Making a Difference in 2017: 10 Ways to Ignite Activism

January 16, 2017

It’s the start of a new year, but it’s been decades–maybe longer–since our beginning weeks have felt so ominous. Following a 2016 that was full of conflict and disappointment, now is the time to rally, to prepare, to decide to take a stand against the even greater threats of 2017.

Our reality has shifted and our responsibilities have become more pressing than ever before. The call for social justice has not been so strong in years. Now, more than ever, each of us must seek out ways to show up, to speak out, to stand in the gap during this dangerous period.

So what does that look like in terms of the menace of the incoming administration?

 

Rally and Reorganize

 

Allies all over the country aren’t wasting any time banding together to stand up against harmful ideology and the anti-liberty, anti-American, anti-humanist principles of the impending racist, misogynist, homophobic, authoritarian leader. No matter how dark things may seem, there are always ways for every single individual to help.

For your first chance to turn out and turn up the volume, join the Women’s March on Washington or from a nearby sister march in Oakland, San Jose, or San Francisco. Has there ever been a president so blatantly anti-woman? Who lacks an even basic respect for human decency? Show up for women on January 21 along with millions of men and women around the world.

– Pledge to be #Ungovernable and join the resistance of people who refuse to allow our hard fought–and still insufficient–political, economic, and social gains to go backwards. “Build and fight; fight and build” is a “program for the future” that starts with one day of action as a beginning of something more.

 

– Write an open letter to the new administration, to other elected officials, or to specific members of the disturbing new cabinet full of morally impoverished millionaires. Technology and social media has created a chance for our voices to be heard on a greater scale than ever before. Tell your story, address it to those who need to know, and let the rest of the world listen in.

– Be an ally to the many groups of marginalized people who have been specifically attacked by Donald Trump and his advisors. While this new reality is terrifying to us all, the truth is that it will be far more harmful to some people than it will be to others. Now is the time to become a comrade, to use whatever privilege you have to defend those who are threatened. Be an ally to people of color, support LGBT friends and family, speak up for women, and show solidarity during this time.

 

– “Fight different” with the #LoveArmy. Former Oakland activist Van Jones’ new group will coordinate regular actions to bring people together in large and small gatherings. Through teach-ins and revivals, this movement will fight for an inclusive country where everyone counts and every voice can be heard.

– Contact your representatives to connect with the officials who have the power to enact real change. Share your concerns and find out what their plans are for addressing the issues.

 

  1. California Senators
  2. California House Representatives
  3. California Governor Jerry Brown
  4. Mayor Jesse Arreguin of Berkeley
  5. Mayor Cynthia Chase of Santa Cruz

 

In this Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, former congressional staffers share the best ways to make Congress listen.

– These political apps are also incredibly useful for finding out quickly who to call or write to about which issues.

– Withhold financial support from companies that continue to work with the Trumps. The #GrabYourWallet movement has compiled an extensive list of businesses that sell Trump branded products, or whose leaders supported his candidacy, as well as a list of alternatives.

Organizations like StoryCorps travel the country to archive the lives of real Americans. What does your history reveal about you and the world we live in? Find a way to record your story and make sure your narrative is one that is told and remembered.

 

Invest some of your hard-earned money into causes that you truly care about by donating to organizations that are working to make a difference. Check out our recent post for a list of organizations that are seizing the day to fight for the underrepresented.

As Donald Trump discredits, blames, baits, and lies about the media, it’s important that we demand better journalism that holds itself to high standards of integrity. Fake news and unbalanced media coverage contributed to this state of affairs, and independent, skilled, principled reporting on the news must be something we continue to insist on and support.

 

 

Orchestrate, boycott, donate, occupy, gather. Whatever you do to make difference, big or small, remember that now is your chance. To take part in the nationwide uprising, to have real change start with you, to lead, to support. It’s now or never, together or not at all.

How are you planning to oppose the harmful objectives of the incoming leadership? We’d love to hear your strategies and unite together in an even stronger force against the discriminatory oppression that is coming.