This is meant to be the first of many posts on topics that interest me (and hopefully you) related to sustainability and social justice, both in English and Spanish. These posts will always end with a call to action, recommended books/documentaries/essays/podcasts, and the hope that you talk to your family and friends about these topics. Do it. Bring it up. Guaranteed it will lead to a much more interesting conversation than the weather.
As an innovative, young community, this is not a hard task to ask. I mean, that is what entrepreneurship is all about. Defying the status quo in search of a better outcome.
Disclaimer: I am not a writer. I do however seem to have many opinions, so here is my best attempt of communicating them. Lastly, all opinions are mine unless otherwise stated.
I’m a 25-year-old female, born and raised in Mexico, currently living in Canada, and working in sustainability. Donald Trump’s election was rough on various fronts.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to go back to Waterloo, the town where I attended university, had my first real job, and where a lot of my fundamental beliefs were influenced and informed. While at Waterloo, a good friend of mine asked me how I was dealing with the inauguration of Trump. Regretfully, the only response I had at the time was “media blockage”. And that’s it. That’s all I’ve done since November 9th. I’ve actively avoided watching the news, and have been pretending this whole thing isn’t happening. Spoiler alert, it is.
I’ve now decided to change my strategy. I am going to listen, read, share, and try to understand what happened to the best of my abilities. But most importantly, I am going to continue fighting to preserve and promote the values I hold close to my heart.
What happened after I caught up on some news outlets was both terrifying and inspiring. As a society, we are going through a true moment of crisis. What defines what happens next is how we all respond to this. My two cents will be to commit to continue conversations on sustainability, social justice, human rights, immigration, etc., and as mentioned above, I will end each post with calls to action.
Hopefully this will foster conversations in your circles, since we are currently trying to be silenced (I’m not even being dramatic, just try searching for anything on climate change in the White House’s website).
So, to sum things up
- Worry not, my posts will not be focused on Trump. Firstly because I’m terrified that if I mention his name too many times he will appear in a Beetlejuice-esque way.Maybe I should’ve just gone with He-who-must-not-be-named. Anyways, his election did inspire me to continue having conversations (particularly because he wants us to stop having these conversations). Rebel, I know.
- I’m a firm believer in acting locally to foster global change.
Find out ways to get involved in your community and surround yourself with loving and smart people who are not afraid to disagree with you- which leads to my next point…
- Respectful disagreements are the source of the most interesting conversations. Feel free to challenge any thought posted here – trust me, I, more than anyone know I can be wrong and have a lot to learn from others.These posts will undoubtedly be influenced (and enhanced) by people I am lucky to call friends. These are smart, accomplished individuals who have a lot of knowledge and I intend to leverage that – so I’ll make note of any idea and/or recommendation that is not mine.
- I like lists. Find another one below.
This month’s picks (calls to action)
- Why I march 10 actions in 100 days . What I liked about this cause is that it wasn’t purely against something (someone), but in favour of equality, human rights, respect, etc. Promote what you care about more than attacking what you don’t.
A positive outlook on the current US situation (economically) Why Trump’s Inauguration is not the Beginning of an Era- but the End by Peter Leyden. Leyden is the CEO of a startup and as any entrepreneur would, he is trying to see opportunities arising from a less-than-ideal situation.Since I wrote the first draft of this post until now, the number of controversial decisions (and the impact of these on people’s lives) keeps increasing. I know it is overwhelming, but I believe part of his strategy is to make so much noise we stop paying attention to some items. Here are a few topics I urge you to keep track of:
1. Muslim travel ban: the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting hard at the judicial and legislative level to protect rights and freedoms in the United States. They are doing some fantastic work for immigrants and are a reliable source of information.
2. Nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt not only has ties with fossil fuel companies, which in itself is a conflict of interest, but he is also a climate change “skeptic”. Remember, the scientific community has reached a 97% consensus that climate change is directly related to human activity. This means it is not an ideological issue or something you choose to believe in or not; it’s as much of a fact as gravity is. There is a lawsuit against him in place, and resistance from 450 current and former EPA employees.
3. Similarly, let’s not forget about the gag rule imposed on the EPA, National Parks Service and the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Resource Service. #SciencenotSilence
4. A LOT MORE:
- DeVoz’s appointment as Education Secretary
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – Pipeline approval
- “Mexico will pay for the wall”
- Planned parenthood, Obamacare, etc. etc.
- Book: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn – my co-worker Alex Cool-Fergus recommend it by saying “it will give you hope in humanity” and boy do I need that. Plus, how can you go wrong when your last name is Cool. It is basically the history of the U.S. told through the social movements that marked it.
- Be empathetic, be kind, be respectful, stand up for what you believe. If you see or hear comments that are racist, misogynist, disrespectful or aggressive to anyone in any shape or form, stop them.There is no excuse, and it all begins with our close circles. Now more than ever we need to remind everyone that even though an elected leader has all these undesirable qualities, it will never be an acceptable behaviour.