Today it feels as though anyone with an Instagram account can be an activist. But, as many young campaigners discover, the reality of making change is far more difficult than first meets the eye.

In Make It Happen: How to Be an Activist, Amika George delivers an essential guidebook to making change, picking apart the lessons she learned from her game-changing #FreePeriods campaign.

At just 17, George founded the campaign after reading an article about girls missing school because they couldn’t afford period products. In three short years she led a campaign from a petition in a North London bedroom, through protests outside Downing Street and legal campaigns with high-profile barristers, until finally in January 2020 the government rolled out a scheme guaranteeing free period products in schools across the country.

Make It Happen shows how all good campaigns start with one simple idea. But George shares lessons of campaigning way beyond her years. Packed full of practical suggestions on how to get started, her book resists the temptation to tell hopeful activists that starting a petition will suddenly catapult their issue into public consciousness.

Instead, George breaks down with refreshing honesty each section of starting a campaign. She admits where she gets things wrong, and she shares where her feminism developed and the real graft behind making change.

Make It Happen is generous, and in it George is your best friend, champion and mentor, sharing with you how to write the perfect petition, the steps to speak to the media, and how to pull off a protest. She pushes activists to think local, to look inside their communities for inspiration and to start small. She doesn’t shy away from getting into detail, explaining how her approach to period poverty evolved and highlighting how essential research is when getting started.

It’s in this book that George’s feminism shines through. With interviews from up-and-coming activists and seasoned campaigners alike, she is unafraid to share the spotlight and draw on lessons from across a movement rather than a moment. Interviews with Seyi Akiwowo, Gabby Edlin and Gina Martin celebrate how collaborative and collective feminist campaigning can be, but they also stress the importance of giving yourself space away from campaigning.

Make it Happen is essential reading for any feminist who wants to take it to the next level. Amika George has written an honest, practical and thoughtful guide to exactly what campaigning should be: intersectional, approachable and, most importantly, hopeful.

Georgie Laming is a campaigner and writes at