Originally posted on the Small Victories website
A New York Times reader asked Roxane Gay a question many of us have probably felt multiple times over the last 18 months: How can we stay engaged in activism and maintain our sanity in the midst of all of this despair?
Roxane gave practical advice, like picking one issue to focus time and attention instead of trying to do it all. But she also recommended allowing time for restorative self-care, and reminded the reader that she’s not alone:
“The grand thing about collective effort is that we can generally trust that someone is out in the world, doing important social justice work when we are too tired or burned out to join in…
“Every day, everywhere, people are doing the work of resisting oppression and tyranny in ways great and small.”
It takes a village to create positive, lasting change, and we’re so thankful for all of you who are doing your part.
-Alison & Stephanie
1. In a historic vote, Ireland has repealed the eighth amendment 35 years after its original passage, ending the ban on abortion and opening the door to full reproductive healthcare for women. This video announcing the results is a must-see. ❤🇮🇪
2. A church in Oakland, CA joined a growing number of religious institutions around the country who are “divesting” from police—aka asking members not to call the police in most circumstances and instead training their community in de-escalation and self-defense.
3. A new report found that sanctuary city policies and immigrant rights organizers are successfully impeding ICE’s operations.
4. Representative Tom Garrett is leaving office, becoming the 44th Republican in the House to not seek reelection this fall.
5. Another promising update in the court case against Trump inauguration protesters: Charges were dropped against seven more people from the #DisruptJ20 march, after it was discovered that prosecutors withheld evidence that would have exonerated the protesters.
6. After Parkland students organized die-ins at their grocery stores, Publix announced they will no longer give campaign donations to an NRA-supporting Florida gubernatorial candidate. As student David Hogg tweeted,
“The bond that good trouble and love creates will never be broken by hate and violence.”
7. An analysis of 2018 Democratic primary races showed that when at least one woman, one man, and no incumbent ran, women candidates won 45 out of 65 races. #WomenWave2018
8. Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that will expand Medicaid to roughly 400,000 newly-eligible low-income people in the state by next year.
9. Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who sued his high school after he was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, finally won his case.
11. Nearly 50 years after Congress first passed the Equal Rights Act, Illinois voted this week to become the 37th state to ratify the constitutional amendment. While it’s mostly a symbolic gesture, it’s nice to see the state where Phyllis Schlafly starter her anti-ERA campaign pass such a measure. #JustOneMoreToGo
12. Just hours after Roseanne’s racist, conspiracy-filled tweetstorm (that had zilch to do with Ambien), ABC president Channing Dungey canceled her show and her agency dropped her as a client. And let’s be real, this all could and should have been avoided in the first place, as the brilliant Roxane Gay reminds us.
13. Thanks to the work of Moms Demand Action and other groups, Rhode Island passed two new gun control bills.
14. The Senate passed a bill to reform the way Congress responds to sexual harassment cases. It’s not as good as the version passed by the House, so hopefully that will get addressed before it becomes law.
15. Come 2019, the UK’s largest grocery chain will no longer allow their products to include tough-to-recycle plastics.
Reading through these 21 fun facts warmed our hearts and inspired us to keep going even when it feels like things are standing still. And we’re pulling for this inspiring candidate—who made one of the best political ads we’ve ever seen—in her primary next month.