I’m Errin Mixon, proud member of the Glide Ensemble for the last 15 years.
A few months back, I got into an argument on social media with a family friend. He’d been posting a lot of content that he called “patriotic”. I called it something else.
I tried explaining why his posts could be interpreted as troubling, particularly to the black and gay members of our family. But he doubled down, I called him out, and our digital friendship ended.
I thought I’d done the right thing. Aren’t we supposed to call out racism when we see it? But a day or two later I was still feeling lousy. I wasn’t sure what I’d accomplished by cutting him loose.
I did realize that I was wasting my time arguing with people whose minds I wasn’t going to change. And if I wanted to be useful, I should put that energy into doing, rather than talking. What if I just shut up and did something small every day to support the causes that I care about?
So I made a commitment, and I kept it simple. For the rest of 2020, I would do one act of social justice each day, no matter how small. The goal was consistency, not perfection.
I started signing petitions. I made some calls to my local representatives. And then… I found a hundred dollar bill on the ground.
Yes, I thought about keeping it. But as I looked around—at all the tents where people were obviously living—I knew that money wasn’t meant for me. (I also knew it wasn’t a great idea to call out, “Anybody lose a hundred dollar bill?”)
So, I put the money to work. I donated $10 a day to different organizations that further social justice. And those ten days felt so good that I decided to put in some money of my own, and keep it going for another month. And then, incredibly, people started chipping in! Without my asking, folks started sending me money, telling me to keep going.
That crumpled hundred dollar bill ultimately grew into a thousand dollars, donated to a range of worthy causes. Below is a partial list of those organizations—some big names, some small, all doing their part for social justice.
I’m not really sorry that I disconnected from that family friend on social media. His posts were bringing me down. But I owe the man a debt of gratitude for inspiring me to do something more than just argue. Glide taught me that it’s easy to talk that talk—but change begins to happen when you walk that walk!
Want to do your part for social justice? Check out some of these worthy organizations:
“Today and every day, the NAACP is at the forefront of the movement to build political power and ensure the wellbeing of Black communities.”
Color of Change
“We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.”
Centro Legal de la Raza
“We protect and advance the rights of low-income, immigrant, Black, and Latinx communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.”
VOTING & POLITICAL JUSTICE
The Equity Alliance
“We believe in using our voting power as a weapon in the fight for social and economic justice.”
When We All Vote
“We’re helping bring even more people into the voting process because when we all vote, we all do better.”
“IGNITE is a movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.”
“When voters feel like they have to choose between the lesser-of-two-evils, that’s not real choice.”
National Popular Vote
“5 of 45 presidents came into office without winning the national popular vote.”
Oakland’s A to Z Fund
“Fifteen schools, concentrated in Oakland’s wealthiest neighborhoods, are able to raise more than $5 million each school year. Meanwhile, 75 percent of Oakland students attend schools that raise less than $10,000 each year.”
Little Free Library
“Our Read in Color initiative will distribute books that provide perspectives on racism and social justice, celebrate BIPOC and LGBTQ voices, and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers.”
“We’ve built over 450 edible permaculture gardens in the Bay Area, worked with five high-schools to develop food justice curricula and created 40 green jobs in the food justice movement for folks transitioning from prison.”
“Our no-till, regenerative urban farm provides the Bell Shelter’s kitchen with substantial quantities of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables as well as therapeutic and employment opportunities for residents.”
Bay Area Community Services
“We have 24/7 residential programs across the Bay Area, addressing mental health and housing crises with expertise and compassion.”
“We’re on a mission to help communities bring mobile showers to expand hygiene access, rekindle dignity, restore optimism, and unlock the opportunity that come with being clean.”
“GLIDE is a nationally recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives.”
“Our mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”
The Trevor Project
“We are the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth.”
Grassroots Law Project
“We combine the best of grassroots organizing with legal expertise to radically transform policing and justice in America.”
Stand With Bre
“We must pass Breonna’s Law to ban no knock warrants in cities across the country to prevent more murders like Breonna Taylor’s.”
Equal Justice Initiative
“We are 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.”
Union of Concerned Scientists
“Our mission: to use rigorous, independent science to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.”
“We believe every talented and skilled individual who is willing and committed to becoming employed, should be, regardless of their life experiences.”
ACLU Women’s Rights Project
“We have been the principal group responsible for systematic legal reform through the courts in the areas of women’s equality and economic rights.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
“We work to advance access to sexual health care and defend reproductive rights.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America
“We fight for reproductive freedom for every body: access to abortion care, birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.”