SIX THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, RIGHT NOW!!!
1) TAKE TO THE STREETS
Historian Howard Zinn argues that true social change has only come about as a result of mass social movements made up of people like you. This would include people willing to march and protest, to engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to generally make a pest of themselves.
There are grassroots efforts across the country to organize marches on April 28th against the "War on Women." One thing you could do is see if that kind of mobilization is happening in your city/state and help plan it, or at least show up for it.
When an issue comes up that you care about, you could organize a protest -- with creative signs/puppets/street theater. In smaller cities like yours it is possible to get press coverage without necessarily having a huge turn out. For example, fewer than 10 people showed up to protest Bei Bei Shuai’s imprisonment (on murder charges) in an Indianapolis County jail and it still made the news. A few hundred people in Oklahoma -- protesting a slew of anti-abortion laws there -- did a "barefoot and pregnant" demonstration that also got significant attention.
2) SPARE YOUR CHANGE
You don't have to make $100,000 to help organizations doing good work. Advocacy organizations like ours that are devoted to women's rights and trying to actually bring about change (for the better!) are least likely to get significant support from the usual sources. Small donations $5, 10, 20, 25, add up and make a difference. You could also do a house party and invite your friends to donate that much for NAPW or another organization you care about. By the way -- if you did want to do that for NAPW, we could come via "skype" and speak to people in your living room and answer questions. If you are willing to organize a fundraiser or invite NAPW to speak to your school or organization live or via Skype sometime in the upcoming year, please let us know! See also: http://www.soapboxinc.com/speakers/lynn-paltrow/
3) POLITICS LITE, CALL A LEGISLATOR
Many organizations will encourage you to focus your energy on electoral politics and lobbying people already in office. We do not believe that will ever be enough -- but it is part of the effort. Have you called your Congress member and Senator in Washington DC and in your state house? Have you called their local office? Have you asked to meet with them in person to say you are really angry about what is happening? Are you registered to vote? Do you vote? When you meet with your representative can you say I am here and I just got 5 people registered and they listen to me?
4) ONLINE ACTIVISM
There are all kinds of on-line activism available as well. Can you sign this petition for example and spread the word about Bei Bei Shuai- or stand up for women's personhood by signing this petition.
The next time you hear of bad legislation or an elected official or spokesperson equating the individual reproductive health decisions women make with government sponsored genocide -- you can email, call, and email again to say you object.
5) KNOW WHAT’S UP
You can stay informed by checking online reproductive rights news sources including: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/ Check to see if your state’s politicians are introducing bad legislation that threatens women’s rights (e.g., fertilized eggs-as-persons bills, unborn victims of crime bills, personhood measures in disguise). You can organize learning circles with a few friends to read about grassroots activism and attacks on reproductive justice. This is a great source for example to read about reproductive justice and what the country will look like if Roe is overturned. You can Be a "Fan" of NAPW on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter.
6) BE THE EYES, EARS, AND HANDS
You can identify a need and act on it. For example -- if a "pregnancy crisis center" near you is failing to tell women about abortion services, you could make up a flyer and hand it out, outside of the center. This is just an example -- but true grassroots activism is vital and you can be part of that for the rest of your life -- no matter what else you need and love to do.