#WhoRunsTheWorld (Or #NowWhat)

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“Who runs the world?” -Beyonce (Women do, duh.)

Saturday’s global Women’s Marches scattered expectations, supporting various causes that included women’s rights, immigration reform, health care reform, environment protection, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, workers’ rights and to give Donald Trump the finger. A reported 673 marches took place worldwide, and in my hometown of Reno, over 10,000 men women and children took to the main street with signs and chants, positivity and hope.

So,now what?

My biggest fear is this movement will slowly fade as the year progresses. Where do we go from here? Despite my admiration for the high turn out of this weekend’s protests, what will be most impressive is what we do by putting our words and feelings into actions. Movements are not just about dramatic marches- they’re everyday acts of resistance, creating the positive change and seeing growth with issues we marched for.

First off, VOTE! Vote in your upcoming city, county and state elections! That is the biggest way to have your voice be heard. Support who and what what you believe in. Call, write and email your city’s and state’s representatives about the issues that you are concerned about the most.

Start by donating to organizations like Planned Parenthood, PFLAG, the ACLU and the National Lawyer’s Guild. Also, support media outlets like NPR that provide the public with reliable journalism.

I also understand if you’re broke (you and I both!). One of the simplest thing you can do is not be a passive observer if you see someone being mistreated. Stand up when you see someone being teased or harassed. Tell the abuser that they are wrong. One of the best way to support women, people of color, the LGBTQ, etc, is to stand up for them and never be complacent on something you believe will advance their position in society, as well as their happiness and safety.

If you are more community orientated, volunteer at one your local non-profits. Organize a toiletry drive for a local women’s shelter (shelters often need sanitary napkins and tampons the most). Spend some time at your local animal shelter- kitties and puppies need love, too. Get involved with political and advocacy groups in your area. Get off your couch, step out of your comfort zone, meet some cool people and make plans to change the world!

Remember that the resistance doesn’t stop with the march- we need to keep the drumbeat going and the pressure on from all sides and state. There is no “right” way to get involved- you simply need to get out there. Figure out what works for you. Then do it. JUST DO IT. Fight on, dear reader!

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#DearDonald

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Dear Donald,

Five years ago, I was walking towards Lennox Hill on my way to interview a source when I passed your building. I was impressed with its unique exterior design and when I peeked my head in, the I noted that the interior lobby was warm and inviting.

Unlike the lobby of your Upper East Side building, many don’t find you warm and inviting. They call you cold, callous and a racist. You’ve compared Mexican immigrants to criminals and rapists, proposed registering all Muslims and said of a Black Lives Matter protester, “maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” (You telling the Black community to vote for you because well, what else do we have to lose was tacky- in my opinion).

You mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski for his disability. You attacked John McCain for being a POW, saying “he’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

You were so eager for President Obama to show his birth certificate but you still haven’t released your tax returns.

Your wife, Melania Trump, allegedly lied about her college credentials in her biography at the Republican National Convention’s site and on her  personal website.  When she pulled the inaccurate biography down from her website, her team said “has been removed because it does not accurately reflect [her] current business and professional interests.” Not to mention her choice of words during the her RNC speech(thanks, Michelle Obama!). People comment that your staff is a joke.

Others claim that your outbursts and demeanor doesn’t fit the bill when dealing with domestic and international crisis., and you will continue to stick up only for the wealthy (not even the middle class) in this country.

Needless to say, I’m not your biggest fan. But I do appreciate all the entertaining television you’re providing. This coverage certainly better than your last couple seasons of the Apprentice– I’m excited to see what Arnold will do with the show when he takes it over. Andrea

#BlackLivesMatter (How to Keep the Movement Moving Forward)

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Protesters take to the streets on July 17, 2013 in Beverly Hills, CA.

Protesters take to the streets in California July 2013.

It’s been about a month since the multiple shootings that sparks protests, vigils and questions about race, law enforcement and gun violence in our country. My city and the surrounding municipalities hosted various rallies where individuals held signs, cried and spoke in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM). But now, as the media focuses its attention else where, I feel like the thought of BLM and the racism some Americans experience is fading from everyone’s minds.

And this depresses me.

A colleague asked me how to start a conversation about racism. I honestly had no idea how to answer him. It’s one thing, talking about the frustrations of dating in my town when you’re a person of color (something that I talk about with my girl friends often). But it’s another thing trying to explain racism and BLM with people who aren’t so open. After some thought, I told him that I believe people need to be more bolder and simply stop avoiding the subject in every day conversation. We shouldn’t wait for national headlines to bring to a harsh reality to light.

Even so, I feel that my answer is a cop out. I don’t know how to address racism to people other than my friends or those who read this blog. And I don’t know how to keep the movement moving. The one thing I know is that I can’t do this alone. The greatest thing I saw when I was at the Reno BLM rally was the amount of community members coming together for the common good. We still stood together, hand-in-hand spreading the word and the love. I believe if we’re going to change minds about the misconceptions of BLM and racism in general, we need to be physically present together– step out from behind our computers, meet (and meet often!) with certain shared goals and outcomes in mind and show the world that we mean positive business. We need to have more rallies, host lectures, volunteer in our communities and speak to our local government and advocacy groups- together. We need to slam down the negative stereotypes about our races and the Black Lives Matter movement. So… who’s with me?

How are you going to keep the movement moving, dear reader?