Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Cause (Part 4)

And continuing 40 Days of Worthy Causes... I'm highlighting a cause a day for each day of Lent. I hope you'll find some of them worth looking into, even supporting — and I hope you'll tell me what some of your favorites are, too, in the comments.

Day 16: Breast Cancer Action. I first heard of BCA from a person who's had breast cancer who dislikes a lot of other breast cancer awareness organizations. She has a pretty good rant about it, that I couldn't possibly top, so I'm not going to try. From BCAction's site: "...they are the only national breast cancer organization that does not accept funding from companies that profit from or contribute to cancer. Because they can't be bought, they tell the truth about important issues concerning our health, like toxins in the environment. Their work affects all of us, not just those with breast cancer."

Day 17: Sea Shepherd. Sea Shepherd first came to my attention after Bindi Irwin decided to associate herself with Sea World. Paul Watson, of Sea Shepherd, had some great things to say about both why Sea World is terrible and also why that's not the fault of one fifteen-year-old girl. They do incredible work and have the best logo for a nonprofit I can think of. From their site: "Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species."

Day 18: Families Against Mandatory Minimums. I saw The House I Live In this week, and it left me with lots of feelings and thoughts and plans for action (if you're interested in watching it, it's available on Netflix). One thing that was very clear to me is that mandatory minimum sentences aren't helping anyone — and from even the least sympathetic, most mercenary viewpoint, they're costing us a ridiculous amount of money. From FAMM's Mission: "FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting for smart sentencing laws that maintain public safety. FAMM sees a country where criminal sentencing is individualized, humane, and sufficient to impose fair punishment and protect public safety."

Day 19: Autistic Self Advocacy Network. This is another organization that's important to someone who'se important to me — and one that's specifically helping a population that's often talked about by others speak for itself. From the mission statement: "The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have our voices heard in the national conversation about us."

Day 20: The Root Social Justice Center. The Root started as a coworking space, but has become so much more in such a short period of time. It's rare for me to go two weeks without attending some event there, and every time, I'm just impressed with the simplicity of the idea of having a space where important social justice work of lots of different kinds happens under one roof. From the "About the Root" page: "The Root SJC provides a physically and financially accessible space to support and bring together communities working for social justice. We operate collectively to sustain a space that strives to be free of oppression, harm, and injustice."

Day 21: Invisible No More. From the home page: "Invisible No More is a peer run group representing the Trans* community, based in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. We exist for the purposes of Support, Advocacy, Education, and Celebration." INM's on this list because they supported a really wonderful production of "The Naked I" this weekend, which arguably counts toward all four of those purposes.

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