Technology and the Internet
The Mobilization Lab
Spun out from Greenpeace this year, and led by their former digital director Michael Silberman, the Mobilization Lab is a small group of technologists and consultants with lots of experience who are contributing to the progressive digital revolution by bringing their talents to the rest of the non-profit world, including training, consulting, and convening.
Reboot Democracy is a virtual accelerator composed of a team of volunteers and coordinated by one person to support innovation in the tech sector, to “create tools to revolutionize political engagement.”
They describe it as “creating an ecosystem of support for emerging technology that strengthens democracy. The organization aims to distribute two-thirds of its annual budget directly to funding seed-stage democracy tech teams.” There are several similar entities—this is one of two I know about that is working with non-profits in the political organizing space, and is a non-profit itself. And is unique in the level of coaching provided.
Reboot Democracy began as a “problems of democracy” hackathon in 2016. The results were encouraging enough, and the requests for continued support persistent enough, that the non- profit incubator was built.
Concert Career Pathways
The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program is a six-month program that is a combination of workshops and paid internships where students learn best practices in production management, event coordination, stagehand, floor staff, live sound engineering, lighting design, event budgeting, box office operations. I went to visit, and it is almost all teens of color from the East Bay transferring their enthusiasm for music into learning the backstage aspects of production.
Friends of John Coltrane
The mission of The Friends of John Coltrane is to preserve and celebrate the life and music of John Coltrane and to enrich the lives of others through the introduction of jazz and other musical genres. In addition, the organization produces the annual John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival, scheduled for September 1-2, 2018 in High Point, NC.
The Roots of Music
The Roots of Music empowers the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship, while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of that city.
The program provides music history and theory as well as instrumental instruction and ensemble performance preparation. “We serve kids ages 9-14 from low-income households, and provide our students with hot meals and round-trip transportation. Five days a week, 12 months a year, our program delivers over 2,500 hours of music education and other academic tutoring, over 30,400 nutritious hot meals, 1,400 bus journeys, and the loan of more than 150 instruments for student use.”
Sound Orchard’s new youth music programs in West Marin are the Inverness School Music Program, which provides two weekly classes during school to kindergarteners and first-graders, and the Point Reyes Children’s Choir, which is an after-school program teaching music, singing and performance skills to local children up to age 12.
This program is serving 60 children, more than 50% who are Latino, and many coming from ranches and low-income families spread across West Marin who would otherwise have little or no access to music education. CEO David Mayeri used to be with Bill Graham Productions, and the entire theater and all programs and activities are part of a non-profit operation called the Taube Family.
McKenzie River Trust
The trust protects land by buying easements and making outright purchases in southern Oregon. It was founded in 1989. Since then the organization has grown to be a regional land trust, conserving and protecting more than 3,400 acres of land in western Oregon. The core mission is to protect riparian areas on the McKenzie that are vital to the river’s biological integrity and water quality.
The Northern Sierra Partnership
The Northern Sierra Partnership (NSP) is a collaborative initiative to conserve, restore, and enhance the magnificent natural landscape of the northern Sierra Nevada, and build the foundation for sustainable rural prosperity.
Since founding this initiative 10 years ago, the partners—including The Nature Conservancy, the Feather River Land Trust, the Sierra Business Council, the Truckee Donner Land Trust, and the Trust for Public Land—have conserved over 70,000 acres of priority habitat in the Northern Sierra, including rich wet meadows, rangelands, wetlands, and the Sierra Crest.
Pegasus Voyages (aka Pegasus Project) has taken thousands of inner city kids onto the Bay for marine environment education aboard Pegasus, a classic heavy displacement, full keel sailing vessel. Pegasus Project’s “mission is to enable youth to become productive members of a sustainable society through positive outdoor environmental education and by reinforcing life skills.”
Rainforest Information Center
Ecuador has the highest biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation. In the last year, the Ecuadorian government has quietly granted mining concessions to over 1.7 million hectares (4.25 million acres) of protected forests and indigenous territories. These exploratory concessions were awarded to transnational corporations in closed-door deals without public knowledge or consent.
Rainforest Information Center is working with local groups to get the Ecuadorian government to rescind the new mining concessions and prohibit mining in ecologically sensitive areas and areas traditionally and legally controlled by indigenous groups.
Capacity Building, Grassroots Activism and Related
The Body Positive
Negative body image is linked to poor overall life quality. It also leads to poor self-care, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, self-harming behaviors (e.g., cutting, suicide), substance abuse, weight cycling, and relationship violence. The organization is especially concerned about these harmful behaviors in teens and young adults, which is why they provide body-oriented social emotional education. It is imperative to help young people create positive relationships with their physical selves in order to achieve their full potential.
Circle of Hearts Foundation
The Circle of Hearts Foundation provides financial support and compassionate care for individuals suffering from life threatening or incapacitating illness that have limited resources and diminished ability to care for themselves.
Coaching for Change
Coaching4Change (C4C) partners with schools to provide high quality after school learning opportunities for youth in low-income communities who are at risk of dropping out of school.
C4C’s Vision: ALL students will have access to out of school time opportunities that allow them to become active and engaged learners through meaningful academic and social enrichment activities.
Color Outside the Lines
Outside the Lines is a nonprofit that empowers and inspires foster children and at-risk youth by providing opportunities for self-expression and creativity. They believe in the power of creativity to transform lives, heal emotional trauma, and to promote wellbeing and happiness through art and music.
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust: text. Here’s how it works:
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the US, anytime, about any type of crisis.
