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MY100DayPlans Civic Action Organization Index

MY100DayPlans Civic Action Organization Index

Over the past 100 days our goal has been to promote some of the best and most effective organizations doing exceptional civic work all over the country, in all communities, on a wide range of causes. Below we’ve compiled a handy Civic Action Index of all 65 featured organizations for your reference.

The organizations and actions we highlighted in this campaign were selected to help you:

  • Resist the politics of fear, greed, xenophobia and authoritarianism.
  • Rebuild threatened Democratic institutions and damaged relationships between family members and communities.
  • Recharge your mind, body and spirit to stay grounded and refueled for the long haul.

Organizations range from government agencies under assault to small grassroots organizations to massive organizations and back to new fledgling movements born on that fateful election day of November 8, 2016. The list below is quite wide-ranging, but it doesn’t even include all the protests, films, books, and funny videos featuring tubists assaulting KKK parades which we’ve shared in this campaign to spark creative civic action.

If you care about the future of your family, your friends, your community and this country, odds are you’re going to find an organization here that fits your cause and that will provide the network for support to keep you engaged in the weeks and months ahead. Don’t be afraid to pick one or a few of these organizations or causes and dig in deep. Consider what talents and resources you have to give, what communities you have access to, and join forces with others to use your superpowers for good.

We need you. We need each other. We hope this helps you stay in the game.

Thanks especially to all the powerful people leading these organizations and working overtime to keep these vital movements afloat.

Resist! Rebuild! Recharge! And viva la Revolución!


Action Group Network

A nationwide network of action groups dedicated to moving the country progressively forward in the wake of a divisive election.



Protect free speech and the right to protest. Fight relentless attacks on reproductive freedom. Push for reforms to our racially-biased criminal justice system


All Sides

Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.


Americans for the Arts

Foster the arts. Protect civil society. Visit the Arts Mobilization Center for a set of advocacy talking points and tools.


The Amplifier Foundation

A visual media experiment dedicated to amplifying the voices of grassroots movements through art and community engagement.


Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect

The U.S. national organization in the worldwide network of Anne Frank organizations, addresses civil and human rights across America.


A​rch​itects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility

Working for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.



The Encyclopedia of American Politics.

Learn more about SNAP and other food assistance programs.


Black Lives Matter

A statement about raising awareness, and Black Lives Matter Media is exposing racism peacefully and proactively locally & worldwide.


Brand New Congress Effort

They want to replace nearly every member of Congress on the grounds that reps from both parties have failed America.


Can I Vote?

A nonpartisan website was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote.


Catch a Fire

This organization makes it easy  for talented professionals to give their skills to mission driven organizations in need.



The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.


Community Justice Reform Coalition

Community action to prevent gun violence.



Daily updates on your lawmakers and key developments on the issues you care about.



An international social media campaign that took place on February 17, 2017. On this day, museums, libraries, archives, cultural institutions, science centers and other trusted public sources of knowledge shared mission-related content using the hashtag #DayofFacts.


Democratic Coalition

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump (DCAT) was formed in the Spring of 2016 with the main goal of making sure that Donald Trump never became President. DCAT now exists to hold the Trump White House accountable. Boycott app.


Digital Democracy

A free online platform offers a searchable database of state legislative committees hearings, allowing the user to search videos by keyword, topic, speaker, organization or date. A project of the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.


The Drug Policy Alliance

The United State’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.


Fire the Fool

A Digital Demonstration online and around the world.



A Google Chrome Extension that enables Twitter users to replace their own feed with that of another real Twitter user.


Girls Who Code

A national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.


Grab Your Wallet

Database of all the companies selling Trump products to boycott.



An app to guide your meditation.


Here to Stay

Builds sanctuary spaces and deportation defense networks.


Improv Everywhere

High jinks that bring joy to our hearts. Improv Everywhere aims to surprise and delight random strangers through positive pranks, or “missions.”


Informed Immigrant

Immigrants and allies can learn about your rights and share with your family, friends, and community to stay safe, informed, and empowered.


Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

Delivers your postcard to a refugee child.


The Judicial Learning Center

Promotes public understanding of the function and value of the judicial branch of government, especially at the federal level.


Lady Parts Justice

The first not safe for work, rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub that uses comedy, culture and digital media to sound an alarm about the terrifying erosion of reproductive access so people will get off their asses and reclaim their rights.


Legal Aid Societies:

The Bronx Defenders

The National Immigration Law Center

National Legal Aid and Defender Association


March for Science

On Earth Day, May 22, 2017, the Science March in Washington DC and around the world took place. Visit their website for ongoing actions.



A new political home for Latinx & Chicanx organizing.


MIT Media Lab

The lab is offering a $250K prize for rebels with a cause who break the rules to achieve positive change. Deadline May 1.


The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)

Promotes the provision of high quality, comprehensive and affordable health care. They help medically underserved populations.


National Endowment for the Arts

An independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.


National Priorities Project
Works to inspire individuals and movements to take action so our federal resources prioritize peace, shared prosperity, and economic security for all.


National Sexual Violence Awareness Center

Provides leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.


Peace Action

Peace Action is a national, grassroots organization committed to organizing a citizen movement working toward disarmament.


People’s Climate March

Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate.


Radical Teacher

Founded in 1975, is a socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal dedicated to the theory and practice of teaching. It serves the community of educators who are working for democratic process, peace, and justice.


Register to Vote

You can register to vote here.


Remembering Trayvon

Toolkits to discuss Trayvon Martin’s death.


Resistance Calendar
A central listing of upcoming progressive events. Crowdsourced events are checked for accuracy and added to the calendar by a team of volunteers. They have no funding.


The Resistance Manual

Created by members of Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter and crowdsourced publicly.


Resistance School

A free four-week practical training program to sharpen skills you need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels.


