1. Donate to the ACLU. Like the Constitution? So do they. The American Civil Liberties Union is a non-profit, non-partisan team of lawyers and activists that defend constitutional rights. Charity Navigator gives the ACLU a score of four stars.
2. Read a good book and share it. I have read quite a few great books these days that emphasize the teaching of American history, cultural awareness, activism, and science and technology. Read them. Share them with your children and your friends.
- For the littlest of littles: Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America is a lovely picture book about the cultural diversity that makes America great.
- For elementary school kids: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock are great choices. Sit-In is a lovely book which tells very simply the story of the four African-American college students who sat at a “whites-only” Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960 to protest segregation.
- The Camping Trip That Changed America tells the story of what, in 1903, inspired Theodore Roosevelt to protect America’s wilderness.
- For high-schoolers and up: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a good one. The book is about a teenage hacker in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack in San Francisco, when The Department of Homeland Security clamps down on individual freedoms under the guise of ‘safety.’
- For anyone interested in the intersection of science and society: Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene is absolutely enlightening. It is not just straight science. It a history of how scientific discovery can change society, and how misunderstanding that discovery can lead to nightmare scenarios. (Which leads me to the conclusion that science education is now more important than ever, so everyone can have a clear understanding of science and not be lulled into false representations that can serve political purposes.)
3. Help defund horrible alternative news websites: Sleeping Giants, an anonymous internet collective, is aiming at “trying to stop racist websites by stopping their ad dollars. Many companies don’t even know it’s happening. It’s time to tell them.” If you have a twitter account, follow the steps below on How To Be A Giant:
Here’s one of my contributions (can’t wait to hear from the trolls on this one):
4. Contact your Congress person. Calling is most effective. Tell them how you would like them to vote on upcoming issues. If you like their votes so far, let them know. If you don’t know who is representing you in Congress, you can find out here.
I recently download a free app called Countable that tells you who is representing you. It also gives info on upcoming legislation. I haven’t used it much yet, so if you have any feedback on it, please let me know.
(UPDATE 3/17/17): You can also text-fax with Resistbot.
5. Grab your wallet. Go here to find out what companies you should be boycotting and why. Here is a current list of the top 10:
- Neiman Marcus
- L.L. Bean
- Hudson Bay
- T.J. Maxx
- Lord & Taylor
- Bed, Bath, & Beyond
(UPDATE 3/19/17): #grabyourwallet is a national campaign to boycott retailers that do business with the Trump family.