This past Saturday, with thousands of others, I went to the Los Angeles Women’s March to show support for social justice and equality. It was my second Women’s March, and it was just as loud, crowded and inspirational as last year. All around me were signs with messages like “We won’t go back” and “Girls of today are the women of tomorrow.” Now, it’s tomorrow. The deafening chants of “This is what democracy looks like!” won’t appear again for a while. What do we do? Wait for the next protest?
I often get asked what exactly the purpose of the Women’s March is. And the truth is, I don’t quite know. Yes, it’s for awareness. Yes, it’s for outreach. But once I wake up the next morning, it feels like nothing has changed. This is the biggest problem with activism today. We all wake up maybe a few times a year to show up for a protest and make pretty signs, and then we continue on with our day-to-day lives. While attending protests is a good start, it is by no means the end of the road. If you’re feeling a bit helpless, like I am, here’s what we should do to continue our activism past the March.
Make sure you can vote.
The 2020 presidential election is inching closer every day. It’s vital that you’re registered to vote when the time comes, even for smaller, local elections. Every government official and every local policy makes a difference. Don’t miss out.
Direct your passion toward something concrete.
Call or write to your representatives about issues you care about, whether it’s regarding climate change or immigration, and urge them to take steps in the right direction. Are you angry about male politicians threatening women’s reproductive rights? Consider volunteering or donating for organizations like Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Federation.
It may be difficult to keep up the same energy post-march when everything else we do feels so small and insignificant. However, the Women’s March was born out of a few normal people protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration, and it blew up into a huge worldwide movement. You never know where things may lead, so might as well start now. Organize within your community. If leadership isn’t your forte, volunteer, donate, call your reps. As long as we don’t just sit still and wait for others to fix things, we can make a change.