We were lucky enough to have planned, many months in advance, a brief escape at a time I didn’t yet know I would need it the most.
Queenstown is an immensely popular tourist destination in New Zealand. perhaps comparable to Whistler, or Aspen. At one time, a quiet and quaint holiday town, busiest in the summer and winter seasons and fairly sleepy the rest of the year. Now it’s the hub of adventure tourism in New Zealand, with opportunities for bungee jumps, skydives, luges, parasailing, as well as snowsports and mountain biking, and the surrounding wineries. In recent years, it’s also become a home to fine dining and luxury boutiques. The restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels are primarily staffed by foreign under-30s on working holiday visas. It has a pervading sense of a school camp for grown men and women.
We spent the weekend eating well, walking for many miles up the Tiki Track and partway around Lake Wakatipu, musing all the while on how to make sense of the world, and how best to contribute and participate in a system that seems largely too big, too corrupt, and with little if any empathy for difference.
I often feel at a loss for action – many of the people and organisations I support and care for are half a world away. Financial support seems like the best way to contribute when there’s work to be done, but outstanding student loan debt and the prospect of international transaction fees on a monthly basis are daunting.
Reasons not to do something are always easily found, but there’s work to be done, at every level. Over the past week, these are just a few blog posts, articles, and essays I’ve found that outline further work to be done. Whether it’s working against racism and xenophobia in your own non-US community through volunteering or activism, supporting communities in the US who may be more vulnerable under a Trump administration, taking care of your own mental health and well-being, or contacting your local Congress person – preferably by phone – there’s work to be done.
Although I no longer live in the US, I have made it my goal to communicate directly and often with my local Californian politicians, and contribute monthly to Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, Border Angels, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. These are just a few of the organisations that will need our support now more than ever.
Additionally, I want to be more involved in local New Zealand politics, build community, and find ways to support the families who were relocated from Syria to Dunedin this year.
Please leave your suggestions of additional ways to help or any recommended reading/resources I may have missed in the comments.
- 5 Teachings for Post-Election Healing
- What to do if You’re Trans and Live in America Now
- How Women in New Zealand can Survive and Thrive Post-Trump
- Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Fight Foul Trumpism
- 7 Things You Can Do to Support Planned Parenthood and the Communities it Serves
- How to Make your Congressman Listen to You
- Surveillance Self-defense Against the Trump Administration
- Undoing the Trump Effect: How New Zealanders can Take Action
- Let’s Get to Work: Practical Ways for Writers and Teachers to Get Involved Right Now
- A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support
- 9 Things White People Can Do to Fight Racism Now