"The women are in my grill wherever I go." - Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va
This isn't a saccharine post about how we can do anything we set our minds to. We've set our minds, but the future still looks uncertain. I vacillate daily between encouragement and despair. I don't know what the next years will look like in the United States, if human rights + equality + environmental justice will win out. It's terrifying. But I am heartened to see that millions of people feel as I do, that we have no option but to strive as hard as we can for what is right.
I suspect that over the last few months many of you, like me, have learned how to advocate more effectively and have begun to call your congresspeople, show up at protests, and find small daily actions to make your voice heard.
Republican Congressman Dave Brat, speaking about the increase in activism that he's seen from his constituents since the inauguration, said "The women are in my grill wherever I go." (From this article by Mother Jones). YES, I think, as I pass that sentence along to my girlfriends, this is something to cling to. We're here now, we're showing up, and we won't be ignored.
If you're already advocating for people and the planet, here is some encouragement to keep going. You're not alone. Across the country, we're learning how to do this and we're demanding to be heard. If you haven't yet begun because you aren't sure where to start, I've included links to helpful resources below. Or, feel free to email me to talk more about what baby steps you could take to begin. If you're a reader from another country... thank you for standing beside us as we call on our nation to live up to its values.
And a few places to start, if you're unsure how to begin:
-How to find out who your congresspeople are and some tips for calling them. If you're a first time caller, try using a script. Over time, it gets easier and easier. I like using 5calls.org, which gives you an updated list of ideas for what to call about that week as well as short scripts. Just know that it may not always correctly identify your representative and that it also gives you their Washington, D.C. office phone numbers, when it may be more effective to call their home offices in your state.
-The Women's March "10 Actions / 100 Days" campaign offers ideas for the next few months. (I did the first action with my coworkers on Tuesday; together, we wrote 150+ postcards to our senators, representatives, and more).
-Follow the social media of the organizations doing the work that speaks to you. 350.org, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, Indivisible, and myriad other local organizations near you will help keep you abreast of the news and offer ideas for action. (A follow isn't the same as taking more concrete action, of course, but it's a small step toward incorporating activism in your daily life).
-Incredible free artwork from The Amplifier Foundation, for protest signs and social media and hanging in your window and more.
Photograph above from the Women's March.