If the last few weeks have proven anything, it's that organized protests have power. This past weekend alone, the American Civil Liberties Union received $24 million in online donations. But while the ACLU has gotten major attention for good reason, there are numerous other organizations like the ACLU to donate to, too — and all of them will be essential in continuing to resist the questionable policies Donald Trump's administration has and will implement.
Shortly after Trump imposed a temporary immigration ban on seven countries that are comprised mainly of Muslims, the ACLU filed a lawsuit that led to a temporary stay, keeping several people from being deported from United States airports. (Thank goodness for judicial independence.) While the Department of Homeland Security released a statement in response saying that "President Trump's Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety," as well as that it will "continue to enforce all of President Trump's Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people," the fact that the stay was granted was a huge win. (The DHS later clarified in a tweet on Sunday night, "We are & will remain in compliance with judicial orders. We are & will continue to enforce @POTUS's EO humanely and with professionalism.")
Trump's executive order temporarily bans all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, places a general ban on all other people entering the country from those seven countries for 90 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely to supposedly reduce the chances of a terrorist attack. And yet, none of the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 came from any of the countries that he imposed the ban on — that's Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Trump also allegedly has business interests in the countries those terrorists did come from. When you think about what went into the selection process for signing that executive order, that's extremely alarming.
For several long hours after Trump's executive order, thousands of people protested outside of major city airports like John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, as well as in parks and other public spaces. But the American people have been protesting Trump's presidency ever since he stepped into the White House. Protests have come in the form of Women's Marches around the world, boycotts against Trump's inauguration, and donations to groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
Notably, this weekend's total donations to the ACLU are six times what the organization normally receives on average in a single year, according to the Washington Post. More than 356,000 people made contributions in an effort to continue supporting the lawyers at the ACLU who not only successfully argued against Trump's executive order, but constantly defends people's civil and human rights on a daily basis.
Now that the ACLU is at the forefront of the resistance movement against Trump's policies, it's important to support other organizations with similar missions. Here are nine groups that could use some green from your piggy bank:
1American Immigration Council
While the ACLU focuses on a wide range of human rights, not just immigration, the American Immigration Council is dedicated specifically to advocating for immigrants in the United States, ensuring that immigration policies are fair and constitutional, and educating the public about our history as a nation of immigrants. Donate to the American Immigration Council here.
2Center For Constitutional Rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights is a nonprofit that studies and protects the rights of Americans as they're outlined in the United States Constitution. Just a few of the issues they tackle include sexual and gender-based violence, LGBTQ rights, racial and religious profiling, and mass incarceration. Donate to the Center for Constitutional Rights here.
It's important now more than ever to protect watchdog journalists, which are essential to the checks and balances system of our country. Consider donating to ProPublica, a nonprofit news outlet that publishes investigative journalism on matters of the public interest.
4National Immigration Law Center
It is the mission of the National Immigration Law Center to fight against polices that ignore the fundamental rights of immigrants. The organization also supports low-income immigrants and helps them thrive in the United States despite socioeconomic challenges. Donate to the National Immigration Law Center here.
5First Amendment Coalition
Back when I was still a budding journalist in college, my journalism law professor required everyone in the class to memorize the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (and yes, we had to write it out word for word as part of our exams). Now that Trump's in office, I realize why.
The First Amendment grants all Americans the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to assemble peacefully, and the right to petition the government in the event of injustices. Support the First Amendment Coalition, which provides free legal consultation and works to hold the U.S. government accountable, by donating whatever you can spare.
6New Leaders Council
The National Leadership Council is an organization that works to support an inclusive democracy by recruiting Millennials of all different backgrounds and training them to make a positive difference in their communities, such as developing their own nonprofits or even running for office. Donate to the National Leadership Council here.
One of the most dangerous things about having Donald Trump as president is that he's known for reportedly making hateful remarks about Muslims, Mexicans, people with disabilities, and women of all ages. This repeated wrong behavior sets a horrible example for other people to do the exact same thing. The Anti-Defamation League was initially created in the early 1900s to combat Anti-Semitism. Now, the league fights bigotry of all kinds and promotes respectful treatment of all people no matter where they're from or what they look like. Donate to the Anti-Defamation League here.
8National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyer's Guild is a progressive bar association, the first to be racially integrated in the United States, that provides legal support for worker rights as well as the rights of all marginalized communities. Specifically, their mission is to "use law for the people" by "valuing human rights over property interests." Donate to the National Lawyer's Guild here.
9Human Rights Watch
One of the most significant social justice organizations worth contributing to is Human Rights Watch, a global nonprofit NGO that partners with other related groups to provide advocacy reports that expose the abuse of human rights around the world, with the hopes of spreading awareness and spurring policy changes for the better. Donate to the Human Rights Watch here.