1.20.17: Fired up, ready to go.

"On the night Obama was elected there was a rush of emotions for my family and me. Not only did we cry tears of joy, but we laughed, [and] ran in the street bare feet knocking pans and [stopping] traffic. It was our way of celebrating change, not only change in political office but change as a whole for us being black in America. As a black American I now feel more pride not only for my color and race but also for my generation."

January 20, 2009 was an awesome day. My Brooklyn high school students had organized a massive celebration for Barack Obama's inauguration, which we celebrated with a viewing party, followed by speeches, performances, pizza and dancing. A former student, who would probably kill me if she knew I shared her high school essay on the internet (Hi T'Neil!), wrote the quote above as part of an contest on "What Obama's presidency means to me." She didn't win the contest, but I've kept her writing and her classmates' for the past eight years. When things feel tough or the future seems bleak, their words and the lives they are now living give me hope.  Today's call to action: don't lose hope, let's do this shit, and remember to breathe.

Learn: believe that we can get through this

Get started by watching this video from The Atlantic about the origin of Barack Obama's "Fired up! Ready to go!" chant, then dig into some reading.

 

Act: take care of yourself and get ready to do this shit

  • Take and share the People's Oath and promise to protect yourself and your fellow Americans over the next four years
  • Are you watching the Inauguration right now? Turn it off and go read the articles listed above! They'll make you feel better about our ability to save our democracy than watching the man who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes take the oath of office.
  • Check to see if any of your representatives are boycotting the Inauguration. If they are, take a minute to say thank you on social media.
  • If you haven't made your protest signs yet, here are some awesome ones made by our graphic designer, Sarah
  • If you're still feeling down in the dumps, here are three acts of resistance that have inspired us this week:
    1. Singer Rebecca Ferguson's refused to sing at the Inauguration unless she could sing Strange Fruit
    2. This woman calls Mike Pence every day to talk about her period
    3. Fiona Apple has released an anti-Trump protest chant for this weekend's events

Share: find a friend and take a breath

Just one thing today: check in with a friends and family members who are feeling stressed, threatened, or afraid because of Trump's presidency and let them know you have their back.

We'll be back tomorrow with a new call to action, and if you're marching, we'll see you there. We're all in this together. Every day counts.