Here are some websites with articles and databases that you might find especially helpful.
The Southern Poverty Center is the “premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists.” The SPLC, while tracking over 1,600 groups, “publishes investigative reports, trains law enforcement, shares key intelligence and offers expert analysis to the media and public.” You can report acts of harassment and intimidation on their website. The center suggests you report all incidents to local law enforcement agencies before reporting to their database. The site also has information concerning children’s rights, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, economic justice and criminal justice reform. Their resources page has links to current issues in the media as well as articles and publications on all of these issues.
The website for The Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a list of comprehensive databases on various health and social topics for women. They have an informative section of articles and practical advice on identifying and dealing with domestic violence. The site also includes links to The National Domestic Abuse Hotline, The National Teen Dating Abuse hotline and The National Sexual Assault Hotline.
Here are a couple of comprehensive sites dealing with LGBT issues:
GLAAD has been fighting for LGBT rights for over thirty years and has gathered a vast amount of information and resources in an attempt to: “rewrite the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.”
The National LGBT Task Force is another resource that offers not only various databases of informative articles but also training for activists for LGBT issues:
“We’re building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you.”
The Task Force offers information on how to take action including mobilizing and training.
Of course one of the most important powers we have is the power to vote. And, while so much misinformation was floated during this past election on how, when and where registered voters were able to vote, there are several resources available that explain voter registration and voting.
The national website under USA.Gov has resource links to voting regulations, eligibility, ID requirements, how to register and registration deadlines by state. There is also a link to register online with links to check on the status of your registration.
If you do not have online capabilities you can register to vote through your state or local resources at The Department of Motor Vehicles, Armed Services Recruitment Centers, as well as state and county Public Assistance Offices (SNAP/food stamps, WIC, services for the disabled), where you may fill out and submit a National Mail Voter Registration Form.
No matter how this election was spun, please remember that every single vote matters.
We need to use our voice to be heard.
We need to be heard to effect change.
Joan Hanna has published poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, book reviews and essays in various online and print journals. Hanna’s first poetry chapbook, Threads, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Both Threads and her second chapbook, The Miracle of Mercury, are available through Finishing Line Press. Hanna has previously served as Assistant Managing Editor for River Teeth, Assistant Editor for rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal, Managing Editor for Poets’ Quarterly and Senior Editor at Glassworks. Hanna holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and teaches creative writing at Rowan University. You can follow her personal blog at Writing Through Quicksand.