Whatever our collective politics, whatever our personal beliefs, the Women’s March events around the country and around the world this weekend have convinced WiD:NM that it is time for our own Call to Action. We as American citizens have a responsibility to participate in our government and shape what we want it to be for ourselves, our families, and those that are different than us that call this place home too. As members of WiD:NM or attendees of our events, you have already demonstrated a desire to be a part of an organization that works to help others – women, children, or our community at large – through education, networking, and philanthropy. We as an organization have been working for four years and counting to build up a community of women, to make them more confident and more equipped to go out and make positive change for themselves and others. That is why, while this weekend’s events were extremely politically charged and as a rule we try to stay neutral on political issues, we feel it is still very important for us to promote this Call to Action that is currently bubbling up in our country.
We are reminded of many of WiD:NM’ s events in the past that have inspired us, one being one of our first events, “An Evening with Edie Cherry”, where a large group of local designers discussed problems women run into in our fields with veteran architect Edie Cherry. At one point, Edie said, just a touch exasperated, “if you don’t like it, change it!” This simple message has stuck with us, because it speaks to the power that each one of us has to single-handedly affect the change we want to see. It also brought to mind our evening at 516 Arts for the Exhibit From the Ground Up: Design Here + Now where we had the intense reminder that we have a remarkable amount of talent in our community, and as designers we have the creative ability to promote positive change. We have proven our capabilities and our power.
The links below are provided as resources for information and action. We realize that the information provided is not without its own inherent biases, and we sincerely hope you are able to look past that. We are not pushing you to believe in anything more than simply this: You have power and we’d like you to use it. WiD:NM will not take a stand on any political issue one way or another but we encourage our individual members to stand up for whatever they believe in. We hope you heed the responsibility of being informed, not just impassioned, about the issues that affect you and your fellow humans, and then do something with that information.
We also encourage healthy, respectful discourse so if this letter made you want to speak out, please feel free to comment!
Here are some resources for you that take a neutral stance or that provide information from all sides:
Countable It’s an app that “gives you a simple and concise overview of the bills your national representatives are debating, and it lets you instantly send emails to these representatives, telling them how you would like them to vote.”
Factcheck.org “A self-proclaimed ‘nonpartisan’ site that tries to hold politicians accountable. And by providing a wealth of research, it does a fine job.”
Project Vote Smart “Picture this: thousands of citizens (conservative and liberal alike) working together, spending endless hours researching the backgrounds and records of thousands of political candidates and elected officials to discover their voting records, campaign contributions, public statements, biographical data (including their work history) and evaluations of them generated by over 100 competing special interest groups.”
C|net “Whether you’re looking for liberal-leaning posts on the greatness of President Obama or conservative discussions on the problems with the president’s stimulus package, you can find it all in the following sites.”