Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nonprofits to Support to Counter the Trump Presidency & Republican Congress

I've already noted resources for people that are most at risk by the policies and promises of the Trump Presidency and the Republican Congress. I hope they are helpful, and welcome additional resources in the comments section on that blog.

What follows here in this blog that you are reading now is a list of nonprofits, both (c)(3) and (c)(4), that will actively fight against the new President and Congress's nativism, misogyny, racism and fascism.

Since the election, I've struggled with the question "What do I do now?" I'm hearing others struggle with it. This is my attempt to say, "Here are some of the many options out there. Pick at least one to support. And get busy."

These organizations will actively promote pro-science, pro-human rights, and/or pro-women agendas on all public policy levels and in the media. These organizations aren't about "coming together" or "uniting" or other forms of appeasement.

This is also not a comprehensive list of every organization out there fighting the good fight, and I realize its a reflection of my own policy priorities and, therefore, leaves many out, but it's a start for those looking for initiatives to support and ways to fight against policies that will marginalize women, Black Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims and more, that will promote anti-scientific ideas like that climate change is a hoax or that vaccines cause autism, etc.

Sign up for the email newsletters and blog updates from a few of these organizations, the ones that speak to you most, and "like" their Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter, share their social media messages, go to their events, and if you can, donate your time or money to them. You cannot afford to give money to and volunteer for all of them, of course. And if you share everything from their social media, you will drive all your social media friends away. Be selective.

For donating and volunteering, I suggest you pick one or two organizations to support, give it a few months, then add on or switch to others, give those a few months, etc.

Don't expect for every organization to be well-organized and ready to get you involved right away; many of these organizations are struggling with funding and/or have never been trained in volunteer management. Don't get turned off by an unreturned phone call or unanswered email. Keep calling, keep emailing, keep trying.

Just please do something. Don't just post to Facebook. And do NOT be silent.

I hope this resource is helpful, and I welcome additional ideas, and your personal experiences volunteering or working with any of the following, in the comments section.

What you can do:

Media Responsibility & Ethics

Donate to Media Matters, and/or like their Facebook page and share their status updates, as appropriate. Unlike the Society of Professional Journalists, which promotes ethics in journalism but doesn't call out journalists for not adhering to those ethics, Media Matters actively, frequently calls out unethical and/or incompetent journalism. I put this organization first because this is, by far, the most important issue to me, as it affects absolutely everything else on this list.

iMediaEthics is a not-for-profit, non-partisan news site that publishes the latest media ethics news and investigations into ethical lapses. It seems more focused on the UK than the USA, but it's a great time to be focused globally, as what's happening in the USA is happening elsewhere.

The Center for Media and Information Literacy is based at the School of Media and Communication, Temple University. It is a hub for research, outreach, education, and professional development on issues involving media literacy and information literacy locally, nationally, and internationally. It has a Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers and is  a member of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media & Information Literacy (GAPMIL), launched during the conference in Nigeria to give greater impetus to fostering media and information literate citizenries in the governance and development agenda.

Women's Reproductive Freedom & Health

Donate to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, like their Facebook page and publicize what they are doing.

Donate to and/or volunteer for your nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Bank & Finance Reform

Support Americans for Financial Reform, a nonpartisan and nonprofit coalition of more than 200 civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and civic and community groups. Formed in the wake of the 2008 crisis, the initiative is working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system – one that serves the economy and the nation as a whole. Among its many activities is advocating for and supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and advocating against predatory lenders, such as pay day lenders.

Science Education in Schools & Environmental Advocacy

Donate to Stand Up 4 Public Schools, an advocacy campaign for public schools to counter privatization efforts by National School Boards Association (NSBA).

Donate to the National Environmental Education Foundation, or at least like their Facebook page.

Sponsor a membership for a science teacher at a local high school in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science, a leading scientific journal. Anyone can subscribe to the magazine, or like the AAAS Facebook page.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) mobilizes program and policy experts, volunteers, staff lobbyists, community organizers and communications specialists to inform and inspire the public and to influence decision makers to ensure that our national parks are well protected.

Subscribe to The Scientific American, or at least follow them on Facebook. It's not a nonprofit, but it is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. It has an agenda to focus on scientific FACTS and assaults on scientific knowledge.

