This blog post was written by Naomi Solomon, Girls Write Now Program Manager.
Dear Girls Write Now Family,
Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, November 8 marked the culmination for all of us of months of anxiety, divisive language and actions, and questions about what it means to live, learn, and create in the United States in this era. Donald Trump’s message over the past many months has been unmindful of many of the communities we hold dear: communities of women, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Seeing so many of our fellow Americans embrace this candidate, whether in spite or because of this messaging, is saddening and stressful.
We hope that during the days and weeks to come, you will continue to respect, support, and make use of each other’s strength, vision, brilliance, and beauty. We hope that when you spend time with the people you care about this week, next week, and onwards, you will engage in thoughtful and caring dialogue about the social and political landscape, and will use these conversations to fuel your work as writers, media-makers, and allies. Your thoughts and words are powerful, valuable, and necessary. Elevating the thoughts and words of marginalized people is powerful, valuable, and necessary.
The Girls Write Now team is here for our mentors, mentees, and broader community. We are allies to the many communities represented here. We’ve been doing a lot of reading over the past week, and we have compiled some resources that we hope you’ll find helpful: readings, writing exercises, discussion prompts, and reminders of the importance of self-care. They’re all available in this folder, and we’ve included a few highlights below.
We look forward to continuing to rise, speak, and change with all of you, now and always.
All our best,
The Girls Write Now Team
- Via NYC educator Jana Lynne Umipig’s blog: This “Liberty and Justice for All Curriculum” includes several compelling writing prompts or activities that can easily be converted to writing prompts, including the meaning of the phrase “Liberty and Justice for All,” reflecting on the topic “My President Should,” and writing a letter (“Dear Mr. President”).
- The two campaign slogans we’ve been seeing for the past many months are “Stronger Together” and “Make America Great Again.” Write about what one (or both) of these slogans means to you. How do we become stronger together? What would it take to make America a truly great place to live?
- Write a thank-you letter to a politician who is now leaving office or who did not gain election for the coming term, explaining why you appreciate their service to their city, state, or country, or their desire to serve, and what you’ve learned from them or hope to work on for in their absence.
- Via USA Today and CNN: Guides to confronting and managing your feelings about the election, and relating to people from different viewpoints. (While the USA Today piece is written from the point of view of a Clinton support grappling with the loss of the election, it’s a great guide overall to processing intense feelings of discomfort or disappointment on any public issue.)
- Via YouTube: “Just Do Right” – Dr. Maya Angelou’s reflections. “Just do right. You know what’s right. It may not be expedient, but it satisfies your soul.”
- Via Poets.org: “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes
- Via Buzzfeed: There were 6 women who made history in the election this year!
- Via Buzzfeed: Guide to having a discussion with someone you care about and may not see eye-to-eye with (please disregard the ridiculous gifs — there are some great points in this piece, I promise!).
- Via Jezebel.com: Many educators share their reflections on teaching on November 9, including how they led conversations and writing activities in their classrooms.