More than a million people hit the streets for the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches last weekend, a protest that made history as the largest demonstration in recent history.
After one of the most divisive elections in history, women across the nation are fearful, and rightfully so. In response, people came out in droves across the United States and around the world to protest the newly inaugurated Donald Trump and policies that stand to disenfranchise and endanger women, minorities, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, those living with disabilities and more.
Coming together in a show of solidarity to protest sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and for the protection of civil and abortion rights was the beginning of the change we hope to see, but now that the march is over, what happens next?
Here are five ways to keep the momentum going and continue resisting a Trump presidency and the policies that are sure to affect our communities.
Call Your Senators, Congressman/woman, Representatives
If there’s one thing we learned from the Women’s March on Washington, it’s that our voices must and can be heard. When we’re working together, protesting together, fighting together, the powers that be can’t ignore us. We now have the opportunity to stop several dangerous cabinet selections, including Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General. We can call and voice our support for the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. If you can’t protest, you can write a letter, send an email or call and let your voice be heard.
Get Involved In Local Politics
Many of us are under the impression that you have to devote your entire life to make a difference. Not true. Start small and make a difference in your community. Live in a co-op? Join the board of your building. Have children? Get involved in the PTA or your local school council. Involved in a book club, sorority or any gathering of groups of people? Use your network to volunteer time and raise money to effect change wherever you live. It may not seem like much, but like Mama Joe said in Soul Food, “One finger won’t make an impact, but you ball all those fingers into a fist, and you can strike a mighty blow.”
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Donate, donate, donate! President Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and nearly every Republican you can think of has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. Now more than ever, organizations need donations to survive. Even if you don’t have a lot to give, every dollar counts. We guarantee you that no organization will turn down even the smallest donation.
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Engage In Difficult Conversations With People
This is perhaps the hardest thing on this list to do. Often times, we reject listening to people with opinions different from us. But how can we ever come to an understanding with one another if we don’t try? I have a Facebook friend I worked with years ago. He’s a staunch Republican. I am a Black feminist and we have very difficult conversations about race, abortion, democracy, etc. It’s difficult at times, but always constructive. If you are able to engage with people with different views from you, I recommend it. However, if your immediate safety is threatened or you are being triggered by these conversations, do not do it. Your safety and well being is always important.
Boycott Anything Trump Related That Stands To Put Marginalized Communities In Danger
We all know that President Trump is obsessed with popularity. The first press conference of his presidency was about the inaccurate crowd size at his inauguration. Even as president, he is still tweeting about television ratings. So hit him where it hurts. Don’t buy or shop anything Trump. Don’t stay at a Trump hotel and don’t buy any of Ivanka Trump’s collection at Macy’s. Don’t watch his television speeches. It will only give him ratings. The media will be watching and you can get all the information you need from trusted news sources.
The Women’s March was a beautiful sight. Millions of women from Washington, D.C. to Idaho to London and Africa marched in solidarity for women’s rights. While we still have a long way to go educating many people about intersectional feminism, the Women’s March was a great start to an important conversation.
But we must keep resisting. Now is the time.