2016 election brings out the activist in local elder

Brigitte Krummell makes a statement with others from Van Buren For All.
	Photo courtesy of StudioOne Creative

    Brigitte Krummel isn’t your average community activist. In fact, at 82 years old she is getting involved in politics for the first time in her life. She, like so many others after the 2016 Election, decided that she needed to do something. Using the Indivisible Guide as a tool, she got together with a group of her neighbors and they started fighting for democracy as they understand it.
    What Krummel brings to this activism is perspective; she was born in Germany and grew up there during the second world war.
    “Growing up in Germany during WWII, we didn’t have conversations about what was going on in the world around the dinner table,” she said. “We were isolated, hopeless and helpless.” She felt the same way after the 2016 election. So, the only question for her was what to do next?
    “The Indivisible Guide gave me the skeleton of what to do; so, I got together with a group of friends at my farmhouse in Webster Hills,” an area of lakes and hills situated in-between Hartford, Lawrence and Bangor. “We discovered pretty quickly that we’d need a bigger location and moved our meetings to the Lawrence Library.”
    After the Women’s March that happened all over the world, Krummel gained another perspective. She and many others have something her family didn’t have. “We have a voice,” she said. “Seeing people waking up, marching, attending rallies, writing postcards, making phone calls, standing in front of offices, finding ways to stand up for what we believe in.”
    Krummel discovered the movement is happening spontaneously across the country -- not just on the TV in big cities, it is also happening locally.
    “Groups started popping up like mushrooms, and we have been active for four months and this effort will continue. But maybe because I am 82 years old, I thought I need a short break, but we also need to come together and celebrate.”
    Having a celebration isn’t the only goal of the community gathering. “The mission of this gathering is to help us get to know each other, connect, and move forward to fight for what we believe in together,” said Brigitte. “We are inviting like-minded groups and people to join us.”
    #INDIVISIBLE Group We All Belong, is hosting a community gathering, Celebration of Unity event at Van Buren Youth Camp, on Great Bear Lake, 11782 45th Street, Bloomingdale, on April 29.
    The official opening of the celebration will be at 2 p.m. During the program from 2-5 p.m., different groups can share with each other what they are doing, and how everyone can get more involved in their efforts.
    “As a part of the program, we will support the Climate March, that is happening the same day, and participate in our own way,” said Krummel.. “We are designing the official program to be done in a fun way with creative skits and entertainment in a camp setting; this will help us fulfill our mission.”
    The group will have access to the camp the rest of the evening (5-10 p.m.), to socialize, participate in family activities, and enjoy good food, entertainment and a campfire.
    The event is free, and family friendly. Any person or group wishing to take part in the gathering may make a reservation online at vanburen4all.com/rsvp. More details, including a flyer for the event, can be found there as well.. Those who are interested may also connect through the community Facebook page facebook.com/vanburen4all., featuring an event page to invite friends, family and neighbors.
    For further information, and for groups interested in participating, contact Krummel at 1 (269) 621-0896. Individuals can also message us through the Facebook page. Updates and further details of the day will be shared closer to the event.

    The Indivisible Guide: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda, started, in its organizers’ own words, “as a poorly formatted, typo-filled Google Doc.”  Since December, the guide has been downloaded over a million times. More than 4,500 local groups have signed up ... in nearly every congressional district in the country.         Originators of The Guide are former congressional staffers offering “best practices for making Congress listen.”
    “Since this guide went live as a Google Doc, we’ve received an overwhelming flood of messages from people all over the country working to resist the Trump agenda,” they say on their Indivisible website. “We’re thrilled and humbled by the energy and passion of this growing movement. We’ll be updating the guide based on your feedback and making it interactive ASAP. You can sign up for updates at www.IndivisibleGuide.com.”
    The group says their goal is to do two things better:
    “•Demystify congressional advocacy - We get hundreds of questions every day about what Congress is doing, how to organize locally (website provides a toolkit!), and how to advocate in different situations. We’re going to start sending out timely updates and resources on what’s going on in Congress and how you can best organize, make your voice heard, and influence your members of Congress.
     “•Support the community of local groups putting the Indivisible Guide into action - We want to provide shared tools to help groups organize events, communicate with each other, and share best practices and resources. This also means spotlighting local successes and supporting a sense of a shared purpose. ”
    The group is pursuing 501c(4) status as a nonprofit organization. Donations are not tax deductible.
    “We’re still developing our long-term strategy, and we want to hear from you about what you need and want.”

 

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The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

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