Community Activism

Help Children in Illinois Prisons by Donating to Liberation Library

This OTYCD post originally appeared in May 2018.

 

Help children serving sentences in Illinois prisons through Liberation Library, which gives them books.

 

Liberation Library is a volunteer-led group based in Chicago that serves children in prison and juvenile detention centers in Illinois. Its members ask the kids what they’d like to read, and gets those titles.

 

They believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. Twice a month, it hosts “packing days,” in which volunteers prep and mail books to young readers.

 

It also sends birthday cards to incarcerated children year-round, and holiday cards around Christmas.

 

 

See the Liberation Library webpage:

http://www.liberationlib.com

 

 

See its About page:

http://www.liberationlib.com/about.html

 

 

See its FAQ page, which includes advice on how to find a Liberation Library-type organization in your community, or set one up:

http://www.liberationlib.com/faqs.html

 

 

Sign up for its newsletter:

http://liberationlib.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b3d1719ad4771efe8f1a9b022&id=a7c868d487&orig-lang=1

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate money or gently used books to Liberation Library (please check if the books are on LL’s Amazon Wishlist first):

http://www.liberationlib.com/donate.html

 

 

Donate birthday cards for use by Liberation Library, or purchase blank birthday cards from its Amazon Wishlist:

http://www.liberationlib.com/birthday-cards.html

 

 

If you live in or near Chicago, volunteer for Liberation Library:

http://www.liberationlib.com/volunteer.html

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/LiberationLibrary

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@liberationlib

Community Activism · Marches and Protests

Support the 22nd Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace in Boston

Join or support the 22nd annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston. It takes place on Sunday, May 13, 2018. 

 

The walk is a fundraiser for the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which was established after the death of Brown, a 15-year-old who was killed in 1993 by a stray bullet from a gang shootout. The walk began in 1996 as a way to honor the family and friends of children lost to murder.

 

The walk is a local event that takes place in Dorchester, which is a neighborhood of Boston. It does not have sister or satellite marches. Its organizers hope to raise about $400,000 for the institute, which serves families that have been affected by murder and works to change society so it treats the families of murder victims with greater dignity and compassion.

 

In addition to registering to join the walk and sponsoring walkers, you can boost the event on social media through the #mothersdaywalk4peace hashtag.

 

 

Learn where the walk starts in Dorchester and see the walking route:

https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org/about-hayden/

 

 

 

Donate to the walk:

https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org/donate/

 

 

Register to walk (cost is $10 per walker):

https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org/register

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See the FAQ for the event:

https://www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org/faq

 

 

See the website for the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute:

http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org

 

 

About Louis D. Brown:

http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/content/our-story

 

 

Learn about the mission of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, the beneficiary of the walk:

http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/content/our-mission

 

 

Like the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ldbpeaceinstitute/?ref=br_rs

 

 

Follow the institute on Twitter:

@LDBpeaceinst

 

 

Action Alerts · Postcard Campaigns

Comfort Bresha Meadows with Postcards

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Send messages of love and support to Bresha Meadows, a teenage victim of domestic violence who shot and killed her abusive father, and recently accepted a plea deal that will lead to her release.

 

Meadows was 14 in July 2016 when she killed her father, Jonathan, who had directed physical and verbal abuse against her, her mother, and her brothers and sisters for years. Meadows ran away several times but was returned home each time.

 

A public outcry, led by the #FreeBresha campaign, prevented the Ohio courts from trying Meadows as an adult, which could have yielded a sentence of 25 years to life. She spent nine months in jail after her arrest, which worsened her depression and her PTSD. In May, she agreed to a deal where she pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for 60 more days at an Ohio juvenile detention center, followed by six months in a counseling center near her home and two years’ probation. Because she is under 18, she will have a chance to seal her arrest record and ultimately have it purged.

 

Meadows has been through a lot in her young life. You can cheer her by sending her postcards that reflect your love and support.

 

Mail them to:

Bresha Meadows
c/o Ian N. Friedman, Esq.
Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C.
The IMG Center
1360 E. 9th Street, Suite 650
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

 

#FreeBresha supporters also set up a GoFundMe campaign for her, to cover the expenses of the six months in counseling and other needs. It has reached its $150,000 goal, but is still accepting donations:

https://www.gofundme.com/BreshaM

 

 

Read more about Bresha Meadows and her case (Warning: Some stories include descriptions of the violence she witnessed and suffered):

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/bresha-meadowss-hearing-resulted-in-a-plea-deal

http://www.theroot.com/freebresha-bresha-meadows-accepts-plea-to-reduced-cha-1795440743

https://freebresha.wordpress.com/blog/

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Community Activism · Good News · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Vote with your Dollars

Help These Comfort Dogs Help the Victims of American Tragedies Such as The Shootings in Sandy Hook, Florida, Las Vegas, and the Boston Marathon Bombings

Help an Illinois-based Lutheran church program that supplies comfort dogs to victims of American tragedies, such as the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, the concert shooting in Las Vegas, and the Boston Marathon Bombings.

