Want to make the world a better place? Instead of putting your own story first, create radical empathy by listening to and supporting others.
These U.S.-based advocacy organizations bring people together for conversations and work around specific issues. Check out the links to see how you can take action today and help construct new narratives for peace and understanding.
The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) provides the education, resources, and community connection needed to help recovering students.
The Harvey Milk Photo Center is the oldest and largest community darkroom west of the Mississippi, and is part of the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department.
Research demonstrates that creative expression also contributes to better health and well-being. The Foundation for Art and Healing works to find out how, why, and when this important transformation occurs in order help all who might benefit, and creates model community outreach programs that can bring the healing power of creative expression to broader populations.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Following in the footsteps of Ella Baker, the unheralded leader of the American civil rights movement, the Ella Baker Foundation builds the power of black, brown, and poor people to break the cycles of incarceration and poverty and make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.
The Equal Justice Initiative 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.
The Innocence Project exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Today, plastic has been found in 62% of all sea birds and in 100% of sea turtle species. A problem as big as plastic in the ocean requires a big response! Join millions of volunteers who, like you, love the ocean and want to protect it.
Lonely Whale facilitates the creation of innovative ideas that push the boundary on current trends in technology, media and advocacy that positively impact the health of our ocean. We are not willing to stand by and watch our ocean fill with more toxins. We assume you aren’t either, which is probably how you ended up here. Think you have an idea that could change the world? We’d love to hear about it and help bring it to reality.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
Pathway to Paris is a nonprofit organization dedicated to turning the Paris Agreement into reality through finding and offering innovative and ambitious solutions for combating global climate change. Founded by musicians and activists Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon in 2014, the organization brings together musicians, artists, activists, experts, academics, politicians, innovators, all citizens of the planet to participate in a series of events, dialogues, and leading initiatives. Pathway to Paris believes that in this urgent global crisis, collaboration is key to transforming our cities and moving into a new era of 100% renewable energy.
Just Food empowers and supports community leaders to advocate for and increase access to healthy, locally-grown food, especially in underserved NYC neighborhoods.
The Edible Schoolyard Project works to build and share a national edible education curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school. We envision gardens and kitchens as interactive classrooms for all academic subjects, and a sustainable, delicious, and free lunch for every student.
No Kid Hungry is a network of private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and others providing working together to break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food.
Wellness in the Schools (WITS) is a national non-profit that teaches kids healthy habits to learn and live better. Over one-third of children under the age of 18 in the United States are overweight or obese. Given that children spend about 12,000 hours in school between kindergarten and high school graduation, schools are the ideal environment to shape their wellness behavior. WITS partners with public schools to provide nutrition and fitness education, healthy scratch-cooked meals and active recess periods.
GENDER & SEXUALITY
At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. so we work to improve school climate by championing LGBT issues in K-12 education.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
PFLAG is a family and ally organization working to unite and support people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters nationwide committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.
The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025.
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.
#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, was acquitted. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in the U.S., #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-black racism that permeates American society.
Facing History works to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.
DeafBlind Citizens in Action (DBCA) firmly believes every child, woman and man has a right to life, dignity, and the pursuit of happiness anywhere in the global human community and regardless of their abilities, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with combined vision and hearing loss (“deafblind”).
MENTAL HEALTH ON CAMPUS
Active Minds empowers college students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. By providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation, Active Minds is changing the culture on campuses and throughout American communities.
Born This Way Foundation supports the wellness of young people, and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. BTW works to foster online communities that allow young people to communicate and express themselves without fear of harassment, and works with students to advocate for improved climates in schools.
JED works to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.
READING & LITERACY
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.
Get Lit uses poetry to increase literacy, empower youth and inspire communities throughout Los Angeles.
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a private, international association made up mainly of doctors and health sector workers who provide assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters, and to victims of armed conflict irrespective of race, religion, creed, or political convictions.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
The Refugee Center uses technology to help refugees and displaced individuals build new lives in the United States.
Just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow, welcoming communities foster a culture and policy environment that makes it possible for newcomers of all backgrounds to feel valued and to fully participate alongside their neighbors in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns. Welcoming America works with institutions across the community to build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents.
SPOKEN WORD/STORY EXCHANGE
The #LoveArmy is a value-based movement fighting for a country where everyone counts. This movement is a moral, spiritual and strategic framework for building an alliance between underdogs in red and blue states. We are a home for changemakers who seek to build community and deepen solidarity. Through education, connection and action, the #LoveArmy builds Love + Power.
Narrative 4 envisions a world where young adults lead with empathy. Currently working in four continents, twelve countries, and 18 US states, N4’s work— rooted in a practice called a “story exchange” — equips people to use their stories to build empathy, shatter stereotypes, break down barriers, and – ultimately – make the world a better place. Led by Narrative 4 facilitators, story exchanges are customized for classrooms, community organizations, and businesses building on four basic steps. N4’s “Empathy Into Action” campaigns are designed to break open intractable issues through creative, impactful applications of our core methodology and community project models around the world.
Sound Board brings rap, poetry and music workshops to underserved communities in New York City, conducting workshops in prisons, juvenile detention centers, substance abuse treatment programs, foster homes and youth centers in low-income areas. Drawing on her own experiences overcoming addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse and depression through music and performance, founder Raegan Sealy, a singer, rapper and poet from the UK, helps Americans who live in underserved communities understand their own stories, and process trauma and hardship in constructive ways.
VolunteerMatch makes it easy for good people and good causes to connect. If you want to volunteer, simply type in your location and find an array of organizations that can use your help. With more than 117,000 active nonprofits and 150 network partners, opportunities abound.
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