Revolutionary Love Project

A volunteer-run project that offers calls to action, tools, inspiration, and support to fight for social justice through the ethic of love.


Students for a Sensible Drug Policy

An international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact of drug abuse on our communities, but who also know that the “War on Drugs” is failing our generation and our society.


Teaching Tolerance

Resources for educators on how to foster tolerance in class and out.


This is Hunger

A Jewish Response to Hunger’s interactive media experience aimed at eradicating hunger by Mazon.


Town Hall Project

Town Hall Project empowers constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives.


The Trayvon Martin Foundation

A social justice organization committed to ending senseless gun violence, strengthening families through holistic support, S.T.E.A.M. education for women and minorities and mentoring.



Brought to you by the Live Free Campaign, this action shows how to pass an ordinance in your city.


United Nations Disarmament

Information from the United Nations about disarmament.


United We Dream

The largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.


The US Small Business Association

A resource that has great tips for minorities who want to start their own businesses.



Find a cause that lights you up. Get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.


Web Foundation

Blends powerful advocacy, cutting-edge research, and practical innovation to build a better web for all.



Trains and supports activists and citizens around the world to use video safely, ethically, and effectively to expose human rights abuse and fight for human rights change.


Women’s March

January 21, 2017 march supporting women across a spectrum of issues.


World Justice Project

Know of what the rule of law is, and decide for yourself how we are faring.


The Yes Men

More than just pranksters. They tackle global warming, gun control, government surveillance, and drug policy. They also empower and teach everyday citizens how to create, execute, and publicize their own activist pranks with Yes Labs.


100 Days and Beyond: Resources for Self-Education

100 Days and Beyond: Resources for Self-Education

By S. E. Fleenor

For many people, the election of the current administration served as a resounding wake up call. Millions of people, many of whom had never protested before, have been pouring into the streets in record numbers. In the first week of February, some congressional offices reported receiving as many as 1.5 million phone calls from concerned citizens. Many hope to sustain this work, but the question of momentum has reared its head: Can the diverse pockets of resistance maintain their energy or coalesce into a unified movement?

In response to this question, we must each ask ourselves how we will continue our engagement in resistance. One powerful way to fight ignorance and the rise of a demagogue is through self-education. By learning more about who we are and how we engage in society, we each chip away at the myopia that got us into this situation in the first place.

You may be asking yourself, “But, how?” Well, luckily, there are some sage folks who have been invested in this work and are bringing new folks into the fold. The path to equity may be rocky, especially if it is a new endeavor for you, but here are a few (of many!) organizations that can help you push into newfound territory, surrounded by community.

  • “Our country’s political leaders are poised to erode support for refugees, immigrants, trans and queer individuals, and de-fund women’s health initiatives,” says Nora Bashir, Executive Director at the Chinook Fund. The Chinook Fund and its programs, including the Giving Project, work to ensure “our most vulnerable communities are protected and heard.” Since 2015, Bashir has been leading the implementation of the Giving Project, an intensive six-month program that pairs a critical analysis of race and class with grassroots fundraising to move significant dollars to social justice initiatives. Participants are asked to commit six months to training in grant making, building a collective framework for understanding social justice, fundraising, and evaluating and granting funds to applicants through consensus. In turn, participants will learn about active organizations in their community, traditional philanthropy, and grassroots fundraising, to name a few. This program exists at various sites throughout the country, but originated at Social Justice Fund Northwest, an organization that has been training sister funds throughout the country to implement this innovative funding model. To get involved, reach out to a giving project near you!
  • Founded in 1998, Resource Generationis a nationwide organization that organizes young people with wealth and class privilege around economic equity. Neal Feldman, a member of the Leadership Team, describes how he came to Resource Generation, “I was at a point in my life where my class privilege was staring me directly in the face, and I knew I had to address it, to break social isolation and feelings of shame and guilt around it.” In that vein, according to Feldman, Resource Generation works to build “a community of like-minded people, and tools to take responsibility of our class privilege, and people to hold each other accountable to that responsibility.” Participants can expect to learn about fundraising, utilizing one’s privilege to create equity, including engaging in policy change. Feldman says, “We need to put ourselves on the line, financially and with our bodies, whenever it’s needed, because the current administration is already raising the stakes of struggle and waging so many negative impacts on most ordinary American peoples’ lives.” To get involved with Resource Generation, visit their website, find them on Facebook, and show up!
  • Meetup was launched in 2002 to leverage social networking to get people to meet in person. On February 13 of this year, Meetup released an email announcement to its members. In part, the email reads “after the recent executive order aimed to block people on the basis of nationality and religion, a line was crossed. At a time when core democratic ideals feel under attack, we feel a duty to spark more civic participation.” In that same email, the Meetup community took a groundbreaking step and announced the founding of #Resist Meetups, gatherings promoting opportunities to resist the current administration and rally around creating the world participants desire. With over 130,000 members participating in over a thousand Meetups, it’s safe to say the #Resist Meetups have taken hold. Participants can expect to connect with other passionate people around resisting the current administration. To get involved, simply log in and find a #Resist Meetup near you!

These are only three of the many resources out there to help you continue your self-education while being supported by community. We need each other not just to get the work done, but to be held accountable for the more ineffable, interior work we each must do to become a society that values each and every person. Moreover, having a community of people who are engaged in this work will provide you with a wellspring of energy, encouragement, and joy.

The president’s first 100 days may be drawing to a close, but our work has only just begun.

 S.E. Fleenor writes novels and non-fiction essays centering on feminism, pop culture and social justice. Fleenor is also Executive Director of a non-profit in addition to serving as a non-profit consultant and a copyeditor. Website:


How to Resist, Rebuild and Recharge with Your Wellness Community

How to Resist, Rebuild and Recharge with Your Wellness Community

By Janine White

In response to Trump’s presidency, gyms, yoga studios and wellness centers across the country are experimenting with how to engage their clients and communities in the Three R’sResisting, Rebuilding, Recharging. Given that about 50.2 million Americans currently belong to health clubs and 36.7 million adults practice yoga, such spaces can provide a real opportunity for people to build healthy practices both physically and politically.

