The election has happened and, regardless of where in the world you may live, it affects us all. Below is a collection of resources for practical responses as we move forward globally. Some people are happy with the result, some are not, but a lot of people are scared. Here’s what we can do.
(This list will be updated as more things come to my attention)
– If you have friends, colleagues or neighbours who are frightened or nervous today because of their identity, make it your mission to love them. Tell them that they are important, that they matter, and that you are there if they need somebody to talk to. Today is the day to love your neighbour, open up your door and invite people in. Whether it’s for a cup of tea, a chat or a safe space, if you can make that place your place, do it. It is necessary. Make this your mantra, and carry it with you.
– Practise and spread self care. My friend Angelica runs a wellbeing instagram, posting tips and methods for improving mental health and wellbeing. If there’s something in particular you want to know more about, you can request it.
– Understand privilege and learn about it. This article is an excellent start, explaining it in understandable, incredibly relatable terms. Understanding the privilege you have is the best way to begin to recognise and work to dismantle the system that created it. This article is an incredible set of tools for how to explain and talk about privilege with those who don’t yet understand it.
– If you’re a white person in America, get involved with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). As a white person it can be difficult to know how best to support people of colour without becoming a white saviour, SURJ is a group for white people to gather in that support: to break white silence and turn away from white supremacy whilst remaining accountable to a larger board of people of colour themselves. Also follow and become involved with Black Lives Matter (wherever you are in the world), this movement is more important now than ever.
– If you’re anywhere in the world, understand that islamophobia is on the rise and poses real threats to individuals and collective communities. This comic strip by artist Maeril breaks down how best to respond when you witness harassment and how to defuse situations. While it talks about islamophobia, it can be applied to any type of harassment you may witness.
– Get educated on the contributions to society that muslims and MENA populations are making all the time, and when you find these stories celebrate and share them far and wide. My friend Amir Safi, Muslim American and founder of the wonderful Write About Now said:
‘Tell more stories on how Muslims or MENA populations contribute to this country, not as a whole but as individuals who do great things, so people don’t think our only value is to die as a soldier or spy fighting ISIS. Maybe talk about how Firouz Naderi is the director of NASA or how Maryam Mirzakhani was the first woman to ever win the Fields Medal or how Omid Kordestani was one of the minds behind Google or how Shirin Ebadi won the nobel peace prize or how Steve Jobs was the child of a Syrian immigrant. Or how Steve Jobs is the only name in this list that people recognise. Though he was the greatest, there are more stories and contributions from diverse MENA populations and Muslims from all over the world than just Muhammad Ali, and though you loved him, you still put him in jail, or Hakeem Olajuwon, and though you loved him, you accused him of being a terrorist.’
– Commit to the changes you’ve made on a personal level. If America’s leader refuses to believe in climate change (as he’s said in the past), then it’s up to us to do everything we can. Remember all those posts you see about switching off the lights at night? Remember the posts about eco-friendly switches myself and a host of other ethical influencers have talked about? These matter more than ever. Try not to buy plastic, don’t buy fast fashion, try to use less energy etc. Whatever switches work for you, commit to them. If there’s something an influencers not covering, ask us to research for you! We’re here to help.
– Understand and reach out to those who believe differently to you. It isn’t easy, and you may be frustrated, but it is important. As much as you can (without putting yourself in danger) foster relationships and understand why people voted the way they did, and then talk about how you can work together for positive change. My friend Simon, who runs the mens mental health organisation Get It Out told me the following:
‘There is a term that we use for one of the core conditions in humanisitic/person centered counselling that is holding ‘unconditional positive regard’ for the individual. Having empathy towards an individual, I believe, makes a rounded individual capable of responding well to others. Translate that to everyday life and it translates into TRULY loving others regardless of their position, religion, sexual orientation or political standing. I believe that having an empathetic approach to this problem of hatred can change it. Stand up for the victims and stand along side them but also meet the attackers where they are. You can’t expect to change someone by having a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. To respect someone you must understand why they have become that way before you can even suggest that they should change.’
– This article from the Huffington post contains a list of practical things you can do and organisations you can partner with.
– This article from Jezebel lists organisations that fight for human rights that you can support. The writer also states:
1) This list is long and possibly daunting—try picking just one
2) Local organizations need as much or more help as major national ones, so remember to donate to your local rape crisis center, hospitals, etc.
– This is quoted from a facebook post (and is super important): ‘if you are a gatekeeper in the arts, a presenter, a producer, a booking agent, a manager, a publicist . Please support political artistic work and work that stimulates and educates and that raises consciousness. We need institutional support for work that is helping to challenge the climate that has produced this result. Don’t sleep.’
– Learn about the next Global Meeting on Climate Change, COP22, and how you can get involved, with this post from Leotie Lovely.
– Don’t forget about the Dakota Access Pipeline. This article discusses the potential future of DAPL with a Trump Presidency. If you have already been involved here, do not stop. Keep the conversation going, keep the pressure building, keep supporting and listening to the protestors. The battle is long, and it is hard, but do not give in. It took six years, but Liberate Tate saw success this year, we have not lost yet.
– Write to your local representative. If you’re in a part of the world where you can actively engage in the politics of your area/country, do. Ask them to support environmentally friendly policy, ask them to engage with the needs of your area, ask them to protect the marginalised and the hopeless. Engage and hold your leaders accountable whenever you can.
– If you want to protest, demonstrate or have your say in any way, this list documents 198 methods of nonviolent action.
If you have further suggestions, let me know and I’ll add them to this list. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.