2016,

A tough year.

The Orlando shooting. More Freddie Gray's and Trayvon Martin's. The final year of our first black president's 2nd term. The year of our first female nominee for president. The year that the US voted, and its communities, world neighbors, and citizens, trembled a bit.

Though you may not believe that progress looked like Hillary Clinton, it certainly does not look like Donald Trump—except for the fact that advocating communities, minorities, black and brown people, LGBTQ people, determined faith leaders, and the low murmur of hope that STILL LIVES IN THIS COUNTRY, must wake up and stay up and fight/fight/fight. Organizers, stand up; Apathetic, wake up; Hardworking, call for revolution.

Regardless of what happens: Progress has been stalled. Progress has been quieted. Progress has been threatened. And yet. Friends. Please. NEVER FORGET: WE (YOU/I/US) ARE PROGRESS.

LGBTQ people—do not shrink.

Black community—do not shrink.

Hispanic community—do not shrink.

Asian community—do not shrink.

Immigrants and refugees—do not shrink.

Muslims—do not shrink.

Christians—do not shrink.

Faith leaders who believe in deeper loves and humble leaders—do not shrink.

United States—DO NOT SHRINK.

YOU ARE PROGRESS. YOU ARE HOPE. (Not one man, no matter how possibly dangerous he is.)

United States; working class; minorities; people of faith; DEMAND MORE.

Fear is asking you to recoil. To hide. To stay down.

But. Even now. United States.

DEMAND MORE.

DO NOT SHRINK.

FRIENDS.

DO. NOT. SHRINK.

No matter what: don't shrink.