Making a Difference

VP-Elect Mike Pence has a lot of Thank You letters coming from his arch nemesis
VP-Elect Mike Pence has a lot of Thank You letters coming from his arch nemesis

In the wake of the election, thousands…nay, hundreds of thousands of people took out their pens and started writing checks to Planned Parenthood and to a lesser degree the ACLU.

The idea being, with a storm on the horizon, time to start helping these organizations get ready to fight for rights many folks didn’t think we’d still be fighting for.

As the pioneers in the reproductive health battles of the past 40+ years will tell you, the war is never won…there are a series of wins and losses that shift, but the war is never over.

The VP-Elect is one of those culture warriors who:

• Sought to defund Planned Parenthood, change the definition of rape, and a whole host of other nasty things in his career.

• He advocated for state funded conversion therapy for LGBTQ people.

• He presided over the biggest spike in new HIV cases in Indiana history.

So yeah, the guy’s a sweetheart.

As the transition effort starts announcing people for cabinet posts, just how hard some of these battles will be is becoming more clear.

The announcement of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to the Attorney General post has laid bare any hope of criminal justice reform at the Federal level.

That means more fights…and on a more local level.

So I want to take this opportunity to ask you to consider donations to a couple of groups here in Memphis that are working to help people who are, more likely than not, going to get royally screwed over the next four years.


Justice for all...not just us
Justice for all…not just us

Just City may be one of the newer kids on the block, but they’ve been making a splash since their launch.

Led by Josh Spickler, Just City is helping people restore their voting rights…which can cost $450 or more for people who have everything else in order through their “Clean Slate Fund”.

But voting rights is just one part of their work. They also have established a bail fund, so people don’t have to sit in jail when they don’t pose a flight risk, just because they can’t post bail.

Friday, the group sued the Shelby County Sheriff over problems with the County Jail system that left folks in jail days after they were supposed to be released.

They are a 501(C)(3) so your donations are tax deductible!

Here’s a direct link to their donations page.


Memphis Center for Reproductive Health
Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

Choices: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health is the “small but mighty™” agency that provides reproductive healthcare for all.

Seriously, if you are pregnant…these guys can help. If you aren’t pregnant and want to be…these guys can help. If you’re not sure about getting pregnant…these guys can help. If you don’t wanna get pregnant…these guys can help. If you just need t get an annual pap smear…these guys can help.

They do STI and HIV testing on site. They have an OBGYN on staff. And best of all, if you don’t have insurance or your insurance sucks and won’t cover something, they’ll help you pay for whatever you need to stay in control of your reproductive health.

You can make a donation here, and if you need a gynecologist, or want to fire your current gynecologist, you can schedule an appointment here.


Friends for Life
Friends for Life
Friends for Life is a local agency that helps people living with HIV/AIDS cope with the realities of their condition. Founded in 1985, at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic, Friends for Life has grown into a direct services agency that provides supportive services to help people manage this chronic disease.

The agency provides prevention and support services…everything from education on how to prevent the spread of HIV, to nutrition and housing assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Honestly, they do so much for folks living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of contracting the disease that I couldn’t possibly list everything. You can find out more here or if you’re already convinced make a donation.


Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center has established itself as the go-to advocacy group for people who society has forgotten or left behind.

Their mission of “social justice through non-violent action” gives people constructive ways to get involved in some of the more difficult issues our community faces.

MSPJC has been advocating for the city’s homeless population, people living in blighted and unlivable apartments, and was one of the main advocates for the re-establishment of the Citizen’s Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) here in Memphis, which voted to question two MPD Internal Affairs investigations this week.

MSPJC has all kinds of programs to help people get involved, and make their involvement more impactful through its G.O.T. Power program. They’re standing up against racism with their Memphis United coalition. And they’re standing up for public transportation through the Memphis Bus Rider’s Union.

When it comes to action, MSPJC the place. Donate here.


Out Memphis: Formerly the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center
Out Memphis: Formerly the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center
Out Memphis, formerly the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, is an agency that speaks out and supports the LGBT community through a variety of programs.

Continuing their mission as a hub of information and support for the LGBT community, Out Memphis provides a wide array of programs on issues including addiction recovery, promoting positive sexual health through HIV awareness and testing and fighting homelessness for LGBT youth.

Out Memphis also serves as a hub to bring the LGBT community and their allies together to raise awareness about the issues the LGBT community faces to foster greater understanding in the broader community.

Click here to make a donation.


There are a ton of other great agencies in Memphis that do awesome work on all kinds of issues, including our local Planned Parenthood branch, the Church Health Center who works to help provide affordable healthcare in the community, and the Family Safety Center which works to help victims of domestic violence.

Every little bit helps. Do your part and put these groups on your list of annual giving.

Edited to add: Some commenters on Facebook noted I left off Latino Memphis. You can donate to them here.

If you have any other suggestions, add them in the comments below. Thanks!

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