charity recommendations (in lieu of gifts)?
November 25, 2016 7:31 PM   Subscribe

We need your best lefty charities for our Christmas lists!

My wife and I don't need more stuff, and neither does the majority of our people we normally buy gifts for (we checked, this is fine with everyone so no getting off topic here).

We've decided that the majority of our christmas gifts (both asked for and given) will be in the form of charitable donations to foundations/charities that protect communities and rights that are suddenly made much more vulnerable after the events of the last month.

We'd like recommendations for charities that you all like. We are particularly interested in the following topics, but feel free to suggest others-

Abortion access/reproductive rights
Labor rights
Public education
Leftist Jewish charities
Immigrant protections/assistance
LGBT youth
1st amendment charities

The fun part of this is going to be matching charities to the members of our families /friends based on what we know them to like, so more is better.

Again- this is all by mutual consent and everyone is onboard so just tell us about charities please.
posted by griphus to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Top choice for you would be
Southern Poverty Law Center - using the courts for social justice, especially fighting racism (and also anti-semitism)

Another option could be
Mazon - a Jewish response to hunger collects from within the Jewish community and distributes the money through partners (including Christian as well as secular agencies) to those who are hungry. Jewish but not leftists.
posted by metahawk at 7:41 PM on November 25, 2016

Medical Students for Choice. Your local abortion fund is a good choice too.

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law does a lot for civil rights generally, both through policy work and massive pro bono efforts.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:47 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South. We believe that we are bound together by a shared desire for ourselves, each other, and our communities to survive and thrive. We believe that Community Organizing is the best way for us to build collective power and transform the South. Out of this belief we are committed to building freedom movements rooted in southern traditions like community organizing, political education, storytelling, music, breaking bread, resistance, humor, performance, critical thinking, and celebration."

The National Lawyers Guild. Among many other things, they provide legal support to activists (e.g. NODAPL).
posted by rtha at 8:36 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24.
posted by dysh at 8:39 PM on November 25, 2016

seconding NLG, SPLC, etc--also the obvious stuff like ACLU and CAIR. Some less-famous and/or regional organizations worthy of support include:

Center for Constitutional Rights (legal action for civil liberties and human rights; at the forefront of anti-Guantanamo, torture, and war on terror stuff but they also work on immigrant rights, police violence, mass incarceration, and much more)

Sylvia Rivera Law Project (legal aid and activism for trans and gendernonconforming folks in NY)

National Network of Abortion Funds, and/or your local/state-level abortion fund.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (what it says on the tin)

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (NYC-based, good work on #BLM, police accountability, domestic workers' rights, and more)

SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) and various local and community groups that are part of their national coalition, many of which do tremendous work around immigration, labor rights, and combating religious and racial bigotry.

The Point Foundation (scholarships for LGBTQ youth, especially those who've been kicked out by their parents)

Coalition of Immokalee Workers (labor rights for farmworkers; strong overlap with migrants' rights issues)
posted by karayel at 9:13 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Trans civil rights are likely to become a big(ger) issue soon.

Lambda Legal (LGBT, not just trans)

Transgender Law Center

Trans Relief offers to pay administrative fees for people changing their identity documents, which many trans people are doing now because the new administration might decide to restrict how people change their names and gender on passports.
posted by AFABulous at 9:50 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

The ACLU is presumably already on your list.

With anti-science politics ascendant, climate denial in all three branches, etc, Union of Concerned Scientists is working for science-backed policymaking, offering to help government scientists facing political attack, advocating for clean energy, etc
posted by anonymisc at 10:26 PM on November 25, 2016

Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Donors Choose is one of my favorite charity organizations in general, and would be a way to help public school students now (this school year or next). The donor can pick a project they want to help fund immediately (the donation does go directly towards the project you choose; it's also possible to make a general donation to the organization or to a teacher/classroom). The types of requests vary widely, e.g. pencils and paper, backpacks, food/snacks (it was pretty depressing to see the "Food, Warmth & Care" option appear one day in the filters), books, music stands, computers. Classroom projects can also be filtered a number of ways, e.g. by subject, location, "highest poverty", urgency -- or the website can pick a project for you.

This recent AskMe might be of interest and it also has a few charities mentioned in the original question.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:41 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's a recent AskMe about charities focusing on Native Americans' rights.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:48 PM on November 25, 2016

Harm Reduction Coalition, in light of the huge HIV outbreaks that happened during Pence's governorship in Indiana. Supplement with a donation to your local syringe exchange.
posted by ActionPopulated at 6:00 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bend the Arc seems promising.
posted by ferret branca at 7:25 AM on November 26, 2016

Someone I know on-line (and whose judgment I trust) has asked that any money you would spend on gifts for him go to charity instead - and he has a good list to choose from.

And on Friday, Dec. 2, MeFi's own jscalzi will be collecting recommendations.
posted by jeri at 8:47 AM on November 26, 2016

For immigrant protection / assistance, perhaps the International Rescue Committee.
stolen from their website: They provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In New York and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.
posted by garlic at 2:09 PM on November 26, 2016

HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, works to improve the lives of LGBTQ people worldwide by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law, and increasing public support around the globe.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:39 AM on November 27, 2016

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