 

The Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry debuted in August 2008. The dogs help victims of tragedies by giving them something relaxing and joyful to concentrate on. In the course of playing with the dogs, victims find it easier to talk about what happened to them–an act that some survivors struggle with.

 

The team of comfort dogs features Golden Retrievers. Many are named for characters who appear in the Bible. Lutheran Church Charities states they have more than 130 trained comfort dogs helping people in 20 states.

 

The church never charges for visits from its comfort dogs. It relies on donations to underwrite the program.

 

 

Meet the dogs on the LCC K-9 roster and find their individual Facebook pages:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/meetthedogs-165459-953204.html

 

 

Donate to cover the travel expenses for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’ trip to Parkland, Florida, following the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

https://give.idonate.com/lutheran-church-charities/lcc-k-9-comfort-dog-travel-expenses-parkland-florida?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Twitter

 

 

Donate to the general fund for the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ministry:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/give-lcc-k-9.html

 

 

See the main page for Lutheran Church Charities, which created and maintains the comfort dogs program:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org

 

 

See the LCC K-9 Crisis Response page, which features photos of events the dogs have responded to, and the people they’ve served:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/cr.html

 

 

Request a site visit from the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs:

https://lcc.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/366/responses/new

 

 

Request an emergency visit from the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs:

https://lcc.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/1148/responses/new

 

 

If you live in Northern Illinois or near Grand Island, Nebraska, you can become an apprentice comfort dog trainer:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/volunteer-k-9-apprentice.html

 

 

Meet the team who trains the comfort dogs:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/trainers.html

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/k9comfort/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@K9ComfortDogs

 

 

Shop the LCC K-9 store, which has a stuffed toy Golden Retriever and a coloring book that features the comfort dogs:

https://www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/store.html

 

 

Read a CNN story about the LCC K-9 comfort dogs’ visit to survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida:

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/health/iyw-orlando-comfort-dogs-trnd/index.html

 

 

Read an NBC Miami story on the LCC K-9 comfort dogs’ visit to MSD students in Parkland,  Florida:

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Therapy-Dogs-Help-Those-Mourning-After-Parkland-Shooting-474885453.html

 

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Learn How to Help Charlottesville, the Target of Deadly Protests by Neo-Nazis

Learn how to help Charlottesville, Virginia, which was the target of neo-Nazi protests that turned deadly this weekend.

In case you missed it or need to catch up, here are some articles on what happened in Charlottesville. In essence, neo-Nazis didn’t just have a routine protest. They tried to have what they saw as a coming-out party for their noxious ideas. Many showed up to counter-protest:

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138246/charlottesville-nazi-rally-right-uva

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16139328/charlottesville-protesters-riot-violence

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/state-of-emergency-in-va-after-white-nationalist-rally.html

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/live-coverage-victim-of-charlottesville-car-attack-was–year/article_a3cf7b72-e437-5472-8025-43147acf3d34.html

 

The site of the Unite the Right rally was chosen to protest the recent decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The area where it stands was recently renamed Emancipation Park. (The statue is still there but will be sold.)

We will give specifics on how to help the people in Charlottesville shortly, but the most important thing you can do, in our opinion, is to work to remove pro-Confederate monuments, wherever they are. Do you have one where you live? Now is the time to start a movement to get rid of it.

Petition your mayor, your city council, your selectmen, whoever runs the place where you live. Celebrations of treason do not belong anywhere in America. When asking for their removal, call them what they are–celebrations of treason.

And also be clear–you don’t just want these monuments removed, you want them destroyed. Smashed to pieces. Reduced to scrap metal. As noted above, Charlottesville intends to sell its Robert E. Lee statue.

Now, think–who is going to buy it? Particularly now that it’s been the focus of such a horrible event? If it is bought, it will live on to inspire more neo-Nazis. No. No. It and the rest of these foul symbols have to be turned into slag.

German Lopez at Vox sums up the power of the act of removing Confederate monuments in a piece titled Kentucky Mayor Responds to Charlottesville by Doing Exactly What White Nationalists Don’t Want. Read it here:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/12/16139142/charlottesville-va-protests-lexington-mayor

See also these tweets from the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray:

I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.

The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.

And once you read the story, send a thank-you to Mayor Gray, by post or tweet, because you know he’s getting shit rained on him by committed assholes, and his city could be targeted by them for protest.

 

Send a thank-you postcard here:

Mayor Jim Gray

200 E. Main St.

Lexington, KY, 40507

 

Send a thank-you tweet to the mayor:

@JimGrayLexKY

 

Related to thanking Mayor Gray–another good way to show support for communities that remove Confederate statues is to reward them with your dollars. Plan your next vacation there, and tell the tourist board why you chose their area.

