- Join Campus Clubs
- NAACP: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Augustana’s chapter was very recently chartered and they are excited to be up and running. Their mission statement is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” Augustana’s chapter holds bi-weekly meetings. Attend to find out what they are doing, what committees you can join, how you can help, etc. Contact Kamille Brashear (President) via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BSU: Holds weekly meeting Tuesday night @ 7 in the Black Culture House. “The purpose of the Black Student Union is to spread awareness about African-American culture and diversity on campus through social and philanthropic means. We also wish to reach out to the African-American community outside of the Augustana College campus and network with other schools.” Contact Stacie Gill (President) via email to find out more information email@example.com.
- GSA: Holds weekly meetings Sunday afternoons @ 4 in Evald 18. “The Gender and Sexuality Alliance provides a safe and supportive community for LGBTQ+ students on campus. Allies are welcomed into this space to help provide this support. Education of the community, allies, the school, and each other on relevant and important LGBTQ+ topics is also a focus. Community outreach is also an important purpose. Advocating for and orchestrating changes to Augustana policy and community when necessary is also an important purpose for this club.” Contact Jennifer Terry (Vice President) via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- LU: Holds weekly meetings Monday nights @ 6 in Casa Latina “Latinx Unidos attempts to both celebrate and educate the campus about the Latino/Hispanic culture. The group is also actively involved in the local Quad Cities community. Members volunteer at local elementary schools and the Boys and Girls Club while also giving presentations to 7th through 12th graders about the importance of a college education.” Contact Cindy Morales (President) via email email@example.com.
2. Join Facebook Groups
- Quad Cities Progressive Democrats of America: This page offers links to articles, support, and events in support of PDA. They hold monthly meetings around the 22nd. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering or a leadership role.
- Pantsuit Nation is a national FB group consisting of about 4 million members. It is a group intended to create a supportive community for those who are liberal and progressive leaning. They often share events like protests and charity walks. It’s a great place to feel empowered by seeing what other people are doing and the support they receive.
- The Augustana College Women’s and Gender Studies page is another great resource to learn about things that are happening locally. It is a safe space to share articles, air out grievances, have open lines of communication, and be surrounded by caring, like-minded people.
3. Join Local Groups
- Rock Island County Indivisible is the local chapter of the national Indivisible organization. Their national mission statement is “Indivisible Illinois empowers local progressive groups by uniting and amplifying voices through networks, resources, and public platforms in pursuit of liberty and justice for all.” The RICO Indivisible meets once a month to discuss action plans, plan events, and have open discussions about the political state of our nation. They have a closed Facebook group that you can be added to by contacting Dan Morris via email email@example.com
- You can also get in contact with the Rock Island chapter of the NAACP to get involved with what they are doing in the local community. The General Membership meetings for the Rock Island County Branch NAACP are held monthly on every 2nd Thursday at 6:00pm at the Illinois/Iowa Center for Independent Living which is located at 3708 11 Street, Rock Island, IL 61201. Contact via phone @ (866) 369-9088
4. Stay in the Loop (from reliable news sources!)
- This seems to be a touchy subject for our President. Contrary to what he believes, news that comes from anywhere else besides Fox News and Breitbart is not, in fact, fake news. However, it IS important to recognize biases and partisanship from different news sources. This is an illustration to explain the political partisanship and reliability of popular news sources:
From this, it’s safe to say that The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News and a handful more are the least biased news sources that meet high journalistic standards and are accessible enough to understand. That being said, some online newspapers do charge you to use their services (for instance, The New York Times charges you $1 per week if you read more than 10 articles a month). Keep that in mind while searching for your news sources.
5. Sign up for Email Updates
- There is an email list for a group called Fight Trump. You can find their website here. They deliver calls to action in a weekly email, along with urgent action alerts when necessary. Their current weekly action report is to preserve women’s access to healthcare.
- Moving forward after November’s election, many optimistic people are looking towards future elections. The United States is now 97th worldwide in terms of women participating in government, with fewer than 20 percent of those in Congress being women. That being said, another great email list to sign up for is She Should Run (click here). It encourages young women to get involved in leadership and run for local office positions. It’s an empowering group to be a part of if you see yourself as a leader, know other women leaders, or even if you just want women to succeed.
6. Attend Protests
- After the earthquake of the Women’s March on Washington, there have been many aftershock marches. The next one is coming on April 22nd with the March for Science. We will most likely see the largest concentration of people in Washington DC, but the march is hoping to gain support from 400+ satellite marches across the globe. They are planning to have a march in Chicago if you can make it out there. If not they will also be hosting one in Davenport IA. You can learn more about these from their website here.
- Many of the groups that I have mentioned before will also update you on any kinds of other marches or protests they may be organizing or know of.
7. Follow Political Activists on Twitter
- A quick and easy way to stay in the loop with what is happening is to follow political activists on twitter. Due to the 140-character limit, they can only get so much information across but it is a useful tool to alert you of breaking news that you can continue to investigate yourself. Some active political tweeters to follow are:
8. Continue to Call your Representatives
- It’s never a bad time to call your representatives and let them know what you think about how they’re doing. We need it now especially. We know that calling our leaders offices are one of the only few effective things that individual Americans can do to voice their opinions and get things done. Putting pressure on your senators and representatives is a good thing to do! It also just feels good when you know that your voice has been heard (and when the volume of callers has jammed the switch board). You can use this website to find out who your representatives are if you’re not sure, or you can simply call (202)225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator and ask them to put you through.
9. Remember Self-Care
- This last point is especially important. Self-care during this time of political unease and conflict is crucial. It is important to note the difference between staying informed and being entirely submerged in a stressful situation. Know when it is time to log out of twitter or turn off the computer and take a break from the never-ending outpour of bad news. Your mental health will thank you.
- If you do happen to find yourself overwhelmed or needing to talk to someone, remember that Augustana has free counseling services. To make an appointment, call 309-794-7357, or stop by 206 Founders Hall and speak with secretary Cheri Mizaur. If you’ve had a bad experience with Augustana counselors, there are many counseling services nearby in the QC that you can reach out to.