What the hell?
Admittedly, “what the hell” is a strange way for a CEO to start a statement, but frankly, this question has been on my mind ever since this administration took office. As executive orders from Trump continue to mount, we, the American people, are left wondering where our rights are going. Each day, we see the vision of a diverse America become a bit murkier. Bans based on religion. Billions of dollars going towards a wall the majority of Americans don’t support. Obscene limitations on healthcare for anyone with a uterus. This is not the country we are used to. This is not the country we have strived for.
But the people are fighting back. January 21st was the single biggest day of protest in American history. And yet, while the fundamental spirit of a revitalized Civil Rights Movement is inspiring, there was still something disturbing about the day: Trump attempted to ignore it. In front of the White House and across the country, millions marched against his blatant disrespect of our constitution, and he didn’t even bat an eye. This is truly perplexing, even for the Trump we’ve come to know over the course of the campaign. Trump has abandoned, in no uncertain terms, the promise he made on the eve of his victory when he proclaimed that he would be a uniter and a president for ALL Americans.
The original founders of this company are all first-generation Americans, with parents from three different continents. For me, as the multiracial son of immigrants from an activist family, this is personal. My grandpa worked side by side with Cesar Chavez at Radio Campesina. My mom lived through the violent Nicaraguan Revolution against the brutal Somoza dictatorship. Her mom (my grandma), to this day, works as a social worker in central California. On my dad’s side, much of our German family were killed by the Nazis, simply for being Jewish. Some were welcomed to the US as refugees. My grandma, who grew up in Germany during WWII, survived after the war thanks to aid packages provided by the US government. Growing up, she used to tell me about her fond memories of the liberating American forces, who handed out chocolates as they rolled through her town on the tops of tanks. Today, I can call myself a proud American solely because of the sacrifices my parents and their families made.
So when I watch the compassion that made this country so great being trampled on, I simply cannot stand idly by. Standing up to this administration is not a partisan issue for me, but one that concerns the very human rights my parents, their families, and so many others fought so hard to earn. This is about standing up to bigotry and demagoguery and fighting to make sure that the arc of history continues, as MLK famously said, to bend towards justice. We all have to play our part. Every single one of us.
As a company, standing up for women, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, and countless others affected by the Administration’s actions is simply a duty we will not ignore. Many of the nonprofits we work with will be left to pick up the pieces this Administration leaves behind. That is no easy task. They’ll need good, passionate people who can get organized and stay involved. If that is you, DiveIn wants to help.
This administration wants to exhaust us and weaken our resolve to the point where we can’t fight back for our friends, for our families, and for our fellow Americans. We cannot let that happen. We will not let that happen.
To make change happen in a country, you must start by making change happen at a local level, which is only possible when people maximize their impact. And that’s exactly why we started DiveIn. DiveIn’s goal is to be a platform that makes finding opportunities to do social good in your community easier than ever. We want to help you answer the question “what can I do to help?”
The good news is that we’re just getting started, and we're already seeing results. For those of you have taken a part in standing up for what’s right—big or small—know that you’re having an impact. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the following (abbreviated) list of accomplishments The Resistance has already had:
1. A federal court has blocked Trump's immigration ban.
2. Uber pledged $3M and hired immigration lawyers for its drivers after #DeleteUber trended on Twitter.
3. The EPA’s climate data is no longer scrubbed from their website.
4. The ACLU has raised over $24M! They usually raise $3-4M per year.
5. More people of different religious, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds are considering running for political office than ever before.
But MOST importantly we, the people, have been awakened. There’s still much to do, but it’s important to acknowledge the impact we collectively can have and celebrate the wins. Stay vigilant but take self-care seriously. Activist fatigue is no joke. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
When you're ready to take action, we at DiveIn want to help. Let’s say you’re an activist, and have a strong passion for a cause, but need help finding a platform to organize people who will be as passionate as you. Post your opportunity on DiveIn and get other active people involved. If you’re looking for a great nonprofit to help, we’ll find you one. From groups that provide civics education like Generation Citizen, to warriors of reproductive rights like Women’s Building, to programs that fight with love like Dream Corps, we'll help you find the right spot in The Resistance.
These are just a few groups that want your help. There are plenty more, and, assuming you’re a person who cares to better the planet, we’ll find one that is perfect for you.
Feel free to share this message. Also, please let us know what improvements we can make at DiveIn to better facilitate active engagement in The Resistance.
The marathon will be long and arduous, but if we stay organized, I have no doubt that with love, grit, and passion we can outlast anything this administration throws at us. Stay engaged. Stay graceful. Stay peaceful. But stay pissed, too. What’s happening isn’t right and we won’t stay silent. My team and I will be here supporting you all, and together, I’m confident we’ll overcome.
Andreas Carlos Freund