On Monday, Jan. 30, USF students, staff, and guest speakers met on Lone Mountain to discuss how to cope with life under our new president, and what actions students can take to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.
The event, titled “Informing Solidarity: A Hands-on Teach-in,” opened with members of the Intercultural Center conducting therapeutic group exercises and discussions regarding how each individual in the room has been affected by current events.
The second half of the event featured a panel of guest speakers including Linda Burnham, senior advisor at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Cinthya Munoz, the legislative director for Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle, and Alice Wong, a disability activist working with the Community Living Policy Center.
Burnham commented on Trump’s unexpected barrage of executive orders, stating, “The country is being run by people who believe that it is in their interests to rule through chaos and fear. So expect to be disoriented until we get rid of Trump, and expect to have to reorient every couple of days or so, and get with the people who can help you reorient, because we need to be, as much as possible, on solid ground.”
Munoz discussed her work with the Immigrant Rights Movement and local efforts to organize for immigrant sanctuary, amongst other civil rights grassroot campaigns taking place across the Bay Area.
Wong warned attendees to not get completely caught up in the sheer spectacle of the Women’s March, and to remember that people are still being marginalized even by those speaking out against marginalization. Wong stated that there were little-to-no accommodations made by the march organizers for women with disabilities, and virtually zero acknowledgement of their efforts, such as the online Disability March held that day.
To the left of the panel was a table laden with informational resources, detailing various actions students could take to make a difference in a time where human rights are disturbingly vulnerable. These resources included documents detailing protesting rights, volunteering opportunities, explanations of legislation, and even how to handle a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.