6 Ways to Resist
Open your news app on any given day, and it seems like bias has infiltrated nearly every part of American life, whether it’s trans students losing protections in schools, low-income families fearing the loss of their health insurance or American Muslims grappling with hate crimes in their communities. Marginalized and vulnerable communities of all colors and backgrounds are feeling the stress.
Here’s six ways for you to push back against the rising tide of bias in your community.
Take a moment and think about what issues matter most to you. Maybe it’s deportations and refugee resettlement or police brutality and access to healthcare. Whatever it is, take a second to get up to speed on what’s going on with your particular issue.
- Find out what relevant legislation will be up for a vote soon.
- Get to know which nonprofit organizations in your state are fighting the fight(s) you care about and get on their radar by signing up for their mailing lists.
- Check out the Resistance Manual, created by activist DeRay Mckesson and Stay Woke, to help you stay up to date and help you best to resist for the causes you care about.
- If you want to get involved with nationwide organizations dedicated to race, gender, or LBGTQ issues check out some of our partners at Look Different.
National organizations are great, but you should absolutely put in the legwork to find groups of activists in your area, sign up to join the cause, and bring a friend to the next meeting too!
Remember how you felt when you saw the aerial shots of millions of people marching in cities across the world during the Women’s March? Seeing so many people come together for the same cause gave many of us reassurance that people really do care. Let’s continue to do the same any time equality is threatened. Activists in larger cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco have created handy calendars that compile protests, marches, and rallies.
Don’t live in or near any of these cities? Start looking for protest events on Facebook in your area and create your own! Never go to a protest by yourself if you can help it, and write the phone number of the ACLU on your arm in permanent marker just in case you end up needing it. Find more practical tips from the ACLU for staying safe while you exercise your freedom of speech.
Call Your Representatives
Your Senators, your Representatives in Congress, and your state representatives work for you. As a voter, you’re their boss, and it’s on you to make sure that they know exactly how you’d like to be represented. Call them to let them know your perspective. Staffers in Washington say that calling is your best bet to have your voice hear, significantly better than email (though we do think sending a good fax here or there is a dope yet retro way to have your voice heard). You can download an app like 5Calls that provides phone numbers and scripts to help you make 5 phone calls in 5 minutes.
If you want to make your calls free form, here’s the full contact list for U.S. Senators and if you enter your zip code here you’ll find the contact info for your US Representative. For your state legislators, enter your zip code here. Pro tip: Your representatives will have offices both in their home state and in Washington, so make sure to get all their phone numbers.
Know what’s better than phone calls? Meeting your representatives face to face. Most members of Congress hold town halls a couple of times a year during recesses. Check out your member of Congress’ website (quickly identify them here) and sign up for their email alerts so you’re up to date when they’re back in town. If your congressperson isn’t making plans to hold any, remember that you have a right to ask for face to face because their entire job is to represent your interests. Check out this guide for making the most impact when you speak to your legislators.
Get Your Friends Involved
Don’t go it alone, bring your friends along on your resistance journey! As you start making phone calls to representatives and attending town halls, keep your friends in the loop, and get them to join. Trust us, making signs for protests and rallies is way more fun when you do it with friends. Get your friends together on a Resistance Squad group message and see how much more you can achieve when you resist together.
Never Underestimate the Power of Your Wallet
Whether you and your friends refuse to shop at stores that support policies you disagree with, or actively choose to do business with brands that benefit organizations like the ACLU and stand up for the issues you care about, you wield a lot of power. Just like the absence of your labor during a strike, the absence of your dollars is supremely felt, especially when you don’t go it alone.