The last week has been an especially difficult week, not just because of the election, but also because some have felt emboldened to commit hate crimes across the country. In Santa Monica a man was beaten and called a “faggot” at a bar on election night. A friend in nearby Venice was hosed down through a fence when she and another woman of color walked by. In West LA another friend’s husband was called the N-word by a stranger. There are countless other incidents I’ve read about on facebook and in the paper.
It is easy to feel helpless right now.
Across the web we are being called to “action,” but what does that mean? Does it mean wearing a safety pin in solidarity with lgbtq, immigrants, people of color and other folks who are being marginalized by Trump and his supporters? While it’s a beautiful gesture to wear a visible sign of support, wearing a safety pin just isn’t enough. We must act in concrete ways that promote social and racial justice in our communities.
Here are 4 Concrete Ways to Be in Action and Show Up for Justice
1) Be connected to who you are and stay grounded so that you can exercise allyship to those who are experiencing extreme sadness and pain. Be attentive when it comes to the experience of others even if you didn’t vote for Trump. Talk less. Exercise empathy. Listen. We’ll need more of this everyday kindness as we enter this unknown phase in our history.
2) Be an upstander and not a bystander. Bystanders watch and do nothing when racist, homophobic, sexist, zenophobic, anti-immigrant and other hate driven events go down. Upstanders do something about it. This can be either by talking to a victim of a hate crime during or after an incident, to filming an event and reporting it to the police.
3) Donate to 3 charities or activist organizations that are working for change. Give 1% of your income to them all. Say you make $30K a year. One-percent of that is $300 a year. That’s $25 a month. Can’t do 1% of your salary, commit to giving whatever is meaningful to you, but really commit and give! Buzzfeed, Remezcla and Jezebel have come up with great lists of organizations to give to and get involved with.
4) Join the board of a non-profit that fights for the rights of marginalized populations (lgbtqia, immigration, racial justice, social justice, etc.). Non-profits need people to help raise money and provide leadership for the organization. There are tons of openings with all kinds of groups across the country.