By Abby Lass
1) Start local
The President and Congress are not the only people capable of making change in this country. Stay active in what your local government is doing and help your town or state fix its own issues.
2) Stay informed
Get your news from trustworthy sources and double check anything that seems questionable. If you have a favorite news channel or publication, be able to acknowledge its bias and see if you can get find one with an alternating perspective.
3) Engage in a dialogue
Your opinion is not the only one that deserves to be heard. Talk to people who disagree with you and make a point to learn from each other. More often than not, you’ll both walk away with a clearer concept of what your goals are and maybe even with some ideas as to how to get there together.
4) Donate your time or money
There are so many absolutely fantastic organizations in our state and country working tirelessly for all sorts of causes– from climate change to healthcare to LGBT rights. Get connected and learn about how you can help your cause of choice without having to start from the ground up.
5) Be loud and unapologetic
Being passionate is cool. Being dedicated is cool. Don’t let anyone shame, degrade, or embarrass you into not fighting for something you care about. Even the littlest action can be enough to inspire others to join the fight.
6) Understand the importance of intersectionality
There is no issue that is not connected to a dozen others– climate change reform hinges on economic issues hinges on racial and gender divides. This can make it seem impossible to tackle any given problem, but learning to look at how different issues and organizations intersect can give you new ideas as to how to address any individual obstacle.
7) Get out of your comfort zone
Attend a religious service of a faith different from your own. Show up to a cultural club meeting that you would not regularly attend. It gets infinitely more difficult to dehumanize an entire race or religion when you allow yourself to meet the people that are a part of it.
8) Think creatively
Marching is not the only way to make waves. Look at your own skill set and passions and see how you can make your voice heard. Painting a mural, creating a website, working a hotline, or devising a performance are all incredible ways to get your message out and inspire others to do the same.
9) Work collaboratively
There are so many people in this country that are passionate about creating all sorts of change. Find people who are just as dedicated as you and see what amazing things you can create while working as a team.
10) Live by the principles you’re preaching
Does diversity matter? Then listen to people that are different from you– in terms of race, gender, religion, or ideology. Does love win? Then actively and consciously work to spread that love, even to those you might not want to. Whatever your message is, a crucial step in proving that it matters is showing other people the effects it can have, even if only one person believes in it.