Here’s an example of how our yoga studio in New York has sparked new levels of mindful social action with our community. We hope our story might inspire ideas about how some of these actions could work at your favorite wellness spaces.

At Harlem Yoga Studio in New York where I teach, we’ve created a monthly Mindful Community in Action group, hosted by studio owners Erica Barth and Laurel Katz-Bohen. Political issues deeply affect us and our communities: from Women’s Rights to Black Lives Matter, Healthcare, LGBTQ rights, the environment, the list goes on. Our yogis are committed to taking what we practice on our mats — compassion, mindfulness, self-care, and community well-being — out into the world.

In designing these Mindful Community in Action gatherings, we cast a wide net across our HYS community and beyond, drawing on a number of guiding resources. I originally met Erica in 2014 at Off the Mat, Into the World’s Yoga, Purpose and Action Intensive, inspiring yogis to work towards social change. In partnership with CTZNWell, we co-hosted a Vote Together Circle just before the 2016 election as part of their VoteWell Campaign. This workshop connected our yoga practice with a reflection on how our election choices could promote well-being in our communities. The Indivisible Guide and Wall-of-Us have also been great resources.

In a nutshell, our monthly meetings take place on Sundays from 2-5pm. They’re open to all members of the HYS community and anyone else interested in participating. We devote the first half of the session to yoga and meditation, and the second half to discussion and civic action.

In the spirit of learning and sharing, here are more details and thoughts about how HYS’s Mindful Community in Action group has provided space for recharging, rebuilding, and resisting.


I start with this one because it might seem the most obvious, and because it’s how we begin our meetings. The first hour involves gentle yoga and short meditation practices. This helps to ground us in our experience and brings us into the moment. Movement and meditation also support us as we process the stress we may be feeling as a result of what’s going on in our world these days. This practice can be transformative in the small way that we can almost guarantee a shift in how we feel (often for the better) by the time we’re done. Or we might have an a-ha moment when something makes sense in our bodies or our minds as we start to unwind. We often conclude this practice feeling more in touch with ourselves, and more recharged to dive into addressing the challenges going on around us.


Speaking more generally about our action group as a whole, practicing in this community lets us know that we’re not in this alone. It’s a chance for us to move together and breathe together. After the silence of our meditation, we also reflect in conversation on how we’re dealing with the current political climate. While it may at times feel like we’re preaching to the choir with our political views, HYS represents a diverse community of races, genders, ages, bodies, countries of origin, languages, etc. Through our shared practice and political engagement, we build connections across differences that are supposed to divide us. This in and of itself is an act of resistance, and something that has become more important than ever. The diversity reflected in HYS yoga practitioners and action group members makes for rich and wide-ranging conversation in our supportive group.


The second half of the meeting funnels our recharging and rebuilding into concrete resistance actions:

  • Each month, our agenda involves informing each other about and addressing a few key pressing, specific issues at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • We have divided up roles and responsibilities for the group (referencing the Indivisible Guide’s Toolkit).
  • Group members have also volunteered to keep tabs on issues identified as most important to our group and share updates with everyone at the meetings and on our Facebook group.
  • We often write postcards to local, state, and federal officials as well as to business leaders, influential people or institutions in the media to show our support for their actions, or offer our encouragement for them to change their direction.
  • The group has also been a platform for organizing attendance at the Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. and New York City in January, as well as other local protest actions that have taken place over the last few months.

These actions highlight just a few ways in which a well-being community – whether it’s a yoga studio, a meditation center, or a gym or workout space – can join the Resistance. For many, the 2016 election has shown just how political our individual choices are, as well as the importance of our communities, which we cannot take for granted.

It might seem scary or unusual to bring up politics in this kind of space, but it can start with something as simple as introducing yourself to someone on the mat next to you, finding out what brought them there that day, and seeing where the conversation goes from there.

Do you think your local yoga studio or wellness community might be interested in hosting a community action group? Are you in the Harlem/New York City area and would like to join us? If you have any questions or would like to share your own story of how your wellness community has joined the Resistance, we’d love to hear from you!

 Janine White is a yoga and mindfulness instructor who works with non-profits focusing on the intersection between education, youth development, and social justice. She offers workshops for diverse groups of youth and mission-driven organizations to support leadership development, team-building, and health and wellness. She can be contacted here. You can also contact Harlem Yoga Studio via their website.


MY100DayPlans Film Club: Films to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge

Welcome to the MY100DayPlans film club! As with our book club, we will update this post with recommendations from our network of activists, educators, movers & shakers to help you Resist, Rebuild & Recharge.

We would also love to hear from YOU. Tweet at #MY100DayPlans or drop us an email if you have any cinematic suggestions. What movies have opened your eyes on an issue? What films inspire and inform your civic action? Which ones help ground you and keep you sane?

Make some popcorn, kick back solo or have some friends over and get informed and ready for action with these awesome films.

  • HyperNormalisation
    Why: Resist!
    Documentary filmmaker ​Adam Curtis constructs a winding theory of unreality and politics. Excellent recap on the dynamics of “post-truth politics” and how to handle the madness.
    Also, here’s a review of the film if you want a sneak preview.
  • 13th
    Why: Resist!
    Brilliant, fast-paced, award-winning, Oscar-nominated film by Ada DuVernay on 150 years of oppression in 100 minutes, making the links from slavery to mass incarceration and pointing out the massive and brutal impact of one short phrase in the 13th amendment.
    Read a great interview with Ava DuVernay here:
    Consider getting involved with #Cut50, a national bipartisan effort to smartly and safely reduce America’s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

MY100DayPlans Book Club: Readings to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge

MY100DayPlans Book Club: Readings to Help You Resist, Rebuild & Recharge
Generated by the My100Days BrainTrust & compiled by Heather Lord

Welcome to the MY100DayPlans book club. Over the past 100 days we have collected 60 recommended reads from our network of activists, educators, movers & shakers to help you Resist, Rebuild & Recharge.

