This guide, available for free online at www.indivisibleguide.com, is the template for a recently formed local action group, Indivisible Wooster.
The purpose of the group is to stand up for equality and human rights in a positive and productive manner. It’s designed to have an impact on the decisions that congressional representatives make in Washington.
Indivisible member Dia C. Miller said, “We want to be proactive, not reactive. I’m tired of the negative.”
Miller was recently part of a gathering at the gazebo in Wooster with cake and balloons to simply say thank you to Sen. Sherrod Brown. “I just would sometimes like to change the agenda from telling [elected officials] what they are doing wrong to saying thank you.”
The first meeting of Indivisible Wooster began with each of the approximately 30 people present giving a short introduction of themselves and sharing which core issues they currently find most pressing. Common concerns centered on a wide variety of topics ranging from human rights to global concerns for health and the environment. A heightened threat of nuclear war, the potential loss of health care coverage, immigration bans and deportations, and women’s rights also were put forward as issues of importance.
“One thing that hasn’t been mentioned,” Lynn Shoots said, “is the rise of hate groups. It scares me.”
The model for action presented in the Indivisible Guide is equally applicable to the local, state and federal levels of government. The guide, created by former Capital Hill staffers, offers inside tips on how to reach congressional representatives in a meaningful and impactful way.
Miller explained that the group would divide up into three teams. Those who prefer to take action locally will be one team, members with interests at the state level will be another and those tackling federal issues will make up the third team. Everyone is encouraged to take part in events and actions at every level, the teams an organizational tool to help with focus and planning.
The Indivisible Guide was first posted online in December. Since that time it has been downloaded over a million times. There are currently more than 4,500 Indivisible groups across the country, one in nearly every congressional district.
The Indivisible Guide team is currently pursuing nonprofit status with the goal of providing more information on congressional advocacy along with offering support to local Indivisible groups.
Through supporting local groups, they want to help foster a sense of connection among the larger community. Success stories will be spotlighted to help offer inspiration, encouragement and a sense of shared purpose.
Indivisible.com currently has over 70 volunteers working on forming the nonprofit, handling the website, communicating with local groups, providing congressional updates and more. The website says, “We want to demystify the heck out of Congress and build a vibrant community of angelic troublemakers.”
They are referencing a quote by civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who said, “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers.”
One of the community members attending the meeting was College of Wooster junior Oliver Warren, a political science and education major. A native of Wooster, Warren said, “Through my studies and experience I recognize that local action and organization can be the base for what we need. There is a huge lack of representation [in the community] among minorities. The ability to organize and influence the process is important to me.”
Indivisible Wooster meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month. Contact Miller for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook at Indivisible Wooster.
Published: April 18, 2017