YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE CHANGE 

If the current political climate has you feeling exhausted & frustrated, it more important than ever to remember that you have the power to make change.  
Below are 45 actions you can take today that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of those who need us most.

 

  1. Stand With Women:  In June, a historic ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed a woman’s constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion. Now, it’s time for Congress to do its part! Sign this pledge saying "I stand with the Act for Women campaign and call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act."
  2. Make Your Home A Sanctuary City:  Sign a petition demanding Mayors across the U.S. to protect undocumented immigrants by declaring their city a sanctuary of safety! #HereToStay
  3. Ask Your Library To Carry Books That Deal Positively With Transgender People:  Libraries are an important source of information to people across the United States.  Therefore, it is important to have accurate and trans affirming books available when people seek them out.  Help the librarians in your community or at your school include books that are useful to our community by suggesting titles.
  4. End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health:  Spread the word: Every day, millions of people face stigma related to mental health because they or their loved ones are facing a challenge. Many of these people feel isolated and alone, going years before receiving any help. Amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma, creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve.
  5. Ask The Senate To Address The Unprecedented Rise In Hate Crimes:  Hate crimes overall grew by 6.8% to a total of 5,850 incidents throughout the year.  This increase was not isolated to one particular race or disenfranchised community.  Sign a petition requesting that the Senate Judiciary Committee urgently conduct a hearing to address the surge in hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups in the U.S.
  6. Lift Children Out Of Poverty:  Tell Congress to stop program cuts and get rid of sequestration rules that prevent needed investments to lift children out of poverty. 
  7. Tell Elected Officials: Keep Vital Healthcare:  Add your name to an open letter telling ultraconservative politicians everywhere: We won't let you cut off millions of people from vital health care, putting lives at risk for the sake of scoring political points. 
  8. Stop Terrifying Pre-Dawn Immigration Raids:  Sign a petition asking the federal government to stop directing immigration agents to conduct raids during pre-dawn hours, forcibly removing terrified children and mothers from their homes.
  9. Demand A Non-Discrimination Policy In Child Placement Services:  Sign a petition to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services demanding the issuance of a "non-discrimination mandate prohibiting child placement services that receive federal funding from discriminating against children, and adults on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
  10. Motivate Workers To Create A More Inclusive Workplace:  Whether you’re a CEO, employee, parent, child or friend, your commitment to advocate for the hiring of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) is invaluable.  Help spread the message by signing a pledge that states: "I see people with special needs as skilled and employable and #ImInToHire for an inclusive workplace."  By pledging your support, you are spreading awareness and recognizing the contributions that all of us can bring to an inclusive workplace.
  11. Pledge To Stand Together With Muslims:  We cannot strip our Muslim neighbors of their fundamental rights. Sign this pledge to stand together with Muslims across the country, and around the world. Because when we stand as one, no American can be singled out by their race, religion, income, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  12. Protect Children, Not Guns:  Today, one child or teen will be shot by a gun every 30 minutes and a child will die every 3 hours and 15 minutes. Send a message to your Senators and Representative asking them to protect children, not guns. (If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence, consider including a personal story.)
  13. Tell Your Senator: "You're Not A Medical Expert!":  Email your U.S. Senators to remind them that politicians aren’t medical experts and must not be allowed to interfere in a woman’s medical decisions.  Reject H.R. 36.
  14. Treat Families With Dignity:  Let the Secretary of Homeland Security know that you believe that the Central American women and children being held in Berks County immigration detention center deserve to be safe from violence — not treated like criminals and deported without a fair hearing in court. Further demand that the Secretary of Homeland Security release these families from Berks and ensure that they receive fair hearings.
  15. Pledge to Spread the Message that IT GETS BETTER:  Take the pledge and get involved by helping spread the message of hope to LGBTQ youth: It Gets Better. The pledge states: "Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that it gets better."
  16. Ask Your Local News Station To Remind Viewers That Not All Disabilities Are Visible:  Every day, people with disabilities can and do make important contributions to America’s businesses. They have the requisite drive to succeed in employment, and the skills and talent necessary to deliver on the job.  The  Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) created the "WHO I AM" public service announcement to promote the idea that when we look at someone, we must see them for all that they are.
