But before we were an in-person group, we were an online group on facebook; and as the political winds have changed, so have we and we will again. The work continues as does the camaraderie. Here's what we're doing to adapt to this new environment.
1. Digital Organizing and Community-Building
As of last week, we officially canceled all in-person meetings and scheduled events. The leadership team has gone to weekly online meetings online to plan out the coming months. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we were on the verge of announcing monthly open meetings to invite feedback and suggestions and strengthen our network of engaged community members and leaders. We are still committed to this vision and are exploring options for how to make it happen online.
We were also on the verge of announcing spin-off groups and projects, such as Resistance Crafting to build community and raise funds, a Census project to engage especially immigrant communities, and a fundraising drive to cover food costs for outreach efforts and printing costs for voter education. We will be rolling out adapted versions of these initiatives where possible in the coming weeks. If you have any suggestions, please email email@example.com
2. Look to the Helpers
As Mr. Rogers said, in times of uncertainty and fear, look to the helpers. Helping makes us feel better and it remind us of all the good we can accomplish when we pull together as a community. So, what can we do to help one another and our most vulnerable populations weather the coming weeks and months of reduced social contact and mobility?
- What ideas do you have that would be doable by members of this group?
- Would you be able to help out in any way (making deliveries, making check-in phone calls, coordinating efforts, providing goods and services, bringing people joy through remote performances, etc.)?
- Do you or someone you know need any assistance and/or social engagement (in the form of phone or video calls)?
- Do you know of any organizations that are stepping up to help out by offering food (e.g. restaurants, food banks, schools), extended services (internet, etc.), entertainment (e.g. free online concerts, museum collections, etc.)?
3. Take care of yourself and others
This virus has upended all our lives. We must return to basics of self-care and kindness to get through this. Don't forget to eat, go for a walk outside, move your body, and call loved ones, friends, co-workers. Give yourself some grace as well as to others. Everyone is going through hard times.
4 . Manage News Consumption
For your own physical and mental health, try to take breaks and manage your news consumption. My top two daily quick reads that help me stay informed without getting overwhelmed are:
- WTF Just Happened Today - all political news of the day boiled down in one long sentence with summaries and headlines/links below (website, email newsletter, facebook)
- Heather Cox Richardson's Letters from an American - really insightful and often inspiring analysis of the most important political news from a history professor (website, email newsletter, facebook)
- For more suggestions, read How to Keep Coronavirus Fears from Affecting Your Mental Health (CNN, 3/18/2020).
For more suggestions, read How to Keep Coronavirus Fears from Affecting Your Mental Health (CNN, 3/18/2020).
We will continue to mourn, rage, organize, resist, celebrate, and hold space for one another (online).
We are still here.
We are spreading our message.
We are sending much love to you all.