To say the election didn’t go according to plan is an understatement. After a nasty and tumultuous election season left many of us disillusioned, angry, and confused, you may be wondering what now? In the wake of such a frightening state of our union, the number one thing you can be doing is getting politically aware through activism and involvement. Ready to do something? Here’s how:
Politically aware? But how?
Understand what’s going on in our country and other countries around the world. While they are not the most glamorous or even comfortable topics to discuss, understanding things like workings of the economy, foreign relations, and war and combat zones are crucial if you want to be involved in the political process. Staying on top of news will help you feel in control and in the loop. Check out TheSkimm for a daily inbox of what’s important to know immediately. Knowledge is power. It allows you to engage in serious and significant conversations, and helps to engage in true activism. Metiza girl Heidi has some great tips about how to read the news if you don’t know where to start!
While being aware and passionate are important, frankly, they’re not enough.
Facts from legitimate journalism, check. Now what?
Once you have a basic working knowledge of current affairs and issues, identify what your political passions are. There are so many important causes that need support and action on their behalf: supporting accessible public education, LGBTQIA+/Female/POC rights, anything that seeks to promote equal opportunity, solidarity, and respect for all to name a few. Celine has brilliant ideas how to make micro-activism a part of our daily life, as well as information on how to support marginalized communities.
Channel your beliefs and passions into political activism.
While being aware and passionate are important, frankly, they’re not enough. Look into volunteering for specific charities or non-profits, as well as donating, no matter how small the amount, to any organizations that may be relevant and geared towards protecting your passions. For instance, I’ve donated to organizations like Planned Parenthood, The Human Rights Campaign, and the ACLU. All of these organizations align with causes and rights that I want to protect and fight for in the wake of this impending presidency.
While the election results were definitely not what I wanted, I still believe we brought about change. I made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked on recruiting other volunteers as well. We were able to educate people about their polling places and their proper voter ID. I am happy to be a part of any small and necessary victory. I want to continue volunteering for similar causes, including state, local, and municipal elections for candidates whose views represent my own.
Templates for activism: Easy as 1, 2, 3
If you don’t want to be complicit with a Trump presidency, then don’t be. Volunteer. Donate. Research. I promise, any small effort is appreciated and goes a long way. Plus, activism is the most healthy way to express your discomfort with the administration. Political angst on social media and in conversations with friends is all well and good, but ultimately, it’s not truly contributing to change.
To make an immediate difference, let your voice be heard by your elected officials. I encourage you to call, email, and write your senators. Yes all three! They keep track of how many of each they receive, and these templates make it super easy. Here is an example template for your discomfort with Trump’s Sec. of Education, Betsy DeVos. Other Cabinet members can be easily substituted for further involvement. More suggestions and scripts can be found here. Remember, engaging in genuine activism is the only way to affect change.