Sign up for updates from The Union of Concerned Scientists, like their Facebook page, and donate to them as well. They are a science-based, non-partisan non-profit that works with scientists and citizens to educate the public, media and policymakers about climate change.

Follow the Alliance for Climate Education on Facebook. The Alliance teaches young people how to fight climate change and take control of their future. ACE has an award-winning assembly that it's presented to more than 1.8 million students in thousands of schools. Students can sign up to be part of the Action Network or apply for a fellowship and anyone can Book an ACE Assembly.

Sign up for updates from Citizens Climate Lobby and follow them on Facebook. It is a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. They provide opportunities to engage at the local level with fellow volunteers and trainings on their Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal, building relationships with your elected representatives, writing letters to the editor and op-eds, facilitate presentations and events

Get involved with What We Know, which helps us understand the science behind the realities, risks and response to the climate challenge. It's an initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science, a leading scientific journal.

Sign up for updates from The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. They help citizens around the world reject the lies and take meaningful steps to bring about change.

Join The League of Conservation Voters works to turn environmental values into national, state, and local priorities. LCV, in collaboration with our state LCV partners, advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our priority issues.

Join the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents, and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education.

Join the Natural Resources Defense Council combines the grassroots power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of nearly 500 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. You can find ways to get help their campaigns on their Action page.

Join the Sierra Club is 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. In addition to working at the national level, they have local chapters.

Donate to and become involved with Voces Verdes is an independent non-partisan coalition of Latino business, public health, academic, community leaders and organizational partners who advocate for sound environmental policy to combat climate change and support clean, renewable energy. We recognize the importance of balancing economic growth, environmental protection & prosperity and are able to provide Latino data around climate change and health.

There is no "friends of the Bureau of Land Management" nonprofit group. Instead, there are dozens of locally-based groups all over the USA that support specific BLM-managed areas and advocate on their behalf that you can join, such as Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (Friends of MNWR), in Oregon; Friends of Red Rock Canyon (FORRC); Trail Tenders, Inc., in Baker City, Oregon (National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center-Flagstaff Hill); Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners in Kanab, Utah (Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument); Pompeys Pillar Historical Association in Billings, Montana (Pompeys Pillar National Monument); Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Ashland, Oregon (Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument); Anza Trail Coalition in Tubac, Arizona (Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail); Snake River Raptors in Boise, Idaho (Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area), and many others. Use Google to find the ones nearest your area, using the official names of public lands and the word "volunteers" or "friends".

Civil Rights

Support the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by liking them on Facebook, signing up for their updates, and donating to them. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

Support the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU, which aggressively engages in litigation, communications, public education effort and legislative initiatives. They also have an excellent online training regarding what to do if you are stopped by police officers, immigration officials or the FBI.

Support the official Black Lives Matter Organization initiated by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. #BlackLivesMatter is intended to build connections between Black people and their allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.

Look for organizations in your area that promote the civil rights of the incarcerated and that advocate for citizens watch dog groups over the police. Also, if your local police or sheriff's department offers a citizens academy, take it, along with other friends and associates that believe #BlackLivesMatter. Let the police know you are watching, force them to get to know you outside of their policing activities and ask the questions you think they should be answering.

Look for Latino and/or immigrant support groups, like Adelante Mujeres in Washington County, Oregon, or The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), an advocacy and organizing group focusing on achieving human, civil, and labor rights for immigrants. Sign up for their newsletters, like them on Facebook, go to their events, and if you can, donate your time or money to them.

Support the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), which is lead from by Native American people themselves. "We work in close cooperation with Native Americans and other organizations that have similar missions in determining which issues will be pursued and the amount of emphasis to be placed on each issue. The focus of AAIA's work is on areas that are vitally important but not adequately addressed by government or other organizations. AAIA is unique in that, in addition to providing assistance in the area of national policy, we also work on a grass roots level as well as being the oldest policy/advocacy Native non-profit in the country.

Join PFLAG, a national, very respected initiative committed to advancing equality for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ), and uniting LGBTQ people with families, friends, and allies. PFLAG supports, educates and advocates.

