Five Actions That Will Help Strengthen Our Democracy in 2018by Your friends at the SPLC January 10, 2018
We’re one week into the New Year, which means you’ve probably decided on your resolutions. But have you considered your impact on social justice this year?
We encourage you to be an engaged member of a democratic and tolerant community by considering these five actions that will help strengthen our democracy.
1. Pledge to start a conversation.
Your brother routinely makes anti-Semitic comments. Your neighbor uses the N-word in casual conversation. Your classmate insults something by saying, “That’s so gay.”
And you stand there, in silence, thinking, “What can I say in response to that?” Or you laugh along, uncomfortably. Or, frustrated or angry, you walk away without saying anything, thinking later, “I should have said something.”
This is the year you don’t stay silent. Speak up. Use our guide on responding to hate and bigotry to get the conversation started.
2. Pledge to be informed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Make a pledge to stay informed in 2018 about your government, your community and the injustices occurring to those around you.
Here are four books we recommend for your 2018 reading list.
- On Tyranny – Timothy Snyder
- The March Against Fear – Ann Bausum
- The Blood of Emmett Till – Timothy Tyson
- The Color of Law – Richard Rothstein
3. Pledge to stay engaged.
In a year where the news cycle can feel relentless, it’s more important than ever to be a positive member of your community.
One of the most effective ways to stay engaged is volunteering for a cause that matters to you. Contact local organizations for information on opportunities or search online.
4. Pledge to make your voice heard.
A more just and tolerant society relies on the voices of many, not just a few. Turn outrage to action in 2018 by taking one or more of the actions below:
- Join a non-violent protest.
- Call your lawmakers.
- Share reliably sourced information on social media.
Find out more ways to make your voice heard in our 10 Ways to Fight Hate guide.
5. Pledge to take real-world action.
In 2017, we saw President Trump resurrect a lie — that voter fraud is pervasive in our nation’s elections. He offered no evidence. There is none. In fact, studies show conclusively that voter fraud is exceedingly rare.
At best, Trump’s search for phantom voter fraud is a distraction from the very real voter suppression efforts being systematically carried out across the nation – and from the recent, high-profile federal court decisions striking down those laws.
Take action to sustain a diverse democracy in 2018. Here are some ways to start:
- Host a voter registration drive.
- Attend your local government meetings.
- Consider running for office.
Share our banners on social media to let your friends know what you’ll be doing this year.
Your friends at the SPLC