by Kate Vandeveld and Anne Rackow 

“Please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It's always worth it.” - Secretary Hillary Clinton

For many of us, this week has been one of incredibly high highs and the lowest of lows. We rallied behind the first woman to run for President as a major party candidate, and were shocked and devastated when that victory was secured by Donald Trump instead. In addition, the Republican party won majority in both the House and the Senate.

In the days, weeks, and months following the results of this election, in which the Republican party also won majority in both the House and Senate, it’s going to be difficult to come to terms with the fact that the outcome was so far from what many of us had hoped and planned for. It might feel debilitating, overwhelming, and scary.

Since Tuesday night, we’ve been thinking through the different ways that we can move forward, and we wanted to share to get your thoughts too. Before we get started, however, we want to make sure to note that the process we each go through can and should be different. Take your time to do what feels right for you. When you're ready, here are some of our thoughts: 

Election 2016: How We Move Forward via Whywhisper

Take care of yourself and each other

“I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort.”  - Secretary Hillary Clinton

To us, this is the most critical part of the process. In the face of grief, uncertainty, and fear, we need to prioritize self-care and the care of those around us. Recognize that your feelings are valid. Let yourself feel sad, overwhelmed, disappointed, shocked, scared and any other feelings you may be experiencing. Ask to work from home, or take the day off if you need it. Go for a run or do a yoga class or just meditate in your own living room.

Acknowledge that others may be grieving too. Pay attention to those around you, and if you’re able, offer to cover meetings, babysit, or make a meal for those who are struggling. Let them know that you are there to support them and, if it feels appropriate or necessary, share the contact information for help hotlines and resources. If you see someone being harassed or put down because of their race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, or ability, do something about it. This could mean approaching them to ask if they need help, calling the authorities, or engaging in some other way. 

Stay (or get) politically active

“Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let's do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear.” - Secretary Hillary Clinton

It can be easy to lose heart in the face of this kind of unexpected setback, but it’s absolutely critical that we actively participate in politics - particularly at the state and local levels. You can engage your current Senators and Representatives in conversations about issues that matter to you. Even if you commit to reaching out to just one official each month to let them know which issues matter to you and give feedback on their work, you’ll be making a huge difference in getting your voice heard.

Always vote in midterm elections. With the most recent election, the Republican party took control of both the Presidency and Congress, but midterm elections provide the opportunity to change the majority party in both the Senate and the House of Representatives every two years. These elections are crucial -- they allow Americans to assess their level of satisfaction with the President and Congress and make changes where needed. Since they don’t garner the same level of media attention and over-the-top campaigning, many forget about the midterm elections, which often leads to lower voter turnout. In fact, the midterm elections in 2014 had the lowest voter turnout for a national election in 72 years. Let’s set a new record in 2018 with the highest voter turn-out for a midterm election this country has ever seen.

Get more involved in the issues you care about

 by Alex Ostrow

by Alex Ostrow

“Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.” - Secretary Hillary Clinton

There are so many different ways you can further engage yourself in creating change around the issues you care about. Reach out to organizations who are doing work that matters to you to discuss concrete ways that you can support them. Together, you can determine which will be most effective -- time, money, skills, or some other option.  If you don’t already have an organization in mind or would like to learn about a few more, here are two lists of incredible pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-earth, anti-bigotry organizations that could use your support.  Do you know of others? Send them our way, and we’ll do our part to spread the word.

Practice inclusivity & compassion in your workplace

“The American Dream is big enough for everyone -- for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.” - Secretary Hillary Clinton

One of the most immediately impactful ways you can work for progress right now is by ensuring that your own company’s practices and policies are fair and inclusive.  Look at every level of your operations, from your employees, to the individuals you contract with, to your executive staff. Are your teams diverse? Are your employees given fair and equal opportunities for merit-based growth, regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, and sexuality? What do your hiring practices look like -- were they developed with diversity in mind? In order for us to ensure that our workplaces are fair and diverse, we need to actively take steps to assess them and make changes wherever necessary. Here’s some great information on how to go about it.

And if you’re considering moving to Canada, we encourage you to reconsider and move to a swing state instead -- we need you there

If you have other ideas for how we can best move forward in ways that are bold, compassionate, respectful, and unified, please share them by commenting below, sending us an email, or connecting on social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). We’re all in this together. Together, we can disrupt the hate.

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