How are you doing, #Firestarters? As we all continue to process the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas — and subsequent acts of gun violence in the U.S. — I want to continue our conversation about how we can respond.
In my last article, I talked about the importance of doing a “soul check” to guide your next steps. Today, we’ll get more specific about what those next steps might look like.
Before we do, though, I want to address something that might have come up for you when you did your soul check. Maybe you didn’t get too far with this exercise because you felt that there just wasn’t a point. That nothing will ever change. I get that. Anyone who cares about this issue has felt deep frustration sometimes. Myself included. But I also know this: There have been plenty of things that seemed like they would never change – until they did.
Or maybe you have felt that there’s nothing you can do — that you don’t have the right degree, the right job, the right social network, the right bank account balance. You name it. I’m here to remind you, though, that you don’t need a pedigree to create change. Movements need all kinds of people. And you might play different roles at different times.
Sometimes you might be a builder in a movement. You’re the one who plans a march or launches a nonprofit. You see the specific change that’s needed and you rally others around it.
At other times, you’ll be a supporter. You’ll find supporters attending a march or protest, joining committees, training other advocates or calling their elected officials to build support for a movement.
Finally, an amplifier is a valuable part of any movement. Every share or retweet from amplifiers really adds up. Amplifiers also give movements the financial power they need to grow. If you’re looking for an organization that will use your donation to make a real difference in the fight against gun violence, I recommend Everytown for Gun Safety. Also consider donating to support the needs of the people of Uvalde. The town has already seen an amazing outpouring of generosity, but their needs will be deep and ongoing.
What feels like the right role for you to play today? Whatever you’re being called to do, know that I am here to support you with everything from resources on sustaining yourself to inspiring stories and strategies.
P.S. Some of you might be wondering if this article applies to those whose views on gun safety differ from mine. It does. We’re all part of a democracy. And that means we all have a responsibility to have intellectually honest conversations that help us address issues and think of them in a different way. Blocking those conversations is not what we need right now.
With Faith & Fortitude,
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