Harness Your Anguish Into Action

Harness Your Anguish Into Action
C.S. Muncy for The Village Voice

Our national nightmare has crept into its second day. Shocked despondency has given way, incrementally, to resolve for the future: Now what?

Trump has formulated a "plan" for his first 100 days in office, including the "End Illegal Immigration Acton Act," which includes the construction of his godforsaken wall at the Mexican border. If Trump is formulating his plan, we have to, also. Michelle Obama fortified the White House vegetable garden with steel to ensure that no future president could tear it out without causing a scene. We must similarly fortify our access to abortion, immigrants’ rights, environmental justice, and every other policy that will fend off total societal destruction.

In the longer term, we will need to organize efforts to maintain some tenuous shadow of our social programs, since it’s safe to assume the new kakistocracy will do everything in its power to strip them of funding. To some people, Trump’s win represents something theoretical — these people tend to be wealthy, white, and male. To everyone else, Trump’s win has devastating practical effects that, yes, will drastically alter our day-to-day existences. Some will be impacted more than others, and it’s essential to be aware of the broad range of services that must be protected in whatever way possible.

Here’s a list of some local and national groups that are going to need support now more than ever. Please add to it in the comments below. (Jezebel also published a good list of national organizations here.)

Arab American Association of New York

The Arab American Association of New York serves the needs of Arab Americans living in New York, offering services ranging from legal and immigration to law enforcement accountability to adult education classes. Trump has made his nativist and anti-Muslim views abundantly clear, and the AANY has a number of volunteer and internship opportunities available. It would also benefit greatly from a donation.

Planned Parenthood NYC

Donald Trump thinks that abortions involve ripping a three-year-old toddler from a mother’s vagina, and has every intention of defunding Planned Parenthood. As Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement: "There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive health care and most especially to the safety and dignity of people of color."

Planned Parenthood accepts volunteers and interns, both of which you can learn more about here. You can also donate here.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence/Everytown for Gun Safety

New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but the Iron Pipeline also ensures that illegal firearms flow into the state every day. NYAGV helps to curb the profligate use of guns in New York, and it’s necessary now more than ever thanks to Vice President–elect Mike Pence, who has received thousands of dollars and unwavering support from the gun lobby.

Donate to New Yorkers Against Gun Violence here, and Everytown for Gun Safety here.

Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center

The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center aims to help drug users from every angle, by providing everything from syringe exchange services to education about HIV/AIDS to mental health services to case management. Its website is down right now, but you can look at its Facebook page for more information. The center needs volunteers for everything from manning the syringe exchange to outreach, but also runs on donations. Those interested can contact Reilly Glasgow at reilly@leshrc.org.

The Lower East Side Ecology Center

It physically hurts me to type this, but we have elected a climate change denier into the White House. Trump has said that he intends to roll back Obama’s hard-won EPA mandates, and without government bulwarks in place to defend against further degradation to the environment, we’re screwed.

But it feels good to help out. Spend some time in outside while you still can by volunteering to clean up East River Park, or helping out at the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse. You can also donate to the Lower East Side Ecology Center here.

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund works to keep those arrested from enduring prolonged pretrial detention by paying bail for low-income New Yorkers accused of misdemeanors. You can donate here.

Bronx Freedom Fund

Like the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, the Bronx Freedom fund helps pay off bail for those charged with low-level offenses. You can donate here, but the Fund’s website also has some other options for those looking to participate who don't have the extra money to write a check. Take a look.

The Audre Lorde Project

The Audre Lorde Project focuses on securing economic and social justice for LGBTQ people of color. It has a robust volunteer system in which members can help by performing administrative work, fundraising, outreach, special events, and writing/editing projects, and participate in working groups. Conveniently, it also breaks down membership levels by time commitment. Make a donation here.

Standing Rock

Trump hasn’t specified how precisely he plans to hasten the arrival of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but rest assured he’ll get to it soon enough. Donate to Standing Rock here.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network (RAINN)

This is the nation’s largest anti–sexual violence organization, which includes the essential National Sexual Assault Hotline. Learn how to volunteer here; donate here.

And if you’d like to help stem the tide of white men shaping the news in their interests, here are some journalistic organizations:

National Association of Black Journalists: Join here.

National Association of Hispanic Journalists: Join here.

Asian American Journalists Association: Join here.

The Association of LGBTQ Journalists: Join here.


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