Monday, January 10, 2011

The Change We Want To Be: Groups to Watch and Support in 2011

 Southeast Asian Queers United for Empowerment and Leadership (seaQuel), A Project of
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
There are a few social change and environmental justice organizations that I'm especially fond of, groups doing good work at a very grassroots level.  First, an organization that isn't exactly grassroots but one I've known and loved for almost 20 years.  The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice has always been my model for what a women's fund should be.  Innovative, daring, playful and bold.  Astraea now funds the social change efforts of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Queer persons all over the world, in places where it's too dangerous to publicize that GLBTQ organizing is happening.  Organizing more fundamental than military service and marriage.

Now, those grassroots groups:
New on the scene, but organizing in the tradition of CEW, is Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc (WEEI).  Organizing with immigrant refugee and low income women of color in Boston and the North Shore, they are so new that they don't yet have a website.  Fatou Fatty is their Executive Director.  You can communicate with them at Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc., 349 Broadway Suite 100, Revere, MA 02151.

Working hard to counteract the effects of mountain top removal, among other environmental disasters being perpetrated by coal and other extractive industries is the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. OVEC has a comprehensive vision for how environmental justice can be attained in West Virginia, including grassroots organizing, election reform and environmental monitoring. 

Stan Johnson & I offering technical assistance
at a LA Bucket Brigade Event
Supporting the efforts of grassroots environmental justice organizations throughout the South and Southwest is The Environmental Support Center.  Offering ongoing, hands on technology, organizational and technical skills training and grants of new computers, video cameras and software, ESC helps guarantee the low-income EJ community has the tools essential to documenting abuses by the myriad extractive industries polluting working class and communities of color.

Now these are just a few of my favorites.  You know there are similar groups where you live.  Search them out or consult trustworthy intermediaries and funders such as Astraea and ESC to help guarantee innovative grassroots social change and environmental justice  organizations in your area are receiving the attention and support that will help them be the change we want to be.

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