As we approach Giving Tuesday, I wanted to take the opportunity to present a few organizations that I believe in and support. Have you earmarked your end-of-year giving? Please consider these nonprofits, which force corporations to do better, defend democracy at a local level, and empower emerging BIPOC conservationists. Let’s do this!
TROJAN HORSE ACTIVISM
Corporations are responsible for most of the environmental and social problems we face today and their shareholders are a powerful force to change corporate behavior. Since 1992, As You Sow has used shareholder advocacy — basically, buying stock so they can pressure the company’s senior managers — to hold corporations accountable on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Often, they file formal resolutions on which other shareholders can vote.
This year, As You Sow filed 86 shareholder resolutions at companies representing $1.67 trillion in shareholder value. Big wins included convincing Keurig to set serious plastic reduction targets, Kellogg to phase-out glyphosate, Pepsi to begin a massive regenerative agriculture project, General Electric to establish a net-zero strategy, Walmart to begin a pollinator health policy, and DuPont to report on plastic pellet pollution. Go big or go home! www.asyousow.org
2022 STARTS NOW!
Sister District’s flagship organizing program pairs volunteers and funding in blue districts with candidates in swing districts and is the only national volunteer organization focused exclusively on state legislatures — which is where the fate of our democracy will be decided. Since their launch in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Sister District has developed a comprehensive suite of programs to expand Democratic majorities. Their impact is designed to survive the boom-and-bust cycle of elections and contribute to lasting, systemic change over time.
But they say it better than me: “From voting rights to reproductive justice to climate change, state legislatures are ground zero for the policy battles that shape our daily lives and define our generation. They are also one of the last lines of defense against a conservative Supreme Court that can no longer be counted on to vindicate our rights. Although state legislatures have received greater attention in recent years, this critical venue of power is still overlooked and chronically under-resourced.”
And Elizabeth Warren says it best: “When I first heard about the Sister District project, I wanted to jump up and cheer. Yes, this is exactly what we need. They’re laser focused on winnable state legislative elections where volunteers…can make a real difference.” www.sisterdistrict.org
ELEVATE INTERSECTIONAL ENVIRONMENTALISM
Big Blue & You is the only ocean conservation nonprofit to be founded and run by African American women and is a passionate proponent of intersectional environmentalism and decolonizing the natural world. Full disclosure: I’m a strategic advisor for the organization.
In 2008, when she was just twenty-one, marine biologist Danni Washington founded Big Blue & You with her mother, businesswoman Michelle Swaby-Smith. For the past 13 years, the organization has supported emerging conservationists — especially young women of color — and connected 3,000 young leaders with STEAM resources to help them become ocean advocates. Equitable access to outdoor spaces is critically important to environmentalism; as Danni says, “People must experience what they are asked to protect.” Yes, this. www.bigblueandyou.org
WHAT’S GIVING TUESDAY?
Giving Tuesday began in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way to reorient the holiday season towards philanthropy and away from consumerism. www.givingtuesday.org