President Barack Obama

Before he became a professor, senator, or president, Barack Obama was a community organizer. The insights and strategies he gained as an organizer stuck with him, and he continues to try to share them with others. In a speech to graduates at Howard University, he explained:

You have to go through life with more than just passion for change; you need a strategy. I’ll repeat that. I want you to have passion, but you have to have a strategy. Not just awareness, but action. Not just hashtags, but votes…Change isn’t something that happens every four years or eight years; change is not placing your faith in any particular politician and then just putting your feet up and saying, okay, go. Change is the effort of committed citizens who hitch their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day.

You can watch his whole speech here or read about it in Facing History and Ourselves’ “Not Just Awareness, But Action”.