Ways To Take Action And Be Involved
There's no positive way to talk about what's going on in our country--and in our world--right now. I struggle to write anything besides "Everything is awful," because I, and maybe you, too, feel some degree of hopelessness and outrageous insanity every morning when I read the news. (And if you think everything sounds great as it is, then this probably isn't the blog for you.)
I wanted to write this post because I feel compelled to take action--real action. I do my research on who to call and what to say, and then I get cold feet. I've gotten over it. I've forced myself to call senators and I usually have to leave a message, but it's nonetheless an awkward feeling and I struggle to be proactive.
Thing is, America's in a bad way and "this feels awkward" or any other number of excuses just won't cut it. I think we've seen enough at this point to know that we, individuals, average people of every color, gender, sexual orientation, etc, are the ones who have to raise our voices.
So I've compiled a list of resources, as much for me as for anyone else, that can facilitate in finding causes that you're passionate about and encourage you to act, whether that's volunteering, calling, donating, or taking a pledge to be more educated.
Calling reps is one of the most effective ways to use our voices for progress, but I always clam up. I never know what to say. Aside from "Why?!" and "Make it stop!" which are not constructive, I stress over how to convey my concerns to my representative's office without yelling at the messenger, and therefore diminishing the gravity of my message. I want to be asking the right questions and making the most effective demands.
The 65 provides dozens of scripts for the progressive agenda as a jumping off point for your call. Find one that speaks to you and use it! You don't have to stick to it--adlibbing is great--but it will give you a reference point for an effective message. I've found this to be very helpful starting point.
And because there is an onslaught of issues to protest on a near-weekly basis with this presidency, The 65 has plenty of rotating rebuttals. They have a Weekly CTA and will also help you locate your representatives.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an amazing resource for educating yourself and taking action. The pillars on their site help battle Hate & Extremism and fight for Children's Rights, Economic Justice, Immigrant Justice, LGBT Rights, and Criminal Justice Reform. In addition to giving a one-time or monthly donation, you can donate in other non-monetary ways.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People focuses on Civic Engagement, Environmental & Climate Justice, and Health, but also offer resources pertaining to Education, Criminal Justice, Economic Opportunity, and Media Adversity. You can get involved with the NAACP locally, donate, or educate yourself through the various articles on their site.
I love this website because it offers so many resources for ways to be involved across a multitude of platforms. Access a number of links in regards to Ending Violence, Reproductive Rights, LGBTQIA Rights, Worker's Rights, Civil Rights, Disability Rights, Immigrant Rights, and Environmental Justice. You can also donate to the Women's Convention and stay up to date on marches across the country and how you can be involved.
If it's not evident by what happened in Charlottesville, fighting anti-black racism is so hugely important under this presidency. There is so much work to be done, no matter the color of your skin. You can find local chapters, donate, and keep yourself educated on how to be an ally and supporter.
The America Civil Liberties Union offers several platforms for taking action on just about every issue in the book. You can donate money to support them, or you can donate time with the Grassroots Volunteer Resistance Movement if that's where you feel called.
Be Really Kind.
You're probably already doing this, because for a lot of us heartbroken people, it feels as though softness and patience and generosity are small but powerful actions we can employ right now, at this very moment. It's important for us to make connections with strangers. From the cashier at your local deli to your dry cleaners to Susan in the office who makes popcorn every day at 4 p.m.--everybody could use a little extra love right now. Humanity is really important, especially to those who are feeling alienated by the president (hint: it's everyone who's not a straight, white male, but especially everyone who's not white).
All of these organizations, and so many more, are amazing resources for getting educated on the many issues that need our attention. If you have the bandwidth to be involved in every cause, that's amazing, but I think the best way for each of us to use our talents most effectively is to choose a few causes that speak most dearly to you and focus your energy there.