I wore my pantsuit to school on Tuesday. Attached to one lapel was my “I  ❤  Voting” sticker; to the other, a VOTE button. I wore my late grandmother’s “beads” around my neck. She always told me that she “was born too early.” A strong, feisty dame, my Gram was, and she would have loved Hillary. I have no doubt she would have voted for her. So, my vote for Hillary was in honor of my grandmother and each of her strong daughters – including my incredible mother.

I was giddy with anticipation all day.

Once home, I changed into my pajamas, made dinner – tacos, symbolically – and settled in to watch the returns. When Wolf Blitzer announced the first wave of Hillary states, I clapped and cheered, a bit misty eyed.

Then…then…then.

Nervously, I kept watching, kept hoping, kept waiting for the cities to come in – kept hoping to add to the tallies. Florida fell. Then, bitterly, my own Ohio. Surely buckets of votes were still out in Milwaukee, in Detroit, in Philadelphia. Surely a deluge – a beautiful dump Trump deluge of votes – was in the offing. Surely.

Alas.

I finally went to bed at 1 AM. I had no hope of sleeping, though, but knowing I had to be up at 5:00 AM for school, I tried to sleep. Every few minutes, I checked Twitter. Finally, I saw it – the tweet I dreaded but knew was coming – the tweet that broke my heart. At about the same time, my 19-year-old daughter came into my room, weeping uncontrollably; she crawled into bed with me, needing a hug, desperate for some kind of comfort, some kind of assurance that everything would be OK.

I tried to comfort her, but I couldn’t assure her because I didn’t know if everything would be OK.

 

A sombre mood settled over my colleagues (well, most of them) during our morning faculty meeting yesterday. At the end of the meeting, as the students crowded the hallways, a fight broke out – usually an unusual occurrence in my school. I’m afraid, though, that it won’t be unusual any longer. Throughout the day, pockets of students, gloating and maybe goading, shouted “Trump!” or donned their “Make America Great Again” caps as they swaggered down the halls. Other students wept. Many expressed grave concerns, clearly shaken and perplexed and wondering, “Where do we go from here?”

It was a difficult day.

I somehow made it, drifting through a daze, but, I was depressed and despondent and despairing and dejected.

Where do we go from here?

How do we face and combat the hate? The sexism? The misogyny? The racism? The xenophobia? The homophobia? The ignorance? The hubris? The mean-spiritedness?

In seeking answers to those questions, I kept returning to Hillary’s slogan: Stronger Together. She’s right. Of course. We need to come together. We need to mobilize. We need to show HIM that he and his ilk will not beat us down. I refuse to go through the next four years in a despondent daze. I will not be silenced! I will RISE! And, I hope we will rise together.

Thus was born the idea for this blog – a place where we can advocate for justice and where we can mobilize into action.

Where do we go from here? We go everywhere. We instigate. We provoke. We expose. We march. We lobby. We boycott. We advocate, and we act.

RISE! We are stronger together.