Five Nonprofits to Support this Holiday Season

 

As holiday shopping enters its last frantic stages, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the work of five nonprofits that are close to our hearts: 

 

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners

To support conservation and environmental education

Grand Staircase Escalante

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument includes nearly one million acres of diverse geologic terrain, from natural arches to narrow slot canyons. The land has gone untouched for years, as it was one of the last places in the continental U.S. to be mapped. It’s a place where you can experience the great American wilderness– a timeless snapshot of the ruggedness that once defined this entire country. 

Because of its vastness and geological diversity, Grand Staircase-Escalante is a treasure trove of discovery and learning for geologists, historians, biologists and other scientists. 

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the past and safeguard the future of the monument through science, conservation and education. When you donate, you’re supporting the work of scientists as they continue learning about the land’s ecosystem, as well as climate change research and awareness programs. Plus, you’re aiding in preserving this national treasure for generations to come.

www.gsenm.org

 

Equal Justice Initiative 

To support the fight against racial injustice

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Courtesy of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice website.

When the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) began in 1989, its focus was advocating for underrepresented, incarcerated persons on death row. EJI founders saw a system that favored rich, guilty people over poor, innocent people and determined to fight for justice. 

Today, EJI has expanded its influence in the fight for equality. Not only do they continue to strive for reform in the prison system, the non-profit also tackles economic and racial injustice with research and public education, and provides hope to marginalized communities. 

A physical example of EJI’s public education initiatives is the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, both in Montgomery, Alabama. Through a powerful combination of sculpture, historical exhibits and educational content, the museum and memorial bring visitors face to face with the pain of America’s past of slavery and ongoing racial disparity, in hopes of turning to a brighter, more equal future. 

Donations to EJI will aid in their efforts to end mass incarceration, challenge racial injustice and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

www.eji.org

 

Sage to Saddle

To support Indigenous youth

Stan and Parker (Credit: Nate Bressler)

Stan and Parker (Credit: Nate Bressler)

Sage to Saddle has a dream to support Native American youth in South Dakota by providing two simple tools: horses and community. 

The goal is to build an indoor riding arena and educational center on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where young people can find a safe environment and nurture the culture of horsemanship that is so strong amongst the Lakota. The need for an indoor space like this is especially acute during South Dakota’s harsh winter months, when outdoor riding is impossible and the problems of a tough home life can be exacerbated. 

www.sagetosaddle.com

 

Art + Practice

To support art, foster youth and artists of color

Mark Bradford in his studio

Mark Bradford in his studio (Credit: Art + Practice)

Art + Practice is the brainchild of artist Mark Bradford, activist Allan DiCastro, and philanthropist and art collector Eileen Harris. These three envisioned an organization that both supports foster youth transitioning into adulthood as well as providing free access to contemporary art celebrating artists of color. They created a homebase in Leimert Park, Los Angeles from which they carry out their mission.

Not only is this campus a sort of expertly-curated, mini art museum, the space hosts individualized education and employment support for foster youth. 

Note: The A+P campus is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. 

www.artandpractice.org

 

Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund

To support Indigenous communities during the pandemic

Volunteers-on-Navajo-Nation-unload-water-from-Jason-Momoa--credit-Deidra-Peaches-

Unloading water on the Navajo Nation (Credit: Deidre Peaches)

The CDC has reported that Native Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and a recent study showed that cases are 3.5 times higher among Native persons than non-Hispanic white persons.⁠ As a result of this disparity, many tribes have enacted strict travel restrictions this year, including the continued closure of destinations on tribal lands– such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon.⁠ 

Ethel Branch, former Navajo Nation attorney general, founded the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund on GoFundMe.com on March 16 and started the effort when she realized that many local store shelves were continually bare. There weren’t any nonperishable food items and sanitary necessities available, which many families sorely need due to a lack of electricity and running water. 

Branch and her team of volunteers have been using the funds to deliver vital resources to homes, families and immune deficient people in the Navajo and Hopi communities. During a time of increased health risks and lowered income opportunities due to park shutdowns, supporting the Native American community couldn’t be more important right now.

www.navajohopisolidarity.org

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