We asked: What books have opened your eyes on an issue? What books inform your civic action? What books help ground you and keep you sane?

This list includes fiction and non-fiction from classics to contemporary. Some you will know but we hope that there are a few you’ve never heard of that will inspire you. The list is far from comprehensive. Because we’ve missed some “must reads” at the bottom we’ve also provided some links to other lists: Wanna read more on how to stop Trump? Want to understand better the rise of global populism? Want to know what every informed voter should know? Just scroll down to the end.

Tweet @my100dayplans with your favorites — we’d love to know what you’re reading.

Resist, Rebuild, Recharge — and Read on, friends!

Note: we wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase these books from your local independent bookseller or join your local library. If this is not convenient for you, we have included links to the books from a mix of some of our favorite independent booksellers across the country (and a few major vendors if we couldn’t reliably find them from an indie).

Abolition of White Democracy – Joel Olson
Why: Olson examines the American obsession with race according to its politics. He finds that despite protests by whites that America is a democracy, in reality it is divided into those who enjoy the benefits of full citizenship and others who do not.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
Why: “Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.”

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Why: An immigrant story, a woman’s story, a feminist’s story, and an absolutely brilliant, fast-moving read. Provides powerful perspective on racial dynamics in America from the perspective of a young Nigerian woman who has recently moved here.

The Art of War – Sun Tzu
Why: A well crafted and astute study of organizations and conflict written over 2,000 years ago, The Art of War has become a go-to conflict and behavioral strategy manual used by politicians, governments and business people today. Fun fact: a Steve Bannon fave (ugh – but know your enemy).

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson
Why: “Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War — the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry — and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself–the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson’s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union’s victory.”

Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why: Absolutely essential reading for all seeking to understand the pain, power, past & present of race in America. In the words of Toni Morrison, “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates.” And in his own words, “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
Watch an interview with Coates:
Read a review:

Blueprint for Revolution – Srdja Popovic
Why: The techniques described in this book, “have been adopted by democracy movements around the world. The Egyptian opposition used them to topple Hosni Mubarak. In Lebanon, the Serbs helped the Cedar Revolution extricate the country from Syrian control. In Maldives, their methods were the key to overthrowing a dictator who had held power for thirty years.”

Catch-22 (Heller)
Why: Catch-22 is a satire frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century. It cleverly reveals the tragic absurdity of war and military bureaucracies.

The City & The City – China Mieville
Dystopic near future murder mystery novel on how we are trained to see or “unsee” people with whom we live side by side. It will make you see the people you are constantly “unseeing” every day.

Collected Essays – James Baldwin
Why: Collection of essays and excepts from books written by James Baldiwn, another brilliant and prominent 20th century critical thinker, reflecting upon and examining the roots of racism in American and its effects on both Black and white Americans as the stage setting for the Civil Rights Movement. Although a commentary on various elements from the Civil Rights Era and Movement, this book and other writings of Baldwin remain relevant in today’s context of the rise of overt and unapologetic white supremacy, immigrant rights, Native American rights and Black Lives Matter.

Critical Race Theory: Key Writings That Formed the Movement – Kimberle Crenshaw
Why: “Questioning the old assumptions of both liberals and conservatives with respect to the goals and the means of traditional civil rights reform, critical race theorists have presented new paradigms for understanding racial injustice and new ways of seeing the links between race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. This reader, edited by the principal founders and leading theoreticians of the critical race theory movement, gathers together for the first time the movement’s most important essays.”

Dark Money – Jane Mayer
Why: Detailed and cogent investigative reporting on the people, families, institutions and companies leveraging their money and influence within the U.S political system in order to mold the US, its laws, politics and social ideologies in their likeness. She is a journalist for the New Yorker, doing a lot of very in depth research into the people behind the scenes in a lot of today’s politics (ie the Koch bros, Scaife, Olin, etc). Follow the money.

Deep Denial – David Billings
Why: “Part popular history, part personal memoir – documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “white.” Author David Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of white supremacy, and tells us why, despite the Civil Rights movement and an African American president, we remain, in the author’s words, ‘a nation hard-wired by race.’”

Democracy Despite Itself – Daniel Oppenheimer
Why: Behavioral economics professor Dr. Oppenheimer’s book “explains the paradox of democracy – how can democracies be successful even when the voters are so uninformed and the system so noisy.”

Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Why: This “brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny….” and our civic and political landscape.

The Enchanted – Rene Denfield
Why: An eye-opening novel about death row that is an exercise in deep empathy. “For the narrator locked inside an ancient prison, waiting for death, life is full of magic, from the golden horses that stampede underground to the tiny men who hammer away inside the stone walls. That the enchanted place is a death row matters less to him than the people he watches from the bars of his cage…”

Evicted – Matthew Desmond
Why: “A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.”

The Fourth Turning – William Strauss & Neil Howe
Why: Both a historical examination of the cyclical nature of politics and social movements and a well calculated prediction of what this new millennium has in store for the current world order and the institutions that maintain it. Fun fact: a favorite of Steve Bannon that shed light, on his ideology and world view.

From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Why: “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America…In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality.”

Ghettoside – Jill Leovy
Why: This New York Times Bestseller helps readers understand our nation’s history and current issues with policing of the black community in a new and more comprehensive way.

