With Bush II in office, it's more crucial than ever that progressives join in and work for change. If you want to get involved, here's our fifth installment on organizations doing important activist work.
IFCO/Pastors for Peace (Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization) This group brings progressive racial and ethnic community organizers together with funders. It has garnered support for grassroots groups such as the Audre Lorde Project in Brooklyn, N.Y., the only community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people of color in the nation. The organization is also developing "people-to-people foreign policy" by taking caravans of aid to places adversely affected by U.S. foreign policy such as Cuba, Honduras, and the Chiapas region of Mexico.
"In taking these caravans to Cuba, despite the U.S. blockade, we are engaging in a very conscious act of civil disobedience, in the same way we fought for women's rights, voting rights, and civil rights. We do this with a clear sense that we are acting in the tradition of social justice in this country, which has earned us our most progressive social policies, not because corporate leaders or politicians tried to do the right thing, but because we, as activists, made these things happen. Our domestic projects led us to do international work. Many young activists we work with point to their national origins. We keep our ear to the ground and follow the lead of the grassroots." -The Reverend Lucius Walker, Jr., executive director
Equality Now Equality Now is a grassroots organization dedicated to the international human rights of women. With letter and fax campaigns, video witnessing, media events, and public information activities, Equality Now mobilizes action on behalf of women whose rights are being violated. Through the Women's Action Network, the "nerve center" of Equality Now, information about specific abuses and ongoing violations is transmitted worldwide.
"We feel a huge commitment to women in other parts of the world because our government is so powerful. So to the extent that human rights are a component of foreign policy, we want to see women's issues raised, and we will work to empower women worldwide. The countrywide, apartheid-like oppression of women in Afghanistan is not generating the outrage in the U.S. that it should be. But if we can't unite around the tragedy in Afghanistan, what can we unite on? We wrote to Colin Powell and told him our concerns, because we believe that equality should transcend political partisanship. If equality is not an issue for this administration, we want to know why." -Jessica Neuwirth, president of the board
October 22nd Coalition This is a national movement that addresses problems in policing, from racial profiling to the killing of innocent civilians. The coalition's Stolen Lives Project collects and documents names of those killed by law enforcement. The Speakers Bureau Project brings movement supporters to schools and community centers to speak about police brutality. They also refer people to support groups and lawyers. The October 22nd namesake is the annual nationwide protest supporting those slain by police.
"We need mass resistance. We need to build a movement that gives heart to those who face police brutality 24/7, so they're empowered to fight back. We also need support from people who may not experience brutality, bu
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
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