Are You Involved? The Time Is NOW

Posted on July 24, 2020


One of the best jams of all time is James Brown’s “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved,” (You can click the link and listen while you read, if you like), where James and the band urge listeners:

Everybody over there
(Get on up)
Everybody right there
(Get into it)
Everybody over here
(Get involved)
(Get involved)
(Get involved)
2020 has been one of the most fucked up years of our lives, and it continues to astonish with its horrors and suffering. As a result, one can feel completely overwhelmed, traumatized, and afraid; one may feel an urge to take refuge in safety and comfort.
I get it! The world is terrifying! I’ll never deny that. BUT…
I’m an educator, which means that I know that education can change minds, change behaviors, change lives, and change communities. I know that community members can learn about the laws, policies, and practices that cause suffering; I know that community members can work together to create new laws, policies, and practices that make the community a place where all members can thrive.
In our local community, there are many efforts underway to improve the quality of life for community members who are suffering: street protests against police brutality, community meetings with local police departments, census support to make sure everyone is counted, food distribution, education, health care, transportation, and a lot of other supports for Lenawee County residents who need assistance. The Lenawee Human Services Collaborative “is a coalition of social service agency leaders dedicated to improving the quality of life for their clients and the community. It includes more than 40 private and government providing agencies.”
The LHSC serves as a “hub” for many local community services; it also offers opportunities to get involved in community projects: volunteer for a one-time event, or for on-going service. While the organization’s meetings take place on Zoom during the pandemic, the work continues, and helping hands are needed. I urge you to consider donating some of your time, energy, skills, and or a$$et$ to the work of the one or more organizations in the LHSC. You can contact Madeline DeMarco at
for more information.
Another important way that we can serve our community is by participating in democracy. 2020 is one of the most important election cycles of our lives, and while the national election gets a lot of press, local and state races have a LOT of influence over the conditions in which we live and work.
Some folks I know have enough privilege to say things like, “I don’t like to get involved in politics…”
I have to say: that kind of thinking REALLY bothers me. Democracy only works if we’re ALL involved. Just because the laws, policies, and practices are not keeping you from living where you like or causing you to be unjustly fired, arrested, imprisoned, or killed doesn’t mean that all community members are doing okay. A LOT of community members are NOT okay–and YOU can help relieve their suffering by participating in democracy.
What can you do? You can donate to a candidate who’s running for office; you can volunteer for a campaign; you can make certain that you and everyone you know are registered to VOTE; you can promote campaigns on social media; you can contact elected officials by letter, phone, email, and on social media to make your voice heard. I’ve heard that the community is in need of volunteers to work at the polls on election day; contact Adrian City Clerk, Robin Connor, to learn how to volunteer at the polls.
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. What will you do?
2020 is one of the most difficult and challenging years I’ve seen as a citizen of the USA.
We need all hands on deck. Please, as James Brown says, “GET INVOLVED!”

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lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

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Posted in: Advocacy