Powerless to Powerful: 6 Concrete Actions for Engaging with Political Issues
Everytime I read the news about another denial of climate change, or more recently about the withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council and the treatment of asylum seekers at the border…the powerlessness sets in. I feel overwhelmed by a combination of fury, rage, and then deep sadness.
So, I put together this list, inspired by a recent email from the Equal Justice Society, to keep me on track. I’m not so great at marches or in big groups, but I do have an active online network and sometimes extra money to spare.
When I’m lost wondering what to do, these suggested actions can be applicable and a reference to all political issues including the current border fiasco or perfect for Pride Weekend and supporting the GLBTQIA community.
Though before doing any of them, I highly recommend educating yourself on the issue. My go-to sources are C-Span, Reuters, and BBC, I find this image to be helpful.
- Join and support a mass mobilization locally or nationally.
Immigrant rights: Join and support a mass mobilization on June 30th in Washington, DC and across the country such as with Families Belong Together or rally led by MoveOn and others. Distributed actions will be planned across the country.
2. Volunteer with a local affiliate organization.
Immigrant rights: ACLU, Lawyer’s Committe for Civil Rights, Sacred Heart Church, NETA, ProBAR, and the Texas Civil Rights Project are just some of the organizations you can help if you are in TX or willing to travel there. Please refer to the Families Belong Together Guide on How to Help for more details.
3. Weigh in with Members of Congress.
Immigrant rights: The ACLU has a call tool specifically for Senators; the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a call tool that directs calls, tweets, facebook posts, and emails to all Members of Congress.
4. Be an advocate on social media.
Immigrant rights: Tweet at @realDonaldTrump and @SecNielsen to stop forcibly separating families. Ask the administration: what are its plans to reunify the families it has torn apart? Sample tweets can be found here. Use #FamiliesBelongTogether Graphics.
5. Sign and circulate a petition to your network or communities.
Immigrant rights: The ACLU, MomsRising, MoveOn, and CREDO have petitions to Sec. Nielsen. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Change.org also have a new petition out to the Department of Homeland Security. The Women’s March has a petition to Ivanka Trump. Define American has a petition to Attorney General Sessions. The National Domestic Workers Alliance has a petition to President Trump. The Women’s Refugee Commission also has a petition that is easy to sign and share.
6. Contribute financially to a related non-profit or provide supplies.
Immigrant rights: RAICES, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, Sacred Heart Amazon Wishlist or donate directly to organizations leading this work on the ground and nationally: ProBAR and IJP, The Florence Project, Al Otro Lado, LUPE, Fuerza del Valle, Texas Civil Rights Project, Women’s Refugee Commission, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), National Immigrant Justice Center