To mark today’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, the editorial team here at TriplePundit decided to highlight some organizations that are carrying on the spirit of his life's work: ending inequality and poverty through nonviolence means. If your company is looking for an organization to partner with — or donate funds or resources — as part of your social impact strategy, here are some organizations that stand out. Each of these groups is doing its part to take on inequality and poverty, stop violence, or expand leadership and economic opportunities to those who have been long overlooked.
When it comes to groups women’s activism and service as a core focus, there's a long list of organizations to consider, including the League of Women Voters, Moms Clean Air Force and Zonta International. But as we reflected on King’s legacy of advancing social progress through nonviolence, we decided to showcase Moms Demand Action. When taking in the fact that gun violence in the U.S. keeps occurring with growing frequency, and our current ways of tackling this horror are not resulting in any changes for the better, we believe this group, which advocates for common-sense public safety measures, is worthy of individual and corporate support.
This campaign takes its cue from one of King’s last planned initiatives before he was assassinated in April 1968. Like the one King was intent on pursuing, the Poor People’s Campaign seeks to confront problems including systemic racism, poverty, and environmental degradation in an attempt to give a voice to poor and marginalized communities. Activists working within this movement launched two successful initiatives during the summers of 2018 and 2019; this summer, with the 2020 election in mind, the Poor People’s Campaign plans to broaden its work to reach what it describes as the 140 million Americans who experience, or are at risk for, discrimination, financial struggles or environmental injustice on a daily basis.
Yes, there are still kids in cages, and too many (face it, one child is too many) spent Christmas in such conditions. But while this story has largely receded from news headlines, small but mighty RAICES is doing what it can to seek justice for people who are escaping violence and seeking a better life. The group has been fearless in calling out some of America’s most trusted brands, and is determined to harness what resources it can to provide free or low-cost legal services to immigrant families while fighting for migrant’s rights.
Violent hate crimes have been increasing over the past few years here in the U.S. For almost half a century, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been monitoring hate groups, in addition to promoting tolerance through various education programs.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which dates back to King’s leadership and victory with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1957, is still going strong as it grooms young leaders to this day. The SCLC’s various chapters across the U.S. take on various social challenges, including leading the fight against injustice, boosting voter registration and ending human trafficking.
There is no shortage of nonprofits that seek to protect and secure human rights for the LGBTQ community. Which reminds us: As King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, continued his work, LGBTQ rights was among the many challenges for which she fought until she died in 2006. To that end, The Trevor Project stands out as it offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to at-risk LGBTQ youth. One focus for the organization is its “50 Bills, 50 States” campaign, which seeks to end the harmful practice of conversion therapy in every U.S. state.
Image credit: Brian Kraus/Unsplash
Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010, and became its Executive Editor in 2018. He's based in Fresno, CA, from where he happily explores California’s stellar Central Coast and the national parks in the Sierra Nevadas. He's worked an lived in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, and has traveled to over 70 countries. He's an alum of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California.