To The Pace Community,
I know many of us have been feeling complicated emotions about the results of the elections. It has been a trying week for many of us, but I want to stress that there always hope. We’ve had a lot of staff, students, and faculty stop by the Center for Community Action and Research the last few days asking what they should exactly do next. Consider this list a resource of recommendations for next steps for both of sides of the aisle after such a challenging and divisive campaign.
When we are most emotionally drained is when we need to practice acts of self-love most. Indulge in Netflix, reading, baths, eating tacos, and hot coco this weekend. Eat three meals a day and sleep eight hours a night. Delete social media off your phone for a while. Don’t burn yourself out. Find a safe space and just chill for a while. The work towards positive progress requires we be our best selves. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Pace Counseling Center if you need it.
2) Register to Vote
In two short years we will be back at the polls again. It will also be easier for you to apply for absentee ballots during mid-term elections if you are already registered to vote at their home address. The Center for Community Action and Research collects registration forms year round and pays postage. You can register online at https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote. You can use your on-campus or home address to register. An even better way to take action: Register other people to vote that believe in your causes and get them to the polls. Every vote counts.
3) Get involved with Interest Groups
It is vital that we stay involved in our community both at Pace and outside of it. The more we engage in our community the more it represents us and those within it act with empathy. Democracy happens outside of the voting booth. Government works when we work together with people to enrich our community and solve problems. Off-campus groups often have community meetings and volunteer opportunities you wouldn’t normally think about. It’s also a good way to learn about new perspectives and connect with people you’d never expect to.
List of On-Campus Interest Groups
There are many more in Westchester County! Search Google and you can find plenty of groups that match your interests, your causes, and make a difference!
4) Work with a Political Party
Get involved with the local chapters of the Republican, Democratic, and Green parties of Westchester County. They vitally need volunteers to help run campaigns. You can do anything from registering people to vote, helping people get to the polls on Election Day (General and Mid-Terms), and canvassing to actually running for election yourself if you start planning now. The more involved in the process you are, the more your government will represent you and your values.
5) Write an E-Mail or Letter to an Elected Official
Establish a relationship with your local elected official and tell them to fight for what you care about. Tell them to fight for you, or you won’t vote for them. You can look who your elected officials at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.
6) Volunteer Work
Community service is as vital a tool towards civic action as politics are. It is important to get involved in the local community and be a change maker in someone’s life. When we help others we help ourselves. The Center for Community Action and Research provides service opportunities:
Saturday at the Pleasantville Cottage School Sign-Up
The Successful Learning Center is at Pace PLV Monday – Wednesday 11 am to 2 pm in Kessel Conference Room A/B
Two-Together Tutoring in Thornwood (Transportation is Provided for Pace Students)
You can also sign up for our newsletters at bit.ly/ccarnewsnow for all the volunteer opportunities the Center hosts and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in planning your own volunteer opportunity.
7) Empathize, Not Demonize
It vital that we come together as a community at this time. Hate and intolerance are not tolerated in our community from either side of the aisle. Democracy is built on ideas and persuasion, not threats of violence. When you become active as an advocate you want people to respect and listen to you on your issues. The opposite side of you issue expects the same. As Michelle Obama famously likes to say, “They they aim low, we go high.” Going high is empathizing and acting with kindness.
This does not mean that you should tolerate acts of hate. If a situation arises that makes you feel unsafe please call The Office of Safety and Security
8) Random Acts of Kindness
Say hi to people as you walk by them on the sidewalk. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and invite them for dinner. Pay forward a cup of coffee or road toll. We are all one community. Acts of empathy and kindness will make you feel better and build community.
We know you may not be in a place to act yet. That’s OK. Take the time you need. In a few weeks time we will come together and work towards a better Pace University community, a better Westchester County, a better New York state, and a better nation. As Maya Angeluo said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”. Be dealers of hope and love in this community.
With respect and admiration,
Program Coordinator at the Center for Community Action and Research Pleasantville