Taking the Power Back
I woke up at 6:40 in the morning after a night of fitful sleep. Bleary-eyed, I grabbed my phone off my nightstand and refreshed the election coverage I had been following with great difficulty the night before, but the outcome hadn’t changed. Donald Trump was still the president elect, and all I could feel was despair.
I felt like America had shown that it does not care about black people, brown people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ, women, and the environment.
In that moment I wished more than anything that all the people I care about could be in one place, so that as this darkness becomes our everyday reality I could try my hardest to make sure they are all safe.
After allowing myself time to process my feelings and administering some self care, I began reading as much as possible.
I read Facebook statuses written by friends which offered eye-opening perspectives, I read articles about anger and action and explanations on a variety of news sites, and I started researching what I could do.
After many hours Googling, clicking, scrolling, and absorbing here is the plan of action I compiled for myself:
I will donate money and time to organizations working to protect human rights and the environment.
There are so many organizations doing amazing work in these areas, and after a lot research I chose three whose missions really resonated with me: The American Civil Liberties Union, The Southern Poverty Law Center and The Natural Resources Defense Council.
I will listen to, read things by, and engage with people from various communities.
Many people are feeling sadness right now and I want to hear what they have to say, let them know their feelings are legitimate, and offer them my support.
There are also people who are celebrating Trump’s win.
According to an Edison Research Exit Poll 53% of white women, my demographic, voted for Trump.
It is thus my responsibility to engage with these people, to listen to them, but also to try to get them to understand the pain and fear other individuals are feeling, and try to work toward positive change for everyone.
I will take actions to protect my body and my privacy, and do what I can to help others protect themselves.
As a woman, a Donald Trump presidency means that my right to chose what I do with my body is at risk.
To protect myself I plan to go to UCSF student health services and get an intrauterine device (IUD), which lasts for 3 to 6 years.
In addition, I want to learn more about the IUD program at UCSF so I can share that knowledge with others and, if I can, help others inside and outside of the UCSF community obtain access to this form of birth control.
A Trump presidency also means that surveillance in the United States and the way I use technology will change.
One great way to protect my privacy is through a messaging app called Signal. You can download this app on your computer and phone to protect yourself from unwanted parties accessing your messages and phone calls through end-to-end encryption.
I have had this app on my phone for over a year, but I plan to start using it a lot more and will encourage my friends, especially activists, to do so too.
I will show greater compassion for people and the planet.
I want to offer people a listening ear, an open mind, an arm to support them, and a shoulder to cry on, but I also want to do more random acts of kindness because small actions can be powerful.
Another small action I want to take is to switch to PG&E’s “Solar Choice,” a program you can enroll in in which PG&E purchases new solar resources to meet either 50 or 100 percent of your electricity needs.
I can’t get solar panels for my apartment as I am currently a renter, but I feel like this is a small step I can take to help lower my carbon footprint.
I will keep writing and disseminating the writing/resources of others.
As the months progress, I plan to continue writing political pieces for Synapse. I want to attend panels, discussions, rallies to learn more and share what I learn.
I also want to share important resources I find with as many people as possible. The following two resources have I found to be especially helpful:
This is my plan of action, but I want to hear from you.
Synapse wants you to write to us about what you are feeling and thinking, and we want to hear from all sides.
The more voices we can involve in this conversation the better informed we will all be and the better we will be able to support each other.