Here are 4 steps to get your GSA engaged in civic engagement and defending democracy
1) Talk to your GSA about how to support each other and take collective action together
Trans and queer communities have for a long time known that when we come together in a group, we are safer and more powerful. Your GSA can also be a squad to take collective action and provide collective support. What does this look like?
- Check out our GSAs Organizing for Change presentation from this year’s Virtual GSAs training series for an introduction to what organizing is, and some examples of GSAs organizing for change
- Support each other’s wellness. Review these resources together and have conversations like, “what kinds of support would you like to receive and what kinds of support can you offer?” or “what are some triggers you are aware of and what helps you move through these?”
- Join our online GSA trainings with GSA members to stay plugged in to latest updates!
2) Organize your GSA to Count Every Vote and Defend Democracy
We are back to basics y’all. Trans and queer youth and GSAs rely on basic democratic rights in our schools and communities to express ourselves and our identities. Anyone, no matter their age or voting status, can help to show a wave of support for defending democracy.
- With your GSA, pledge to take action by going to Count Every Vote and learning more about how you can take collective action to help maintain free, fair, and democratic elections.
- Make calls, send emails, and send tweets together as a GSA to your chief state elected officials between November 4 and December 8 (the deadline for resolving election disputes). Ask them to pledge to protect our election.
- Turn out to events that put pressure on local officials to Count Every Vote, if you feel safe doing so. Create greater safety by going in a group, attending daytime rallies, and taking stronger COVID-19 precautions. Go through these questions for evaluating your personal risk for joining in-person protests with your group and review our Pride & Protest resource before attending anything in person.
3) Prepare to take action, including mass mobilizations and nonviolent non-cooperation, if there is a false or premature declaration of victory.
It’s better to be prepared mentally and emotionally before jumping into action. We know from history that mass non-violent non-cooperation is the people’s most powerful tool for maintaining democracy when injustice occurs, and there are many different ways to take part and be prepared:
- Attend online mobilizations to raise awareness and educate your community
- Speak out on social media and talk to your peers about plans to take action
- Stay plugged into the latest updates by joining our online GSA trainings together with GSA members
- Remember to check-in with yourself and your peers, take deep breaths, and practice resilience together (see suggested activities below)
4) Share how your GSA is taking action and looking out for each other in this election season
We want to highlight what your GSA is doing to be there for each other! Tell your story in this moment in history. Here are some ways we can amplify your voice and actions:
- Tag us on Instagram @gsanetwork and use the hashtags #GSAs4Justice and #TQyouthpower so we can share your story
- Write a blog about your experience taking action with your GSA or friend group
- Create art to represent the issues that matter the most to you and this moment in history
Wellness Activities for your GSA:
- Review “What can I do to take care of myself?” tips together in this article by The Trevor Project, Coping with Intense Emotions Around the 2020 Presidential Election and complete this Wellness Wednesday- Emotional Safety Plan together.
- Take a look at our Wellness Wednesday- Physical Wholeness Checklist to prepare yourself for emergencies and define what physical nourishment means to you.
- Check out our GSA Network Queer and Trans Wellness Pack for LGBTQ+ coloring pages, tutorials, and care rituals to try out with your group
- Engaging in collective practices with a group is shown to increase resilience! This can be as simple as working on art or creative projects together, making music, dancing, or singing together, or trying out collective breathing or meditation. Our Virtual GSAs Resource Page has many different activities you can try out!
- Keep an eye out for future Wellness Wednesdays on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@gsanetwork) where we will share resources on creating mental and physical wellness plans, activities, and tips for supporting your wellness!
Mobilization Safety Resources for your GSA:
- Review Pride & Protest resource guide for tips before joining a protest
- Review the Nonviolent Civil Action Safety & Protestor’s Rights slides from our safety training
- Check out Get in Formation: A Community Safety Toolkit by Vision, Change, Win for advanced safety preparation if you are ever thinking about planning or leading direct actions