Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hello all. Happy Thanksgiving! This week's list is slightly different because we wanted to customize it to celebrate everyone's favorite food-based holiday, Thanksgiving. First of all, like Columbus Day, this holiday is rooted in false histories that gloss over oppression of Native Americans. So if that makes your blood boil, or at the very least simmer, check out our Columbus Day Action list.
First off, as the holiday season begins we wanted to share with you a few organizations to AVOID giving money to this holiday season:
Donating to and supporting these organizations is imperative, and if you have the means, they will always appreciate (and do amazing things with) the funds. However, there are many other ways to support these causes, many of which you will find on the websites of these organizations, and on our lovely Teens Resist.
Happy holiday season!
The Southern Poverty Law Center: The Southern Poverty Law Center is a fantastic organization that deals with racism and prejudice. It has three main branches. Fighting Hate deals with keeping hate groups across the US under control and releasing information that keeps Americans updated about extremist groups. They offer super informative resources like their Hate Map as well as articles that explain major hate groups, and they also train law enforcement to deal with hate crimes in better ways. Teaching Tolerance, another part of their program, creates curriculum for teachers and schools to use across the country that teach diverse history and important lessons to students who may not be receiving that otherwise. Lastly, through Seeking Justice, the SPLC champions important civil rights law cases. They are a group that does very necessary work.
Website: splcenter.org; How to support them: Donations or publicity in your community (check website for more)
The American Civil Liberties Union: Commonly know as the ACLU, this organization does incredible work to protect the individual and collective civil rights of Americans through community outreach & organizing and providing law work on important civil rights cases. Since Trump's election, they've been at the forefront of the resistance and have been involved in numerous cases to help people affected by discriminatory legislation, as well as trying to stop that legislation itself.
Website: aclu.org; How to support them: Donations or visit aclu.org/action for more incredible ways to speak out.
Planned Parenthood: You saw this coming, didn't you? Now over 101 years old, Planned Parenthood has been a leader of women's health for years. They provide prenatal, pregnancy and sexual healthcare and resources to anyone and everyone. Particularly, they provide these services to low income women healthcare services. They also provide birth control and contraceptive resources, cancer screenings, and yes, abortions in most cases. All while maintaining a welcoming and confidential environment. They are an incredibly important organization in this country, and they're also under fire right now.
Website: plannedparenthood.org; How to support them: Donations, march on their behalf, call Congress to oppose defunding or through plannedparenthood.org/getinvolved
Make the Road NY: This is an incredible community-based organization that works to uplift low-income and Latinx communities through "multi-issue, multi-generational organizing," according to their website. They do legal work in helping make sure that the rights of immigrants are upheld and they also work with adult education, organizing and on-the-ground change making. They also protect students and Dreamers fiercely and are at the forefront of the immigration reform movement.
Website: maketheroadny.org; How to support them: Donations and visit maketheroadny.org/participate.php for more.
NILC: The National Immigration Law Center does excellent work upholding immigrants' rights and protecting vulnerable people from deportation. They also have trainings and resources for people to understand their rights.
Website: nilc.org; How to support them: Donations, attending trainings and events- for more, see nilc.org/get-involved
EMILY's List: EMILY's List is an organization that supports and encourages Democratic, pro-choice women to run for office. They (and we) believe that for government to do its best for America, it needs to represent our population and that if more women are elected to office, real change can be made. They fundraise for women candidates and train women to run for office, something we really do need. (Oh, and what does that acronym stand for? "Early Money Is Like Yeast"- it makes the dough rise.)
Website: emilyslist.org; How to support them: donate, attend trainings, sign their petitions and encourage others to run for office (or do so yourself!). For more, see emilyslist.org/pages/get-involved
NAACP's Law Defense Fund: The LDF works on important civil rights cases and does pro-bono law work for people whose rights are being violated in situations where they are in a lesser position of power.
Website: www.naacpldf.org; How to support them: donate or take action (petitions!, etc.) through naacpldf.org/take-action.
Earthjustice: Earthjustice does work as "a lawyer for the planet." They fight legally for people's rights to a safe and protected environment and bring immense awareness to issues like climate change and they work in the courts to stop violations of our Earth from occurring.