A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from the organization’s secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.
Indigenous Peoples Power Project — (IP3)
IP3 trains indigenous communities in NVDA and de-escalation to help them in their campaigns against fossil fuel projects. They trained hundreds of people at Standing Rock, and now they are supporting local communities in taking on Bears Ears and the other monuments that Trump has slated for elimination.
The Mosquito Fleet
The group that brought you kayaktivism, led by John Sellers, maintains something he calls the Mosquito Fleet. In collaboration with First Nations, Greenpeace and other groups, they are fighting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, targeting energy giant Kinder Morgan. The goal is to defeat the project and thereby “defuse the Tar Sands carbon bomb and paddle Big Oil out of the Salish Sea.” (The Salish Sea is the network of coastal waterways off Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, etc, that includes all of Puget Sound and has major port cities that the fossil fuels industry needs, including Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Port Angeles and Victoria.)
The Mosquito Fleet is a grassroots crew of sailors, paddlers and landlubbers. The key principle is “the belief in the power of on-water action to interrupt business-as-usual and build community resilience.” The call themselves “reliable, humble allies in this movement.”
San Francisco Zen Center
Today, San Francisco Zen Center is one of the largest Buddhist sanghas outside Asia. It has three practice places: City Center, in the vibrant heart of San Francisco; Green Gulch Farm, whose organic fields meet the ocean in Marin County; and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center—the first Zen training monastery in the West—in the Ventana Wilderness inland from Big Sur. These three complementary practice centers offer daily meditation, regular monastic retreats and practice periods, classes, lectures, and workshops.
Zen Center is a practice place for a diverse population of students, visitors, lay people, priests, and monks guided by teachers who follow in founder Suzuki Roshi’s style of warm hand and heart to warm hand and heart. All are welcome.
Zen Center programs also reach out to the community, helping prisoners, the homeless, and those in recovery; protecting the environment; and working for peace.
She Should Run
Founded in 2011, She Should Run is a non-partisan 501(c)3 that supports women leaders considering a future run for office (and builds community for those who support them). The mission is to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States by providing community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders.
”We believe that women of all political leanings, ethnicities, and backgrounds should have an equal opportunity to lead in elected office and that our democracy will benefit from the varied perspectives and experiences that women bring to leadership. We know that when women run for office they win at the same rates as men.
Syzygy Dance Project
Syzygy Dance Project transforms lives through dance. We currently offer 10 ongoing outreach classes for inmates, veterans, recovering addicts, chronic illness patients, and the elderly.
Root and Rebound
Root & Rebound helps ex-cons re-enter the workplace in Oakland. It has a theory called “reentry ready,” which means they meet them at the door and set up the services and coach them on goals relating to employment, housing, education, family reunification, and financial stability.
They have created a Roadmap to Reentry Guide and legal and community education trainings to help community-based organizations, government agencies, and people with conviction histories across the state of California, so that “people in reentry and those who support them are prepared to navigate hurdles to employment, housing, financial stability, family issues, and education.”
Solar and Service
Empowered by Light Foundation
Empowered By Light is committed to improving lives and the environment by encouraging the use of renewable energy technologies.
Empowered by Light started its work in Zambia in 2011, bringing light and solar power to some of the country’s most remote schools. Since then, they have joined forces with communities throughout Africa, Asia, and the Americas, enabling them to leapfrog fossil fuels and gain access to clean energy while protecting fragile ecosystems and threatened species. From installing solar panels that enable rangers in remote stations to protect endangered wildlife, to helping women start solar businesses, to providing light so school children can study at night, Empowered by Light empowers communities to build healthier, sustainable, more prosperous futures.
The 2017 winner of the Ashden Award for clean energy for women and girls, Empower Generation, has enabled 23 women in Nepal to set up clean energy businesses and manage a network of 259 sales agents. They in turn gain a commission on sales of solar panels, lights, clean cooking stoves and water filters. Overcoming family and cultural resistance, they are developing leadership skills and setting up businesses employing women and also men as agents.
The idea is to build women’s confidence in themselves and their ability to run a business, manage their finances, reduce indoor air pollution and address the gendered entrepreneurship culture in these countries—all at once.
Friends of Furthur
Camp Winnarainbow’s philosophy helps prepare campers to reach for the stars!
Donations go toward helping an economically disadvantaged child come to camp by contributing to the Grace & Joy Scholarship Fund.
Grateful Dead Archive
The Grateful Dead Archive Online (GDAO) is a socially constructed collection comprised of over 45,000 digitized items drawn from the UCSC Library’s extensive Grateful Dead Archive (GDA) and from digital content submitted by the community and global network of Grateful Dead fans. Digitized content—including concert hotline recordings, decorated fan envelopes, fanzines, photographs, posters, radio interviews, tickets, T-shirts, and videos—can be found here, as well as web resources such as David Dodd’s “The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics” website and the fan recordings of concerts archived by the Internet Archive. These materials reflect the range of materials collected, managed, preserved and made available by the University Library’s Special Collections and Archives department to support teaching, learning and research.
The Kesey Farm is a historic site in Pleasant Hill, Oregon situated on 64 verdant acres. It served as the headquarters and home of author Ken Kesey and his family from 1967 until his passing in 2001. During this time, the Farm acted as a de facto community center and productive hub for artists and friends from around the world.
After years of quiet, the Farm is being revitalized as a center for the arts. Through artist residencies and varied educational programming, the goal is to build on the Farm’s rich history and reestablish it as a space in which individuals can share and support one another through creative practice.