Did you open your Facebook page this morning to find this?
Did you find a big ol’ out pouring of support for the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional? Did you see a bunch of profiles returning to red in support of equal marriage? My guess is many of you did and my hope is that many of you are proud of that.
It’s been a crazy 24 hours for social media and social change. Last night perhaps you caught a wave of posts about this woman:
Wendy Davis, a state senator from Texas, led an 11 hour fillabuster to prevent a vote on strict new abortion laws during a special session of the Texas Senate. Over 120,000 tuned in to the livestream and comments abounded on Facebook and Twitter in support. People stayed up to 3am to watch as the Republicans ended the filibusterer, Democrats rushed to stall, and Senator Van De Putte came to the aid, courageously commenting “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” When the vote seemed eminent spectators caused such a frenzy that the gallery had to be cleared in order for a vote to occur. The clock struck 12:02 in the process and the special session was over. That act took many voices but the result was a victory for women everywhere.
Watching it all from afar reminds me of the power of the internet to connect us to issues so far away and yet so close to our hearts. We are able to band together to show our support for women’s rights and marriage equality and I believe it makes an impact. We can #standwithwendy and continue the fight for marriage equality together.
I have a quote hanging above my desk because each day it reminds me:
We have the capacity to change the world. We can get people out to Austin, we can show the world we’re watching, we can continue to come together until equal marriage is a right had by EVERY person in EVERY state. However in order to do this we have to become agents of change and that means doing more then watching. It means going to the halls of our state capitols, the steps of our supreme court, the ballot box in our neighborhood, the council meeting in our city. Social media is a great place for celebration, elation, and encouragement but to really stand with Wendy or equal marriage we must do more than share a photo or post a status, we’ve got to connect with others on the ground to rise up for change.
So take a moment, do a happy dance, then sit back down and think of one action step you can do in the coming weeks. Volunteer, donate, voice your opinion at a public gathering, or finally register to vote. Then encourage your network to do the same. This is why today makes me feel like I just hugged a unicorn, because I know behind every red icon, every hashtag, every virtual fist pump there is a person who is joining hands with others to change the world.
How will you join with others to carry on the work that has begun this week? How will you become a agent of change?