Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action Dec. 25-31

The holidays are winding down and with them, 2017 — one of the most hectic, bizarre and occasionally invigorating years we’ve had in a long time. At this time last year, we were bracing for the unknown territory of the Trump administration. Now, we’ve taken this fear and turned it into resistance.

Care2 activists like you have had a profound impact with your advocacy work, and that’s something to celebrate as you look back over your year. But unfortunately, reflection doesn’t mean slowing down, because there’s still a lot of work to do.

As you gear up for the New Year, it’s time to think about setting some goals for 2018.

1. Get outside your comfort zone

In 2017, many people pushed their personal boundaries. For some, that meant picking up the phone and calling a legislator for the first time. For others, it meant running for office – and winning. Or maybe it meant organizing a trip to Washington, D.C. to advocate for a cause they cared about.

As you look back over your own activism from 2017, think about what you can do to push your comfort zone a little. Consider:

  • Joining or starting an advocacy group for an issue you care about, and focusing on a specific agenda to achieve. Maybe that’s making your local shelter no-kill by 2020, or converting your city’s fleet of government vehicles to all-electric by 2022. Set an intention!
  • Attending a legislator’s town hall, if you didn’t go in 2017, or arranging a meeting with your representative in person.
  • Going to Washington, D.C. In addition to sightseeing, you can also watch Congress in action, participate in activist actions and meet up with fellow activists.
  • Running for office! Organizations like Run for SomethingShe Should Run and Run for Office are here to help you!

Need a concrete thing to do right now? Call your legislator about the GOP tax bill – ask them how they’re planning to defend vulnerable social programs like Medicare and Medicaid, whether the president signs the bill before or after the new year. Remember that if he signs it before 2018, it will trigger $120 billion in automatic cuts.

2. Help a friend

One of the most inspiring things about 2017 has been watching people educate themselves — and then turn around and educate a friend. Sometimes that knowledge sharing is informal, and sometimes it’s more organized. Sharing is caring, and the same goes for knowledge.

In 2018, consider teach-ins, where people gather together to share knowledge and enhance each others’ understandings of issues. Workshops or workgroups are another option. For example, maybe your city is dealing with an environmental cleanup: Consider asking representatives from government agencies and environmental groups to come talk to the community about what’s involved and how they can act on their concerns.

Need a concrete thing to do right now? Reach out to a friend with an educational resource you think they’ll find valuable, and set up a time to chat about it over tea or coffee sometime in the new year. In turn, invite them to share something with you.

3. Listen to someone else

Some voices tend to be amplified more than others, and it’s easy to let important conversations get drowned out. If you’re in a group that happens to get a lot of airtime, try seeking out information from others to learn more about what they’re experiencing and how you can help them. Maybe you’re a white man — checking out the work of black activists could be really informative. Or you’re a white nondisabled women — explore disability rights activists and what they’re talking about right now.

Sometimes sitting down and being quiet is a really powerful form of activism, and it can give you incredibly valuable insights you wouldn’t get otherwise. That can also mean stepping outside your comfort zone. You might hear things that upset you, make you feel anxious or feel wrong to you. Reflect on those thoughts and seek out more information.

Need a concrete thing to do right now? Sit down with the Black Lives Matter Syllabus, Black Feminism Syllabus, Charlottesville Syllabus, Black Disabled Woman Syllabus or another resource compilation.

4. Speak in solidarity

Especially if you have privilege, your voice can carry a lot of weight — and you can use that for good as well as ill. While it’s important to make space for marginalized communities, there are times when they need a little help, and may actively request it from you. That’s true on the internet as well as in real life.

For example, if you’re in a group and someone makes a comment that’s hateful and bigoted, say something. If it feels uncomfortable, keep speaking up until it feels natural. If you’re in public and you see someone attacking or abusing someone else, verbally or physically, intervene. If you see a hateful comment or tweet, don’t stay silent — but remember to untag the target, as they may not want to be involved in the back and forth. And if you see someone who looks like they’re struggling, ask if they need help!

Need a concrete thing to do right now? If you have a smartphone, download an app like the ACLU’s Mobile Justice, which allows you to discreetly record police encounters. Bystander recordings in incidents of police violence can be incredibly important — and if you’re white, you’re more likely to be able to record without being harassed by police.

5. Renew your commitment to a cause

It’s impossible for any one human to keep up with every single issue they care about. That’s why we share the load — and going all-in on a cause can allow you deeply understand it and become a passionate advocate. If you have a network of like-minded friends, you can pool your resources, too; maybe you ask everyone to show up for beach cleanup day, and later on, you’ll go to a city council meeting to comment on homeless issues to help someone else out.

Picking a cause doesn’t mean you can only work on one thing for the rest of time. It just means that you’d like to invest serious energy in a particular issue — be it local, regional, national or global. Consistency is important: If wetlands conservation is your thing, get known as “the wetlands conservation person” so you can play an active role in shaping policy and educating your community. You can still show up for other issues you care about!

Need a concrete thing to do right now? Ask a friend to go all-in with you. Whether it’s food deserts or highway maintenance, having an ally can be incredibly valuable for the fight ahead.

Photo Credit: Paul Sableman/Flickr


Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Benjamin B
Benjamin B2 months ago

great article

Danuta W
Danuta W2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

If everyone would vote for Jill Stein, we could solve many of the problems in the country. Unfortunately most Americans are too gullible and stupid to use common sense, and vote for the crooks in both parties. Jill Stein supports free colleges, Medicare for All, a $15.00 an hour minimum wage, and marijuana legalization. Neither criminal corporate owned party supports progressive policies that we desperately need in this country. We need a Green Party as a third party, to force the other two corporate owned parties to end their corruption.

Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 months ago

@RONALD Walker "I see some of the people in office love money. They are called Republicans! Now trump love himself, followed by money. If you want someone in government or the president listen to you. The first you need to do is kiss the president Ass! Then give lots of money to the Republicans. That how our new government works!"

You either forgot the other half of the Oligarchy or you have not been paying attention. Are the Democrats pushing to end or even audit the FED? Support real tax reform? A balanced budget? Ending our interventionist foreign policy and the endless war on terror?

Wake up people! Educate yourselves.

Winn A
Winn A2 months ago


Winn A
Winn A2 months ago


Jim V
Jim V2 months ago


Jim V
Jim V2 months ago


Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

Take a course that will help you learn or communicate about these issues. Even a cookery course - you will learn about good quality food.