I am sitting here with my friend Deb—and like so many conversations we are all having right now, we ask each other— “…after the March…what do we do now?” Of course, we are speaking of the world-wide Women’s March that happened the day after the inauguration, January 21, 2017. I created a photo essay of the March for my last post here at FAR to document the energy and passion of that day.
The day after the March I was due for a rehearsal for a production in West Hollywood of the Vagina Monologues, a performance by Hollywood NOW that would benefit Planned Parenthood. At that first rehearsal, the entire cast, led by our director, decided that our production would be a response to the question above. In fact, we began the play by marching in from the back with signs from the Women’s March, many of us wearing “pussy hats” we wore in the actual March. Pictures of our amazing event are here.
So…that was February. And now here we are at the end of the month and…as my friend Deb says, “Now what?”
Normally, as in pre this-nightmare-of-“45”, I would not feel that I would have to follow a month of rehearsal with an immediate and lasting continuing action RIGHT AWAY. But, as we witness the appointment of DeVos, Pruitt, Sessions…a cabinet that epitomizes what one of my favorite Women’s March protest signs stated, “IKEA has better cabinets,” we feel we must continue to act—and be able to keep acting.
What can we do—that we can keep doing where we don’t burn out…and where we don’t give up and we can continue to RESIST?
Here’s a late-night list that my friend and I compiled this week. Please feel free to add and comment on this list in the comments —and continue to #RESIST
Note: These are not in any order of importance…just do what you can. Just keep on keeping on and don’t give up.
- Call your Congress people and ask when they are going to have a town hall. If they don’t plan on having one—ask for one and leave a message to be informed on when it will happen. Here’s the number of how you will find who your Congress people are if you don’t know: TEXT to 520-200-2223 and in the MESSAGE put your zip code. You will get back the numbers of your senators, representatives and state representative. Put them in your address book, and get comfortable calling and leaving messages. Here’s information on how to get comfortable calling these folks.
- To find a daily action that you can do, go on the web and sign up easily with your phone number here. Or TEXT the word DAILY to the number 228466 (ACTION) and you’ll be prompted to enter your zip code—either way you’ll be signed up and you will receive easy instructions on doing a daily action such as calling a senator, writing a postcard, etc. These daily actions normally take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
- One easy thing I’ve personally done (and started doing during the Bush administration…) was to keep a stack of stamped postcards by my keyboard and to once a week write directly– to the president. Right now, there is an ongoing action to send PINK POSTCARDS that say “You’re fired!” to “45.” The address for that would be: White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500. For additional information about contacting the White House go here.
- If you’ve got it, give $ or $$$. Here are some of the organizations that need money to stay afloat during an administration that would like to abolish them (and many of them also give you daily action ideas like the site above):
—American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU—yes!) Become a “card carrying member” today! On this site you can donate once, or monthly and sign up for actions, such as daily actions.
—Planned Parenthood On this site you can also sign up for actions, as well as donate $ or $$$.
—Southern Poverty Law Center On their homepage you can also report a hate incident immediately.
—Anti-Defamation League, They also have a great article on how youth can engage in activism.
— The Sierra Club Their home page now reads, “Join the fight. Protect Our Planet from Trump.” On its site, you can easily find out about actions and events, donate money, and ACT NOW to protect the environment through activism.
— your local National Organization for Women (NOW) On their homepage they boldly state, “Feminism keeps going.” NOW is the largest organization of grassroots feminist activists in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of contributing members.
—National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Their top issues right now are “civic engagement, environmental and climate issues and health.”
—The Trevor Project “We provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.” From this site you can find help, find resources and get involved.
These are obviously only some of the organizations that are important right now and are threatened. But since our very civil liberties and sense of reality are being threatened during a time of “alternative facts”—find an organization that helps ground you in reality, and gives you information on how to stay involved and makes you feel that you can keep fighting the good fight in an area you care personally about– the personal is political is a good way to keep the fire burning in your own heart for social change.
There are many organizations that need help right now. Here is a good site that wraps up a few that we may not have mentioned above to get you started: “Feeling Hopeless after Trump’s win? Here’s 10 organizations that you can support”
Also…do yoga, walk in nature, hang out with animals. Hanging out with shelter animals is a great way to put things in perspective …check out your local Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Global Animal Rescue, where you can also learn about the amazing work of active rescues, international work and support programs.
Practice self-care. A great app with over 4,000 free guided meditations can provide immediate help when you are in the middle of your day and can’t get to the studio, beach…your dog. Check them out here.
Have coffee/tea or a drink with friends (like I’m doing right now) and know when to move from feeling pissed/ depressed to action. I’ve been signing up for action steps tonight – as well using as the meditation app Deb has installed on my phone (I think I’ve added five organizations to my email list as I’ve written this blog) and… I feel better.
Support those who are doing good. Write thank you notes. Tell people you care about that you care. Stay upbeat if you can and strive to stay in the game. Stay involved. And also figure out when to take a break.
And…make art. Make love. Tell the truth. Keep fighting.
This is a beginning. Please add to this list below!
Marie Cartier. Dr. Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall(Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine. She is also a published poet and playwright, accomplished performance artist, scholar, and social change activist. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) and an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting), both from UCLA; and an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University. She is co-chair of the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion session of the national American Academy of Religion and co-chair at the regional level of the Queer Studies in Religion session, founder of the western region Queer Caucus, and a perma-blogger for Feminism and Religion. She is also a first degree black belt in karate, Shorin-Ryu Shi-Do-Kan Kobayashi style, and a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified Hatha Yoga teacher.