"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim... Sometimes we must interfere." - Elie Wiesel
I hope everyone had a wonderful International Women's Day, yesterday. We have many women to celebrate for their accomplishments in the arts, science, politics and every other field. Their contributions and sacrifices have created the playing field that we operate on today. They are our inspiration as we move forward in choosing the women that we become tomorrow.
Regardless of how long it has felt, we are currently five weeks into a new Republican-ish/Nationalist administration that seems to be hellbent on following a backwards path to some time they dubbed "great" as opposed to heading toward what the rest of the world took for granted as progress. Once the shock and anger of election night dissipated, I found myself thinking a great deal about what to do next, as a woman and as an artist and as a citizen.
What is the role of an artist? Is it to educate? Should the focus be on truth and facts or empathy? What does truth mean anyway? And, is all art political?
I do not believe that the majority of the country shares all of the sexist, racist, xenophobic and generally hateful views of this president and his cabinet. I saw a nation of voters who stopped caring about the democratic process, in many cases didn't have access to the facts and ultimately felt their votes didn't count.
Democracy only works when the people are well informed. So for me, the first way to move forward is by sharing information and staying vocal. This includes speaking up for those unable to do it themselves. I intend to amplify the voices of political artists, especially the women and artists of color who continue to be underrepresented.
Right now, I would like to share a list of ideas and resources for activism. This list contains a wide array of options from making a simple call to organizing local protests. I have included as many important dates, resources and organizations as I could muster for you to continue collecting information and fighting the good fight. Please share this post with anyone you know who wants to do something, but doesn't know where to start or anyone else you know for that matter. I will try to keep it updated as new information comes my way.
- Read, educate yourself and remember that democracy only works when the people are informed.
- Organize locally. March, go to events for cultural institutions, etc.
- Learn about and vote in local elections. This includes prosecutors, school boards, city councils, county clerks, mayors, sheriffs, etc.
- Support those under attack and report bullying, bigotry and hate crimes.
- Engage in local politics. Form clubs, run yourself.
- Sign petitions.
- Call representatives and senators. Go see them.
- Protect your data
- Donate to organizations. The White House has said several social institutions will be defunded and dismantled, such as the NEA and NEH, so I plan to do what I can to contribute to them. There are many to choose from. Find the cause that gets you jazzed and show your support.
- Planned Parenthood
- International Refugee Assistance Project
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Trevor Project
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- American Friends Services Community
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- New York Times
- World Wildlife Fund
- Washington Post
- Environmental Defense Fund
Here's where I challenge you, Dear Reader. Please, begin or continue to engage through your voice and art. Amplify the work of politically minded artists, especially women and artists of color. Question the status quo. The things that we previous took for granted as common values are no longer that. Stay vocal. Keep fighting. And, share information with everyone you can. Add your resources and information to the comments at the bottom of the page or simply email me and I will try to update this page. And, finally, don't forget to subscribe to this blog below. The next post will showcase some exciting contemporary female photographers to mark this Women's History Month. Thank you.
“Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States." -W.E.B. Du Bois
"There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for." - J.R.R. Tolkien