By Emma Drongowski
JCUA’s Avodah Fellow
After Election Day, I experienced what I can only describe as the five stages of grief. I felt desperately sad, and then I was consumed by anger, and then fleeting denial that maybe the next years won’t be so bad, and then bargaining–”Maybe a recount?,” and then finally(and only recently) acceptance. Not acceptance that I would be a complicit or quiet in a Trump presidency, but that acceptance that something, and something big was going to have to be done. So I looked around–where are the adults? Where are the people that are going to fix this awful mess that we have got ourselves into? Where are the doers, the fixers? How will the Jewish community stand up to fight this injustice? Where are the people who recognize the absurdity in this administration and will stand up and say so?
And as I sat and waited for someone to come out with the “Ten step guide to getting rid of Donald Trump” pamphlet, I had the terrifying and exhilarating realization that it is us. It is me. We are the fixers, the doers, the changers. We are the ones who must, and who will stand up and resist. We are the ones that Alice Walker and Margaret Mead and Mohandes Ghandi meant. WE are the ones we have been waiting for, and WE are the small group of dedicated citizens who will change the world, and WE must be the change we wish to see in the world. And those words are no longer simply inspiring quotes, but intense and immediate calls to action. If I am the one who must step up to change my world, where do I even begin? How do I begin to support and assist the dozens of communities and issues that have are being targeted by the Trump administration? How do I use my Jewish values, texts, and communities to build a more just world?
I understand that I cannot take on this challenge or this administration on my own, and look to the many groups and people that were doing great work BEFORE the election and need our support more than ever. And I look at the small, tangible steps I can take to resist Donald Trump, and to stand up and fight back against his discriminatory policies and hateful rhetoric.
At JCUA, there are many steps we are taking to support marginalized communities and to continue to dismantle systems of oppression:
► In our work with the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, a workforce that is composed primarily of women of color and women who are immigrants. Protecting their ability to earn a living wage is more important than ever. Sign a pledge to commit to the ethical treatment of domestic workers and share on social media to encourage others to do so!
► After decades of unchecked misconduct in the Chicago Police Department, stand with our city’s most policed communities by joining us on April 2 for Out From The Narrows: A Passover Community Meeting for Police Accountability.
Find ways that work for you to help move this larger fight for justice forward. We are the ones we need right now, you can make a difference.