After participating in the UCI Walk Out in the pouring rain, I was soaked and hopeful. Clearly, the youth cares a lot about what happens to our country. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Women’s March in Orange County, but I saw so many amazing pictures of friends and family protesting that also filled me with encouragement. Now, though, I sit and think “what next?”. Obviously, I plan to vote in every election on the local, state, and federal levels. But, that still leaves me with little to do in the meantime. So, I figured I would research some organizations to donate to or volunteer for in when you are feeling helpless during this daunting political climate.
1.The ACLU– https://www.aclu.org/
The American Civil Liberties Union exists to defend your rights granted to you by the Constitution. They have already taken action against Trump’s bigotry and promised to be diligent during these next four years. Their website has various ways for you to get involved and has an entire section on “knowing your rights”.
2. The Obama Foundation– https://www.obama.org/
Because this is such a new organization, there are many opportunities for your voice to be heard. The Obamas described 2017 as their foundation’s “design year” and, in a welcome video, encouraged people to send them ideas about how to shape the organization. As of now, we know that it will create programs that encourage leadership and democracy!
3. Planned Parenthood– https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Planned Parenthood has been around for 100 years to help with sexual and reproductive health. It provides contraception, cancer screenings, STD testing, abortions, etc. Currently, It is being attacked by Paul Ryan and several other Republican senators. Government funding accounts for a large portion of Planned Parenthood’s money (which goes to everything BUT abortions, if that is an issue for you) and if they lose it, many of their patients will be compromised.
4. Greenpeace– http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/
With a president who denies a Global Warming, the earth is in more danger than ever. As a world hegemon, America has the obligation to make sure its policies adhere to regulations placed to protect the entire earth. Greenpeace is an independent, global organization that dedicates itself to protecting to our earth and making sure that the planet is healthy.
5. The American Immigration Council– https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/
It provides a means to form humane, civil laws regarding immigration, and respects that America is a country of immigrants. It educates people about immigration and immigration policy while maintaining a global mindset. It defends immigrants in this country.
6. The Malala Fund– https://www.malala.org/
Although this is not specific to the United States, it still promotes women’s education and protects refugees. Plus, Malala Yousafzai is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and all around badass.
7. Black Lives Matter– http://blacklivesmatter.com/
The renovated whitehouse.gov has an entire section on protecting the police force from threats, but has nothing regarding police brutality. America has seen an insane amount of injustice towards African Americans as a result of racist police officers. Do not let Trump insult such a crucial movement. Stand for dignity and respect!
8. The Trevor Project– http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. It conducts research on suicide prevention, has several hotlines and chats, and has community outreach programs.
9. HelpforFlint– http://www.helpforflint.com/
Flint, Michigan is still without clean water. We must make our voices heard so that politicians will finally take action and guarantee their citizens have basic needs fulfilled.
Although this isn’t a place you can donate, it does allow you to create petitions so you can have a say in legislation. In democracy, power is with the people! Use your rights and make a difference.
“ Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do”
- Hillary Rodham Clinton