The Great Influenza – John Barry
Why: Fascinating from an epidemiology perspective, but the first third chronicles Wilson turning the US into a totalitarian state to create a war machine. His actions ramping up to the US engagement in WWI tell a different story and are frighteningly similar to what is happening around us today.

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and American Capitalism – Edward Baptist
Why: “Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history.”

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Why: “The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.”

Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit
Why: “Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of radicals at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them–and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable.”

Imagined Communities – Benedict Anderson
Why: This book “remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism… Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations…Following the rise and conflict of nations and the decline of empires, Anderson draws on examples from South East Asia, Latin America and Europe’s recent past to show how nationalism shaped the modern world.”

Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation – Robert Curvin
Why: Civil Rights leader Robert Curvin was on the front lines of the 1967 Newark Riots/Rebellion, and has unique insights from his own experience and that of hundreds of Newark residents past and present which offer big picture lessons and a blueprint of sorts regarding the quest for social justice, the nature of social movements and the fate of America’s struggling cities.

Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Why: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time…the nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of ‘the Brotherhood,’ and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.”

The Jailing of Cecelia Capture – Janet Campbell
Pulitzer-Prize nominated novel by Native American author Janet Campbell about, “an Indian law student and mother of two, jailed on her thirtieth birthday for drunk driving. Held on an old welfare fraud charge, she reflects back on her life on the reservation in Idaho, her days as an unwed mother in San Francisco, her marriage to a white liberal, and her decision to return to college.”

Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
Why: You already know the US criminal justice system is messed up, but Stevenson adds very moving – and outrageous – details on that story.

Native Son – Richard Wright
Why: “Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.”

No Logo – Naomi Klein
Why: “In the last decade, No Logo has become an international phenomenon and a cultural manifesto for the critics of unfettered capitalism worldwide…Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, No Logo is the first book to put the new resistance into pop-historical and clear economic perspective.”

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder
Why: “Post-truth is pre-Facism.” Sobering words from someone who would know. Yale historian Timothy D. Snyder is an expert on 20th Century genocides and dictatorships. He knows the past century’s failures and he knows the slippery, deceptive slope societies have gone down to cause some of the worst atrocities in recent history. “On Tyranny” is a powerful, easy-to-read, succinct handbook on 20 things you need to do in order to stop yourself and stop your country from disaster, including planning ahead for how you want to react should things get even worse. This is important. Read up.
For sneak preview, here is his interview on NPR and a good Vox article.

Oryx and Crake (Maddaddam Trilogy) – Margaret Atwood
Why: “Set in a darkly plausible future shaped by plagues, floods, and genetic engineering, these three novels take us from the end of the world to a brave new beginning. Thrilling, moving, and a triumph of imagination, the Maddaddam Trilogy confirms the ultimate endurance of humanity, community, and love.”

The Parable of Talents – Octavia Butler
Parable of the Talents & Parable of the Sower tell the story of how, as the U.S. continues to fall apart, the protagonist’s community is attacked and taken over by a bloc of religious fanatics who inflict brutal atrocities.”

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 – Taylor Branch
Why: “Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King’s rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.”

Peace is Every Step – Thicht Nat Hanh
Why: Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh shares short, readable, beautiful bursts of inspiration on how you can find and create peace in the midst of chaos. One of his pearls of wisdom, “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” Also check out this Oprah interview with Thich Nhat Hanh.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paolo Friere
Why: “The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.”

People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
Why: “Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story from the point of view of–and in the words of–America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country’s greatest battles–the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women’s rights, racial equality–were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.”

Player Piano (and other short stories) – Kurt Vonnegut
Why: Covering a range of issues from the inadvertently disastrous impacts of technology to the “the interplanetary adventures of the world’s wealthiest and most despised man” (nope – not President You Know Who but there are some parallels) this book holds 6 of Vonnegut’s “best short stories, gems that display his matchless talent for hilarious invention and caustic social criticism.”

The Politics of Uncertainty – Peter Marris
Why: Blends attachment theory, community development, and capitalism to demonstrate how our structure and culture revolve around shifting uncertainty onto others because we have wrongly convinced ourselves that we’re a competitive species. He shifts the focus to cooperation and has a surprise ending that involves de-gendering concepts.

PRANKS (Vol 1 & 2) – Re/Search Publications
Buy: Pranks! #1 (1988)
Pranks! #2 (2006)
Why: To inspire some creative #goodtrouble, check out PRANKS Vol 1 & 2, the ultimate “underground history of pranks, tricks, and acts of mischievous subversion.” Featuring a range of artists, activists and comedians including the Yes Men, Henry Rollins, Earth First!, Margaret Cho, John Waters, the Billboard Liberation Front & more. An iconoclastic classic! Here are some reviews:

The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions – Paula Gunn Allen
Why: An eye-opening book arguing “that women played a much larger role in Native societies than was recorded by the largely patriarchal Europeans in their writings.”

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
Why: Sometimes it’s powerful to zoom out – way out – and consider our current urges and predicaments in the long history of our evolution as species. This book tackles big questions like, “How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?”

Scoop – Evelyn Waugh
Why: Prescient look at the role and foibles of the press in “Waugh’s exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.”

Seeing Like a State – James Scott
Why: “Compulsory ujamaa villages in Tanzania, collectivization in Russia, Le Corbusier’s urban planning theory realized in Brasilia, the Great Leap Forward in China, agricultural “modernization” in the Tropics—the twentieth century has been racked by grand utopian schemes that have inadvertently brought death and disruption to millions. Why do well-intentioned plans for improving the human condition go tragically awry?”

Sellout – Paul Beatty
Why: It’s acrobatic and hilarious and piercing. A best-seller across the board and “a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant.”

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace – Jeff Hobbs
Why: “A compelling and honest portrait of Robert s relationships with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It s about trying to live a decent life in America.”

Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
Why: “A collection of essays written by one the the 20th century’s most prominent woman critical thinkers providing intersectional commentary on the great social issues of our day (race, class, feminism, homophobia and access.) and dissects often overlooked nuances and exposes the truly insidious nature of the inner workings of each that still plague society as seen in our current electoral politics and state and federal legislative battles.”

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibrahim X Kendi
Why: “In this deeply researched, provocative narrative, Kendi offers a comprehensive history of anti-Black racist ideas— their origins in fifteenth-century Portugal, their arrival in England in the mid-sixteenth century, and their blossoming in the United States, where they became the founding principles of our nation’s institutions and guarantors of its power.”

Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right – Arlie Russell Hochschild
Why: “Strangers in Their Own Land, nominated for a National Book Award, grew out of Hochschild’s alarm over the country’s deepening political divide and her heartfelt interest in understanding, in her words, ‘how life feels to people on the right.’ Over a period of five years, Hochschild traveled to Louisiana bayou country from her Berkeley home to get to know a group of men and women she comes to refer to as her “Tea Party friends” and to understand why, in an area that’s suffered from calamitous industrial pollution, they put more faith in industry than in government.”

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
We should all read everything by Toni Morrison, but make sure you read Morrison s “virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.” She somehow breaks and remakes your heart with every story.

Confessions of an Economic hitman – John Perkins
Why: “From the U.S. military in Iraq to infrastructure development in Indonesia, from Peace Corps volunteers in Africa to jackals in Venezuela, Perkins exposes a conspiracy of corruption that has fueled instability and anti-Americanism around the globe, with consequences reflected in our daily headlines. Having raised the alarm, Perkins passionately addresses how Americans can work to create a more peaceful and stable world for future generations.”

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate – Naomi Klein
Why: “Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways”

Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
Why: Cuz Oprah said so, cuz it won a Pulitzer and because, “Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”

We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
Why: When Trump was elected, everyone was talking anew about the importance of reading books like Orwell’s 1984; well, how about reading the original Russian novel from which Orwell lifted much of the plot for 1984! Zamyatin’s short classic, “We” is  “at once satirical and sobering and now available in a powerful new translation. We is both a rediscovered classic and a work of tremendous relevance to our own times.”

Weapons of the Weak – James Scott
Why: “The constant and circumspect struggle waged by peasants materially and ideologically against their oppressors shows that techniques of evasion and resistance may represent the most significant and effective means of class struggle in the long run.”

Why Civil Resistance Works – Chenoweth & Stephen
Why: Because it tells us why nonviolent resistance works!

Winner Take All Society – Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us – Frank & Cook
Why: As Trump cuts taxes for the wealthiest, this is truly essential reading on how the heck we got here. “During the last two decades, the top one percent of U.S. earners captured more than 40 percent of the country’s total earnings growth, one of the largest shifts any society has endured without a revolution or military defeat. Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook argue that behind this shift lies the spread of “winner-take-all markets”—markets in which small differences in performance give rise to enormous differences in reward.”

Women and the Politics of Place – Wendy Harcourt
Why: “Harcourt and Escobar analyze women’s economic and social justice movements by challenging traditional views. The authors reveal how an interrelated set of transformations around body, environment, and the economy factors into place-based practices of women and how these provide alternative ways of advancement in these mobilizations.”

Writing My Wrongs – Shaka Senghor
Why: Many books talk *about* the US prison system, but Shaka Senghor is an extraordinary social justice leader who was raised in Detroit, sent to prison for murder and who, “during his 19-year incarceration, 7 of which were spent in solitary confinement, discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed…a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption, reminding us that our worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.” Here’s Shaka’s moving interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.


How to Host the Perfect Social Impact Oscar Party

How to Host the Perfect Social Impact Oscar Party
Brought to you by

After a less-than-stellar track record (a-hem) on diversity and social justice in previous years, this year’s Academy Awards are coming on strong. The powerhouse films this year tackle a broad range of issues including racism, sexism, xenophobia, refugees, LGBTQIA youth, elder isolation, the environment, mass incarceration and the impact of war. Some of them address these issues with a light touch and warm fuzzies, and some pull no punches.

Many of these movies rocked our world and made us want actually DO something to honor filmmakers and, most importantly, the people and communities whose stories were told. We figure you might feel the same way. So whether you’ve seen all of the films or just one or two of them, and whether you’re watching with one friend or fifty friends, here’s our 5-step guide to hosting the perfect social impact Oscar night.

1) Pre-Party: Give Your Guests a Heads Up
Let your guests know ahead of time there’s going to be a social impact component to your Oscar night party. Here’s a sentence you might want to add to your guest reminder email:

“This year we’re hosting a Social Impact Oscar party inspired by #MY100DayPlans, so we’ll be giving from the betting pool to charities working on social issues in the films. Have a look at the special ballot we’ll be using and feel free to check out both the films AND the charities ahead of time:  Download Ballot MY100DayPlans Social Impact Oscar ballot.”

2) On the Big Night: Pick Your Movies & Your Causes
Before the ceremony kicks off, give guests their printed Download Ballot MY100DayPlans Social Impact Oscar ballot so they can pick their winning films AND pick a charitable cause from our recommended “nonprofit nominees”:

Bonus Game: Throughout the night from red carpet coverage to the last award, keep track of the nominees and announcers making speeches that pack a social impact punch. Instead of “Who wore it best?” tweet out your vote for “Who said it best?” to #MY100DayPlans.

3) Donation Pool
Everyone who gets a ballot should put some money in the pool. Host should announce how much of the pool will go to charity — if you have an especially philanthropic crowd, go for 100%! If you want to mix it up, go for a 50/50 split (half to the winner, half to the winning charity).

4) Trade Ballots
After filling out the ballot and making film and charity selections, everyone should trade ballots with someone else at the party who will keep track of their score throughout the night.

