The early days of President-elect Trump’s transition have already made clear that the racism, bigotry and misogyny that fueled his campaign will continue into his administration.
The vast majority of Americans suffered mightily through the economic crisis of the past decade. That suffering, tied with growing and unchecked white supremacy in our country, created the conditions necessary for a right-wing populist to take power, and to bring open white nationalists into the White House, alongside Christian fundamentalists, climate change deniers, and more corporate cronies.
Now: every community that is a part of the fabric of our region and our work fears for their safety.
We are bracing for whatever gains we’ve made to be unmade, and we are scared for what this next period will mean, not only for ourselves, but for the shape of this country and world for generations to come.
We’ve spent the last week at Media Mobilizing Project talking and listening, with each other and with many of you in the extraordinary network we’ve built together, thinking about a way forward for all of us and our movements, and the role we are called upon to play.
We are comforted by how quickly our communities lit up with messages of hope, connection, and commitment to love and to fight back.
We draw hope from the grassroots social movements that exist across our city, our state, and our country. Growing our movements is our best chance for survival. This is a moment to close ranks and come together, to lift up the organized communities that are defending our rights, giving real expression to the discontent and alienation so many of us face, and building truly democratic institutions that meet our needs.
This is the moment for each of us to develop our own personal leadership, to invest in the leadership of the people around us, and to invest in the leadership of those at the front lines.
This is also a moment to further center the leadership of those most impacted in our campaigns and communities. This election made clear the depth of frustration with our current system. We can build a collective vision for a better society, but only if we are open to new strategies and if we celebrate the voices that have been pushed to the margins.
In the face of what’s coming, we’ve got to love and protect each other. We’ve got to fight for one another. We need to fight alongside our immigrant and Muslim communities facing a massive expansion of the surveillance and deportation structure that has targeted them over the past 8 years.
We need to stand in solidarity with organized workers and poor people, as this administration attempts to break unions, undermine collective bargaining, cut social programs and funnel more wealth up to the 1%.
We must rise to battle profit-hungry construction and energy interests that pit people versus our planet, sacrificing our climate, our neighborhoods and our health.
We need to stand together for the rights of queer and trans folks and women, and protect our access to safe reproductive health services.
We need to stand up for the Black lives that are going to be ever more brutalized by an expanding prison industrial complex.
We need to hold corporate media accountable for failing our democracy and our people, and build our own media committed to the success of our social movements.
There isn’t just one front on which we fight, this is an entire interlocking system held up by the pillars of racism, militarism and capitalism. It is going to take a systemic approach to do something about it.
Media Mobilizing Project started because the corporate media has always failed poor and working people. That failure continues. President-elect Trump came to power as a master of today’s new media – reality TV and social media. As he played on people’s fears, biases, and outrage, the corporate media gave him an unprecedented platform, for the simple reason that his stories got more clicks.
It is clearer than ever that we need our own media, and that means more than a Facebook page or a Twitter account. We need to build collective community practices for storytelling and information-sharing. We need media committed to the success of social movements and the truth of the experiences of poor and working people. That is going to take local work, in cities and small towns across this country. And we are committed to building right here.
MMP will continue to fight the consolidated media infrastructure that keeps poor people offline and out of the decisionmaking processes that govern their lives. We will partner with local and national groups to fight government surveillance of communities of color, and stop racist technology from increasing mass incarceration. We will keep organizing on the ground to make public schools across Philadelphia engines of community leadership. We will keep developing skilled media makers to tell the stories of our movements.
We will be in the trenches, here in Philadelphia and South Jersey, and with partners nationwide. We will be listening and educating. We will be telling the stories and making the connections.
We stand with all those who believe in freedom. And we stand with all those who want to come together, because now is not the time to be alone. We’ve got to have each other.
Media Mobilizing Project
P.S. This is a working statement, and far from complete. As we gain a new footing on this new terrain we want to feel grounded with you. We want to hear what you are thinking and learning and seeing. Share your stories, and your vision with us. And start these conversations in your communities if you haven’t already, because they need to happen.
P.P.S. Want to know what to do next? Or do you have beloved people in your life looking for something to do? Please forward them this email, and tell them we’d love to plug them in at MMP or at another vital community organizing project in our region. They can respond to this note, or write email@example.com. Or sustain our work at mediamobilizing.org/donate.
P.P.P.S. We will be updating our website and social media with things you can do and ways to dialogue with others and take action in the months to come. Follow us for more.
P.P.P.P.S. And if you are in the area, join us at our Media Institute in Camden on December 3rd as we offer media and messaging training to build our skills to respond to this moment. And stay tuned for more trainings and opportunities to lead on digital security, community storytelling, and network building in Philadelphia and beyond.