Here’s what I’ll be talking about to folks visiting Washington D.C. this inauguration weekend on behalf of Stand With Me:
Fear and hate are rising in this country. The first thing you can do to combat this problem is to commit to fighting this problem. Doesn’t matter what you can do, even a commitment to doing so is a good step. Understand that it is unacceptable that people be made to feel less just because of the color of their skin, their gender or their religion. Make an internal commitment to peaceably resist those who do not agree with these fundamental human values.
The second thing you can do is support victims. Victims of hate incidents are especially vulnerable. They often feel tremendous fear and anxiety and if they are part of an already marginalized group such as the undocumented, they are afraid to report a serious crime to the police. In fact, the majority of hate incidents go unreported. Even a small act of kindness such as a phone call, a message on social media or help with groceries can be helpful. But you can do more.
The third thing you can do is get involved. Change in American public policy and public life happens in three primary ways: through legal means, through discussion and dialogue, and by means of elected and appointed individuals. So: 1) file lawsuits and report hate crimes to law enforcement, 2) write about your experience and those of others, and 3) vote or get involved in supporting a candidate who stands up for the rights of all Americans.
Learn more in my latest U.S News & World Report piece.