With so many values and civil rights at stake today, and with Women's Equality Day coming up on August 26, we feel that it's essential to speak up and support organizations that present actionable solutions against bigotry and hate. Since it can be difficult to determine how to effectively dedicate our time, skills, and/or monetary contributions, we decided to research the best advocacy and civil rights organizations across the country. If you want to get involved by volunteering, donating, and organizing or if you simply want to better inform yourself about the most active and empowering anti-discrimination groups, our list of options is a great place to start.
We made sure to include each organization's mission statement and their driving causes as well as different ways for you to get involved if you so choose. So if you're interested in learning more about how to dismantle societal inequities, scroll through the eight intersectional women's rights organizations highlighted below.
The Mission Statement: "UltraViolet is a powerful and rapidly growing community of people mobilized to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, from politics and government to media and pop culture. We work on a range of issues—reproductive rights, healthcare, economic security, violence, and racial justice—and we center the voices of all women, especially women of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ women. UltraViolet exists to create a cost for sexism and to achieve full equity for all women through culture and policy change. … We demand accountability from individuals, the media, and institutions that perpetuate sexist narratives or seek to limit the rights, safety, and economic security of women. We leverage culture, politics, the news, and our rapid-response model to mobilize millions of people, quickly."
How to Get Involved: If you check out their campaign page, you'll see a list of the different issues they're tackling at the moment. Each highlighted issue has a dedicated "take action" button so you can get involved in the solution (sometimes it's as simple as signing a petition). This way you know exactly what you're contributing to. If you believe in everything UltraViolet does, you can choose to donate to the organization as a whole.
National Organization for Women
The Mission Statement: "The National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women's rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since our founding in 1966, NOW's purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life."
How to Get Involved: As the largest women's rights organizations in the country, there are a ton of ways to get involved. You can join your local state chapter or organize one yourself if your community doesn't currently have one. When you donate to NOW, you will be funding their work around ensuring fair treatment and autonomy for all people.
American Civil Liberties Union
The Mission Statement: "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. … The ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach."
How to Get Involved: With an entire section on its site about taking action, the ACLU makes it super easy to figure out how to support its work. It also provides plenty of information about each project the ACLU takes on so you stay on top of current events and know exactly where your money will be going if you choose to donate.
The Mission Statement: "Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our organization are essential to our well-being. We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships."
How to Get Involved: We all know that healthcare is expensive. But more importantly, it's a fundamental human right, which is why funding is one of the best ways to support Panned Parenthood's healthcare programs for low-income and marginalized individuals.
Stay Informed and Take Notes:
The Mission Statement: "Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. It operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline … in partnership with more than 1000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”
How to Get Involved: You can do as much or as little as you want, whether that means challenging public policy and changing legislation by tweeting at Congress, volunteering to support survivors, working on the ground through education, or donating to the organization.
The Mission Statement: "Campaign Zero was developed with contributions from activists, protesters, and researchers across the nation. This data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. It integrates community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing."
How to Get Involved: With Campaign Zero's informative, easy-to-navigate website, you can find out the proposed solutions for every issue it covers and how the organization plans to achieve it. If you want to get involved with Campaign Zero or other grassroots organizations, check out We the Protestors, where you'll find local protests and advice on how to protest.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
The Mission Statement: "The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence."
How to Get Involved: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project has three main groups within the organization: the Survival and Self-Determination Project, the Immigrant Justice Project, and the Prisoner Justice Project. You can volunteer, donate, and apply for an internship online. Right now, SRLP is especially in need of help from graphic designers, would love donations to provide food and drink for events, and could use a subscription to the either of the two law services Westlaw or LexisNexis.
Women's Prison Association
The Mission Statement: The Women's Prison Association (WPA) "works with women at all stages of criminal justice involvement. We promote alternatives to incarceration and help women living in the community to avoid arrest or incarceration by making positive changes in their lives. Inside prison and jail, we are a source of support to women and a resource to them as they plan for release. After incarceration, women come to WPA for help to build the lives they want for themselves and their families in the community."
How to Get Involved: WPA's website features plenty of educational materials so you can learn more about the issues as well as petitions it's presenting to Congress, which you can sign and support. You can donate or volunteer at either its corporate headquarters or with community members.
Which women's rights organizations do you support? Share with us in the comments below.