Here’s the website for the Lexington, Kentucky tourist board:

http://www.visitlex.com

 

And below is the website for the tourist board of New Orleans:

http://www.neworleansonline.com

 

Its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has been carting away Confederate monuments, and he gave a moving speech on why it needed to be done.

 

Read the text of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech:

And here’s the tourism website for Charlottesville, Virginia:

https://www.visitcharlottesville.org

 

Update: In the early hours of August 16, 2017, the city of Baltimore hauled away its Confederate monuments. Thank them by considering a vacation to Baltimore. Here’s the city’s tourism website:

http://baltimore.org

 

Now, here are some specifics for supporting Charlottesville and the people who protested the neo-Nazis.

An Alaskan member of the Democratic Socialists of America has set up a GoFundMe to pay medical and funeral expenses of fellow members who were struck by the Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., evidently of Ohio (his car had Ohio plates). He killed a 32-year-old local woman, later identified as Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. He is in custody and faces murder charges.

The fundraiser has hit its initial goal of $75,000 and its subsequent goal of $100,000. Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, it had hit its third goal of $125,000, was closing in on $150,000, and was still open to accept donations. Update to the update: At 8 pm EST, it had passed $165,000 and was still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $178,000 and still open. Update October 8: The tally is at $198,111 and still taking donations.

https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fund-for-comrades-in-cville

 

 

One of the photos that went viral showed a young black man being beaten with poles by white supremacists. The man has since identified himself as 20-year-old Deandre Harris. He suffered a head injury, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.

His friends and family have created a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses. As of 3 pm EST on August 13, it was almost four-fifths of the way to its $50,000 goal. (Warning–there is a graphic shot of a bloodied Harris on the page):

https://www.gofundme.com/i-was-beaten-by-white-supremacists

Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, the campaign had met its goal and stood at more than $105,000. It remains open to take donations. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: Past $107,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $137,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $166,055.

 

A local woman, Felicia Venita Correa, has set up a separate GoFundMe for Heather Heyer. It has hit its $20,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/our-sisters-keeper-heatherheyer

Update: The Heather Heyer campaign closed after collecting just over $225,000. Please direct your giving efforts to one of the related open GoFundMes.

 

More GoFundMe campaigns have since been set up to aid the victims of the motor vehicle attack, some for all the injured and some for individuals. Since the initial reports on the day of the incident, we have seen subsequent reports that count more than 19 injured. As of August 14, we have yet to see a list of names of the injured.

A GoFundMe started by Unity C-ville, a community group, had reached its $50,000 goal and had tallied more than $65,000 by 4 am on August 14. It remains open. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: It’s past $92,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $109,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $175,555.

https://www.gofundme.com/united-cville-victim-relief

 

Update, 8 pm EST August 14: Here are more GoFundMe campaigns for Charlottesville victims of the motor vehicle attack:

 

For 20-year-old Natalie Romero. She is still hospitalized with a skull fracture and other wounds and does not have health insurance. Her goal is $120,000 and it’s at almost $110,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $131,000 and still open. Update October 8: At $154,125 and still taking donations.

https://www.gofundme.com/natalie-romero-medical-fund

 

For Marcus Martin, who saved his fiancé by pushing her out of the path of the car. He suffered broken bones and torn ligaments and won’t be able to return to his job as a landscaper for a while. His goal is $40,000, and it’s approaching $25,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $56,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $61,480.

https://www.gofundme.com/marcus-martin

 

Heyer’s was not the only death connected to the protests in Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police troopers–Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-pilot Berke M. M. Bates, died when their police helicopter crash as they patrolled the events from the air. Read about the accident:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/36123329/helicopter-crash-near-charlottesville-rally-kills-two-virginia-cops

We have looked for online fundraisers for the families of the troopers and have not seen anything yet. We will update this post accordingly if we learn of one.

 

Here also is the link to the Anti-Racist Legal Fund for Solidarity C’ville. Update: As of 9 pm EST on August 14, the campaign had collected almost $150,000, well above its $50,000 goal. Though the campaign is still open, its page says the legal fund is now set and to please direct your giving to medical needs:

https://fundly.com/solidarity-c-ville-7-8-anti-racist-legal-fund

 

Many branches of Indivisible have planned local events to show support for the anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Look here to see if there’s one near you:

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/search/

 

Here are links to other articles that list Charlottesville-area charities and organizations that were involved in the counter-protests, are helping with the aftermath, or are the types of entities whose very existence annoys neo-Nazis:

View at Medium.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-support-anti-racism-organizations-in-charlottesville-76190

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-the-victims-in-charlottesville-right-now-76195

 

The pinned tweet at the top of Sara Benincasa’s page leads to a Medium article with more  C’ville nonprofits you can help:

@SaraJBenincasa

 

…and here’s the Twitter handle for Indivisible Cville, where we found several of these links:

@IndivisibleVA05

 

Lastly, an idea. Please consider wearing something purple to the next protest that you attend. Purple was Heather Heyer’s favorite color. She should not be forgotten. This is a way to remember her and to bring her spirit to future protests.