After the 2016 election, lots of folks started to look for valuable organizations to support with their money and time. I had a list (still do) on my personal “Wish List” page, but it felt weird pointing people to that page just to get this information. So here it is, on its own page. The organizations are listed below in alphabetical order; I hope you’ll be inspired to give money or time in ways that make you feel good about your place in the world.
Allies for Racial Equity
Unitarian Universalist Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) exists as a response to a request by Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM), a UU People of Color Organization, for a group of white anti-racist allies to serve as partners in the journey of transforming our faith movement and the world. Their mission is to confront racism in ways that are accountable to communities of color by creating opportunities for white UUs to understand white privilege and unlearn white supremacy.
American Civil Liberties Union
For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, from championing the immigrant, trade unionist, and anti-war activist targets of the Palmer Raids in 1920; to the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that made freedom to marry a national right; and beyond.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and its affiliate, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, seek to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. The Coalition is comprised of 48 national organizations working to reduce gun violence, including religious groups, child welfare advocates, public health professionals, and social justice organizations.
The nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Through telephone hotlines (in English and Spanish), their website, and comprehensive voter protection field programs across the country, they provide Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive voter information and advice on how they can make sure their vote is counted.
Equal Justice Initiative
The Equal Justice Initiative is a private, nonprofit organization that challenges poverty and racial injustice, advocates for equal treatment in the criminal justice system, and creates hope for marginalized communities. EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Everytown for Gun Safety
Every day, 93 Americans are killed with guns. Everytown works to prevent gun violence and save lives by pressuring lawmakers to improve our gun laws, raising awareness about gun violence, educating the public about common-sense gun laws and responsible gun ownership, mobilizing grassroots supporters, and connecting and amplifying the voices of survivors of gun violence.
LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center of Central PA is a volunteer-led effort to create a regionally representative community center that is both a location and a unifying point for central Pennsylvania’s large, diverse, and multi-county LGBT population. The mission of the Center is to create common ground for the LGBT community and allies in central Pennsylvania by providing services through educational, cultural, and community activities that foster wholeness.
Open Stage of Harrisburg
Open Stage of Harrisburg is a regional professional theatre dedicated to supporting a company of artists to present diverse offerings of thought-provoking theatre and educational activities in intimate settings. In addition, the theatre supports a thriving, growing and extensive education program, and was a partner with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit in the creation of the Capital Area School for the Arts (CASA), the Capital Region’s arts magnet school.
Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG (Parents, Familiy, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is the original ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has over 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states.
Planned Parenthood was founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams — no ceilings, no limits. Today, 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.
Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.
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. Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, they've won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.
1 out of 6 high-school students nationwide seriously considered suicide in the past year. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Unitarian Universalist Chalice Lighter’s Program
My first job in a UU congregation was funded by a Chalice Lighter grant, so I have a particular fondness for this program, which is dedicated to helping small UU congregations to grow their ministries by funding new staff positions, new and expanded facilities, and the like. (Note: Chalice Lighter Grants are administered by geographically-based district. Feel free to give in your own district, or if you’d like to give to my home district, that’s the Joseph Priestley District.)
UUCV Laws Music Fund
This endowment currently provides approximately a third of my annual budget as UUCV Music Director. Your gift to the endowment will be a permanent addition to the principal, benefiting the program for generations of future musicians. Contributions should be made payable to The Laws Music Fund and sent to the Unitarian Universalist Association, Attn: Stewardship & Development, 24 Farnsworth St., Boston MA 02210-1409. Questions concerning contributions should be directed to Cameron Archibald in the UUA Stewardship & Development office.