25 Apr Why “Instant Activism?”
Why “Instant Activism?”
After about 15 years working on human rights in countries with authoritarian governments, I was sitting with my old friend, Bob Cutler – at Nick & Jakes in Overland Park (outside Kansas City). We had a few drinks for his birthday, along with several of his friends. Around midnight, after the others had left, Bob turned to me and simply stated that I should create my own brand, based on my own experiences. Bob’s a successful brand guru, amongst other things. So, he got me thinking: How could I tie my interests, passions, background, experiences, desires and dreams into a business that might even make enough money one day to support some really cool causes?
A few days later I pitched a concept to Bob that would allow people to quickly learn concise, credible, unbiased, balanced, factual information about rights-based, political and social action issues, develop a cogent position and convey that to their elected officials and other decision and policy makers. His response, “That’s Instant Activism!” And so Instant Activism was born, although when Bob sat at his computer to purchase the domain, I was befuddled.
I had been working for not-for-profits and public service for more than 20 of the last 30 years. I know how difficult it is to raise money but know almost nothing about investor pitches. So, together with Instant Activism’s brilliant co-founder and Creative Director, Stephanie Malcy, we created a for profit venture (and not a B Corp), to provide another tool for activism.
In the 80’s I worked and thrived at an old K.C. law firm, Morris, Larson, King, Stamper and Bold, and then a wonderful family real estate business, Haith & Company. The 90’s were spent as a criminal defense attorney, mostly with the MO Public Defenders Office and also as a conflict attorney, representing thousands of indigent clients in a dozen surrounding counties.
My work overseas began in 2000 with the International Rescue Committee in Timor Liste in Southeast Asia. It was six months of the most stress I’ve ever had, (second only to being a temporarily single parent while my two daughter’s mom was visiting family in Kyrgyzstan). Then I joined the American Bar Association, Freedom House and MSI promoting human rights and the rule of law. I landed in Almaty, Kazakhstan and worked in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and the southern Thai provinces until the end of 2013. 2014 was largely spent caring for an ailing parent.
Now, through Instant Activism, I am committed to making political and social change accessible, no matter where you stand on an issue. And I hope you will use the information and tools we provide, to learn more about these issues, take a stand, work to influence your elected officials and other policymakers – and join organizations that work to further your cause.
Our voices matter and Instant Activism is designed to make your passions and beliefs easier to express and convey.
Stuart Kahn Founder – Instant Activism