  17. End Racial Profiling Methods:  Sign a petition telling the Department of Justice that they must shut down facial recognition programs that endanger endanger members of the Black community and violate their rights!
  18. Become An Advocate For Hungry Children:  Sign up to be an Advocate with Feed the Children.  As an advocate you will be alerted with new ways to help and any updates on legislation. In the fight to end hunger, kids need you to use your voice!
  19. Combat The Gender Pay Gap:  Many employers base salary offers on a candidate's previous pay – which, because of the pay gap, is often lower for women than for men. On average, women take home only 80% of men’s median earnings and, while the gap has narrowed since passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, progress has largely stalled in the 21st century. Simply eliminating the reliance on salary history in setting future wages would go a long way toward closing the pay gap.
  20. Make Your Campus A Safe Place For All:  Sign a petition (or several different petitions) demanding that universities declare themselves a “sanctuary campus,” reaffirming current admission and financial-aid policies regarding undocumented students, protecting student privacy by refusing to release information about citizenship status, and making it “clear that the university will use all legal and practical means at their disposal to protect all members of their community in the months and years to come.”  
  21. Tell Congress To Remove The Anti-LGBTQ Amendment From NDAA:  Sign a petition to Congress stating: "Rep. Steve Russell’s amendment to the House version of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) uses ‘religious freedom’ as an excuse to discriminate. Do not use tax dollars to fund discrimination. Remove the Russell Amendment from the final version of the NDAA."
  22. Give Disability Services Providers The Overtime Pay They Deserve:  Help disability services providers comply with the Department of Labor’s revision of the overtime exemption rule by supporting the Disability Community Act of 2016 (H.R. 5902), a bill that will provide a three-year, targeted and temporary funding bump to providers so that they can comply with new federal rules not funded under current fixed Medicaid rates.
  23. Stop Warrior Policing:  Sign a petition to stop “warrior policing” and instead, encourage de-escalation and best practices to protect and serve ALL people.
  24. Secure The Future By Ensuring All Children Have A Quality Education:  Tell your Members of Congress to secure the future by providing a quality education for every child. 
  25. Protect Intimate Partner Violence:  Stricter gun control measures are needed to protect survivors of intimate partner violence from further harm and imminent danger. In the final days before its recess, Congress must vote on the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protections Act of 2015 (H.R.1217) in order to mandate background checks for all gun sales, even those sold by private sellers.
  26. Demand Kindness:  Sign a petition to be delivered to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and all other federal officials demanding that they show leadership and kindness by accepting refugees from Syria and elsewhere.
  27. Lead By Example:  When an individual’s gender identity and expression conflicts with societal expectations, they are often subject to harassment, abuse, and discrimination as they challenge the idea of a strict gender binary. Pronouns allow a person to accurately represent their identity in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.  Change happens by setting an example and living it. Take five minutes today to learn about gender pronouns, and how to integrate this simple change in your everyday life.
  28. See The Person, Not The Illness:  Mental health matters to everyone. Individuals, companies, organizations and others can all take the pledge to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues. Take the pledge and raise awareness. 
  29. Tell Your State Legislators To Oppose "Stand Your Ground" Laws:  "Stand Your Ground" laws represent a dangerous and unprecedented escalation in the use of force in the public space, allowing individuals to shoot and kill even when they could otherwise walk away safely from an altercation. Tell your State Legislators that you oppose this immoral legislation!
  30. Ask Your Member Of Congress To Visit A Food Bank:  The best way to help Congress understand the scope of hunger in the U.S. is by seeing it. By simply encouraging our representatives to visit food banks in their communities, we create create a greater awareness of the epidemic that is child hunger!
  31. Share Your Story About Healthcare:  You have the power to stop politicians from restricting access to your healthcare. We need every politician to know just how important Planned Parenthood is to the people they serve. Share your story and tell Planned Parenthood what they mean to you. 
  32. Become A Pen-Pal With An Individual In Immigration Detention:  Immigration detention is a lonely experience. A kind word in the form of a letter can make a huge difference. Writing letters is an easy and meaningful way to be a compassionate presence to those in immigration detention – to remind them that they are not alone or forgotten.  Sign up to become pen-pals with an individual currently isolated in an immigration detention facility. 
