By Carissa Kapcar and Penny Davey, Hinsdale

Concern Leads to Action
One week after.
Consistently for the 130+ weeks since.
Three to fifteen, more than thirty-five involved.
Too many to remember.
Over 5,000.

One week after the 2017 inauguration, and consistently for the 130+ Fridays since, three to fifteen concerned citizens have gathered to take action by writing postcards about too many issues to remember. What has been described as ‘one-part therapy and two-parts action’ has been a casual, yet powerful, way for like-minded neighbors, friends, and friends of friends to gather and make an impact. In fact, the group estimates they have sent over 5,000 postcards.

Attendees come as they can, spurred forward by a concern over an issue or issues bothering them most that week. There is no need to RSVP, just show up ready to go. Each Friday brings a new set of concerns, locally, nationally, and globally. Views are shared with lawmakers in Springfield and Washington, D.C. and others. The group has also worked to support local issues, from schools to candidates. The early morning (7:30-8:15 a.m.) gathering time was established to accommodate work and school schedules. It is a time for venting, discussion, and focused action!

Fight Back Friday grew from spirits stirred during the 2017 Woman’s March. A few acquaintances discovered that they shared a sincere need to become involved in the change they wanted to see. The group, made up of a few women, men, and even two young daughters, initially met at a locally owned coffee shop to direct their concerns via postcards. By the very next week, word of mouth had spread! The group was too large for the coffee shop and has been growing and meeting at dining room tables since.

One wonderful feature of the group is that it is multi-generational with ages ranging from elementary children, high school students, young parents, up through retirees. The warmth of these cross generational relationships is palpable. In fact, the Fight Back group was a very encouraging audience when one young member bravely shared her school Student Council campaign speech.   The friendships and respect for one another have grown into occasional evening social gatherings, alliances for further action including canvasing efforts, town hall meetings, and more.

Recently, Fight Back launched its first spin-off group in Ohio with a potential for over 20 enthusiastic attendees.

This local grassroots group is inspiring as a way to put people’s passion and angst into action. While channeling concern and using that to take positive steps forward, Fight Back Friday has built community and made a difference.

This model is easy to duplicate with a starter set of postcards, addresses and engaged citizens ready to make their voice heard. Feel empowered to start your own action group!