Website: earthjustice.org; How to support them: donate, look at petitions and updates on earthjustice.org/action
The 350: One of the best climate change organizations out there, the 350 does amazing work to support activist efforts and avoid detrimental legislation that destroys our planet and creates a desolate future for future generations.
Website: 350.org; How to support them: donate or find opportunities both digital and near you through 350.org/get-involved/
Everytown: Everytown is an organization that fights for gun control and the safety of Americans. They fight to change legislation and propose new bills in order to remember previous horrors of gun violence and prevent future carnage. They've also been very successful many times. They have resources for how to act on issues and learn more about this issue.
Website: everytown.org; How to support them: donate or complete at least one of their 7 Actions You Can Take to Prevent Gun Violencd at everytown.org/act.
CODEPINK: CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots effort to end American wars and militarism and help our planet through green jobs and economy. They do lots of amazing legislative and grassroots work to take control of issues they care about.
Website: codepink.org; How to support them: donate, but there are numerous other ways to support their work (and we mean a lot) through going to their website and looking at "Act Now."
International Rescue Commission: The IRC responds to humanitarian crises to help people who are in danger or peril. They helped 26 million people in 2016. Not only that, but they work to make sure America is a welcoming place for these refugees, and to ensure they can come here at all.
Website: rescue.org; How to support them: donations are incredibly helpful, though they do have a few other ways to help at rescue.org/how-to-help.
Hispanic Federation: The Hispanic Federation is an extremely trustworthy organization that is currently doing work to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico through aid and relief.
Website: hispanicfederation.org/unidos; How to support them: donations and buy Almost Like Praying on iTunes!
CAMBA: CAMBA is a food bank and organization that works to aid the homeless in New York City.
Website: camba.org; How to support them: donate to them or to their food drives at camba.org/support.
Human Rights Campaign: HRC is the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the country and fights against hate crimes and discriminatory legislation.
Website: hrc.org; How to support them: donations or community outreach
UNICEF: The United Nations Children's Fund fights for the rights of children across the globe, particularly in places where their well-being or education is being threatened.
Website: unicef.org; How to support them: donate or take action by volunteering. More at unicef.org/take-action
The Malala Fund: Founded by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot for daring to go to school, the Malala Fund builds schools for girls in countries where their educational opportunities are limited, both by resources and their gender. They also build schools in refugee camps for Syrian refugee girls.
Website: malala.org; How to support them: donate or start your own event (like Girls Read for Girls!).
Center for Constitutional Rights: CCRJ uses constitutional law to win civil rights cases, a tactic that will help defeat constitutionalist conservatives in the Supreme Court and Congress.
Website: ccrjustice.org; How to support: donate, get involved in their programs and attend events. More at ccrjustice.org/home/get-involved
Campaign Zero: Built on the basis of stopping police brutality, Campaign Zero uses a set of values and changes to stop police brutality once and for all.
Website: joincampaignzero.org; How to support: donate and look at their resources and information.
Close Rikers: Close Rikers is a New York City grassroots effort to close Rikers Island. Rikers Island is a prison in New York City that has been the culprit of horrifying treatment for a long time. Detaining one person at Rikers costs NYC taxpayers 247,000 per year. 89% of the Rikers population are Black and Latinx. In many of these cases, these prisoners are at Rikers for tiny "broken windows" crimes or their inability to pay bail. In many cases, they have not committed the crimes. Rikers is a system that contributes to the problem of mass incarceration in this country and Close Rikers is trying to shut it down.
Website: closerikers.org; How to support them: donate, join the campaign, tweet @NYCMayor and attend events. More at closerikers.org/take-action.
Arab American Association of NY: The Arab American Association of NY works to uplift Arab American and Arab immigrant communities and advocate against hatred and discrimination in the city.
Website: arabamericanny.org; How to support them: donate or see more opportunities on the website.
NARAL Pro-Choice America: NARAL is an organization that fights for reproductive freedom in the form of birth control and abortion access, paid family leave and the rights of pregnant people. They work on important legislation and community outreach.
Website: prochoiceamerica.org; How to support them: donate or take action using their website.
FWD.us: FWD.us is a bipartisan organization dedicated to keeping America competitive in the global economy by fixing our issues and make progressive change. Currently, they're working hard on immigration reform.
Website: fwd.us; How to support them: use their tools to speak out!
These lists include featured organizations, scripts, numbers, news updates and inspirational activists.