2019 has been a tumultuous year to say the least, but with the hardships many of us have become more activated and looking for ways to fight back and make this world a better place. I am here to offer some tips on how to carry your activism into the new decade, because the Cheetoh Puff in office may have been impeached but there is still much more work to be done.
Below is a list of ways to continue activism work in 2020:
Use your privilege to fight for and protect those being marginalized
Depending on your race, job title, or ability you may hold some privilege that other marginalized people may not have. With that privilege you can do so much. There are may donation websites that are working for immigrant rights that could always use financial assistance to continue to be a resource. You can stop harassment in its tracks, you can prevent an act of violence, you can deflect negative attention or prejudice. Knowing your privileges and being mindful of them is a great way to help make spaces for marginalized individuals safer and more welcoming.
Donate to organizations that help marginalized and discriminated groups/communities
There are may donation websites that are working for immigrant rights that could always use financial assistance to continue to be a resource. Donate to abortion funds to keep abortions safe and legal for all people. Transgender and non-binary folx face so many threats and acts of violence as well as discrimination in today’s society, but there are quite a few organizations that you can support that work to protect transgender and non-binary folx. There are organizations for every cause, doing a little research can get you connected to ones that will allow you to make an impact.
If you have the power, hire and rent to queer and trans individuals
Transgender and non-binary individuals face so much discrimination to this day, especially in the workplace. This discrimination leads to so many people losing their jobs and sources of income which later affects their housing. If you are a hiring manager or know of available positions recommend and refer your transgender/non-binary friends. But it doesn’t stop there, stand up for them in the workplace. If you have a rental property or are a rental agent, rent to transgender and non-binary folx.
Work with not-for-profit organizations doing hands on work in your area
There are so many organizations that are always in need of volunteers to help them. Whether that is working with children, animals, or homeless individuals there are organizations in your area that could use extra hands. Look into the organizations in your area to see how you can get involved hands on. In Los Angeles a great organization to get involved with is Resisterhood LA. They host various volunteer opportunities for Angelenos to get involved. A quick search of volunteer opportunities near me will give you a wealth of organizations to get involved with near you.
Be more conscious in your consumption and use of resources
Now I am not saying stop using plastic and bike to work immediately, but consciously make small changes to better our world. Global warming is real and if the big companies aren’t going to stop destroying our planet we have to fight back and protect Mother Earth as best as we can on individual levels. This looks different for everyone, but be mindful and try to protect our home as best as you can. Definitely fight when you can to stop big companies from destroying our planet, especially with pipelines and hazardous dumping. You may be just one person, but one person can start a ripple that will change so many people.
No one is perfect and there is definitely no perfect activist out there. Everyone has to learn new things to continue to be a good activist, so continue to educate yourself on the problems of our world. The more you learn the better you can learn how to use your power to change the world. Stay current on what is going on in the government. Read articles and books from activists and reporters. Get as much information on a topic as you can.
Register to vote and then GO VOTE!
Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. If you are in college or away from your permanent address during elections be sure to request an absentee ballot. Do you research before elections on the candidates and be an informed voter. And please be sure to go out and vote. There are more Millennials and Gen Zs of voting age than Baby Boomers, so we can truly make a difference at who is representing us if we show up to the polls and make informed votes. So please do your research and show up on election days, and not just the primary elections, but your local elections as well.
Get involved with politics
If you don’t like the people currently in office, get involved in politics yourself. You can be involved in the government just as much as the next guy. (*Hello, look who currently holds the title of president. Look at AOC.) It is possible and if you really want to see a difference, be the one that makes it. Look into running for local office positions.
Use your voice
I once heard that sometimes it takes hearing something from a specific person for something to truly sink in. Think about that the next time you don’t think you should express a thought or viewpoint to someone. You may be the person they need to hear it from to understand why using a derogatory word isn’t okay, or why a bill or law is more detrimental than helpful to a community or group of people. Your voice holds more power than you may realize so you should use it whenever you have the chance.
I hope that this article helped you even just a little bit to come up with ways to continue to fight for a better world going into the new decade. Also remember that it is important to take care of yourself, even as an agent of change in an unjust world. It is a lot of emotional work to continually go up against racism, facism, xenophobia, transphobia, and the bigoted views of so many to help those in need, so take care yourself when you need. It is necessary.