Since the news that Donald Trump has been elected the 54th President of the United States, I’ve been moving between anger, denial and resistance. It seems hard to believe that 54% of the women in the US—mostly college-educated, white women, to be specific—chose to vote for a man who is inexperienced in government, uneducated, a predator and everything else we know—and that the majority of white people in this country who voted—regardless of age or income—voted for him as well. The people who say that the band-aid has been ripped off the profound racism and hatred many people feel in this country are speaking the truth—and it’s terrible to see what that reality is empowering in schools and communities, even at this early stage—young Latinx people being told by peers they will be deported, Asian-Americans being shouted at “Go back to China,” and African-Americans continuing to be targeted in so many ways, but with increased legitimacy in many parts of the country. And when I think about climate change, the environment, world markets and the security and balance of our economy—I have no words.
And yet, my primary instinct is to fight. This is the time for all of us who share values around equity, inclusion, anti-racism, economic opportunity for everyone, the need for power-sharing and for strong education systems, healthcare systems, secure food systems, continued and growing equality for LGBTQ folks, and powerful local communities of color to stand together and double down.
I am not leaving and I am not hiding, I am fighting. I am fighting for what I believe in, and I don’t intend to fight alone. This is the moment, more than ever, when it is time to act on and practice what I believe, and to speak up and not be silent.
Every day I work with a community of young people of color and techies and educators who help them learn new skills and build on their already considerable strengths. I see young people who lacked the money to go to college learn skills that get them jobs that pay $19 an hour, totally shifting their options. I see young people who realize they can start business and own things, and who go to regional hackathons and conference and win prizes for their ideas and know, for sure, that they can build cool things that will help their dreams be recognized. These young people go on to college, they go on to better jobs, and they go on to pull in others from their communities into our program as well.
One way I am going to continue to fight is to double down on my work with Hack the Hood. I also call on friends and allies—especially my tech friends around the Bay area who may be wondering how they can really engage—to double down with me on this work as well.
Whether you choose to support Hack the Hood in our work in 5 counties around the Bay area, or you find other education and equity organizations to support, this is the time to get involved, not to hide in your houses and complain on social media.
For those of us who have the privilege of skills, of whiteness, of passing privilege, this is the time to stand with our community for what we believe in. This is the time that when Trump’s people try to come in and try to dismantle what we are building, many of us are standing together standing strong—and prepared to not only resist, but not to let the institutions, programs and organizations that support our values be changed or lessened without a fight.
For myself, I plan to apply that same resistance and need to fight to support the people of color, the other queer people, the undocumented people, Muslims, and everyone else that Trump’s hatefulness threatens without standing down. But I also know—as do you—that no one can succeed at resistance alone.
For me the first 100 days is going to look like this:
1) Deepen ties and support with people the new administration is marginalizing so we all very clearly stand together.
I see that as calling more of my tech and family community to engage in social justice work and offering resources and ideas for those who want to focus their energies by doing something locally to support local communities and young people, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
It is also holding the hands of everyone I work with, and the youth we support, so it’s clear we’re not going anywhere and we are addressing obstacles—and haters— together.
2) Build from determination and from love
More hatred will not create change. But loving determination will. And that means holding on to what I believe and supporting those who see a positive future, including Kamala Harris, Lateefah Simon and the Black Lives Matter movement. It also means helping our young people lead—like the wonderful youth from Arise High School in Oakland who peaceful marched—with many of their teachers!—this week to say #NotMyPresident.
3) Break bread together, and create more family
I am going to look to create and to support more opportunities for people in my world, and my work, to sit down together to create safe space, talk, and eat. This is one of the ways we hold fast—and one of the ways we support lasting change because—knowledge.
4) Look ahead to the future and organize
We have 4 challenging years ahead. What can we do right now to make sure that rights for LGBTQ people, women, Muslims, people of color—hey, that’s most of us—aren’t taken away? We need to be organizing now so rights we value cannot be further diminished—and we KNOW that is coming.
5) Support small business and small business entrepreneur
We’re moving into a government that has a history of feeding the rich first—and maybe feeding only the rich. Shopping locally, making sure small businesses are not invisible online and have tools to market and succeed—and that we thoughtfully keep our dollars in our local economies is critical.
6) Breathe, self care, spirituality, art
It’s always a marathon, never a sprint. Mourning, resting, exercising, it’s all good and needed. I also feel myself wanting to make more art, needing to be in more spiritual spaces—my soul needs to fight the disillusionment and oppression looming and all this helps.