Support 314 Action, Which Helps Elect STEM Candidates to Office

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.


Support 314 Action, a nonprofit that helps get people with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds elected to office, and advocates for laws founded on solid science and evidence-based reasoning.


One of the most obnoxious and infuriating aspects of Trump’s election, and of the modern Republican party, is its aggressive contempt for science and reason. 314 Action exists to combat that. (Yes, 314 is a reference to Pi.) It aims to get people with STEM experience elected to Congress, it supports laws that reflect and respect scientific knowledge. 314 Action also calls out members of Congress and high-ranking officials who undermine or flout the facts.


See the 314 Action home page:



Learn about its mission:



Sign up to volunteer for 314 Action:



Run for office with the help of 314 Action:



Learn about incumbent pro-science members of Congress:



Read a story from The Atlantic about how 314 Action is helping doctors run for Congress:



Follow 314 Action on Twitter:



Like it on Facebook:



Donate to 314 Action:



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Follow Obama’s White House Photographer, Pete Souza, on Instagram

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Follow Pete Souza, President Obama’s former White House photographer, on Instagram.


Normally we at One Thing You Can Do don’t bother recommending social media accounts beyond Twitter and Facebook. We don’t want to overtax you, and we don’t want to make you feel like you have to sign up for everygoddamnsocialmediaplatform ever spawned.


Pete Souza is forcing us to make an exception.


Souza’s Instagram account is a thing of beauty, and not just because he’s a top-notch photographer. He has a deep bench of photos from the Obama administration and boy, does he know how to use them. The drollery of his trollery is exquisite.


When Trump was photographed smiling next to a sullen Pope Francis, Souza posted a 2016 image of the Pope beaming as he shook hands with Obama. When film of First Lady Melania Trump smacking Trump’s hand away went viral, Souza posted an undated photo of the Obamas nonchalantly holding hands, his wedding ring in clear view. When Trump trailed the G7 members in a golf cart, Souza posted an image of Obama striding with the G8 in 2010.


And that’s just what he served up over a five-day span in May! The shade this man throws on the regular is enough to shield all the coffee plantations in Brazil.


Souza’s Instagram account is a treat and a national treasure. It is worth signing up for Instagram specifically to follow it.



Follow Pete Souza on Instagram:



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Self-advocacy 101: Find Your Congressional Representatives

FWIW: This is the first-ever post to OTYCD, uploaded on January 7, 2017.


Before you can start pushing back against Trump, you need to know who represents you in Congress.


Find out who your Congressional representatives are by plugging your zip code and your state into this web site:



This web site is better for learning who stands for you in the House of Representatives (plug in your zip code and it will narrow the choices to two. The name that seems more familiar to you is probably your House rep):



Once you have pinned down your two Senators and your House Rep, pull up their web pages. Scroll to the bottom. If their offices aren’t listed there, go to the Contact page and find them.


Pick the state office that is closest to you (*NOT the Washington D.C. one).

Find the phone number for that office.

Put it in your phone.

Repeat for your other two representatives.



* You can put the Washington, D.C. numbers in your phone, but call them last. You are far more likely to reach a real person if you call the district offices.


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Let Jane Elliott Open Your Eyes About Racism in America

Let Jane Elliott open your eyes about racism in America.


Elliott became an activist after Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in 1968. Shocked by the racist reactions she heard about King’s death, the elementary-school teacher designed an exercise for her young, white students in small-town Iowa that would show them what racism felt like.


She dubbed it the “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise.” On day one, she showed blatant favoritism to the blue-eyed kids, giving them extra helpings at lunchtime and five extra minutes of recess. She treated the brown-eyed kids as African-Americans were treated then, forcing them to sit at the back of the class and barring them from using the same water fountain that the blue-eyed kids did. She spouted ridiculous arguments about blue-eyed superiority, and antagonized brown-eyed kids who complained about their treatment. Some blue-eyed kids became bossy and nasty to their brown-eyed peers.


The experiment seemed to affect how well the two groups did on tests and schoolwork. The “superior” kids did better and felt confident enough to attempt harder work. The “inferior” kids withdrew and did less well in class.


The next day, the two groups changed places. Then Elliott asked the kids to write about how the experiment made them feel.


