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Activism Potluck

Welcome to my Activism Potluck!

We're facing a number of challenges in the US, but there are lots of organizations dedicated to overcoming them. Probably none of us can afford to support all of them by ourselves, but together we can make a difference!

That's why I've made this "potluck" style sign-up. Each of the organizations below works actively to protect, support, and improve areas of our society that face a growing threat under the incoming administration. If we pool our resources, we can make sure all these organizations have one more supporter this year than they had before.

How it works:

  1. Look over the list below. You can skim the headers for a cause you like or read the whole thing; whatever appeals to you.
  2. Pick an organization you'll commit to support with a monthly donation of $5-$25 throughout 2017.
  3. Click "Sign up >>" next to your chosen organization. The idea behind this potluck is to have one person in every slot! (If there's no sign up option, someone has already grabbed it! Feel free to donate to that organization on your own, but to participate in this potluck, you'll have to pick another.) This page will reload with the sign-up sheet below this introduction.
  4. Fill out the form to lock in your commitment, choosing how much you agree to donate per month. Your information will stay private. (The sign-up sheet will simply say "filled" under the "Name" heading.)
  5. Visit your chosen organization's website by clicking the associated "Donate Here" link on this page and set up a recurring monthly donation.

Disclaimers: 

  • I've done my best to vet each of the following organizations using sites like CharityWatchrecommendations from the more informed, and basic Google checks for scandal; but I'm no lawyer! Please give responsibly and keep an eye on your adopted organization throughout the year.
  • When you donate, the organization will add you to its email list. It's probably a good thing, so you can keep informed as to what they're up to, but it can get annoying if you already have too many emails coming in. Sometimes their emails can be downright alarmist in their attempts to encourage people to take action. To deal with this, you can sort them all automatically into a separate folder, or opt-out altogether from the bottom of the email.

Something else to note: Most of these organizations occasionally take a stance that I disagree with on one thing or another. That's the nature of highly activated policy groups. As such, I look at them on balance; if the overall thrust of their work is in the direction I want the country to go, I support them with a clear conscience. In general, pushback from "the other side" keeps more outrageous actions in check; the result is often a balanced result that's better than either would have achieved on its own.


Anti-Corruption

Anti-Corruption

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
Corruption in the form of Big Money is a huge issue in our government. According to the Federal Election Commission, campaigns for House Representatives run around $1.7 million per election cycle on average; Senator campaigns average around $10.5 million. This means that our representatives must spend an enormous amount of their time fundraising (as opposed to actually working on legislation), and representation is heavily skewed towards the interests of the already wealthy.

It’s no wonder so many in government are beholden to large donating corporations, forced as they are to raise such exorbitant sums. Recent decisions, such as the one made regarding “Citizens United,” have only increased the amount of money flowing through election campaigns. It is the goal of the following groups to pass legislation to rectify this growing systemic problem.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Represent.us

“We bring together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Represent.UsDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Protecting the Environment

Protecting the Environment

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
Global climate change is a recognized fact among those who have spent their lives researching the relevant issues. Reports to the contrary are consistently proven to rely on selective data and faulty reasoning (one such recently made news). Unfortunately, our incoming administration remains extremely skeptical of the reality of the situation; Trump has said variously that he hopes to dismantle the E.P.A., pull out of the Paris Agreement, and refocus on oil and coal.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

National Resources Defense Council

“NRDC creates solutions for lasting environmental change, protecting
natural resources in the United States and across the globe.

NRDC is tackling the climate crisis at its source: pollution from fossil fuels. We work to reduce our dependence on these dirty sources by expanding clean energy across cities, states, and nations. We win court cases that allow the federal government to limit carbon pollution from cars and power plants. We help implement practical clean energy solutions. And we fight oil and gas projects that would pump out even more pollution.” [donation page]

The Sierra Club

“Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with more than two million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. More recently, we’ve made history by leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption and toward a clean energy economy.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
National Resources Defense Council Donate Here#1: Filled$5
The Sierra ClubDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Assistance for Refugees & Immigrants

Assistance for Refugees & Immigrants

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
The incoming administration policies make it a priority to tighten our borders and extricate anyone who has immigrated here illegally, regardless of their situation. While our immigration system clearly needs reform, the situation is more complex than the Trump administration’s heavy-handed agenda makes it out to be.

Broad enforcement actions taken in regard to immigration encompass issues of due process, racial profiling, the militarization law enforcement, flaws in our justice system, the global refugee crisis, overburdened federal courts, and economic stability — not to mention the 700,000 people who signed up for President Obama’s Dreamer’s program in good faith. As such, the issues should be treated carefully and the people involved with respect, and the organizations below will have their work cut out for them to ensure that they are.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

International Refugee Assistance Project

“The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid and systemic policy advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.” [donation page]

Upwardly Global

“OUR MISSION: To eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and integrate this population into the professional U.S. workforce.

Today there are more than 1.8 million immigrants in the U.S. who are college-educated but are unemployed or significantly underemployed. In their home countries they were engineers, doctors, scientists, accountants, and nonprofit professionals. In the U.S. they become cashiers, nannies, and cab drivers, if employed at all.

