The new White House administration has many of us feeling helpless, scared and anxious for the future. It’s caused us to feel like there’s nothing we can do to make a true difference, but the reality is quite the opposite.
“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy–as well as in an individual’s life–is to become cynical about the future and lose hope: that is the end, and we cannot let that happen.” – Hillary Clinton
We can cry and complain all day on social media about the outcome of this year’s election, but is that going to truly make a significant change? We have had enough time to grieve over the results of the presidential elections and now it’s time to move forward. As millennials, our future and the future of our children is in the palm of our hands and we must make it a priority to create a society worth raising children in.
If you have no idea where to start, like a lot of us out there, don’t worry, Live Civil’s got you covered. Here are 5 ways millennials can get more involved in politics this Black History Month:
1) Follow and participate in the “Injustice Boycott”
In efforts to combat police brutality, racial violence and systemic injustice in America, activist and journalist Shaun King has strategized this long-term and nationwide economic boycott known as Injustice Boycott. The boycott calls for government leaders in three target municipalities (San Francisco, New York, and Standing Rock) to substantively address local organizers’ concerns over an array of issues. If those concerns are not dealt with or responded to, King and co-organizers plan to enact comprehensive tourism boycotts, bank divestment, targeted corporate boycotts and “creatively disruptive protests” in each area. Sign up here!
2) No More Twitter Fingers
Instead of retweeting stories and firing off your 140s about how terrible things are, pick up the phone and call local, state, and federal officials to discuss concerns or issues that are impacting your community. When calling the officials be sure to be respectful, have all of the pertinent information needed and make your point clear and concise. Once you’re in the system they will keep you updated on what’s going on in your community and offer ways that you can be involved and help. This is important.
3) Show up and Speak up
Anytime your city council holds open sessions or state legislative sessions (which is more often than you think), use your voice and let them know your concerns. This is also the best way to get to know your local leaders, candidates, and other activists, which should help in more ways than one. These meetings and sessions are usually open to the public and will help you learn more about what struggles your community is facing, and how you can help fix and prevent them. Call your local city council today.
4) Have Conversations, Engage With Each Other
When it comes to politics and societal issues, people shy away from saying what’s on their mind to avoid being criticized. Let’s stop this for the 2017. We can both have differing opinions and still engage in a healthy debate. I promise. Once we’re unafraid to have deep, meaningful conversations about the direction of our country, we’ll be able to steer the course and promote and achieve positive change. The time to start is….now.
5) Support Candidates — Vote!
“Voting doesn’t matter” is one of the biggest #AlternativeFacts to have swept through our generation. The truth is, voting is the only thing that matters and you’ll never see change without doing so. When you find a candidate that you believe in, for whatever election it may be, it’s essential to get involved. That can be through volunteering, word-of-mouth efforts, and of course actually voting. It takes an army to put people of color into positions of power, so figure out how you can be a part of that army by visiting those candidates websites!
Happy Black History Month! What are you doing to change history? Join us in shaping human history, the Civil way.