Resilience, Resistance, & the Year We Rise

“We are here not merely to gather, but to move. And our movements require us to do more than just show up and say the right words. It requires us to break out of our comfort zones, and be confrontational. It requires us to defend one another when it is difficult, and dangerous. It requires us to truly see ourselves, and one another.” -Janet Mock, 2017 Women’s March on Washington

Heartbreak. Frustration. Anger. Determination. Hope.

2017 could have been the year that broke us, but it didn’t. Instead, it taught us the power of our collective resilience and resistance. It could have been the year that left us defeated and apathetic. Instead, it taught us about the strength of our spirit and the depths of our courage.

Through 2017, we marched. We called our representatives. We spoke up and spoke out. We protested. We showed up — at airports, at offices, in DC, on sidewalks, and in streets. We ran for office and won in places like Florida, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Alabama. We locked arms with strangers and defended our democratic values. We answered the call to action, over and over and over again, and we did it, together.

And though we did not win every battle, we found our way through the darkness. Together, we mourned our losses and celebrated our victories. We offered each other comfort and strength. We shared stories, and we found connection.

2017 was a beginning and an end. It was the beginning of an administration that has darkened this nation, but it was also the beginning of something far more powerful. It was the beginning of our collective resurgence as active citizens, and it was the end of our passive acceptance of the things to come.

2018 will demand more of us. While we can’t know for sure what lies ahead or how much more destructive this administration will become, we do know we will be called upon again to defend our democracy. Unlike last year at this time, however, we know we can persist. We know we can enact change, and we know we can stand strong. 2017 helped us find our voices, but 2018 will help us prove our strength.

And as we enter into this new year with a renewed focus on the 2018 elections, let us put the lessons of 2017 to use. Let us once again lock arms, speak out, and demand change. Together, our voices and our votes can alter the course of history.

We are resilient. We are powerful, and in this new year, we are ready to rise.

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