There are many important and worthy causes and organizations to support on this Giving Tuesday and really every day. I’d like to share a few that I support personally with my own resources. I hope that you will choose one or all of them to support as you consider your end of the year giving.
Chicago Freedom School – please support here
Founded in 2007, the mission of the Chicago Freedom School (CFS) is to create new generations of critical and independent thinking young people who use their unique experiences and power to create a just world. CFS provides training and education opportunities for youth and adult allies to develop leadership skills through the lens of civic action and through the study of the history of social movements and their leaders. Our vision is in the spirit of the original freedom schools in Mississippi in the 1960s, with CFS serving as a catalyst for young people across Chicago to discover their own power to make change – not only for themselves, but also for their communities and the world. [This is an organization that I co-founded and we really do good work.]
Project NIA – please support online HERE or send a check HERE
Launched in 2009, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. We believe that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. Our mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives. [I founded and currently direct Project NIA]
Chicago Books to Women in Prison - support their book drive on Amazon HERE
Chicago Books to Women in Prison is a volunteer collective that distributes paperback books free of charge to women prisons nationwide. We are dedicated to offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education and entertainment that reading provides. This list highlights the books we need most, but are not frequently donated. Use it as a guide or buy books directly from the list. All books must be paperback. Used and new books are accepted.
Black Youth Project 100 – support their work HERE
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a collective focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy and education.
Holiday Gift Drive for Children with Incarcerated Mothers - support the drive HERE
This project is a collaboration between Moms United and Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers. As we see the largest growing segment of the prison population is mothers, esp mothers of color, we see also a growing number of children on the other side of those bars, many entering the foster care system. It is so important to all moms to be able to give a gift to their children during the holidays. This program will allow mothers at Logan Prison in IL to choose a gift that YOU donated, and surprise their child/children. Please help us make this a special holiday season for kids and moms who are experiencing the pain of separation, but who work so hard to maintain that critical bond throughout the year. Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help! Please share this wish list with friends and family too! One more thing: We would like to properly thank folks who donate, so if you would drop us a line at email@example.com, that would be additionally great! Thank you! *****Update*****We have reached our goal for Logan, Decatur, Fox Valley, and Cook County Jail. Thank to the amazing generosity and commitment of those who donated and shared the event with their networks, we can now collect for Haymarket, a treatment center to which some moms from Cook County Jail are sentenced, as well as 2 additional transitional facilities in Chicago! Wonderfully unexpected, and let’s keep it going! Thank YOU!!!
Black and Pink – Please support them HERE
Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.