“Despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals — that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.” — George Orwell
If the world ever needed your thought-leadership, it sure does need it now. Regardless of how you voted, we are about to undergo a massive paradigm shift, a rethinking of the purpose of government and what it means to be a democracy. If you believe, as David Remnick at the New Yorker said, this election result is a triumph of misogyny, racism, nativism and authoritarianism, you need to be deeply tapped into the value of your knowledge and experience as the antidote. If you believe this result presents opportunities to reshape institutions or perhaps explore notions of what strong states’ rights really looks like in modern society, we’ll need your analysis. Practically speaking, many of the issues on the table such as the Affordable Care Act, reproductive rights, economic access, criminal justice reform and immigration speak directly to your areas of expertise. And because nothing is new under the sun, Teresa, Michele, Chelsea, Katie and entire The OpEd Project movement sincerely need your expert context, perspective and lived experiences to explain what’s at stake and our role in it.
Help us to understand.
I’ll leave you with these thoughts from J.t. Roane, my friend and an alum of The OpEd Project at Columbia University: “The gloves been off, but it just got really nasty. Art, beauty and radical organizing is all we have. The fire next time is now.”
Periodically we share wisdom from our team with our community. The above letter was sent as a weekly missive to the Public Voices Fellowship cohort at The Ms. Foundation from leader Deborah Douglas.