5) Announce the winners!
At the end of award ceremony, announce which guest won and which charity they chose on their ballot – that organization will receive the donation from your Oscar party! The host will take whatever cash is going to charity and make the donation. Consider making the donation in honor of the winner, the Oscar nominee related to the organization’s mission, or even MY100DayPlans.

Send us a note on Twitter or Facebook to share which organizations won your social impact Oscar night (and if you want, go ahead and say how much you’re donating — every dollar makes a difference). We’d love to see pictures from your #MY100DayPlans social impact Oscar party too!

Regardless of who wins or loses on the red carpet, thank you for playing along with #MY100DayPlans to make sure that incredible charities working tirelessly on the front lines will have a big win on Oscar night.


Follow @MY100DayPlans on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to get a daily civic action and take a stand for a strong, thriving and inclusive democracy.

We note we intend this event to be a charitable, nonpartisan event, open and welcome to all who will be watching and hosting an Oscars party.

We are not in any way connected to or endorsed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or any related entities, or any broadcast entities involved in a telecast of the ceremony.

Updated press release available here: MY100DayPlans Social Impact Oscar Night Press Release




A Few Thoughts on Leadership from Past Presidents

A Few Thoughts on Leadership from Past Presidents
By the MY100DayPlans Team

This Presidents’ Day the My100DayPlans team is thinking a lot about presidential leadership. We were reviewing C-SPAN recent survey of 91 presidential historians, ranking each of the the 44 presidents on leadership characteristics, including traits such as  “moral authority,” “international relations ,” and “pursuit of equal justice.”

It made us think of where 45 could possibly end up on this list. And in light of these reflections, we offer up some guidance for the current president from a few of the presidents who came before. These quotes are also reminders for all of us to think about what we not only request but demand of our presidents, what kinds of values we hope they might embody, and what visions they might inspire.

John Adams
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Quincy Adams
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

“Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

Dwight Eisenhower
“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

Abraham Lincoln
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”

Barack Obama
“I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

James Polk
“In his official action he should not be the President of a part only, but of the whole people of the United States. While he executes the laws with an impartial hand, shrinks from no proper responsibility, and faithfully carries out in the executive department of the government the principles and policy of those who have chosen him, he should not be unmindful that our fellow-citizens who have differed with him in opinion are entitled to the full and free exercise of their opinions and judgments, and that the rights of all are entitled to respect and regard.”

Ronald Reagan
“We the people tell the government what to do, it doesn’t tell us.”

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

Harry S. Truman
“Of course, there are dangers in religious freedom and freedom of opinion. But to deny these rights is worse than dangerous, it is absolutely fatal to liberty. The external threat to liberty should not drive us into suppressing liberty at home. Those who want the government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination.”

Woodrow Wilson
“I can imagine no greater disservice to the country than to establish a system of censorship that would deny to the people of a free republic like our own their indisputable right to criticize their own public officials.”

“You are not merely here to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”


Interfaith Dialogue and Civic Engagement

Interfaith Dialogue and Civic Engagement

Interfaith understanding is a crucial element of civic engagement and vibrant communities. It is important to engage in dialogue with those who practice faiths not your own (or none at all). We encourage you to visit others’ houses of faith, with humility and the intention to listen and learn. But before or while visiting, we encourage starting a dialogue with the house’s leadership or leading community members; requesting an invitation where appropriate.

To engage religious individuals, groups, and communities who are different than you, Sojourners CEO Rob Wilson-Black advises considering these steps:

1.  Determine your goal:  to understand, to empathize, to be humble in the face of difference.

2. Ask for permission to visit or engage; don’t sneak around or stay on the margins unless asked to.

3. Prepare to be uncomfortable, and practice silence in the face of discomfort.

4. Include both time to learn about and witness their world, AND private time with them as well.

5. Do something twice, not just a one-off; visit twice, discuss twice or more.

6. Do some research before engaging so that the most basic questions don’t need asking.

7. Make sure this isn’t just a photo-op or “interfaith tourism.”

8. Never argue. Try saying “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn about your perspective.” Imagine you believed what they believed, lived how they lived, were educated how they were educated, were in community as they are. Now imagine what your response would be to someone like you coming from another perspective.

9. Ask lots of questions, noticing how you feel when receiving the answer. Write down feelings.

10. Always send a thank you note, gift, or gesture.


Coping With Disturbing Feelings Under Trump

Sally Rudoy, LCSW

1) Control how and when you get your news.
Some people just cannot look at news during dark times. Others cannot look away. If you’re the kind of person who needs to stay current then limit your news intake. Here are some suggestions.

• Don’t keep checking your news feeds. Do not follow every tweet. You are re-traumatizing a wound. Limit how frequently you check the news. Choose one or two times a day to catch up.
• Change how you get your news. For example, If you mostly get your news from tv perhaps switch to radio or podcasts or written articles. Sometimes images of the offending people/situations can be upsetting.
• Turn off your digital devices at least one hour before bedtime. Do something that settles you down before sleep. For example, read fiction, take a bath, listen to music, or connect with a go-to person.

2) Don’t be alone with your grief.
Talk to the people you trust and who make you feel secure such as partners, family members, friends, clergy, or teachers. It can reassure you that there are good people in the world and that many likeminded souls are going through this difficult time as well. Sometimes a conversation with an older people who has seen many administrations come and go can help put this time in a historical perspective. You are not alone

3) Monitor your food, alcohol, and other substances intake.
Are you turning to these substances for comfort or self-medication? Substitute the impulse to imbibe with healthier or fun self care activities. Some suggestions that have helped others include yoga, massage, dance, movie-attendance, art, or rereading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. (Currently, I have been binge watching a BBC series based on a 19th century English novel. Happily, the available weapons of mass destruction do not get more bloody than an occasional bayonet or cannon.) It may feel like the world is falling apart. Even so you are permitted one hour a day to do something that soothes you. It’s important to replenish yourself in order to take on the rest of the day or, if you are an activist, to take on the battles ahead.

