Kelsey Bourgeois / January 23, 2017

Activism in the Trump Era

In the days since the US presidential inauguration, we have been getting TONS of messages full of distress and fear at what a Trump presidency will bring to the US and the world. And we are right there with you. Believe you me, the folks here at Care2 are worried, too! But we also know there’s only one road forward: we’re doing our best to turn that worry into solid action. We hope you will, too!

With a Republican-controlled Congress and a nut job for president, our very democracy is at stake. We are already seeing the limitation of the press, cabinet picks from our nightmares and basic rights being stripped away. With all of this going on, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And I know a lot of folks are wondering: Where should you put your efforts? How can you best utilize your time and energy to fight back? And, on a more fundamental level, How can you be sure your voice is heard? Well, we hear you, and we’re here to help.

Here are just some of the ideas out there to help you prioritize what you’ll do to fight back during this horrifying time.

1. Join a coalition or group. Care about reproductive rights? Get on Lady Parts Justice’s email list so that when they need the masses to turn out or make phone calls, you’re ready to help. Is racial equality important to you? Join Shaun King’s Injustice Boycott movement. Bottom line, there are other people who care about what you care about, so find them and join forces with them.

2. Lead a local movement. There is so much going on at the national level that it’s easy to forget about local politics, but this is usually where we have the most influence. Unhappy with your representation in government? That’s probably because of gerrymandering, which is the process of literally rigging the game by lumping certain types of people all into one voting district. Get involved in an independent mapping effort or start volunteering with county-level elected officials. If we want representatives who truly speak for their people, we need fair maps. And if you know someone who makes a great leader, encourage them to run for public office next election cycle! While that next cycle may seem far away… it’s not. Start now!

3. Write a petition. You are not the only one who is worried. Gather signatures on a Care2 petition to show strength in numbers and to make your cause heard loud and clear. Bonus: Reporters love to cover petitions since they’re truly the voice of the people. Say what you need to say and then let others join your cause with their signature. Then, build on your petition by organizing rallies and call-in days. You really can make a difference!

4. Reach out to leaders of other petitions. Organizers need help. Your petition signature is the first step, but if you have the time and interest to do more, please do! You can directly message the author of a petition you care about, and ask them if they need help promoting it. They may even ask you to include your name on it as an author.

5. Show up and Speak Out. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this. There is so much power in the simple act of stating our feelings. This is a basic power that we all have. Go to a rally or use your social media platform to tell a story and inform other people. Have a conversation with someone and actually go into it with an open mind. Don’t try to convince them, just listen to them. Trust that by showing your willingness to engage honestly, you’ll inspire them to do the same. And here’s something we know from research: You’ll actually be more persuasive this way in the end.

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