Trump-proof your playlist with 11 resistance-ready protest songs.

Historically, music has played a vital role in American war and resistance movements.

During the Revolutionary War, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and other popular dance songs were sung by both the British soldiers and the American rebels to keep spirits afloat in trying times. This continued throughout history, with songs like the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "God Bless America" motivating troops and civilians during the Civil War and World War I.

But war is never straightforward, and when American involvement in Vietnam escalated, patriotic songs like "The Battle of the Green Berets" were soon outnumbered by protest and anti-war music like Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' "I Should Be Proud."


Folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform during a civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., in 1963. Photo by Rowland Scherman/National Archive/Newsmakers.

Nearly in tandem, the civil rights movement had protest and resistance music of its own. Generations of artists and performers, inspired by marches, demonstrations, and tragedies during the fight for civil rights, created some of the country's most enduring musical contributions — songs like James Brown's "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud" and Gil Scott-Heron's spoken-word piece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

James Brown performs at the Olympia hall in Paris. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

But protest and resistance music didn't end in the 1960s. Now more than ever, we need songs to keep us moving forward.

We need songs that make people want to stand up, speak out, and fight back.

We're facing an unprecedented American political landscape, and there are inexperienced, unpredictable people in charge. It's important to pay attention and speak up against bigotry, ignorance, and policies that affect the most vulnerable.

This is the soundtrack to the resistance. Turn it up. Share it. Let them hear us coming.

Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's executive order which imposes a freeze on admitting refugees into the United States and a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries at the international terminal at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

1. Andra Day, "Rise Up"

Warm up with this beautiful, haunting ballad by songstress Andra Day. It may not get your heart racing, but it will get your mind prepared to face a new and uncertain challenge.

Lyric for your protest sign: "All we need, all we need is hope/And for that we have each other"

2. Pharrell Williams, "Runnin'"

If you haven't seen "Hidden Figures," stop what you're doing and go. I'll wait.

OH MY GOODNESS WASN'T IT SO GOOD?! This true story was brought to life on screen with powerhouse performances and a soundtrack of contemporary soul music. This particular song from Pharrell Williams would be at home on black radio in 1963 or 2017, which is a sobering reminder that even though we made it to space, there's still a long way to go.

Lyric for your protest sign: "I don't want no free ride/I'm just sick and tired of runnin'"

3. Isley Brothers, "Fight the Power, Pts. 1 & 2"

A pretty much perfect song about standing up against the powers that be. Ever wonder what you would've done during the civil rights movement? Turn on these songs, go outside, and find out.

Lyric for your protest sign: "When I rolled with the punches/I got knocked on the ground/With all this bullshit going down"

4. K'naan feat. Snow tha Product, Riz MC, and Residente, "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)"

There are a lot of songs on the "Hamilton" original Broadway cast recording and the subsequent "Hamilton Mixtape" remix and compilation album, but few possess the energy and passion of "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)."

As President Trump looks to restrict the number of refugees entering America, it's important to remind people of troubling and dangerous circumstances many immigrants and refugees flee in the first place and the difficult journeys they face once they're in America, whether or not they're documented.

Lyric for your protest sign: "It’s America's ghost writers, the credit's only borrowed."

5. Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready to Make Nice"

This song was about the Dixie Chicks' political saga with country radio and outraged fans. (Doesn't that feel downright quaint these days?) It holds up as a pop-country song about refusing to find common ground with ignorance and bigotry. I think of this song every time someone suggests I "give President Trump a chance." Candidate Trump said some awful things about people like the people I love and the people who make this country a great place to live. President Trump seems to be following through on his potentially devastating campaign promises. Forgive and forget? Not when lives and livelihoods are at stake.

Lyric for your protest sign: "I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go 'round and 'round and 'round."

6. Kendrick Lamar,  "Alright"

You could hear this song break out at Black Lives Matter demonstrations and marches across the country. This powerful anthem struck a chord at just the right time, a three-and-a-half minute tonic against fear, anguish, and systemic oppression. As Desire Thompson wrote in Vibe, "While listening to it on repeat, I was reminded of the lesson that pain isn’t permanent and getting through the tough times are what make us all stronger."

Lyric for your protest sign: "We gon' be alright"

7. Solange, "F.U.B.U."

We don't deserve two talented, powerful Knowles sisters. But it's younger sister Solange's new album that's been in heavy rotation during this winter of discontent. It's empowering and ethereal, with lyrics covering so many issues on the minds of black women. "F.U.B.U." is an acronym for "for us by us," and this song is just that. Sorry not sorry white folks, this one isn't for you.

Lyric for your protest sign: "All my niggas let the whole world know/Play this song and sing it on your terms/For us, this shit is for us/Don't try to come for us"

8. Marvin Gaye, "Mercy, Mercy, Me (the Ecology)"

Like "Inner City Blues" and "What's Going On?" "Mercy, Mercy Me" is a grim reminder of how little has changed in the last 45 years. That's not a cue to get despondent. That's a cue to get bold. It's a cue to keep pushing, keep tapping into fresh ideas and new approaches, especially when it comes to the environment. As the saying goes, "There is no Planet B." Let's do this.

Lyric for your protest sign: "What about this overcrowded land/How much more abuse from man can she stand?"

9. The "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" theme

It's a 30-second theme song for a show about a woman starting her life over after 15 years in an underground bunker. What's more resistance-ready than that?

Lyric for your protest sign: "'Cause females are strong as hell!"

10. The Pointer Sisters, "Yes We Can Can"

Long before Obama used it to galvanize millions of believers, Allen Tousissant's song of a similar name galvanized people on the dance floor and in the streets. Performed by the Pointer Sisters, the socially conscious funk song reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the timeless classic remains relevant nearly 44 years later.

Lyric for your protest sign: "We got to make this land a better land than the world in which we live/And we got to help each man be a better man with the kindness that we give"

11. Elton John, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"

I was going to pick "Philadelphia Freedom" for its soaring horns and unintentional bicentennial spirit, but this song felt better for Nazi-punching. Now, I'm not condoning violence, but what you and your fists do to fight fascists is your business.

Lyric for your protest sign: "Saturday night's alright for fighting, get a little action in."

This playlist is just the beginning.

There are countless songs, new and old, that belong on this list. When it comes to music that inspires you to do good and get involved, there are no wrong answers. Pick it out, turn it up, and let's get moving.

Thousands of people gather at City Hall in San Francisco to protest President Trump and to show support for women's rights. Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Cipolla's graph with the benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself and causes to others.

Have you ever known someone who was educated, well-spoken and curious, but had a real knack for making terrible decisions and bringing others down with them? These people are perplexing because we're trained to see them as intelligent, but their lives are a total mess.

On the other hand, have you ever met someone who may not have a formal education or be the best with words, but they live wisely and their actions uplift themselves and others?

In 1976, Italian economist Carlo Cipolla wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay called "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity" that provides a great framework for judging someone's real intelligence. Now, the term "stupid" isn't the most artful way of describing someone who lives unwisely, but in his essay Cipolla uses it in a lighthearted way.

Cipolla explains his theory of intelligence through five basic laws and a matrix that he believes applies to everyone.

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Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

The Schmidt family's Halloween photoshoot has become an annual tradition.

Two of Patti Schmidt's three sons were already well into adulthood when her daughter Avery was born, and the third wasn't far behind them. Avery, now 5, has never had the pleasure of close-in-age sibling squabbles or gigglefests, since Larry, Patrick, and Gavin are 28, 26, and 22, respectively—but that doesn't mean they don't bond as a family.

According to People.com, Patti calls her sons home to Point Pleasant, New Jersey, every fall for a special Halloween photoshoot with Avery. And the results are nothing short of epic.

The Schmidt family started the tradition in 2017 with the boys dressing as the tinman, the scarecrow, and the cowardly lion from "The Wizard of Oz." Avery, just a toddler at the time, was dressed as Dorothy, complete with adorable little ruby slippers.

The following year, the boys were Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and Avery was (of course) Princess Leia.

In 2019, they did a "Game of Thrones" theme. ("My husband and I were binge-watching (Game of Thrones), and I thought the boys as dragons would be so funny," Schmidt told TODAY.)

In 2020, they went as Princess Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, and Fezzik from "The Princess Bride."

Patti shared a video montage of each year's costume shoot—with accompanying soundtracks—on Instagram and TikTok. Watch:

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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