  33. Become Aware Of Implicit Preferences Agaisnt The LGBTQ Community:  Project Implicit is a non-profit organization focusing on people's thoughts and feelings that are outside of their conscious and/or control.  The organization's mission is to educate the public about hidden bias.  Take their quick "Sexuality IAT" test (which only requires you to sort pictures and words into groups) to expose yourself to hidden preferences for persons not in the LGBTQ community. 
  34. Allow Scientists To Use Your Unused Computer Power:  Help Stanford University scientists studying Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers by simply running a piece of software on your computer.  The problems they are trying to solve require so many calculations, and so they are asking people to donate their unused computer power to crunch some of the numbers.
  35. Re-Write The Conversation On Race:  The prevailing story of race in America is incomplete and characterized by misleading, inaccurate, frequently contradictory beliefs that result in continued separation and dysfunction. For instance, a common misconception appearing in racial discourse is that race is no longer a big motivation for discrimination.  The Race Story Rewrite Project is challenging these beliefs about race by sharing personal stories that present an alternative message.  Upload a story of yours that challenges one of these prevailing ideas about race.
  36. Prevent Child Abuse:  Sign First, click here to find the contact information for your U.S. Senators and Representative, as well as your local legislators.  Call as many of them as you can to discuss child abuse across the United States.  Click here for a list of helpful talking points to bring up during your discussions!
  37. #StandWithWomen:  Organizing For Action (OFA) stands with women by fighting for economic security, protecting access to health care, and supporting women's leadership.  Join OFA's efforts by sharing your story as to how you #StandWithWomen.
  38. Know Better, To Do Better:  There are many misconceptions regarding the U.S. immigration system.  For instance, many Americans wonder all immigrants don't just come to the United States legally, or simply “get in line” if they are unauthorized. These suggestions miss the point: There is no line available for unauthorized immigrants and the “regular channels” do not include them.  Take a few minutes to further educate yourself on the U.S. Immigration process.  Educating yourself is one of the most important actions because, "when you know better, you do better."
  39. Provide Emotional Support:  The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a solidarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the United States, linking them with people a part of these same communities outside of prison.  Writing a letter provides more than emotional support. It indicates to the guards and other prisoners that someone outside is paying attention and that whatever happens will be noticed. It has a tangible impact on reducing violence and administrative harassment. In developing a correspondence, you are able to help connect a prisoner with the worlds outside and help link them to resources, education, and community support not reachable in prison
  40. Help People With Print Disabilities Read:  Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. More than 425,000 people in 70 countries have access to Bookshare's collection of over 460,000 titles.  Contribute your skills and passions to help people with print disabilities read. There are several different ways you can help in less than 15 minutes: describe images, scan documents, proofread! 
  41. Send A Message That Racism Is Unacceptable:  Join the United Nations' "More Than Meets The Eye" campaign which spreads the message that racism is unacceptable.  Download their postcards and send them to your friends to let them know that you are taking a stand against racism!
  42. Urge Your Elected Officials To Reauthorize The JJDPA:  Call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support re-authorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) -sample script included.  JJDPA will help prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system; strengthen the Act’s core protections for youth in contact with the system—including keeping them in community-based programs and out of detention centers and adult jails; support youth in their transition home to their communities; and promote state progress in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the system. 
  43. Inspire Others To Get Involved:  What drives your passion for improving the quality of life for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) with Best Buddies? Tell the Best Buddies Organization how your involvement in the disability rights movement has impacted your life so that they can share your story and inspire others to get involved.  Remember- the more personal and powerful it is, the more likely you are to create change!
  44. Stop The Frisk:  LatinoJustice and other national and local organizations are combating NYPD's practice of racial profiling. In 2011, the NYCLU reported that 685,724 New Yorkers were stopped. Out of those stopped, young Black and Latino men were the target of a hugely disproportionate number of stops.  Share your experience with Stop & Frisk by submitting your story via photos, video or text.
  45. Become An Anti-Bullying Advocate:  Contact your state senator or assemblyman and tell them why certain bills, policies or systems at your school (or your family member's school) are not working and how this is harming the educational environment in your community.

 

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