Lately, it’s easy to drown in discouragement, feeling beaten down by what seems to be a relentless deluge of bad news. It’s all too easy to slip into a pattern of assuming there’s nothing you can personally do to affect change. It often does feel that way in a world filled with billions of people, especially when we all do everything we can just to make it through our 24 hour days.
Nonetheless, giving of some of our time or resources is more important than ever, and if we all were to believe in the importance of our individual contribution, just imagine what we could catalyze.
We compiled a list of organizations right in our backyard that are doing significant work across a variety of platforms and issues. Read on to learn more, and to find a way to get involved in something that makes you tick.
An organization with deep Atlanta roots, The Giving Kitchen has a one-of-a-kind mission. Inspired by hard-working members of the hospitality industry, and the ways in which they serve their community. As some of Atlanta’s most dedicated workers, restaurant employees still did not have the social and welfare support that they deserved. That’s where Giving Kitchen stepped in — they have developed programs and partnered with other organizations to provide everything from mental health resources to job postings, support groups, grants and crisis intervention. You can volunteer and partner with The Giving Kitchen, or show your support through a donation.
Started in 1996, Tapestri advocates for immigrants and refugees affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and exploitation. By educating and advocating for these victims, Tapestri has created a community that the displaced can feel comfortable and safe within. The organization hopes that by working with and raising awareness of the prevalence of such issues, they can prevent the continuation of these “destructive norms.” Regardless of sexual orientation, language, culture, race or disability, Tapestri believes that everyone should have a place to go to seek help and support.
TRANScending Barriers has a mission that takes the center stage these days. This organization specifically focuses on serving the transgender and gender non-conforming community in Georgia. Founded in 2017 by two transgender women of color, who realized that transgender and gender non-conforming citizens did not have a sufficient place to turn in times of crisis or need. The organization believes that “those closest to the problem are closest to the solution,” and thus they provide a foundation for those closest to the problem to be empowered to make a positive change in the conversation surrounding transgender rights. Through support groups and gender and name change assistance, TRANScending Barriers is an organization worth contributing to as we try to change the stigma around gender non-conformity.
Keep an eye out for more articles in this series! We’ll be highlighting various organizations and nonprofits worth paying attention to in the coming months. Have one we should talk about? Contact us!
When it appears like humanity can't make progress, and everyone in high places seems to be falling from grace, it's easy to get swept up in the overwhelm.
In a time overrun with social platforms and ways to speak up, it's also so simple to use a hashtag or to take a stab at posting your thoughts in a Facebook status or Instagram caption. By no means are these mediums useless -- speaking up is a crucial part of influencing change, as long as its done from a place of knowledge and tolerance.
But is it enough to just say you support XYZ or are on the side of so-and-so? There's so much to be done, and we're all busier than ever, but at a time where we're seeing so many of the negative effects of inaction come to fruition (think: gun control, sexual misconduct, voter turnout...) now is the time to take the extra step and turn your words into actions.
There are more ways than ever to do that now: volunteering, giving money, starting your own fundraiser via social media, attending community events... the list goes on. Find what you care about and which opportunity works for you and give it a try, we are all kin, and we all have responsibility.
- AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU): Works to defend the rights and liberties afforded to American citizens through the constitution. Your donations will benefit issues such as human rights, free speech, LGBTQIA communities, immigrants' rights, racial justice, women's rights, voting rights and more. You can also demand transparency from Trump on his conflicts of interest, taxes, etc.
- PLANNED PARENTHOOD: You can give to Planned Parenthood in light of a cut in funding and the complete defunding of International Planned Parenthood and foreign abortions. I Stand With PP is the place to go to show your support, and this site is where to go to find care and health information.
- SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER (SPLC): The SPLC combats hate and discrimination and teaches tolerance through education programs and litigation. The organization has helped track spikes in hate crimes since Trump's election. It's important to support the SPLC as they continue to combat rising movements such as Neo-Nazi's and the KKK, as well as any hate group that targets minorities. You can also read about the ways that Trump's administration will effect and has already effected minorities.
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE(NAACP): You can contribute to the NAACP's mission to achieve equality of rights and eliminate racial injustices, and to inform the public of the effects of racial discrimination. The organization even combats climate change because "race is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country."
- AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS FOR JUSTICE: This is a nonprofit law firm devoted to protecting the basic rights of immigrants through litigation, policy reform, free direct services and more. Your donations help the organization provide assistance to unaccompanied immigrant minors, advocate for sexual trafficking and domestic violence victims, monitor immigrant detention policies and more.
- PLANNED PARENTHOOD: You can learn how to take action and learn about defunding attempts and their impact here. You can find more ways to take action here, such as calling your U.S. Senator, tweeting at Paul Ryan, sharing your Planned Parenthood story, and more. Lastly, you can attend events and apply to volunteer.
- AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU): Beyond donating, you can take part in various action-based initiatives, such as signing petitions and volunteering. You can fight back against government-sanctioned LGBTQ discrimination. You can sign a petition to protect reproductive rights. As the new political administration makes decisions, more actionable opportunities will be made available, so keep up with the ACLU.
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE(NAACP): You can find your local NAACP chapter and become a member here in order to get involved in events, marches and more.
- AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS FOR JUSTICE: You can attend events and take action to support this organization as well. One way to take action is by becoming a part of the Young Professionals of AI Justice. You can also sign up for their mailing list to stay updated on opportunities and policy issues.
- GEORGIA ALLIANCE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: This organization is the official affiliate of the Georgia Women's March, and heir mission is to work together to empower and mobilize the people of Georgia towards justice and equity for all.
- WONDERROOT: WonderRoot is an arts organization that working to influence and improve the cultural and social landscape of Atlanta through creative initiatives and community partnerships. The organization believes in social change through bringing together diverse voices -- and they put on awesome events!
- SOUTHERN CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: This organization works for equality, justice, and dignity in our criminal justice system. Their mission is to end criminal justice practices that are used to control the lives of poor people, people of color, and other marginalized groups in the Southern United States.
- GEORGIA LATINO ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: This group educates, organizes, and empowers Latinos in Georgia to defend and advance their civil and human right.
- ATLANTA WOMEN'S FOUNDATION: This organization works with women in counties across the Greater Atlanta area to "be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls and to end generational poverty."
- HANDS ON ATLANTA: Hands On is a great organization in its own right, with the mission to connect volunteers to nonprofit organizations in need, and "engage socially responsible companies to help make a difference in our community."
- CARE: CARE is a large Atlanta-based nonprofit with the mission to empower women and girls, largely through alleviating poverty and providing educational and economic opportunities.
Don't keep what keeps you fired up to yourself. Think you're just one person? That's true. But "just one person" is behind each of the organizations and movements listed above. Don't cower and drown in the overwhelm -- go to it with vigor.