This Month's Organization
Union of CONCERNED Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists combines advocacy with rigorous analysis of climate change research. They were founded 50 years ago at MIT, and combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.
Previously Supported Organizations
Sunrise Movement is a grassroots advocacy initiative that is centering climate change as the issue of our generation. The Sunrise Movement is actively organizing people across the country to influence political agendas to boldly address climate change, electing leaders who are committed to environmental solutions, and countering the outsized influence of the fossil fuel industry.
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
In honor of Black History Month, the High Five Fund is giving to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.
Committee to Protect JOURNALISTS
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) protects the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are under threat. CPJ engages in global advocacy for journalists and a free press, as well as maintaining a database on journalists who have been killed, imprisoned, and have gone missing. They have sponsored various campaigns worldwide, and currently are leading initiatives on the US-Mexico border to ensure journalists who are attempting to report about the conditions on the border are not unnecessarily detained or searched, and have their confidential information and research protected.
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth understands that the climate crisis is the definitive environmental issue of our time, but to truly make strides in this area, we need a systemic approach that includes changing how we produce energy, grow food, conduct politics, and organize our economies. As such, their advocacy spans clean energy policy, sustainable food systems, the preservation of our forests and oceans, and the transformation of our financial systems. Addressing an issue as complex and holistic as climate change requires a strategic and multi-level approach, which is why we are proud to be giving to Friends of the Earth this year.
Developed by the League of Women Voters, VOTE411.org is a "one-stop-shop" for election related information. This innovative voter resource provides information to the public with both general and state-specific information. Knowing that election rules differ state by state, and sometimes change from year to year, VOTE411.org provides critical information to voters so they can register to vote, find candidate information, confirm their polling location, check if ID is required, and see what their personal ballot will look like.
Spread The Vote
A national nonprofit, Spread the Vote helps eligible voters obtain government-issued IDs. Why IDs? Despite limited evidence of in-person voter fraud, 34 states now request or require IDs when voting. In Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is running to be the country's first female African American governor, voters who do not have a photo ID are required to vote on a provisional ballot and must return to show ID within three days.
For the 11% of the voting age population (or approximately 21 million people) without an ID, these laws are a form of voter disenfranchisement. While IDs are theoretically "free," they have hidden expenses, and residency requirements are a barrier for homeless and transient populations. Even getting to an ID-issuing office can be tough; 10 million eligible voters live over 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office.
Spread the Vote helps these individuals, ensuring every single American, no matter their background or political leanings, can obtain the identification they need to participate in our democracy. And with our donation of $800, Spread the Vote will be able to help 20 voting eligible Americans secure IDs.
Equal Justice Initiative
Based on the votes from our members, our September beneficiary is the Equal Justice Initiative, which 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. EJI takes an historical approach to its work, linking the American history of slavery, lynching, and segregation to our current context of mass incarceration that disproportionately targets and criminalizes black communities.
Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)
Since 1992, CRR's attorneys have boldly used legal and human rights tools to advocate for women to decide whether and when to get married or have children, and ensure all women have access to high quality reproductive health care. They are the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive rights, with expertise in both U.S. constitutional and international human rights law. Their groundbreaking cases before national courts, United Nations committees, and regional human rights bodies have expanded access to reproductive healthcare, including birth control, safe abortion, prenatal and obstetric care, and unbiased information. They also influence the law outside the courtroom as well, documenting abuses, working with policymakers to promote progressive measures, and fostering legal scholarship and teaching on reproductive health and human rights.
CRR has also put together a comprehensive report on the status of abortion rights in each state if Roe v. Wade was overturned. You can view it here to learn more about your state's current laws and policies.
KIND: Kids in Need of Defense
While our June gift was made to Immigration Equality, the nation's lead LGBTQ immigrant rights organization, we felt it was our responsibility to make another gift as soon as possible that was responsive to the current crisis facing asylum-seeking and immigrant families. In addition to the impact of family separation, about half of the children arriving in the US will be sent to court with no legal advocacy, regardless of their age. That is why we have selected KIND: Kids in Need of Defense as our July beneficiary. KIND works to ensure that no child appears in immigration court alone without high quality representation. Our monthly donation level could help cover the cost to match three children with volunteer attorneys, which is critical as children without representation in immigration court are 5 times more likely to be deported. In moments like these, we are so grateful for the ongoing dedication of the High Five Fund members, which allows us to make a collective donation at a time of such significant need.
With the help of donations like ours, Immigration Equality advocates for LGBTQ and HIV-positive refugees seeking asylum in the United States. While we often think of immigration and LGBTQ rights as disparate issues, they are intertwined; just last month, Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender woman seeking asylum in the U.S. died while in ICE custody, and in nearly 80 countries, being LGBTQ is a crime. For this reason, Immigration Equality provides legal counsel, which is not provided to individuals in U.S. immigration court; fights for immigration policy reform; and helps ensure the safety of LGBTQ and HIV-positive communities. To date, their legal team has won over 950 asylum and family reunification cases.
Communities in Schools
Communities in Schools understands that even if there are ample resources in a community, students and their families may have a hard time accessing and navigating the maze of public and private services because there is rarely someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with the schools and students that need them most. Through a school-based coordinator, CIS brings community resources into schools and removes barriers for vulnerable students at risk of dropping out. CIS works directly in 2,300 schools across the country with this focus on connecting services, building relationships, and empowering students to stay in school and succeed in life.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Clean Water Campaign
Based on our members' nominations and votes, this month's donation has gone to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Clean Water Campaign. Standing Rock Sioux is a native tribe that was instrumental in the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, they continue to fight for strong climate change policy and prepare for the impacts of DAPL -- including mitigating the threat DAPL poses to their water supply. The Dakota Access Pipeline has already leaked five times along its route, and the Tribe's report to the Army Corps shows that the current leak detection system can't detect all spills into their water supply. At this time a spill of more than 11,000 barrels per day would go undetected, and would devastate their homeland. The impacts of spills and leaks on their community have not been properly addressed by the Army Corps, and they are unable to address a worst case oil discharge. With ongoing support, the tribe can take matters into their own hands and establish their own water safety system. Our donation will set-up proper water monitoring wells, train a rapid response team, and be used to purchase needed equipment. We are proud to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and thank our membership for highlighting the intersections of environmental protections and indigenous rights.
Learn More About the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Clean Water Campaign >>
March For Our Lives + Everytown For Gun Saftey
For the month of March, in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, the High Five Fund has decided to split our donation between two important efforts to address gun violence in our country.
We will be donating to March For Our Lives, a grassroots initiative organized by the students of Parkland. On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. Much like the Women's March, sister marches will be taking places throughout the country on the same day, and donations will be directed toward organizing this national effort.
We will also be donating to Everytown For Gun Safety, a political advocacy organization that works for gun control legislation. Knowing gun violence plagues every town in the United States, Everytown was formed through the coalition of several organizations such as Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They work to address gun violence issues such as background checks, domestic abuse, suicide, illegal gun trafficking, and the uniquely American problem of mass shootings.
With a continued assault on the press, we direct our monthly giving to ProPublica to support the investigate journalism necessary to hold the current administration accountable. ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. They dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and they stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account.
She Should Run
In honor of the Women's March one year ago, and upcoming 2018 election season, we are excited to announce our first donation of the year will be made to She Should Run, whose mission is to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States by providing community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders. Knowing that women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the U.S., She Should Run is committed to getting at least 250,000 women to run by 2030 through their #250KBY2030 campaign. We are excited to join this initiative with our gift this month!
350.org is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to science and justice. The organization was named after 350 parts per million -- the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 350.org uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.
Transgender Law Center
This administration has not hesitated to attack the rights of marginalized communities, and one of the recent targets has been transgender people serving in the military. In response, we will be supporting the Transgender Law Center, the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. TLC focuses on a variety of legal and policy cases that impact the transgender community, including employment, health, immigration, and the prison system.
As politicians are gearing up for election season, the High Five Fund will be supporting Indivisible this October. Indivisible is a progressive grassroots network that aims to defeat the Trump agenda by holding each and every member of Congress accountable to their constituents. Created by former Congressional staffers, Indivisible provides practical guidelines for how to organize and advocate at the local level, and coordinates specific and effective weekly actions to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill. With each attempt to repeal Obamacare, institute a travel ban, or reverse DACA, Indivisible has been at the forefront of organizing the progressive response in strategic and impactful ways!
Black Lives Matter & Showing up for Racial Justice
We decided to split our donation for this month between Black Lives Matter(BLM) and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), which are both grassroots efforts for racial justice that support local chapters in cities across the country. We felt it is imperative to support these two organizations in tandem as BLM is a prominent black-led effort for racial justice and SURJ focuses on white responsibility and allyship in addressing white supremacy in our communities, work places, and social networks.
While we have all been celebrating that the health care repeal efforts in Congress have not moved forward, Families USA knows the hard work is not over. As they recently shared on their blog, "We know the Trump Administration and members of Congress are still dedicated to undermining the Affordable Care Act and dismantling Medicaid, including through legislative strategies, administrative sabotage, the budget process, and threats that we will likely face when the Republican agenda turns to tax reform. We must remain vigilant and never stop advocating for better health care for all people in America."
New Leaders Council
New Leaders Council is the leading training program for progressive millennials. NLC equips its leaders with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, create start ups, and use grassroots activism in their communities and workplaces to create progressive change. NLC has 48 chapters across the country in red and blue states with nearly 5,000 alumni, of which 57% identify as people of color and 53% identify as women, bringing critical perspectives to our political landscape.
LamBda Legal: Making the Case for Equality
To celebrate Pride, and defend the rights of LGBTQ people the High Five Fund is happy to announce our June beneficiary is Lambda Legal. Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. As the current administration pursues policies to legalize discrimination and decimates funding for individuals living with HIV, supporting Lambda Legal's work becomes all the more important.
NLIHC: National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is dedicated to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. Considering Trump's background as a real estate developer, it is critical to consider the ways in which his investments in luxury condos and resorts have contributed to the affordable housing crisis across our country. But, with the political will to address the bipartisan issue of affordable housing options, we can end this crisis with no additional spending. Check out this video to learn more!
EarthJustice: Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer
As our nation’s original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization, EarthJustice has successfully defended environmental issues in the courts for more than 40 years, including landmark cases in the areas of climate and energy, wildlife preservation, and the protection of communities from toxic chemicals. At a time when ignoring our environmental responsibilities could have dire and irreversible consequences, it is critical to hold this administration accountable.
NILC: National Immigration Law Center
Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center is one of the leading advocates for low-income immigrants and their families. Through a strategy of targeted litigation, policy analysis, and strategic messaging, the NILC works to defend and advance the rights of underrepresented immigrant families. As witnessed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ block of the president’s travel ban, courts are vital to maintaining our constitutional rights under this administration, as is supporting judicially-focused organizations.
RAINN: The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization
In addition to providing support to survivors of sexual assault, RAINN also plays an important role in shaping public policy. As the president-elect normalizes sexual assault, we need to strengthen the counter-narrative that any kind of unwelcome sexual advance is an outrage and unacceptable. At a time when the 115th Congress seems set on limiting women's access to healthcare, RAINN's services become all the more important especially for women in need of immediate help and support.
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