In January 2017, around 100 MIT students, faculty, and staff traveled to D.C. to participate in counter-inaugural activities and protests. We connected some of the group with similarly motivated D.C. locals who also provided lodging. #MITtoDC
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During the months leading up to inauguration we sensed a lot of energy within the MIT community – a lot of outrage, a lot of unrest – and growing desire to take direct political action. But we recognized, too, that a lot of this energy was remaining untapped – not an uncommon problem on a larger scale, either. D.C. felt inaccessible to many: both logistically, in terms of securing lodging and transportation – and in terms of what it represents, a decision-making hub whose influence flows largely outward, where we sometimes feel like our distant voices go unheard. Thus MIT to DC was conceived as a means of lessening that distance, both physical and in terms of influence, by tapping into the energy reserves of our community and giving people a platform for getting involved.
By connecting MIT students to activists in D.C., this effort also intended to give a group of similarly motivated individuals the opportunity to forge a network whose living value structure reflects the active contributions and philosophies of its members, who may not be feeling that the present national climate does so. This network, including individuals from MIT and the broader national community, is extremely valuable not only in the camaraderie it provides its members but in the potential it offers for future action.