Support the National LBGTQ Task Force. One of my dearest friends, a nationally-known Christian pastor (yes, I know, I'm an atheist - he still loves me) said that he loves it when people write him and ask which LGBTQ organization is most deserving of financial investment "and I am able to point, without a moment's hesitation, to the National LGBTQ Task Force, the nation's first, oldest and most progressive LGBTQ rights organization."

Report incidents of hateful intimidation and harassment to local law enforcement first. After reporting such an incident, submit a description of the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center using this online form. This will help them in their work of monitoring incidents around the USA. The SPLC also is working to stop workplace exploitation and other human rights abuses of immigrants and all working people – filing strategic lawsuits, exposing civil rights violations, educating the public and the media, and pressing the federal government to act. The SPLC is also working in the courts to ensure that LGBT people achieve full equality under the law, including legal challenges to young people subjected to "conversion therapy", a disproven, tortuous form of therapy supported by the incoming vice-president.

Look at the web sites for all of the churches, temples and mosques in your city or county. Look for those that have inter-faith events and, if you are a believer in any of the religions involved, go to such events and help publicize them. If any of these communities of faith are involved in human rights advocacy, and/or inter-religious education and tolerance, consider finding out more and, if appropriate, get involved. If you are a member of an intolerant, anti-Gay congregation, such as the Methodists, "like" the Methodists in New Directions Facebook page, to learn how to change this policy within your church and at the church leadership level - or join an open and affirming congregation, such as United Church of Christ.

Regulating Gun Ownership & Advocating for Gun Safety

Support the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in its work to change laws, change the gun industry and change the culture regarding gun laws in the USA. They are not working to ban guns but, rather, to cut the epidemic of gun deaths in the USA.

Support Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark. "As gun owners and strong supporters of the Second Amendment, Gabby and Mark know we must protect the rights of Americans to own guns for collection, recreation, and protection. But they also agree with the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, that commonsense protections from gun violence can prevent shootings from shattering communities like Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown. Even commonsense solutions to protect our communities from gun violence have been hard to achieve. Why? Because entrenched interests like the gun lobby have used big money and influence to stop Congress from acting. Until now, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed the influence of average, law abiding citizens. No longer. With Americans for Responsible Solutions and likeminded friends engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and supporting lawmakers willing to take a stand for responsible policies, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby and their dangerously deep pockets.

World Affairs

Contact the International Rescue Committee to ask what groups in your area support refugees and then contact those organizations and ask how you can help.

Find and join your nearest chapter of the United Nations Association or the World Affairs Council, go to their events, sign up for their updates, like their Facebook pages, and become better-versed in world affairs and international policy and the consequences of more than 60 million people in the USA supporting Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Not really an advocacy group regarding public policy, but if you are looking to donate a nonprofit fighting poverty in the developing world and helping the most vulnerable, I suggest CARE International.

Political Representatives

Write your Congressional Representative and Senators that are members of the Democratic Party and your state legislators that are members of such, if any, and tell them you expect them to not engage in appeasement and, instead, to stand strong against all policies that will marginalize women, Black Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims and more, that will promote anti-scientific ideas like that climate change is a hoax or that vaccines cause autism, etc. Here's an example of such a letter.

Look at the web site for your city and county governments. Look for the names of the citizens advisory committees/commission. The planning commission will be one. Some cities have arts commissions. Some have public safety commissions. Try to join one. Keep trying to join one until you get on board. Look for ways to advance a progressive agenda, an anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-fascist agenda via that membership.

Final thoughts

Should you become involved in the local Democratic Party, or the League of Women Voters, or any other partisan or non-partisan group that works to educate and register voters? Sure. But focus your efforts as a part of those or any other organization on unregistered voters and young people; you cannot change the mind of a fascist, including someone who is in denial about such. I will make no more efforts to change the hearts and minds of those that vote for xenophobia and racial supremacy, who want to assault the civil liberties of others, whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact is celebrated in screams and memes that shame me to the core. Remember that, after WWII, the allies focused their education efforts on young people in Germany, on putting into place institutions and policies that would prevent a rise in fascism there. The fascists there didn't change - they just died off.

There are non-violent ways you can actively fight against the new President and Congress's nativism, misogyny, racism and fascism.  Pick at least one to support. And get busy.

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