Community

Love Letters

Your DGB for today is to send a love letter to a local marginalized community or organization.

For the past few months, hate has been getting a lot of encouragement from the top down in America. Places of worship are defiled and damaged, including mosques, synagogues, and Black churches. Jewish cemeteries are being vandalized and Jewish preschools have been terrorized by bomb threats. Undocumented immigrants are detained and deported, though their only crime is lacking the legal immigration paperwork.

You know that feeling in your chest when you get a note from somebody that lets you know that they’ve been thinking of you? That feeling that you matter? It’s time to share that feeling with our friends and neighbors that have been on the business end of hate. We’ve marched in protest. We’ve shown up at airports. We’ve donated to causes that support the affected, but nothing beats that personal touch. Find a local mosque here, a synagogue here, and to find your local center helping refugees and immigrants, click here.

It doesn’t matter if you get out the good stationery or use a postcard. Let your friends and neighbors know that they matter. Tell them why you appreciate them, and how their presence enriches the fabric of your community.

 

Support Embattled Public Libraries

Your DBG for today is to support your public library! Get library cards for you and your family members (if you’re not already card-carrying members) and donate either directly to the library, or to your public library’s “Friends of…” organization.  If you’re not sure where your local library is, go here to find out.

Public libraries are more than books and literacy (though these certainly justify their existence).  Public libraries are community hubs, cultural centers, educational resources, First Amendment defenders, repositories of history, and even part of the social safety net for the most vulnerable among us. Read more here.

Unfortunately, library funding has been hard-hit by the financial meltdown of 2008, and has yet to rebound.  We have a President-elect who has signaled a distinct lack of respect for the free exchange of ideas – public libraries are a key part of a society that values such things.  The wealthy and influential Koch Brothers have funded at least one anti-library initiative. And, most disturbingly, public libraries have become targeted in the surge of hate crimes since the election.

It is more important than ever to support your public libraries however you can!

Want to know more?  Check out these pieces about the importance of public libraries here and here

 

Cell 411

Your DGB for today is to download the Cell 411 personal safety app and familiarize yourself with it’s features.

The app that has been described as “Uber for 911” is meant to redistribute emergency response from exclusively authoritarian sources into a community centered effort. Instead of depending exclusively on municipal emergency resources, a user may instead request aid from peers and community members in their “Cell”. While this is particularly valuable to individuals vulnerable to law enforcement overreach and needing assistance from or the presence of trusted individuals, it is also something privileged groups can utilize to become and remain strong allies.

 

Platform features include the following:

 

  • Issuing an alert to your Cell with turn by turn directions to your location

  • Live video streaming

  • Video archiving that prevents deletion

  • A “Know Your Rights” constitutional reminder screen

  • A free community ride-sharing service

 

Learn more about Cell 411 here  and here, and download for iOS or Android