Where Do We Go From Here?

We are at a crossroads. With the election of Trump, we’ve seen growing waves of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred and bigotry that can destroy us. It’s been two weeks since the election—two long weeks of all of us scared and angry, but also ready to do something. The morning after the election, all I could do was walk around in a daze. But the only thing that got me out of bed was knowing that we have the power to win.

Who is “we?” The “we” I’m referring to is everyone: your cousin, your roommate, the random person in your class. We are here because we know there’s power and strength in numbers. It’s time to organize and mobilize to create a social movement. We know we cannot live in the “United” States when we are not truly united. We refuse to be complacent in a system that does not let us be our free, uninhibited and unbridled selves.

Where do we go from here? We need to organize and mobilize to put pressure on elected officials, on our employers and on the people who have power. We need to use the power of the streets to make a change. We will march, protest, boycott, picket and continue to grow our strength in numbers. With a social movement we will change the hearts and minds of America. This is standing up and fighting back.

This past semester my co-worker Laura Gibbons and I have asked over three hundred students on campus: “If you can change one thing about America, what would it be?” Students want to end racism, hold police accountable for killing black people, make our votes count and get big money out of politics. We know something is not right.

Young people have always been an important part of social movements. Students created the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights Movement. They drastically changed and impacted what was possible. SNCC played a major role in the Freedom Rides, registering black voters in the Deep South, and in the 1963 March on Washington. Those students knew it was time to make a change and they seized the opportunity. It was because of young people, like us, that the Civil Rights Movement was so successful.

Now it is our time to drastically change the idea of America. We need to stand together: black, brown, white, gay, straight, atheist, Muslim, no religion, man, woman, non-binary, all of us. It’s our time to create our America that has real justice, real equality and real freedom. Most importantly, we need to fight against racism and poverty together, because they are intertwined. We will never be free or equal if there is wage disparity between race, gender and class.

Join fast food workers, healthcare and childcare providers, adjuncts, other low income workers, faith leaders and allies on the National Day of Disruption. On Nov. 29, 340 cities will be going on a one day strike. We will march in the streets and demand freedom, justice and equality for all. Tens of thousands of ordinary people will use their strength in numbers to get things done that they can’t on their own. Join us. Be a part of our strength in numbers to fight for an America we can all be proud of.

On Nov. 29, meet us on Main & Linwood at 5:30 AM for our 6:00 AM action; and on 63rd & Paseo for the mass rally at 5:00 PM and mass march at 5:30 PM.

 ehudson@unews.com

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