On Tuesday, Nov. 8, we elected a president who — proudly — built a platform of discrimination, bigotry, xenophobia, hatred and racism.
Yet today the echo of Michelle Obama's words rings truer than ever: “When they go low, we go high.”
In our country's complicated, rocky, often embarrassing history, there has been a constant that, today, we need to hold on to more than ever: When Americans are pushed down, we brush ourselves off and get back up. Those who've come before us — people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Bayard Rustin, Dorothy Height, Angela Davis and Harvey Milk — did not lie down and let their fight for human rights die. We should not either.
It's a sad week (and, perhaps, next four years) for many Americans. But for those who belong to the many marginalized communities that Trump has promised to strip of their rights, today is more than sad — it's heartbreaking. It's terrifying. And, for many, it's lonely.
These are the people, organizations and charities that need our help the most today — and those that are beacons of light in a time that seems to be filled with inescapable darkness. You may be feeling sad, but here are the places working to make tomorrow feel hopeful:
American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU is a national organization committed to defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. It has a long history of legal justice, and has already promised to fight the many illegal and unconstitutional policies proposed by Trump.
How to get involved: Make a one-time or monthly donation and sign up for its “Fight for Freedom” emails, which will continue to keep us informed of ways to get involved.
Anti-Defamation League L.A. Chapter
The ADL is one of the most respected and reputable organizations fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry in the United States. The local chapter works toward education, funding and support for marginalized communities, especially within the workplace and schools.
How to get involved: In addition to donating, supporters can attend one of the organization's many events, help to organize galas, participate in community programs, sponsor an education program and more.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles
The at-risk youth involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program are going to need a friend, example and shoulder to cry on perhaps now more than ever. This is an especially great organization to look into if you're interested in helping future generations in a hands-on way.
How to get involved: Sign up to become a mentor or donate.
Black Lives Matter
The nationwide Black Lives Matter movement works to highlight racial injustices, especially those systematically supported by our government.
Nonprofit organization Border Angels focuses on one of the communities hit the hardest by Trump's rhetoric and policies: Mexican-American immigrants. It advocates for humane immigration reform and social justice.
How to get involved: Volunteer with Border Angels or make a donation to one of its many campaigns — you can target your money to a variety of different causes that work toward its larger
California Women's Law Center
The California Women's Law Center helps to advance women's rights through litigation, policy advocacy and education. Its causes include gender discrimination, campus sexual assault, women's health and violence against women.
Center for Reproductive Rights
Reproductive rights are among those most at risk during the Trump presidency. The Center for Reproductive Rights is a leader in supporting legislation for reproductive freedom.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA
CHIRLA uses social change to help protect and give voice to immigrants. Its programs include civic engagement, community education, legal immigration services and advocacy.
How to get involved: Donate or consider applying for a job or internship with the organization.
Council on America-Islamic Relations
CAIR's Greater Los Angeles Area chapter uses outreach, engagement and empowerment to help counter Islamophobia.
Equality California supports statewide LGBTQ communities through direct health care service advocacy and education.
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
This public-interest legal organization works with both children and adult immigrants and their families to provide them the tools they need to navigate the complex system. It operates on a mission of “immigration rights are human rights.”
How to get involved: Check Esperanza's volunteer opportunity page, which details the many ways to help with interpreting, translating, event planning, fundraising and outreach. Those looking to get involved can donate (either cash or gift cards), sponsor events or trainings or offer expertise.
Heal the Bay
Santa Monica–based Heal the Bay operates the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and supports a variety of environmental efforts.
Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club
The Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club — the local chapter of the national organization — supports at-risk youth with a variety of after-school programming and educational opportunities. There are also local clubs in Venice, South L.A., Hollywood and more.
Los Angeles LGBT Center
A leader in local LGBTQ rights efforts, this center is a safe space that protects and advocates for local LGBTQ individuals and their allies through health services, social services, education, leadership and advocacy.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People L.A.
The L.A. branch of the NAACP was founded in 1914 and has worked ever since to fight racial discrimination with local-level action. In addition to nationwide initiatives toward civil rights, the L.A. chapter puts an emphasis on educational advancement.
Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump specifically endorsed the defunding of Planned Parenthood and its many affordable and accessible STD, abortion and sexual health programs. The organization, which focuses on health services, education and advocacy, is particularly at risk.
RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is a champion against sexual violence. It operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and offers victim services, public education, public policy, consulting and training.
If you believe a woman's place is in the White House, than you'll love Running Start's efforts to get young women involved in politics. It runs a variety of mentorship, leadership and fellowship programs to help ensure that Hillary Clinton will not be the last female major-party candidate.
We the Protesters
We the Protesters works to peacefully protest cases of police brutality and support black Americans in their continued fight for equality. It offers a digestible roundup of events, many geared specifically toward providing safe spaces for black communities.
How to get involved: Follow along and attend the next protest in Los Angeles.
This California-based conservation organization has worked to protect coastal land, marine ecosystems and wildlife for the past 16 years.
Did we miss an organization close to your heart? Please add it to the comment section.
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