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Date of Award

Winter 4-28-2020

Thesis Access

WSU Access Only Honors Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ronald Brown


Since the November 2016 election, conversations about activism and the sustainability of status quo practices are on the rise. With the mainstream prominence of numerous movements in response to political phenomenon seen in a post-Trump world, political activists are now tasked with jobs that go above and beyond the call of duty. These tasks are often extra responsibilities on top of being paid little, working long hours, and often not receiving comprehensive benefits, which results in high-levels of burnout and prominence of stress-related illnesses. This paper seeks to define what this health crisis via burnout looks like in the City of Detroit, and seeks to find solutions for local community activists through a programmatic review of self-care micro grants awarded through the Detroit Self-Care Project as a tool to alleviate burnout by investing in self-care. Finally, this paper argues that the decline in the health of activism, and the prominence of burnout, contributes to the decline of the health of democracy.


A big thanks to my research advisor, Dr. Ronald Brown, for encouraging me and helping me through this process. The rest of the Wayne State Department of Political Science has been such supporters, and for that I am grateful.

To Dr. Sharon Lean, thank you for helping me believe that I can research, and for always supporting me through my academic quests. I am a better person because of you.

My parents, friends, Michigan PPIA family, and debate team who heard me talk about my thesis excessively, and pretended to care.

To Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore for allowing me on the journey of your experiment. The work you both do continues to help activists everywhere, and I am grateful Detroit is the birthplace of the Self Care project.

Finally, to all the activists who have made this world a better place, who have sacrificed their life for their work, and who have fought for everyone on this planet – thank you. This world is better off because of you. Your voices matter; your lives matter.

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