As the bullet pierced Michael Brown’s skin, the choke-hold squeezed the final breaths out of Eric Garner, and the grand jury refused to indict again and again, conflict raged in America, sparking an important debate about police brutality and institutionalized racism in this country. The argument that the instances are mere circumstance is unfounded – there is a monumental problem concerning race in this country, and it is something we must address now.
Following the lack of indictments in these cases and unfortunately many others throughout the country, we have a responsibility to our nation to stand up for justice, stand together, and end racism and police violence everywhere. For some people, the protests that we have been seeing across the country are the natural response, but for others, this is not the ideal way of protesting. Each human being in this world is different. We each have our own skill set, and to properly maximize our ability to aid in this cause, we must tailor the movement to each individual, so that they can make a difference in the most effective way. The new website StayWoke.org, which was started by the organization WeTheProtestors, attempts to do just this.
StayWoke starts with a simple survey that asks questions designed to discover your interests and preferences. It asks whether you are interested in being involved in certain types of protests, whether they be policy solutions, political campaigns, or digital platforms, and then it further specifies certain projects within those types of protests. Overall, the survey and website are designed to target how you believe you can help the cause in the best way, and then from there it puts you in contact with organizers who will help you get involved in these ways. By doing so, StayWoke has created a system that enables people to get involved with the cause in the ways that they know best. If you are interested in programing and technology, you can help design websites, or make videos. If you are interested in creating policy solutions, you can work on collecting data or tracking legislation. If you are interested in political campaigns, you can help evaluate candidates or produce ads. In all of these cases, you are helping to lead our country towards equality; however, StayWoke enables you to do this in a way that you want to.
StayWoke truly presents our nation with tools that raise awareness of the issues plaguing our world, grow our sense of community, and truly empower the people to create change in ways that they are passionate about. Through this system, organizers can be put into contact with people who want to work in a specific way to create change, and because of this, change is reached more easily. Through this system, people are able to have their own personalized plan for how they can aid in the fight for equality. Racism and police brutality are huge threats to our society today. This is our fight, and systems like StayWoke enable us to fight this fight, and move towards equality in the most efficient way possible, and so they must be embraced and utilized.
– Written by Nick Jain (redefy leadership team member)