Many around the nation are using Inauguration Day as a call to action, hoping to do good, spread love and actively come together.
“Given the divisive language, I think the better way is by through our actions to show our character and how good works can trump words that have been divisive,” One20 member Jon Mertz said. “It’s really to refresh our spirit and our community soul.”
One20 is a non-partisan national network of cities around the country hoping to bring communities together on Inauguration Day. Organizers said it is neither a protest nor a celebration.
“After the election, it was a little more divisive we think than previous ones,” Mertz said. “It’s been completely a grassroots effort, so we’ve been very surprised by the uptake of it.”
The name of the effort, One20, has several meanings. Organizers said it represents Jan. 20, which is Inauguration Day, but also the challenge for one person to help 20 people and one person to meet 20 new people.
“I think really, the No. 1 thing is to be able to look someone else in the eyes who maybe they don’t know or haven’t met before and have a conversation and get to know each other a little bit more,” Mertz said. “Hopefully there will also be some common ground that will be found and develop those relationships over time as well.”
In Dallas, there are 10 drop off locations to donate socks, underwear and hand-warmers to help the homeless. There are different acts of kindness in other cities from Eugene and Chicago to St. Louis and Chattanooga and places in-between.
“It doesn’t have to be big at all. It just needs to be something that re-centers us to show some good and hopefully that will help to spark others to do the same thing,” Mertz said.
One20 Drop-off Locations for CitySquare: