You’re mad, you’re scared, you’re buying a super heavy winter coat to move to Canada—and you’re not alone. Now, one week into the win that will change the course of our national history, many remain despondent and unsure what to do next.
If you’re still waking up every morning in a jittery panic, there are things you can do besides feel hopeless. They’re expecting us to lie down in defeat—here, some ways to stay standing as you fight.
Donate, donate and donate some more.
Some organizations, like Planned Parenthood, are poised to lose funding if Trump follows through on campaign promises. Others, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) face a staggering increase in budget as they work triple-time to combat some of the discrimination that will likely come as a result of his administration. There are also local community organizations that need help, as they work with disenfranchised men, women and children. Give a donation if you can afford it, or suggest your book club or another group send in one under the group’s name. Also, your time is valuable—consider volunteering as well. Just an hour a week (even doing phone bank work from home) can make a difference in someone’s life. For a list of organizations to donate to or contact regarding volunteer work, click here.
Study up on how government works.
The Trump campaign seemed to make it clear that the President-elect is not 100% sure what falls under the President’s jurisdiction, or how the three branches of governement work together. In addition, what do federal mandates mean for states? What power do local governments have? How fast can the Supreme Court overturn something and how far-reaching is their power? Trump may not know the answer to all of these things—but you can. Here is a good start, and local libraries will also have textbooks full of easy-to-understand information.
Learn how to make a difference with your local government.
Do you know what your congress rep or Senator want? Your vote. So let them know what you require if they are going to get it. Call them, email them, become the pain that your rights as a voter entitles you to become to them. Also, they are up for re-election more frequently than President. This list gives the numbers of every member of Congress. Don’t be shy about using it.
Find a few news sources that you absolutely trust—and read them daily.
Part of this trust should include that they fact check and do not publish inflammatory things for click bait. Nearly half of Americans get their news from Facebook, but social media is rife with fake news that parades as credible (here’s a list of popular fake sites). We are now living in a time where it is essential to be discerning about where we get our news.
Get specific about what you are going to fight.
The Trump assault will be widespread against the core values of many people. And if you try to give 100% to every area, you will soon become too exhausted to even get out of bed. Instead, choose one. Maybe it is reproductive rights. Or immigration rights, Medicare, climate change, freedom of the press, Muslim rights, or police brutality against African-Americans. Know the attacks against it and the key players (in government and organizations). If there are rallies, petitions or legislation about to be voted on, stay informed so you know what to do.
Take care of yourself.
We have all heard the stories of Black women who run themselves ragged helping others and trying to do everything. More importantly, we have all experienced that burnout. These next four years are going to be hard, there is no getting around it. And that means self-care will be necessary to keep us going and healthy. This Colorlines article breaks down four simple things anyone can—and should—be doing to take care of their activist self.