Turning Frustration to Action After Divisive Election

Rallies and protests have broken out across the country since the outcome of the election, but advocates hope that energy will last long enough to effect change and increase engagement.

At the Boston Women's Fund, Executive Director Janet Santos knows the large gatherings are a big part of the healing process, but says the action has to go beyond that.

"We not only have to go out there and march, we actually need to have a strategy," Santos said.

For her organization, the strategy started with a letter sent out right after the election, stressing the importance of activism when it comes to fighting for the issues they believe in.

"There's the issue of income inequality as well as immigration and sexual violence," Santos said. "I just think there is a lot of fear of the unknown."

The Boston Women's Fund is one of several organizations that have seen an outpouring of support including inquiries about how to volunteer. The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters say they have seen an increase too.

One of the places those who feel strongly about the advancement of women and girls can volunteer is Strong Women Strong Girls. The Boston based non-profit is non-partisan and has a mission of mentoring.

"We feel almost reinvigorated that we need to keep doing this work even more now," Executive Director Siiri Morley said. "We have to make that girls are seeing this isn’t an ending point."

The education includes discussion about role models from their workbook. Next week's lesson on advocacy features Hillary Clinton.

Regardless of party-affiliation and who is in office, Morley hopes the election will be a catalyst for people to get involved long after the rally crowds disperse.

"Instead of feeling a sense of frustration or despair which everyone is processing in different ways," Morley said. "We can say okay how do we keep riding the coattails of this?"

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