Eat, pack, read. 9 ways to make a difference

Fifty-four days into this presidency, I’m finding doable ways to make a difference, while balancing paid work, the laundry, and moments of joy.

What can one person do to make a difference? Here’s nine attainable actions:

1. Eat!

Eat out tomorrow and support immigrants. Rising Restaurants  All day Wednesday, March 15, more than two dozen Twin Cities restaurants are donating a portion of their proceeds to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, to help cover costs for the many immigrants facing deportation.

2. Write

Also tomorrow, the Ides of March, mail a postcard to the White House for the Ides of Trump. Send the president a pink slip, demand his taxes, etc.IMG_20170307_073159

I’m writing Governor Mark Dayton asking that he veto anti-protester bills. I’d love to get lots of people to deliver Protest Postcards on a Stick, mini-protest signs to Governor’s office. We need free speech and the civil dissent, right to speak out against wrongs our government is doing.

3. Call

This Friday, March 17, call Carver County Attorney’s office, 952-361-1400 to demand that charges be dropped against Louis Hunter. Louis is charged with two counts of felony riot for protesting the police killing of his cousin, Philando Castile last July. If convicted, Louis faces ten years in prison, the same sentence facing the cop who killed Philando.

4. Pack

Monday, March 20, Pack the Courtroom to support Louis Hunter. Noon press conference outside the Ramsey Country Courthouse; 1:30 hearing.

5. Meet

The ACLU launched a new Freedom Cities campaign, to disable Trump’s deportation machine, using People Power, that’s all of us who want to make a difference. The first step is meeting with local law enforcement. We need to ask our police and sheriffs not to participate in the fed’s crackdown on immigrants. Twin Citians can meet and thank local law enforcement for their resistance. Twin Cities law enforcement take stand against doing federal immigration enforcement

6. Attend!

Buy a $10 ticket and attend 1,000 Who CAIR, a March 25th event at St. Kate’s. The Council on American Islamic Relations wants to empower 10,000 Minnesotans in the fight against bigotry and hatred. I’m excited to hear Gold Star father Khizr Khan, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Civil Rights leader Nekima Levy-Pounds and others talk about how we can stand against Islamophobia and for civil rights. Want to do more?  Become a sponsor

7. Join

Standing Up for Racial Justice  offers many ways IMG_20170308_095532for white people to get involved and be an ally to people of color. SURJ-MN and other groups, like Protect Minnesota, mobilize people, helping us track what’s happening at the Legislature. We packed a committee hearing about permitless gun bills.

8. Read!

There’s lots to do and for me at least, lots to learn. Philando’s killing and the November election forced me to see how little I know about our country. I’m reading more about people whose life experiences differ greatly than mine.new_the-latehomecomer

The Latehomecomer describes one Hmong family’s life, written by award-winning Twin Cities author Kao Kalia Yang. Next up on my to-read list, Yang’s new memoir of her father, Song Poet,  a National Book Award and a Minnesota Book Award.

PrintA Good Time for the Truth, a collection of essays on race in Minnesota, remains my top book pick. Schools, civic groups, and book clubs should all read it. The title stands as anthem for our era. Read it.

This is an Uprising offers solid background and motivating ideas for how citizen activists and movements can succeed.

img_20160930_131605Green Card Voices by a Minneapolis nonprofit of the same name, gives immigrants the opportunity to tell their own stories. This book tells stories of students at Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis. I’m looking forward to June, the publication of a new Green Card Voices book of stories from students will offer  from Saint Paul’s LEAP High School.

9. Follow

Sure, Facebook has lots of cute cats and wacky lies, but it’s also an easy way to find of what other people are thinking and doing. Check out Robert Reich’s Inequality Media, Dan Rather’s News and Guts Shaun KIng’s Injustice BoycottNAACP MPLSACLU-MN,  Color of ChangeSupport Louis Hunter

Thanks to Stencil Archive for the SF Valencia Resistance is Fertile artwork.


Author: katehavelin

Whether I'm walking trails or exploring favorite places from my home in Saint Paul to New York, Paris, or Hong Kong, travel keeps me moving forward through life. I've written two trail guides for adults and sixteen nonfiction books for young people, along with dozens of magazine articles and essays.

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