We at the TESA Collective are devastated by the election results and the rise of Donald Trump. To be clear, TESA does not officially support any individual party, but Donald Trump must be recognized for what he is: a fascist. We do not use that word lightly or as a hyperbole. His platform is rooted in white supremacy, misogyny, and a political framework that condones oppression of those who are not white, cisgender*, and/or a man.
Seriously addressing the election results means confronting the ideas that motivated 48% of people who voted in our country to support Trump. For many of us, especially white people, that statistic includes members of our families, neighborhoods, the communities where we grew up, and the spaces in which we live our lives.
In the wake of Trump’s election, we feel even more committed to the importance of social justice education in moving toward a society where every single person and community can live with dignity, and where we honor our responsibility to the Earth.
TESA creates tools and programs that help organizations and individuals implement popular education. What do we mean by popular education? We mean sharing and growing our knowledge together. We mean deeply questioning the lessons many of us have been taught over the course of our lives and engaging with those questions socially.
We need to have countless more uncomfortable conversations with people who have different perspectives from us. We will have to push ourselves past comfort zones and step out of social bubbles to talk to people with whom we disagree. We will have to be brave enough to speak up about racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and sexism in our workplaces, families, everywhere. And we will have to do it all with patience, humility, and courage.
TESA Collective is rededicating ourselves to standing with the communities that will be most severely impacted by Trump’s presidency: people of color, LGBTQI+ communities, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty. We are ready to counter the destructive policies and actions Trump’s administration will roll out. And we are asking ourselves more than before: how will I fight white supremacy and patriarchy in every sphere that I can?
Here are next steps to consider and ways to take immediate action:
- Join an organization that fights for justice in your community, or start one by bringing together the people you know.
- Think about your family members, old friends, neighbors, or anyone you know who voted for Trump or who is sympathetic to the ideas he campaigned on. Make a plan for how to reach out to these people in your life one by one and have an honest conversation with them about race, gender, immigration, and the impact of Trump’s presidency.
- If you have the financial means, make a list of organizations that fight for justice or that support the communities most impacted by systems of oppression. Send a donation or become a monthly sustainer.
- Support Indigenous water protectors in Standing Rock, North Dakota.
- Support the Movement for Black Lives. Ask any organizations you’re a part of to endorse the Movement for Black Lives Platform.
- Join Our Revolution and get involved in political movements.
- Ally with trans* communities.
- Stand with the fight against deportations by following Not1More, who often send out concrete ways to support people facing deportation.
- Contact the Sustainable Economies Law Center for legal tools based on community and economic resilience.
- For the workplace: get a consultation and some anti-oppressive materials and take a training or workshop with AORTA.
- If you are white, get involved in a local chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) or start your own.
The TESA Collective
*Being cisgender means identifying with the gender one was assigned at birth. Here’s a more complete explanation and list of gender definitions.