A Teen’s Guide to #Resist
Nona Hungate is a 15 year old activist who very much cares about the direction and future of this country. She wrote a letter to the editor of her local newspaper about how a teenager can get involved and ultimately, make a difference even if she can’t vote yet. Listed below are the ways Nona is making a difference in addition to other action ideas for being part of the #resist movement.
“Don’t shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman, but understand what is going on, and educate yourself to take your part in the world’s work, for it all affects you and yours.” ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, “On the Shelf,” 1869
You can replace “woman” in the quote above with “teenager.” The future is most important to youth today than the older generations as teens will be around the longest. Caring and learning about what happens to our citizens, immigrants, earth, economy and more will help cultivate engaged and productive communities.
- Volunteer for your state’s Democratic Party (or the political organization of your choice). You can help register people to vote, make phone calls and canvass neighborhoods. You also can volunteer for a local candidate’s campaign.
- Discuss issues that are important to you with family and friends. The more these issues are discussed, the more people will become educated and engaged and ultimately, care about what’s happening on Capitol Hill. Remember that our legislators work for us, the constituents and they care a great deal about what we think. The more we discuss and become engaged, the more we can get involved and contact our legislators to tell them how we would like them to vote on an issue, introduce a bill, etc. More ideas on this below.
- Participate in a peaceful rally, demonstration or march. The Women’s March that occurred on January 21, 2017 involved more than three million people from around the world. It was peaceful and brought out the masses to support change through love and acceptance. In my hometown, a mountain town in northern Arizona, there was another peaceful event a few weeks later to bring awareness to the devastatingly high number of women inflicted by violence against them. One in three women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. Part of a global movement, One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women. It was held on February 11th in the middle of downtown and was full of compassion and support. Like the Women’s March, the event was held in cities throughout the world with millions participating since the event first started in 2012. These numbers and this kind of record breaking engagement can and will bring about change.
- Go to a town hall meeting. Show up and speak out. All voices are equal, no matter what your age is. Find a meeting near you at TownHallProject.com.
- Learn how to make Congress listen to you. The Indivisible Guide is a practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda. Written by congressional staffers, it reveals best practices for making Congress listen. You can download the guide, sign up for text message updates on how to take action near you or click on the map to look for local groups to join.
- Participate in A Day Without a Woman on March 8th and support economic justice and women’s rights being human rights. Go to Women’s March website to learn more about their cause, how to get involved and participate on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day. Here’s an idea – create a Women’s March chapter at your high school, get other students (not just female students) to join the organization and brainstorm ways to participate as a student on March 8th. One way is to simply wear red in support of the cause that day. Shop at only small, women and minority-owned businesses.
- Organize your own grass roots efforts toward the mission of your choice. Spreading tolerance. Fighting for human rights whether that’s for women, immigrants, LGBTQ or another group. Building connections and unifying with other like-minded organizations. This is how the Women’s March movement started. All is takes is the courage, passion and perseverance to stand up for what you believe in. The Women’s March founders organized via a Facebook group and started a movement that has inspired millions. You can too.
- Make a phone call, send an email or write a letter. Finally, Michael Moore emphasizes the need to call, email, write, fax, etc. our congressmen and women, senators and other lawmakers on both a local, state and federal level. State and federal lawmakers normally hear from such a small percentage of the people they represent. If they hear from hundreds, thousands or even millions of us, they will be forced to take their constituents’ thoughts and actions into consideration. And you don’t need to be 18 in order to make a phone call or email and state your opinion about an important issue. You also can participate in a mass letter writing day and send a postcard to the White House on March 15th. Let your voice be heard and tell the president what you think about his administration and the direction you would like to see the country go. Find out more about the #idesoftrump campaign.
Photo of two young participants at the One Billion Rising flash mob event in Flagstaff, AZ