Director of Development
Since I’ve been able to vote, I’ve been organizing and fundraising for progressive causes. The election was a blow. It made me feel, briefly, like our work just hadn’t mattered. I felt angry, helpless. ‘What’s the point?” I thought. For weeks, I was in a funk. The women’s march changed that. On Saturday, I felt hope again. I felt fired up. Millions are on our team—and we are nothing if not organized. Together, our everyday actions add up to huge resistance. We can keep the momentum of the women’s march going. Here are some suggestions that the WVE staff has compiled, on how we intend to stay ‘plugged in’ post-women’s march.
- Make donations. Sign up to make monthly donations. Whether it’s Women’s Voices for the Earth, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, New Voices Pittsburgh, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, (there are so many) … find a progressive organization to commit to. Even if it’s $5/month. And/or try to make room in your budget to respond to current events and support whoever is on the frontlines that week/month.
- Volunteer. Can you give your time? Join a board or committee, get in on phone banks, register voters, staff events. Think about what skills you have that can help the movement, and seek out/say YES to opportunities. Not only will you be making a difference, but you will surround yourself with people that inspire.
- Acknowledge your privilege and be an ally. As a white/heterosexual/middle-class/able-bodied woman, I remind myself daily that I am protected by privileges that others do not have. We can all be better allies, and now is the time to think about how, and to put ourselves out there and do it. I plan to educate myself about issues of race/class/orientation/ability/and more and show up in support of those causes as well, and not just those that affect me directly.
- Call your senators and representatives. This one is hard for us introverts. But it really does make more of an impact than an e-mail or a Facebook tirade. Whatever issue it is—toxics, healthcare, refugees, abortion access—pick up the phone and make it known that you care, and that you are watching.
- Write letters to the editor. Editorial pieces are widely distributed and help to raise the visibility of issues you care about. Here’s a helpful blog on how to write a LTE.
- Think about running for office, and encourage other women to run. Participate in a training or info session. Find a local mentor. Make it part of your life plan, even if it’s long term. And support other women who run—donate to and volunteer for their campaigns. It’s time that we have government representatives who represent our needs, views, struggles, diversity—and if not you, then who?
- Show up. Millions showed up for marches across the nation last Saturday, but there are countless local events throughout the year to attend (check your community calendars and follow local organizations online to stay informed). As Gloria Steinem reminded us, ‘Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are. Sometimes pressing send is not enough.’
- READ EVERYTHING. Not just headlines. Dive into articles that pop up on your social media sites and carefully consider the sources. Keep apprised of current events. Be vigilant so that you can respond swiftly. And it’s a good time to pick up some books on race, class, gender and grassroots organizing. (Why not start with ‘Do It Anyway’ by Courtney E. Martin?)
- Hold corporations accountable. We can’t wait for government to regulate. And, companies are ultimately beholden to the demands of their customers. Women have a massive amount of economic power to influence companies. Use that power. Pick up the phone and let a company know if you don’t agree with their practices. And vote with your dollar – don’t support companies who don’t support the causes that you believe in.
- Continue to share how you feel with your family, friends and networks. Okay, maybe it’s not healthy to continuously get into Facebook arguments with your cousin (too real?), but it’s important to speak up however you can, whenever you can—because this. is. not. normal. (repeat x100) and we are not alone- the march showed us that. Encourage dialogue on issues that matter to you, because they matter to countless others too.
- Take care of yourself. Were you so busy with all of your post-March actions that you forgot to eat? Do you need to exercise? How about enjoying a glass of wine? Maybe you need to pet your dog, do some knitting, go to the dentist, call your mom, dance around to this great playlist, journal, laugh, take a nap. Whatever it is, ask yourself what you need and then make it happen. Remember, if you don’t put your oxygen mask on first, you can’t help anyone else.
We’d love to hear how you’re staying plugged in post-Women’s March! Let us know in the comments.