In the past months of shift and upheaval I find my thoughts drawing back to a single word. Vulnerability. So many of our people who were already vulnerable are now even more so. For those of us who have faced vulnerability in our own lives the though of this is overwhelming and can feel like it will stop us in our tracks. In my life it has always been the seemingly simple act of people showing up, listening, and doing what they can to lend a hand that has helped me through difficult times.
I’m telling you this because I need to shake myself out of this immobility, and I’m inviting you to join me. Shortly after election day I asked a few of my compassionate and connected friends to recommend organizations that help people who are especially vulnerable. Between mid November and Christmas I posted links on social media to one organization each day with a brief summary of the work that they do and with the hashtag #HearAndHelp inviting my friends to show up for as many of these groups as they could. The thought behind this is that actively supporting even just one group is infinitely more productive than none. This post will serve as a place to collect this small – in no way complete – group of organizations. I have taken the descriptions from each organizations’ website rather than creating my own. If you are interested in showing up for any of these groups I recommend doing these three things to start:
- Follow these organizations on social media.
- Donate money if you can.
- Show up in person and volunteer.
As you engage, remember that before doing anything else, always, always, always listen.
Please share this post if you want to. There is much work to be done and we need as many people involved as possible. If you have organizations that you would like to add please share them on social media with the #HearAndHelp hashtag, or add them in the comments section.
Racial and Immigration Justice:
Showing Up For Racial Justice moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.
Race Forward advances racial justice through research, media, and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.
Muslim Legal Fund Of America is a charity that funds legal work and programs to defend Muslims against injustice in American courtrooms, prisons, and communities. Muslim Legal Fund of America is the ONLY national tax-exempt nonprofit legal fund dedicated to defending Muslims’ civil rights and civil liberties in American courtrooms.
National Council of La Raza Since 1968, the National Council of La Raza has remained a trusted, nonpartisan voice for Latinos. This is the community we serve through our research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts, as well as in our programs work in communities nationwide.
Native American Rights Fund is oldest & largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting & defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide.
National Immigration Law Center At NILC, we believe that all people who live in the U.S.—regardless of their race, gender, immigration and/or economic status—should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Over the years, we’ve been at the forefront of many of the country’s greatest challenges when it comes to immigration issues, and play a major leadership role in addressing the real-life impact of polices that affect the ability of low-income immigrants to prosper and thrive.
Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement.
Council on Islamic-American Relations CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
TheDream.US We’re working to help over 4,000 highly motivated DREAMers graduate from college with career-ready degrees. DREAMers are immigrant youth who came to this country at a very young age without documentation. Despite the fact that this is the only country they have ever known––they’ll receive no federal aid to go to college, have limited access to state aid, and often face paying out-of-state tuition.
Mijente Imagine a movement that is not just Pro-Latinx… but pro-Black, pro-woman, pro-queer, pro-poor because our community is all that and more.
MALDEF Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community”, MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.
Disability Rights Education And Defense Fund is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities.
National Disability Rights Network works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
American Association of People with Disabilities is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.
Center for Disability Rights is a not-for-profit, community-based advocacy and service organization for people with all types of disabilities… CDR’s services and advocacy are controlled by people with disabilities. CDR’s Board of Directors and management staff are primarily people who themselves have disabilities. CDR is in the best position to respond to the needs of people with disabilities because CDR is composed of people with disabilities, as well as those without.
National Council on Independent Living advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.
ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.
U.S. International Council on Disabilities is a non-profit, membership, constituent-led organization committed to building bridges between American and international disability communities and cultures. Through a wide range of projects and programs, USICD promotes the inclusion of disability perspectives in U.S. foreign policy and aid and provides opportunities for domestic disability rights organizations to interface with their international counterparts.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We work to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the Autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
Lambda Legal Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Silvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.
The Trevor Project Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, 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.
National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.
National Center for Lesbian Rights has been advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education since it was founded in 1977.
Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Southerners On New Ground SONG envisions a sustainable South that embodies the best of its freedom traditions and works towards the transformation of our economic, social, spiritual, and political relationships. We envision a multi-issue southern justice movement that unites us across class, age, race, ability, gender, immigration status, and sexuality; a movement in which LGBTQ people – poor and working class, immigrant, people of color, rural – take our rightful place as leaders shaping our region’s legacy and future. We are committed to restoring a way of being that recognizes our collective humanity and dependence on the Earth.
Natural Resources Defense Council The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
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.
Poverty and Incarceration:
National Fair Housing Alliance is the voice of fair housing. NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, advocacy and enforcement.
The Innocence Project founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. We believe that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. Our mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.
EMILY’s List is committed to driving progressive change throughout our country by winning elections that put pro-choice Democratic women into office.
Echoing Ida We publish print and online articles. We conduct workshops and develop communication strategies for social justice organizations. We ensure our media and movements include the voices of Black women and nonbinary folks. By developing writers and removing publishing barriers, Echoing Ida amplifies the critical expertise of Black women and nonbinary folks. Together, we ensure our families and communities thrive.
Swords to Plowshares In 1974, Swords to Plowshares started with a single grant and a small location on Valencia Street. Now, over 40 years later with an annual budget of $19 million, we are still doing the same thing we set out to do — heal the wounds of war, restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans. From the beginning we’ve accomplished our mission by providing wrap-around services to veterans in our community, and advocating for improved care and services for all veterans. We have been at the forefront of the veterans’ rights movement since 1974, when six Vietnam veterans, frustrated with the inadequate system of care for veterans, founded Swords to Plowshares.
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.
Southern Poverty Law Center The SPLC 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.
The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights over property interests.
International Rescue Committee The mission of the IRC is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.
Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups. Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in some 90 countries, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. With the leverage this brings, Human Rights Watch meets with governments, the United Nations, regional groups like the African Union and the European Union, financial institutions, and corporations to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world.
Doctors Without Borders We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.
Thank you for this Christian. Your writing has always blown me away. What you wrote here is a “must read” and a “act upon this NOW” piece. Thank you again for reminding me to never, ever stop fighting.