It’s been seven weeks since the election, six weeks into the Solidarity Pledge effort. With the end of the year upon us, in lieu of standard action items (but see below!), this week we’ve got a brief recap of what we’ve done so far and a look ahead to the coming weeks and months.
- 1) Recruit friends and family
- 2) Make some New Year’s Resolutions
- 3) Read up!
In the last seven weeks, Donald Trump has been confirmed as President-elect. The transition is well under way, and the signs are every bit as bad as we feared. Trump’s Cabinet and other appointments are abominable – an Attorney-General once considered too racist to be appointed a judge; an EPA Administrator and Energy Secretary who deny climate change; a Secretary of Labor who opposes minimum wage increases and worker protections; a Health Secretary who plans to eliminate the Affordable Care Act; and many more. Trump’s conflicts of interest show no signs of abating. And the last weeks have seen a serious wave of abhorrent acts of hatred and violence.
This is our new reality. But as grim as it is, we are not helpless to face it. With our unrelenting effort, together we can fight this. We’ve already seen some victories so far – the Dakota Access Pipeline has been stopped (Week 1.1 & 2.1), and the NSEERS ‘Muslim registry’ legislation revoked (Week 4.1). Winning more won’t be easy, and will take continued commitment, energy, and sacrifice from all of us – but that is the price of our progress. Every one of us on the Solidarity MIT team has put countless hours into this effort, because we believe justice, equality, progress, and human dignity are worth standing up for. THANK YOU for standing with us in this struggle!
For the coming weeks, we’re looking to the inauguration on January 20th as the next big event. Things will start moving very quickly once Trump takes office, so it’s critical that we all stay engaged and alert. Over the next few weeks, action items will focus on building capacity to deal with whatever may arise – getting more people involved, picking up necessary skills, making contacts and gathering useful resources.
On the back end, the Solidarity MIT team is working on cleaning up the weekly emails, setting up easier feedback and sharing mechanisms, and getting a web portal up where you can access past action items and resources, and direct interested friends. If you’d like to help out in any way, please let us know! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even 1-2 hours a week will help, and non-MIT people are welcome too!
1) Recruit friends and family
Do you have any friends and family who’ve expressed concern over the election outcome and a desire to do something about it? Ask them to sign the solidarity pledge!
We’d like to use this holiday season to reach more people outside of MIT, and especially people who live in red/purple states. Try to get at least three new people to sign on!
That said, we’re going for quality first and quantity second – the pledge is not an insubstantial commitment, and we’d like to make sure everyone understands what they’re signing up for and is committed to following through with at least some action every week. The goal is to build capacity and a habit of engagement through sustained action. As such, for the time being, prioritize direct, person-to-person recruitment over e.g. social media blasts, and focus on those who you know are most concerned and eager to take action.
2) Make some New Year’s Resolutions
Start 2017 with some positive changes – we’ve got a momentous year ahead! Some possible resolutions include:
Read this piece and resolve to start being an activist
Stay informed about your local politics – learn who your state representatives are and how to contact them, set up relevant Google news alerts, and get involved!
Speak up and share your concerns and fears – whether just with specific individuals, or in more public settings, as you feel able – and ask others to take action with you to address them
Greenpeace has several other good suggestions, both environmental and general
If any of these seem like daunting tasks, start small and work up to them. The American Psychological Association has good advice on how to stick to New Year’s resolutions. And remember, we’re here to help!
3) Read up!
Better yet, read the Indivisible Guide (more info here), and as a backup, lessons from a historian of the Holocaust. Work your way through SURJ’s Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves and Human Rights Campaign’s guide for LGBT allies. (If you have other good general readings or lists to recommend, let us know!)
That’s it for this week – Happy New Year everyone, and we look forward to standing with you in the year to come!
Until next week,