“Low wages, no benefits, dangerous work. What is happening here is representative of what is happening across this nation.”
The new project Resist365 is taking aim at the inequality-expanding agenda of the new Trump administration — and inspiring a new generation of progressive leadership.
In the wake of the November elections, Kenneth Worles Jr. saw that many of his millennial peers wanted to start getting politically engaged, but didn’t know where to begin. —And hardly any of the groups organizing to fight back against the new Trump agenda, Worles also realized, were explicitly targeting young people of color, the folks he thought the movement dearly needed. So he launched his own group, Resist365.org.
Inequality.org co-editor Josh Hoxie sat down with the D.C.-based Worles to talk about this new effort.
Inequality.org: So what’s this project about?
Kenneth Worles Jr.: We’re committed to helping young people go from interested to engaged to action on the issues that impact their communities. We saw an onslaught of bad policies and executive actions in the first weeks of the Trump administration, and we know that’s just the start.
We break down these complex issues to show what’s happening, who benefits and who’s harmed, how to get involved, and where to go to learn more.
Inequality.org: How is Resist365.org going to take on inequality?
KW: The communities mostly affected by the growing divide between the rich and poor don’t often hear about how they can play a role in changing it. We know the rich keep getting richer, but we don’t know the ways we can fight back. At resist365 we’re helping newly inspired activists fight with tools, with facts. We’re helping them get together with similarly outraged like-minded people who want to take action.
At our best, we’re recruiters for the movement to take on inequality. We’re working towards a more fair and just society, and we know we won’t get there without involvement from young people.
We’re hopeful these young people won’t just engage on Instagram, but in the ballot box and on the streets and in the opinion pages of their local newspapers as well. We want them to run for local office and to hold the elected officials who are currently in office accountable.
Inequality.org: Why create a new platform rather than just use existing streams?
KW: As a young black activist, I didn’t see a platform that talked directly to my friends and me about broad-ranging issues. Plenty of organizations do a good job on individual issues like race or gender, but we’re not just talking about race.
We’re talking about taxes. We’re talking about the wealthy getting a huge tax break while regular folks lose their public services. We’re talking about climate change and militarism. We’re looking across the spectrum. [pullquote]We’re working towards a more fair and just society, and we know we won’t get there without involvement from young people.[/pullquote]
We want to talk to people in basic terms and phrasing that’s accessible and relatable. A lot of the stuff I see is filled with jargon, and the people we’re trying to reach feel left out because they’re new to these issues. We’re using language that people can understand and connect with, and that’s not common in this space.
Inequality.org: Who else is behind Resist365?
KW: A group of my friends who were all politically engaged came up with the idea. I’m helping to head it up and we’ve gotten strong partnerships from groups like the Institute for Policy Studies and #WeVote. This project takes up a lot of my free time, and I’ve put a lot of heart and soul.
We also work with You Gon Get This News Mane, a daily news round-up looking to connect issues from around the world to millennials of color. We’re now looking to add more partners.
Inequality.org: What is success going to look like with this project?
KW: We’re utilizing social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. In just our first week we’ve been doubling our Instagram followers every couple days. We’re hoping to keep building on this momentum.
We’re also hoping to target politically engaged young people — the under-40 crowd and even the under-20 crowd who maybe have never voted before. We’ve got our eyes on the future, looking at engaging my peers in the rising generation. We’re not going away. We call this Resist365 because we know we can’t afford to get distracted.