To solve this problem Upwardly Global creates employer partnerships that benefit from access to this talent pool. We also provide customized training and support for these new Americans to give them an equal opportunity to find and secure skill appropriate opportunities and achieve their full economic potential in the U.S.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
International Refugee Assistance ProjectDonate Here#1: Sign up »
Upwardly GlobalDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Advancement & Protection of Civil Rights

Advancement & Protection of Civil Rights

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
Accusations of racism, ableism, and sexism dogged the Trump presidential campaign, and for good reason. In addition to careless, offensive remarks from the president-elect himself, hate crimes across the nation have been on the rise throughout the campaign. In a country already under the shadows of embedded systemic racism, alarmism against Muslims, and far more widespread personal prejudice than many of us believed still existed in modern America, the groups below will play a crucial role in preventing a slide into a dark history many of us thought long past.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Southern Poverty Law Center

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.” [donation page]

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

“The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” [donation page]

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

“MALDEF strives to implement programs that are structured to bring Latinos into the mainstream of American political and socio-economic life; providing better educational opportunities; encouraging participation in all aspects of society; and offering a positive vision for the future.” [donation page]

American Civil Liberties Union

“The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation’s guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Southern Poverty Law CenterDonate Here#1: Sign up »
National Association for the Advancement of Colored PeopleDonate Here#1: Sign up »
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education FundDonate Here#1: Sign up »
American Civil Liberties UnionDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Overview of the issue

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When people feel their rights are threatened, fear and hopelessness are often not far behind. The day after the election, suicide hotlines received record numbers of calls from disappointed, frightened people of all sorts. Many LGBTQ+ people, in particular, feel threatened by the incoming administration. Although the president-elect has since walked back some of his more drastic plans regarding LGBTQ+, this already beleaguered community is still at risk from both oppressive legislation and rising hate crimes. That’s why, in addition to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which provides services to any who need it, I have also included two more specialized projects aimed directly at helping LGBTQ+.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Suicide Prevention Hotline

“The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 160 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.” [donation page]

The Trevor Project

“The rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for LGB youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth. 1 out of 6 students nationwide (grades 9-12) seriously considered suicide in the past year.

“The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.” [donation page]

Trans Lifeline

“Trans Lifeline is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. We run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Suicide Prevention HotlineDonate Here#1: Sign up »
The Trevor ProjectDonate Here#1: Sign up »
Trans LifelineDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Protection of Internet Freedoms

Protection of Internet Freedoms

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
When we think of protecting our rights, Internet freedoms may not be the first to come to mind. Despite being less of hot-button topic, however, the free exchange of information via the Internet has become a key underlying component of modern American life and democracy. Likewise, the 4th and 5th Amendments constitutionally guarantee a right to privacy and due process that must underpin a society free from government spying. This is as true with regard to emails and cell phones as with land line telephones.

That’s why when people like the Scientific American and Ars Technica start making noise about threats to Internet freedoms, we would do well to listen. We need to dismantle the Patriot Act, protect net neutrality, and safeguard the rights of bloggers and Internet activists; the organizations below spend an enormous amount of resources doing that and more to protect our digital liberties.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Electronic Frontier Foundation

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.” [donation page]

Fight for the Future Foundation

“Fight for the Future is dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people. Alongside internet users everywhere we beat back attempts to limit our basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Electronic Frontier FoundationDonate Here#1: Sign up »
Fight for the Future FoundationDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Women’s Reproductive Health

Women’s Reproductive Health

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
Women have come a long way in America, but America still suffers from an insidious, continued gender-based inequality in terms of income, job distribution, and health care costs. In addition, the prevalence rape-culture — the normalizing of hyper-masculine behaviors that lead to sexism, abuse, and ultimately rape — in our society is recently becoming understood. President-elect Trump himself has made numerous extremely sexist remarks throughout his life. With these things in mind, it’s no wonder a new wave of feminism has recently caught hold in our country, only seeming to gain steam after the Nov. 8th election.

One primary component in a woman’s overall freedom is control over her body and the ability to keep it healthy. With the proposed repeal of some or all of Obamacare (which provides many preventative care options for women) and the administration’s determination to defund Planned Parenthood, women are understandably worried about continuing to receive access to important reproductive health care. The organizations below work tirelessly to ensure that care is provided to all women, regardless of their financial situation.

A note on abortion: I believe it is impossible to know with certainty when life begins. Is it at conception? Is it at three weeks, when the heart begins to beat, before many women even realize they are pregnant? At six weeks, when the first brain wave is detected? When the fetus gains the capacity to feel pain? We cannot know. As such, I believe it is vital to reduce the abortion rate in our country. However, I also believe that access to contraceptives and comprehensive sexual education is crucial to reducing abortions, and far more effective at doing so than shaming and criminalization. I am therefore in the minority in that I am both pro-life and pro- support for the following organizations. I encourage you to avoid the usual knee-jerk reaction and carefully consider the full array of facts when taking a position on this complex and critical issue.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Planned Parenthood

“Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.” [donation page]

The Center for Reproductive Rights

“For more than 20 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has used the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.

We are the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive rights, with expertise in both U.S. constitutional and international human rights law.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Planned ParenthoodDonate Here#1: Sign up »
The Center for Reproductive RightsDonate Here#1: Sign up »


Education

Education

Overview of the issue

Click here to expand
Children are, as the saying goes, the future of the nation. Education is the way to ensure they receive every opportunity to make the most of that future. With his the recent announcement of an Education Secretary who has made it her life’s work to privatize the school system, our public schools will need all the help they can get.

Overview of the organizations

Click here to expand

Communities in Schools

“We are a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” [donation page]

Sign up below...

Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Organization Donation Website Name Donation Amount
Communities in SchoolsDonate Here#1: Sign up »


The featured header image is from Bartholomeus van der Helst, "Banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in Celebration of the Peace of Münster", 1648; it is public domain, downloaded from Wikimedia.