All right everyone. It’s Holiday Season, and normally, I’d be chugging chocolates down my mouth, but this is 2016. Ditch your safety pins. It’s about time we put our money where are mouths are. Any donation counts, and of course, all of this applies if you’re in a financial position in which you can donate. But it’s surprising sometimes how easy it is to budget $5 from monthly expenses. Ditch the coffee, avoid buying drinks during girls’ night out, or save some of that holiday money for a great cause.
- Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Because reproductive health care is a human right, because maternal death is HIGHER in the USA in comparison with other developed countries even though we spend more money on it, because everyone deserves STI education, contraception, etc.
Oh and maybe because telling a woman what to do with her body isn’t cool. And that’s what we’re in for with a Trump presidency.
- End Rape on Campus: http://endrapeoncampus.org/
EROC is dedicated toward holding college campuses accountable and protecting survivors of sexual violence. One in three women and one in thirty men in college are sexually assaulted. This number might be higher as from my experience, the proportion is greater than that. It is time that we stop accepting the status quo that sexual assault shouldn’t be penalized.
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation: http://www.pedaids.org/
EGPAF has funded research toward pediatric AIDS and currently supports more than 6800 sites around the world. The foundation has started more than ONE MILLION individuals on antiretroviral treatment, regardless of whether they can afford it.
And the best part is, the efforts are pulling through. In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that 1 million babies globally had been born HIV-free thanks to increased funding in fighting the epidemic. Elizabeth Glaser, the founder of EGPAF, not only challenged the inequalities that make up our health care system today, but she also signified the importance of never giving up.
But the fight is far from over. Every day, over 400 children under the age of 15 are infected with HIV, mostly through mother-to-child transmission. The good news though? Just a few years ago, that number was 900. We can get it down to ZERO!
- JED Foundation: https://www.jedfoundation.org/
The JED foundation is focused on promoting mental health care among college students. With suicide and depression rates rising in this demographic, this cause is more vital than ever. The website also offers free resources for students and faculty.
- Born this Way Foundation: https://bornthisway.foundation/
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/
NAMI has consistently lobbied and provided resources for better mental care. They’ve done so much research on this issue; I wouldn’t have had half the statistics regarding mental health on college students if it weren’t for them. So, so important.
- American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/
See you in court.
- Cal-PEP: https://www.calpep.org/
CAL PEP is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland that focuses on underserved populations: sex workers, MSM, populations who are stigmatized and usually refused healthcare, the list goes on. They’re a small nonprofit, yet the amount of programming and work they do is astounding. I’ve interned with them, and I can say firsthand that I’ve never seen a more hardworking staff. The Bay needs these types of organizations to keep communities at risk afloat.
This cause also matters to me on a personal level; having been in the Bay Area my whole life, I’ve witnessed gentrification and the population shifts firsthand. These smaller organizations are essential toward fighting this and providing low-income folks with healthcare.
- Lambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/
Lambda Legal focuses on the LGTBQ community and HIV/AIDS. They’ve been fighting for gay rights in multiple court cases and have been involved from the start. While I haven’t worked with this organization directly, a friend of mine has testified to the amazing work they’ve done.
Causes & Human Rights Movements:
- #BlackLivesMatter: http://blacklivesmatter.com/
Black folks are being killed for walking on the streets, playing with toy guns, sleeping, and purchasing cigarettes. In the past year, I have seen so many heartbreaking accounts of families losing people due to police brutality. I have seen local accounts of systematic racism, and even now, I feel incredibly helpless and sorrowful about the future. Hence, this is exactly why BLM needs support. They keep the momentum going.
- #NoDAPL: standwithstandingrock.net
I know, I know, it technically isn’t going to be an issue anymore. But keep your eyes out, a Trump administration can easily change that. Check the hashtag and follow AJ Plus on twitter (they’re hands down the best news outlet when it comes to this).