In the wake of our presidential election, it’s urgent that every one of us steps up and plays a part in resisting hate-based rhetoric, practices, and policies. It can feel overwhelming to try and figure out how to get involved. So...
...here are some simple steps and suggestions for how to get started, based in my participation in the #GetOrganizedBK in Brooklyn. It’s early days, and we’ll be learning more about what organizing will look like, but this is a good place to start!
We are all organizers now!
You are needed!
You Have Resources To Offer
Before plunging in, take a moment to consider:
Your resources of time, money, and skills
The world has changed, and this is a good time to think through how you can change in response. Are you able to commit a certain amount of time per week to this work? Might you consider your spending patterns, and how you might contribute more of your financial resources to this work? Write down your goals and make it official!
And what do you care about most? Connecting with work that you care about deeply will help you stay motivated in the long term.
Do Not Normalize
Amy Ruskin of Congressman Nadler’s office spoke of the need to wage daily battles against regressive actions and address our representatives who are enabling these regressions. This means that we get very used to calling our representatives!
Call Your Representatives Often
And create a network of folks who will do it with you. These calls matter, and representatives listen. You can call your representatives daily or weekly. Creating a closed facebook group of like-minded people who share information about what to call about is a great way to keep momentum going and increase your impact.
Address “Normalization” In The Media
Write letters, emails and tweet every time you see language that normalizes white supremecy in the media. Again, a closed facebook group is a great way to share language for these letters and tweets, so that work is not reproduced.
Be Vigilantly Involved in Midterm Elections
They’re more important than ever!
Are you a web developer or graphic designer?
Are you a lawyer or a doctor?
An accountant or bookkeeper?
Do you run a print shop that can print fliers for free?
Do you speak another language?
Are you a fundraiser?
These skills are valuable for many of the organizations doing work with vulnerable people. Reach out and offer your skills!
Get Involved in an Organization That Supports Vulnerable People and Protects Civil Liberties
Depending on your interests and passions, get involved in an organization that needs support. Some of these are local to New York, but you will have local branches in your area. Do some research and ask around about which organizations are well run and having an impact. Please note that this is not close to a comprehensive list! It’s just to get you started and get you thinking.
This Post has even more to explore!
Justice for Immigrants and the Undocumented
350 Brooklyn (or your local chapter)
SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
Justice for Muslims
Protecting Constitutional Rights
Article 20 Network (protecting the right to assemble)
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. Many of these organization are overloaded at the moment!
Consider a Large Financial Gift
One of the greatest needs these organizations will have in future months and years is funding. Consider giving a large gift, or if you do not have the resources, running a small fundraiser or crowdfunding campaign for one of these organizations.
We need people out in the streets, communicating that we will not stand for hate-based policies and practices. If this is where your energy is, show up!
Faith Leaders and Congregations
Get involved with your local faith-based organizing chapter to connect into more broad-scale work. PICO is an active network in many states.
Work with your congregation to build relationships across boundaries. This will look different in every setting, but we all need to be reaching out to work together, organize togehter, and support each other.
I’ve have some more ideas for congregational involvement in the coming weeks.
Interrupt Violence and Hate Speech
Watch this video for a how-to. Make sure to ask the person being targeted if they would like your help. You can also look for trainings in non-violent resistance in your area, such as
Live In Love
Take care of yourself and others. Cultivate spiritual practices. Be gentle with yourselves and others.