building new castles every day

What’s a communicator?

In Learnings on July 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM

When you work in the field of communications, whether you’re an internal employee or an outside contractor, there’s always the challenge of articulating what our work involves.

On top of that, communication is sometimes one of the first things to be cut in economically sad times. Articulating our value is also a challenge.

I recently saw Annie Leonard’s new “The Story of Change” video and took the proceeding quiz to see what kind of “Changemaker Personality” am I in the SOS Community. Unsurprisingly, I am a communicator.

The resulting description was useful to dive into more research, particularly the examples provided. Some questions I want to explore:

  1. What is common amongst the example Communicators offered?
  2. How did they each fulfill the three activities described of a Communicator?
  3. What of this do I take interest in? What similar activities and thinkings come easily to me?

These things weren’t discussed during my bachelor studies in Communications. So, let me begin the self-education:

Communicators tell the stories and share information that build our power, bring us closer together and closer to a better future. Here’s how:

  • Using your creativity and expression to share knowledge in compelling and accessible ways, whether through art, film, oratory, music, online or innumerable other ways.
  • Reminding people about all the ways we’re connected.
  • Spreading news, information and ideas to other Changemaker Personalities.

Some Notable Communicators who have done awesome things to change the world:

Pete Seeger: Musician

As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?“, “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)“, (composed with Lee Hays of The Weavers), and “Turn, Turn, Turn!“, which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. Born in 1919.

Arundhati Roy: Author

An Indian novelist, Arundhati won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India. Born in 1961.

Michael Moore: Filmmaker

An American filmmakerauthorsocial critic andactivist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossingdocumentary of all time and winner of the Palme d’Or. His films Bowling for Columbine (2002) and Sicko (2007) also placed in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries, and the former won theAcademy Award for Documentary Feature. In September 2008, he released his first free movie on the Internet, Slacker Uprising, which documented his personal quest to encourage more Americans to vote in presidential elections. He has also written and starred in the TV shows TV Nation and The Awful Truth. Born 1954.

Sojourner Truth: Public Speaker

The self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in SwartekillUlster CountyNew York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Her best-known extemporaneous speech on gender inequalities, Ain’t I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, Truth tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves. Born 1797, passed 1883.

Favianna Rodriguez: Graphic Designer

A printmaker who got her start as a political poster designer in the 1990s’ struggles for racial justice in California.

Her vibrant illustrations have become synonymous with grassroots efforts to defend Ethnic Studies, immigrant and women’s rightsaffirmative actionand youth activism. More recently, Rodriguez became renowned for her bold posters against racism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether handmade or printed en masse, her prints reflect new subjects, new ways of seeing, and the impact people can have on their conditions.

Rodriguez is also co-founder of Tumis Inc., a bilingual design studio providing graphics, web, and technology development for social justice. Rodriguez travels extensively to collaborate with organizations interested in using political graphics and the Internet to promote community building and social change.

Dennis Brutus: Poet

South African activist, educator, journalist and poet best known for his campaign to have apartheid South Africa banned from the Olympic Games. Born 1924, passed 2009.

Amy Goodman: Journalist

An American progressive broadcast journalistsyndicated columnistinvestigative reporter and author. Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet. Born 1957.

Bernice Reagon Johnson: Performer

A singer, composer, scholar, and social activist who founded the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock in 1973. Born 1942.

Free Range Studios: Storytellers

The crew behind The Story of Stuff, and behind many other well-communicated projects. They’re an inspiring agency, and one that divulges its work flow and processes. A great learning tool!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: