what now? things to do after the women's march

January 21, 2017

I am of two minds on the Women's March- it was both beautiful and disappointing.

I was encouraged by participating in the Women's March today. It was good to be out on the street, in a crowd of people, and do something about my concerns. The march was a reminder that feminism was what taught me that injustice in any form is abhorrent. 

I felt disappointed because although the march was impressively attended in my city, it was populated overwhelmingly by white women- myself being one of them. 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump. Even if the women who marched with me today didn't vote for him, I feel like we are complicit in this problem- that often white women don't activate for other women or other injustices outside of their experiences. 

Here's how I am going to try to make my feminism more intersectional and strengthen my work against injustice, how I am going to show up for marginalized groups, and how I plan to activate my own leadership.

1. Read more books by powerful authors that experience marginalization because of their identity. Reading has always been my escape, and the way that I learn about others. I want to pursue knowledge and an understanding of diverse perspectives, and my book choices can help do that for me. Currently I am reading Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks and it is inspiring me to examine my teaching practices through the lens of gender, race, and freedom. If you are looking for something to help you here are some books that I've read that have made a difference for me already in opening my eyes to injustice: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Giovanni's Room, Flight, The Round House, Persepolis, Between the World and Me, Woman Warrior, and The New Jim Crow. 

2. Further diversify who I follow on social media. I can intentionally make sure that I am following people who know more about fighting injustice than I do. My twitter feed, and my facebook feed can be places that teach me everyday about new perspectives and avenues for justice. Accounts that I already follow and appreciate: on twitter- @blacklivesmatter, @nativeapprops, @mnnoc, @thegayya, @blacklibmn, @weneeddiversebooks, @blackvoices; podcasts- Another Round, Code Switch, Two Dope Queens; on facebook- AJ+ and SURJ.

3. Support true journalism. I need to get a subscription to the New York Times. I've been meaning to and I haven't. Media is coming under fire, and I need to support journalism that will report what is taking place and report with nuance and accuracy.

4. I need to streamline my leadership and activism. Education is where my heart is at. My work needs to be centered there- fighting discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs in my classroom. I want to think more about what this will look like, but my work needs to be more fearless and more innovative. I want to continue to show up for Black Lives Matter marches and rallies, and recommit to attending the SURJ meetings for anti-racist teachers in my area. The place for teachers is the revolution, so that's where I will be.

5. I need to take better care of myself. I need to take time to eat vegetables. I need to take time to be creative. I need to take time to move and exercise. Otherwise, the rest won't happen. 

I'm going to let one of my favorite quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. guide me: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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