Friday, April 28, 2017

Activism Through Creativity: An Interview with Rae Luskin

Rae Luskin Creative Activist
Rae Luskin, Creative Activist

The Creative Activist:

Finding your purpose in life; the fire to help others in your own unique way is entirely exhilarating. Sometimes, we know just what we want to achieve but do not know quite how to move forward and enact that change. A couple of months ago, I met Rae Luskin who is a Chicago area creative activist, author, speaker and coach who is incredibly skilled in helping others uncover their own unique paths to making a difference. Recently, Rae spent some time introducing me to her methods and the work that she is involved with. As a community activist for over 40 years, Rae has worked with activists changing communities with their own talents. So, she is quite a knowledgeable resource for those of us trying to find our path to making a difference! Here is what I learned from Rae:

What sparked your mission to help guide others in their search for how they can affect the world?

Rae was sexually abused as a child and wanted to be hid in the background. Changing the narrative, she chose herself to speak out so that she could use her voice to make sure it doesn’t happen to others. She wanted to be of service and learned that when she did something for someone else she felt better.

In your words, what is creative activism?

People use imagination and creativity to solve problems giving a way for people to open up in new dialogues and see things differently. They bring together people in a new way building community and building hope. This helps more people relate to the story and realize they are not alone. The connection builds community. It inspires and encourages people to step up and share their truth.

What are your favorite questions to ask while helping a budding activist discover their own passion and way to contribute to the world?

Which commercials make you cry? What do you love? What do you care about? What challenges do you face? What does that look like for you? What are your gifts? Who would you like to become? Make a creative vision. 

Using art for social change
Using art for social change

How do you encourage others to slow down and listen to their true voice?

Make a creative vision – a vision of what you want to become; write it down; break it down into areas; Think about what freedom from worrying about money would look like. What would you do? Think about what great health look like? Or the perfect day? Engage your senses and feel it in your body.

TIP: If you want to try some visioning on your own, Rae has a free report on her website that you can try out:  http://thewinningadventure.com/freeresources.php

How can children become creative activists?

Talk about the impact you would like to make as a family. Engage in family visioning: how we would like to give back as a family such as cleaning up a park. What would improve your familial relationship? Make a book of gratitude. Pretend you are a super hero – what would you change in the world? Use a white board – scribble day and guess what the day was like. Draw what you dream about.

How can people work with you to unleash their creative activist?

Rae has a variety of free discovery sessions and online classes. She also does personal coaching and can help you come up with a vision of what you want to do. To contact Rae: http://www.thewinningadventure.com/contactme.php

Do you have particular communities that you work with?

Rae is on the National Council of Jewish Women which works on improving the lives of women and girls including reproductive life. 
She is part of JCARES which is the Jewish Community Abuse Resources and Solutions forging 50+ organizations together to educate on what to look for and how to report.
She is also part of JCAST which works to eradicate sex trafficking in Chicago and raise public awareness.

Rae speaks at various locations throughout the area and can speak on using art for personal healing and for social change. She holds educational sessions illustrating how you can be an activist. She also speaks on women issues. Rae speaks at synagogues, social action group meetings, hospitals, wellness centers and more. Please contact her if you feel creative activism is of interest to your group. Also, check out Rae's book The Creative Activist which provides inspiring stories of how activists used creative arts to make a difference and exercises to help you find your path: http://www.thewinningadventure.com/home.php.

Tell us your favorite Creative Activism Story?

Creative activist Lily Yeh began changing a rundown community in Northern Philadelphia from a place of despair to one of engagement through something as simple as cleaning up garbage. Children noticed her cleaning up garbage and became interested. Before long, the community was involved in cleaning up. Yeh also introduced art projects including murals. The community began engaging in art and taking ownership restoring pride in the community. This pride echoed into other parts of life. This project became The Village of Arts and Humanities.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

"Feel the fear and do it anyway." ~Susan Jeffers
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." ~Helen Keller

Upcoming Event:

Rae has an upcoming event on May 16 called Your Voice Matters which is a Chicago On the Table initiative to help connect individuals and communities with different perspectives and backgrounds to help form a more unified Chicagoland area. The event will be held at Techny Towers in Northbrook. For more information and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/your-voice-matters-tickets-33634151653 

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
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