Fighting Trump By Giving Back

As Inauguration Day draws near, here’s a guide to getting involved—and not letting up.

Almost immediately following the election, my news feeds and everyday conversations became populated with what I call “the Bad Feeling.” The holidays may have provided a momentary distraction, but, with Inauguration Day looming, it’s back with a vengeance. Donald Trump will soon be the president of the United States, and though the consistency of his policies is shaky (at best), it seems like any number of apocalyptic futures might be possible. The Bad Feeling is nebulous. The Bad Feeling inspires both anger and dread.

But it has also galvanized us into action. A record number of people have turned out to protest, many for the first time. We’ve taken to the streets and opened our wallets. Yet, for those new to all of this, it can be hard to know where to start.

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Ekene Ijeoma

Meet the innovative mind revealing the human face behind data.

Ekene Ijeoma refers to his cozy, fourth-floor studio in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, as “The Treehouse.” Green metallic vines cover one wall, making me feel as though we’ve secluded ourselves in some kind of futuristic canopy. At first blush, the 31-year-old designer strikes me as laconic, though a playful sense of humor slowly begins to emerge. We joke about how no one uses the option to donate to charity while checking out at Rite Aid, before he wonders aloud, how do we get people to do good?

As an artist and designer, Ijeoma is a unicorn—a sought-after rarity, utilizing a multitude of mediums, like interactive media and installations, and tools, like code and data, with ease. He is careful to note though that these decisions are always made depending on what best serves the concept. And while Ijeoma has worked on commercial projects, his talents and passions converge in his socially conscious work. One piece, The Refugee Project, is a collaboration with design studio Hyperakt that aims to increase awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis. He shows me a now-famous photo of a Turkish police officer carrying a drowned Syrian refugee boy from the beach—a heart-wrenching image that drew international ire. “I was thinking about how much empathy this image created for the issue. How could data visualization do the same thing?”

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