The Week-ish: Post Election

It's Reckoning Time

This election has turned Americans against each other. Regardless of your vote, it's hard to deny the way it has divided families, broken up friendships, and turned neighbor against neighbor. So where do we go from here? 

>> READ ABOUT IT: A Divided America Struggles To Heal After Ugly Election on Reuters from Wednesday. The Dividing of America on The Economist from July. Why the Next President Will Inherit a Divided Country on The Atlantic from May.

What do we do with this division? To be honest, we're not sure. It feels big. But for four years Level Ground has been practicing how to heal divisions. The divisions within ourselves. The divisions within families, churches, and communities. Even the big divisions between categories of people like "conservatives" and "liberals." 

With this edition of The Week-ish we continue our commitment to confront division with conviction and civility, grace and empathy.  Here's a list of some internet dialogue we've found to grieve, inspire, heal, and make us all feel human together. 

Dialogue, not division

As election results poured in, Ali Michael (Director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators) gave advice to teachers for what to say to students after the election. Her words are hopeful and relevant for students and non-students alike: 

Teach them how to be responsible members of a civic society. Teach them how to engage in discussion—not for the sake of winning, but for the sake of understanding and being understood. Students need to learn how to check facts, to weigh news sources, to question taken-for-granted assumptions, to see their own biases, to take feedback, to challenge one another. We need to teach students how to disagree—with love and respect. These skills will be priceless in the coming months and years as we work to build a democratic society that protects the rights of all people ― regardless of the cooperation or resistance those efforts face from the executive branch.
— Ali Michael

Read the rest of Ali's post here.

Empathy is a prerequisite for dialogue. Empathy is about standing in someone else's shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with their eyes. As we engage in discussion and seek understanding in the midst of division, consider reading perspectives that are not your own with a posture of empathy (which does not mean agreement or argument). 


>> Day 1 In Trump's America. A collection of tweets about racist episodes POC are facing now that Trump is our President Elect.

>> Dear Democrats, Read This If You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won. Trump Is What Happens When You Nominate A Cheater and Live In An Echo Chamber—Please Learn From This


why art?

via  @ukbloke

The urge to create can be interpreted as the expression of self-preservation, a survival instinct in critical times. Check out this artistic expression of bravery from a classroom of 3rd grade students:




Musician Heather McEntire (of Mount Moriah) explains that she was particularly struck by the experience of a transgender child, and penned the band's newest album's title track from the perspective of a kid facing bullying and contemplating suicide. However, as she sees it, the ethos of the track can be applied to any disenfranchised group. Check out the video:


>> If you, or someone you know identities as transgender, please follow #TransLawHelp: Free Help and Hope For Transgender People Seeking Legal Protections. You are not alone. 


This list of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations need your support. These organizations will continue to pursue health, equity, and justice. Consider giving your time and/or money in support. 


If you have trouble opening, keep trying! There's a lot of traffic and it may take a couple tries to get access.

Watch This

As a white man, I also know that any emotions I’m feeling are likely a fraction of those being felt by the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, and any number of the immigrant communities so vital to our country, so hopefully the Trump administration and Trump supporters will be compassionate to them—because they need your compassion.
— Seth Meyers

Read This

How To Talk To Someone Who's Grieving. And, in case you're wondering, Your Post-Election Pain Is Real Grief. It’s OK if you’re not ready to fight yet. Psychologists recommend giving yourself time to mourn.


If you were watching CNN on Tuesday night, we hope you were moved by Van Jones and the way he beautifully and humbly demonstrated dialogue, convicted civility, and empathy. Especially when he said this in conversation with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski: 



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Many of us are scared, disoriented, hopeless, angry. When any one of us is in danger, all of us are in danger. So reach out to each other. Ask for help when you need it. Take care of yourself and your community today. Remember that you matter, your voice matters, and you are not alone. If Level Ground can be of any support to you personally, please reach out and let us know. 

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