Word got out about the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes experiment. It led to an appearance on The Tonight Show, two books, and a 1970 ABC documentary, The Eye of the Storm, which spread the word further. Demand for lectures and diversity training workshops became so strong that Elliott left her public school career in the mid-1980s.


It should be said that academic analyses of the effects of Elliott’s experiment are mixed. It seems to show moderate success in reducing bigotry long-term, but it might not be enough to justify the trauma the experiment could inflict on its participants. (Elliott caught flak for doing the experiment with eight-year-olds rather than trying it on teenagers or adults.)


Regardless of whether the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes experiment succeeds in making white people less racist, Elliott’s lectures can help you understand white privilege and push back against it.



See Jane Elliott’s homepage:




See her recommended bibliography, which is a good place to get started with learning about white privilege and its effects. The list also includes titles that cover sexism, homophobia, ageism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry in general:




See her Lectures page to learn what programs she’s offering currently:




Like her Facebook page:




Visit her online store to buy documentaries that feature her work, plus the top she often wears when lecturing, in t-shirt and sweatshirt versions:




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Support the Congressional Antitrust Caucus

Support the Congressional Antitrust Congress, which fights corporate monopolies and endeavors to make the economy fairer for all.


When corporations gain monopolies over their corner of the economy, the only one who benefits is the corporation. Consumers suffer from higher prices and fewer choices, workers suffer from layoffs and plant closure, and economic inequality gets worse.


Five members of the House of Representatives are taking the threat seriously and have formed the Congressional Antitrust Congress, which will bring a critical eye to proposed mergers and will educate the public about how these mergers can affect the financial and economic outlooks of America for the worse.


The five are:


Keith Ellison of Minnesota’s 5th District


David Cicilline, of Rhode Island’s 1st District


Mark Pocan of Wisconsin’s 2nd District


Ro Khanna of California’s 17th District


Rick Nolan of Minnesota’s 8th District



Are any of these men your House Rep? Please call or send a postcard to thank them!



Follow the Congressional Antitrust Congress on Twitter:




Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!



Contact the Congressional Antitrust Caucus:




Read a December 2017 piece on Keith Ellison and the goals of the Congressional Antitrust Caucus:




Read a December 2017 New York Magazine piece about Ro Khanna and his antitrust efforts:



Learn To Be An Ally To Transgender People

Learn to be an ally to transgender people with the help of a guide from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Transgender people have come under attack during the Trump administration almost from Inauguration Day. Department of Education head Betsy DeVos has tried to rescind Obama-era guidance on transgender students in schools. Trump himself infamously tweeted a ban on transgender people serving in the military (as of early November, courts have blocked his demand).

You might be baffled by transgenderism. That’s ok as long as you do your damnedest not to express it in a jerk-like way to actual living, breathing transgender folks.

The NCTE guide answers questions you might have and generally helps you avoid behaving like a jerk. It also includes links to other valuable explainers.

Some basics:

Use the language that the transgender person applies to themselves, but be aware that different transgender people might and often do rely on different language.

If you’re unclear on what pronouns to use, ask.

Just as you wouldn’t ask a person struggling with infertility nosy questions about medical treatments or adoption, you should not ask a transgender person about hormones or surgeries.


The guide also covers what you can do at work, at school, as a citizen, and in various social situations to support transgender people.


Read Supporting the Transgender People in Your Life: A Guide to Being a Good Ally:



See the main page for the National Center for Transgender Equality:



Like the NCTE on Facebook:



Follow it on Twitter:



Donate to the NCTE:




Subscribe to Daily Grab Back

Subscribe to Daily Grab Back (DGB)’s email list if you want one more thing you can do every day to push back against Trump.

Launched in 2016 and run by a bunch of cool women, DGB has delivered daily action items for months now, ranging from calls to stock up on Plan B birth control, protect net neutrality, fight taxes on feminine hygiene products, learn what to do if you are arrested, and demand Jeff Sessions’s resignation as attorney general.

DGB offers a unique mix of actions that goes beyond calling your MoCs (though they ask you to do that, too.) It prompts you to think about community action that you might not have considered, such as becoming an organ donor and supporting black-owned businesses. There’s a welcome feminist flavor to the daily choices, too.


Visit the DGB web site to read Today’s Grab and scroll down to subscribe to the email list:



Read the Who We Are page for proof that these women are like you, and you’d like them:



Like DGB on Facebook:



Follow DGB on Twitter: