My First 100 Days
The thing I’m struggling most with post-election is trying to decide what stage of grief I’m in and after a call with a friend yesterday we determined that the levels don’t look the same. I don’t know what they’re all called, but one week later I’m officially at Stage WTF?
I do know that there’s also Stage Get Shit Done and that follows what Trump announced as his own 100 day plan. Here are my own particular initiatives as inspired by my friend Margaret.
Initiative 1: Lobby for no evil in the tight inner circles of the White House.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time calling Paul Ryan, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Rep. Sara Wojcicki-Jimenez (R-99th Dist) as well as a few others to please not allow Steve Bannon in the position of chief strategist. I had to explain, more than once, who Bannon was to the person answering the phone. THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW. Why did I do that? Because that man is from Breitbart, y’all. It is super problematic that white nationalists are praising him. He is a giant red flag. I made a list of people I will now call regularly and reach out to offices (because, if you didn’t see it posted elsewhere, a former staffer said they respond best to calls — get a person on the phone because your emails go into a computer system designed to answer you without even being read). So, initiative 1 for me is to MAKE MORE CALLS and call people in both major parties. I’m not going to speak into the silo that happens to agree with me more. I am calling both.
Initiative 2: Seek out more marginalized groups to support.
I made a list of causes I’ve supported in the past and didn’t want to take any of them off the list except for one: the Democratic Party. I’m in the camp that they need to clean up their house so I’m adding EMILY’S List in their place because my ability to affect change will be greater there. We’re also going to support Black-owned banks by opening more accounts there. I found one national bank, One United, and 3 in Illinois alone (Liberty, Seaway, and Southside Community) . Gifts we buy will solely support places that are helping the disenfranchised and I have to start being more proactive about that. These are the people hurting and being targeted (upwards of 200+ incidences of violence in one week so far) so here’s how I can make a contribution outside of voicing my love and support for them.
Initiative 3: Call on friends to call on friends.
Here, on Facebook, I have backed away from jumping into every discussion of race because, and this will be blunt: white people have GOT to collect their own. There’s a little list growing in my journal right now about people with major voices who can influence others. I’ve been watching them step into doing this anti-racism work but they lack the framework. THAT IS NOT A CRITICISM. It’s fact. I don’t have a background in organizational theory, but I have had the luck to do training that not everyone has done and I plan on doing more. I’m going to start calling on my list to work on that next level. It’s time to graduate from where we are to the next place. I pledge to keep teaching, but it is going to look different. Call in. Call out.
Initiative 4: Find comfort and ease in things that look like me.
It occurred to me recently that every new show I’m engaging with is all Black. Like, Blacktiy Black. Insecure, Atlanta, Black-ish, Queen Sugar, and Brown Girls (waiting for that one!) It is a balm right now. I hear things that resonate and situations that are similar to mine. I don’t feel bad about that, but I’m going to keep talking about them because they’re giving me life and I need that life in order to do life. It’s cyclical.
Initiative 5: Organize the babies.
I’m working on a project outside of BBAS (here and there, no huge effort on my part yet) with a few friends who all reached out and said, at various times, “Hey, wanna DO something with me?” and we’re brainstorming right now. Lots of brainstorming. Lots of calls and note-taking and something is taking shape. The bones aren’t all lined up yet to form a skeleton, but how else do things get done? That’s exactly how BBAS started. An initial question I asked/was asked: if I could change one thing about the world and take everything I know, what would I create? So, more creations and all of them involved organizing kids. I believe in them and their voice. I want to hear more from them.
How about you? Do you have a 100 Day plan?