the complete post-march action guide
A 10-point plan for staying engaged and optimistic in the year ahead.
photography naima green
On the day after Donald Trump's inauguration, millions of protesters around the world took to the streets in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. Armed with posters and pink pussyhats, people of all different backgrounds gathered together to send a strong message in support of women's rights. But the history-making march was just the beginning.
There is a lot of work to be done over the next four years, as President Trump continues his attacks on LGBTQ rights, reproductive healthcare, and immigration. But after feeling empowered and motivated by the Women's March in January, many people are now asking, "What's next?" Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get involved and there's a growing number of resources to help you. Here are ten ideas for what you can do to make a difference.
1. Put together a plan
Create a plan of action and set clear goals so you can continue to make an impact on the issues that matter most to you. The team behind the Women's March can help with its list of actions to take during the first 100 days. Every ten days, the organizers add a new way to stay active — through community organizing or contacting your local representative, for example. Stick to your plan by being accountable to a group. Start a Google doc with your march friends with lists of actions and resources. What will your group achieve by the end of February? By the end of 2017? (And make sure you have a self-care plan in place, too. Staying active and fighting injustice also requires taking care of your own wellbeing and safety.)
2. Bring your community together
The historic turnout at the Women's March demonstrated just how many people want to get involved, and plenty of them are right outside your door. Organize a small group of your community members and set some goals. The Women's March has even provided a meeting agenda that also sets out action ideas such as hosting workshops or a voting registration drive. Knock Every Door is another organization that can help; it encourages volunteers to get out and canvas their neighborhoods to better understand, and rally around, local concerns.
3. Call your representatives
Want to have your voice heard? Pick up the phone and call your representatives. Helpful sites like Call Them In provide tailored scripts so that you can make your call as meaningful and anxiety-free as possible. "Your elected officials are there to represent you, and the best way for them to [do that] is if they know what you think," said Bella Pori, the co-founder of Call Them In. "If enough constituents speak out, senators will change their position. Only call the senators in the state where you live, or are registered to vote. Senators who do not represent you will not consider your call, and it ties up their lines."
4. Send a letter
If you can't get through to your senator over the phone you can send a letter instead. The first action suggested by the organizers of the Women's March is to write a postcard to let your senator know what issues are important to you and how you plan to fight for them. The website offers a printable version that you can find here, or you can make your own. According to Pori, letters are more effective than emails because most digital mail is assigned an automated response.
5. Make a donation
Many human rights and social justice groups will be relying on contributions over the next four years. Donating money is one of the most effective ways to help them fight Trump. Non-profit organizations like the ACLU are already battling the president over his travel ban and preparing more legal challenges. Thanks to donations, in late January the ACLU raised $24.1 million in just one weekend. Plenty of other groups such as The Center for Reproductive Rights and The Human Rights Campaign could also put your money to good use. Many organizations even have the option to set up recurring donations, so you can give a little bit each month.
6. Volunteer for an organization
If you don't have the cash to donate, consider lending a hand. The website VolunteerMatch will connect you with volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits that match your interests. Other organizations like Planned Parenthood, which provides millions of women (and people of all genders) with healthcare services and information, offers instructions on its website for how you can help them without spending a dime through easy actions like following its social media accounts and sharing stories about how Planned Parenthood has saved lives.
The presidential election rolls around every four years, but that's not the only time you should be hitting the polls. Voting in local and midterm elections is also important. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as the 33 seats in the Senate, will be up for reelection during the midterm elections in November of 2018 — which means there will be a vital opportunity to take the majority away from Republicans who are backing Trump's agenda. You can even sign up for election reminders through TurboVote.
8. Run for office
Even in 2017 women remain underrepresented in government positions. Today, only 20 percent of congress is female, despite the fact that women make up 51 percent of the total US population — but efforts to change that are gaining traction. Following the 2016 election, 4,500 women decided to run for local office with the help of the online incubator program She Should Run. The newly launched organization provides helpful resources like online courses for women interested in entering politics, and it's not the only one. The groups Running Start and Emerge America also have tools and training programs to get you started.
9. Keep protesting
Since the Women's March, people around the country have continued to flood the streets to protest Trump's administration. In the past two weeks, demonstrators have gathered at airports to fight Trump's controversial immigration executive order, thousands of Yemeni bodega owners and their supporters went on strike to protest the travel ban, and 8,000 people rallied outside of the historic Stonewall Inn in New York to reject government-sanctioned discrimination. Organizers are also planning more nationwide rallies, like the March for Science, a response to Trump's effort to silence government researchers, a March for Jobs, Justice, and Climate that will unite several different movements, and a Tax March to pressure the president to release his tax returns. All are set to take place in April.
10. Stay informed
Though reading the news these days can be overwhelming, it's more important than ever to know what's going on — so you can be ready to take action. The Washington Post is actively fact-checking claims made by Trump and his administration and publishing the results here. StayWoke, an anti-racism and anti-police brutality organization, offers a resistance manual that includes a comprehensive list of Trump's policies and ways you can resist. And VICE's Trump Tracker provides a running list of the executive orders the president has signed so far.
Text Erica Euse
Photography Naima Green