Practical advice and personal wisdom from a four-time cancer survivor.

10 Ways to Resist, Advocate & Support

January 31, 2017 by Julie Negrin

A lot of people are scared and unsure how to help. So I made a list of ideas. I’ve learned through my medical hell that it feels better to channel panic into action!

Step 1: We can’t do everything. Pick one or two issues you’re passionate about and start reading everything you can and following experts tweeting/writing about it. News moves fast, Twitter is quickest. I also constantly Google “ACA repeal” to stay up to date.

Step 2: Find local and national organizations that are working on your two issues. See how you can get involved and stay in the loop. Get on their mailing lists, read their sites, follow them on social media.

Step 3: Test different methods of activism THAT WORK FOR YOU. Nobody can do EVERYTHING. It’s like working out advice – find ones that suit your personality, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to plan for the long game.

IMPORTANT: Don’t expect anyone to hold your hand. It’s chaos now, get advice from experts on your topic and then jump in and DO SOMETHING!!


For people that prefer behind the scenes:

1. CALL :: Spend 30 minutes calling Congress and other elected officials every morning. Add your elected officials – and GOP in other states ONLY for issues that will affect your district like education and health care – to your phone. Find scripts online. Be consistent. This DOES work.

2. MAIL :: Buy a stack of cheap postcards on Amazon, print out elected official addresses and have them ready to send as soon as issues come up. They DO tally these.

3. CONTRIBUTE YOUR SERVICES :: if you’re a lawyer, organizer, doctor, court advocate, social worker, tech person, call a local organization that is working on your two issues and offer to volunteer.

For people who prefer meeting up:

4. MEETINGS :: Start studying your local elected officials and setting up meetings. Drag your friends with you. Adam Smith’s staffer is even driving to me next week. Only 15 minutes long but very powerful.

5. TOWN HALLS :: Get involved with organizations connected to your issues and observe how they advocate at town halls and other meet ups.

6. ORGANIZE :: Create meet ups, rallies, postcard writing parties, protect mosques and people walking into to Planned Parenthood. If you’re good at organizing, we need lots of people creating events.

For people stuck at home:

7. SPEAK UP ONLINE :: it’s scary to challenge antagonist posters, but I’ve found they mostly slink away when you ask them for facts. Also, try to keep your emotions under wraps and keep it dignified, otherwise, it’s harder to prove your point. Calmly and logically sharing facts shuts them down better than yelling at them.

8. DONATE :: if you have money, but not a lot of time, donate to ACLU, Planned Parenthood, International Rescue Committee, Amnesty International, Greenpeace. So many good ones – there are way more – study up and share others in the comments. Create recurring monthly donations. A lot of us can’t do this so we thank those that can and do!

For people who want to get radical:

9. PROTEST :: Marches and protests are powerful. However, I recommend that you speak with veteran activists, especially people of color, that have years of resisting experience before doing anything beyond a peaceful protests. I do not condone anything BUT peaceful protests. Frankly, I think violent incites more violence and loses us credibility.

10. EXTREME ACTION :: Remember the woman who lived in a tree? I know nothing about this sort of activism but there are others that do. Please please be safe and do your homework first!

CREATE AN UNDERGROUND :: We will need transportation for people and things. I can’t say anything else about this here…

NOTE: complaining and whining on the Internet is not useful. Either share something helpful, support others in the Cause or use your energy to challenge The Misinformed. 

Now grab a bucket and start putting out the fire!! The more of us that stand up now, the quicker we can nip this in the bud!!!!

Keep at it!

Much love❤️ Jules

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  • Hi, my name is Julie Negrin. I’m a nutritionist that’s battled 4 cancers: melanoma, ovarian, colon, and endometrial cancer — the last 3 all at once — due to a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome. In the three years since I lost four organs, I've been slowly transforming to "disabled" after living a mostly able-bodied life. I've also had a bunch of other complications including not being able to eat solid foods.... Stick around if you're not afraid of the ugly bits. Much love,

    Much love,

    Julie Negrin

    About Julie & Cancer Teacher

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