4) To deal with a sense of powerlessness take action.
The weekend after the executive order ban was issued resistance and protest had an impact. The protesters and lawyers who went to airports influenced the administration to walk back aspects of the green card portion of the ban. Find some organization that is fighting for the causes you believe in: donate, protest, write letters, and call representatives.

5) Listen to Krista Tippett’s ON BEING interview with Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis — The Art & Discipline of Nonviolence

In this uplifting interview,Congressman Lewis talks about the early days of the civil rights movement and how it created a non-violent revolution. He shares wisdom from Gandhi and Martin Luther King as well as his belief in the power of resistance and love to change society.

6) What to do if your feelings of depression and anxiety persist
If none of the above works and after a few weeks you are still upset you should seek professional help. You’ll know this is more than a passing phase if you are experiencing:

• Changes in your sleeping and eating behaviors (too much or too little)
• Trouble concentrating
• Lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities
• Feeling sluggish and sapped of energy despite lots of sleep
• Persistent guilty and troubling thoughts or feelings of worthlessness.

If you have any of these symptoms you should see a mental health counselor soon.

If you are feeling desperate or having suicidal thoughts, you need to call 911 or go to your nearest emergency hospital room immediately.

Recharge: Everyday Mental Health Habits for Tough Times

Recharge: Everyday Mental Health Habits for Tough Times
By the MY100DayPlans Team & Special Guest Dr. Amalea Seelig

So, how’s 2017 going for you so far? For many, it’s been an incredibly stressful year. Have you hit the wall yet? Are you finding yourself overwhelmed, upset, exhausted and facing energetic burnout? Recent political upheaval may heighten these common emotions to more intense levels of depression or anxiety.

We spoke with our friend Dr. Amalea Seelig who kindly shared with us a few practical things you can do right now that will help you recharge your mental batteries and find your balance. In the days ahead, everyday choices can greatly improve your overall resilience during tough times. Even if you just pick one or two of the actions below, do them as often as you can muster.

Building some “recharge” into your #MY100DayPlans will make a big difference to you and those around you.

1. Notice your breath.
When I say this to my patients, many of them will start breathing as if their life depended on it. No, just notice you HAVE breath. Feel how it feels to breathe. There is a rhythm to your breath, see if you can follow it. You will likely only be able to do this for a few seconds at a time; that’s perfect. Even if you are someone who regularly meditates, this moment of attention will matter. This is a practice you can do at any moment in time, alone or with others, in traffic, buying clothes, or engaging in social media (an especially good time). Being aware in this way can bring needed moments of relief and well-being.

2. Choose your words.
Make conscious decisions about how you speak and to whom. When something is right there for us to say because it just happened or is upsetting, we repeat it, sometimes on multiple occasions and with many details, to whomever might be there to listen. Don’t repeat (or re-tweet) everything you hear, don’t focus on negative interactions you have had, and reduce gossip and complaining. You can even let others know this is what you’re doing; it will remind you, empower you and even might have others be more intentional about how they speak. Look for actions like these to conserve and build psychic energy.

3. Shut out noise.
At some point, being constantly available for the next update, story, email, message, tweet or Instagram is not a benefit, as compelling as it may seem in the moment. ALWAYS make choices about how much time you spend engaged online. Help yourself out of the rabbit hole; decide how much of your day you will devote to social media and news cycle consumption. Set your timer and press start each time you engage. When the time is up, step away from your machines.

4. Connect to your life.
Continue to do those things that matter to you, especially spending time with other human beings. Sometimes when something big is happening it can seem like that’s all there is to care about. But your individual life, and living it fully, is essential. Engage in your usual routines and hobbies, make plans for now and the future, and spend time out in the world. This structure, like a fortress, will support you; feel it. In some moments, you may experience some joy or gratitude; feel that too.

5. Realize.
You have but one point of view. Everyone wants to think that might, right and good is on their side. But people you know — some whom you love and are related to, and even just other human beings with different lives, concerns and experiences — view things differently than you. See if you can understand another’s point of view. It doesn’t mean you agree with or condone that view. It also doesn’t diminish your conviction. We all live here and somehow we have to move ahead.

6. Take action.
Do something – whether it’s joining or any constructive action. Stop thinking. Though you may believe you are getting somewhere in there, the onslaught of your thoughts can paralyze you, distort reality and waste time. Act in some way, right now, that moves something forward in your life, your community, the real world. It can be small, medium or large. You will know what there is to do.

7. Rest.
Go to sleep. Be consistent with your bedtime. Take an hour to wind down, with no distraction. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet. As you lay still, experience the value of the day that has past. Whatever you have contributed, fill yourself with it. Tomorrow is a new day, let it come.

We hope these reminders are helpful. For those of you who already do many of these activities but who are still feeling stressed, try going deeper into your practices or try out a new practice, like a new healing technique or a silent retreat. With all the noise and chaos, longer more immersive self-care may provide the deep recharge you need.

And for those still feeling especially vulnerable or upset, the steps above may not be enough. You may find yourself unable to emerge from the anxious fog. If this is your experience, please seek professional help. Dr. Seelig also shared recommended resources for additional support at the bottom of this post.

Bottom line: we are only a month into the New Year. This will be a long haul — start putting some healthy practices into your routine, either alone or with old and new friends. We will make it through this, one step at a time, one breath at a time, one day at a time.

Thank you for being there, and hanging in there.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
~ William James

Amalea K. Seelig, PsyD is a clinical psychologist practicing in NYC. She treats men and women who have been injured in the workplace and also maintains a private practice. Dr. Seelig is committed to every day mental health choices that matter. Her website is

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