will shine as we compete against our friends and colleagues who will be there with teams of their own.
In conclusion, I wrap up the first “Way-to-go Wednesday” by saying thank you to Heather Allen and Kristian Hernandez for motivating me to get involved. You two are my idols and I am just trying to keep up with your efforts. However, do know that when we face off in the Bowling Alley … I will be bringing it!
Many activists commit to an organization and make it their sole focus. However, all of us can join fun short-term projects, which require less effort but support larger on-going causes. There are tons of opportunities out there. It’s okay if you can’t commit to general membership meetings or weekly planning, but don’t count yourself out. There are always ways to stand up and be part of the real work that gives back to those in need right now.
If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth Area, you will find local Activists at the 5th Monday Activist Happy Hour. If you are not sure where to start, that is a great place to find your way into activism at any level.
*Full Disclosure: Activist Happy Hour is organized by Now We Revolution, my organization that looks to bring all kinds of citizens into the Political Revolution.