Where were you when you heard of Ruth Bader Ginsberg's passing? At least for us, the where, when and how we found out will be etched in our memories for good.
From The Fold's Managing Editor, Brooke Klauer
"I gasped, then cried. And was completely unaware until the dings from my phone brought it to my attention that 2020 could—in fact—get worse. It was my girls from college in our group text who broke the news, and ushered in the immediate heartache. But as I wallowed in the aftermath I thought, well, she was 87. She was allowed to go home to Marty and hug him again. How can we hold it against her that she was ready? I saw it written how a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. And she did, and she is.
But I think that's what makes her leaving us feel so fraught—it's the realization that the balance she fought her entire career for is so delicate. And that by her leaving us, it all may come tumbling down. Because we aren't just mourning her, her life, and her life's work. We are also mourning what may happen if we lose her legacy. But that is to say WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN. So, see below.
My favorite of all her words (of which there are many! but if I absolutely had to pick): 'When I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that.' We have to put in the work, and fight for all the right RBG afforded us. RIP."
From The Fold's Executive Editor, Amanda Carter Gomes
"It had been a particularly tough week on the West Coast. Wildfires were keeping us all indoors during the first week of online schooling, the latest SOS in year that is beyond comprehension. I had just come home from a long walk in the pouring rain, my first opportunity to get outside in semi-decent weather for the past 10 days. I sat down with my boys to watch a movie and picked up my phone and discovered this notification. All I could do what mutter 'no, no, no, no, no' over and over again. I was in disbelief.
I gave myself a night. A night to drink wine, cry, watching escapist television (a plug for the new season of PEN15). Then, the next morning I sent what I could afford to SwingLeft's Immediate Impact Fund and committed to do more. More calling, more texting, more interviews—more action."
From our friend, Amelia Bonow, Founding Director of Shout Your Abortion
"Donate to abortion funds. Abortion Funds are mutual aid networks doing the critical, on the ground work of helping people not only pay for their procedures but get where they need to go. National Network of Abortion Funds is the national org, and through NNAF you can find a fund working in your state—you might be able to get involved more locally, by offering the use of your house or vehicle, giving rides, or providing other forms of material support that aren't financial.
Donate to independent abortion clinics. Independent clinics provide the vast majority of abortions after the first trimester; as clinics in hostile states are forced to close, second and third trimester procedures will become harder and harder to access. Indie clinics are already fighting to keep their doors open and Keep Our Clinics is a relief fund which will help the indies most vulnerable to closure.
Educate yourself about self-managed abortion. The eradication of legal abortion rights is infuriating, but we need to stop thinking of illegal abortions as dangerous, back alley affairs. MANY people safely end their pregnancies at home with pills they acquire online and from a medical perspective, doing so is incredibly safe—the real risk surrounding SMA is criminalization, which of course disproportionately affects BIPOC and undocumented folks. Learn more about SMA so you can make yourself a resource to people living in hostile states while covering all your bases legally.
Check out SYA's site www.ShareSafeAbortion.Info so that you know how to help people find clinics, info about self managed abortion, financial support, info about judicial bypass, trauma support, trans healthcare resourcees, crisis lines and more. Share this link widely. Write it on bathroom walls! ShareSafeAbortion.Info!
The legal attacks we are seeing now are an extension of a culture that's never gotten comfortable talking about abortion. No matter your gender or sexuality: LEARN TO ARTICULATE WHY YOU REFUSE TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WITHOUT REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM FOR ALL AND THEN DO THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY. Check out SYA's site and social media for tangible ideas and resources."
As of this morning it has been confirmed that Republicans appear to have the votes needed to move forward with a SCOTUS nominee. Below are a list of resources and stories about RBG, in addition to ways to get involved to preserve her legacy.
Mixed Emotions: Kay Brown on Finding Her Place as a Multi-Racial Millennial
“I think I would be considered somewhat of a white passing standard, but it diminishes the fact that I am still half black”
Single Women & Their Spaces: Freelance Creative Vanessa Labi's Northern California Home
"There’s such a joy and peace to having your own space. It’s really special when fostering creative pursuits, and I think that’s why I’ve hung onto it."
Raising Kids Who Are Actively Anti-Racist: Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs and Adam St. Bernard Jacobs Are Teaching Us How
"We’re both intentional about centering our parenting around justice and creativity and are also big believers in always being a work in progress."
The RBG collection (of which each purchased sends a $100 donation to the ACLU Women's Rights Project)
Her own words of advice: "When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade."