Families who parent against the grain often see issues in their society they want to change. They tend to have support for those who are misrepresented and misunderstood, and they may desire to speak out against what they see as injustice. Moreover, speaking up and/or speaking out about injustice and the bravery that is required to do so can be important lessons to share with our children.
There are many ways to be an activist. You can donate time, expertise, funds, or become a volunteer. Sometimes it’s just about staying true to your beliefs, staying informed on topics you feel passionate about, and sharing what you know with others in your life.
The resources listed below include links to different organizations that can help you stay informed or take action on a variety of issues. If you have specific questions about this category or know of additional resources that should be on our list, please contact us.
Animals and the Environment
- Farm Sanctuary: Rescue, Education, Advocacy: Even if you aren’t necessarily in favor of a complete vegan lifestyle, the resources on this site are invaluable if you are interested in ending cruelty to farm animals and changing the way society thinks about meat.
- Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Where Global and Local Meet Sustainability: This organization works to counteract the negative effects of globalization and big business farming. Stay informed by subscribing to their news pages and/or check out the info on their issues pages, or donate to show your support.
- The Story of Stuff Project: If you haven’t watched the film The Story of Stuff, you can watch it here. The project seeks to further educate the public and help make our world a safer, cleaner, healthier, and more just place.
- Union of Concerned Scientists: Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions: If you are a scientist, engineer, health professional, or economist, they urge you to join their efforts in making a better, healthier world; but even if you aren’t a scientist, they offer other ways to take action. Check out their tips and tools for activists.
Body and Health
- National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers: Making a Safer World for Children: Get informed on all topics circumcision and then spread the word. Help by donating to NOCIRC or start a local chapter in your area.
- Circumstitions.com An intactivist website dedicated to voicing opposition to the practice of circumcision.
- RH Reality Check: Information and Analysis for Reproductive Health: The main focus of this site is to serve as a community and resource for anyone interested in reproductive health rights and to protect those rights by counteracting misinformation and empowering individuals. You can help by registering and getting involved with the dialogue, sharing info with friends and family, submitting relevant blog posts to their site, and staying informed.
- The Trust Birth Initiative: Subversively reclaiming pregnancy and birth culture since 2005, The Trust Birth Initiative promotes the authority of a woman over her own body.
Culture and Society
- The Equal Rights Center: ERC is a non-profit organization specializing in civil rights and equal opportunity across all categories of life. They seek to educate the public, advocate for, and enforce civil rights through educating, researching, testing, and counseling. Get involved by informing them of any discrimination/civil rights violations you may have witnessed in your area, become a civil rights tester, request a civil rights training program in your community, volunteer, or host a gathering or event that supports civil rights.
- Global Citizens Network: Promoting the benefits that result from cultural understanding and respect, this organization strives to improve quality of life for all peoples. Ways to get involved are joining the network and forum, volunteering, or plan a trip with their cross-cultural expeditions. Expeditions are one to three weeks in length and involve living and sharing work with various indigenous communities.
- Nestle Products to Boycott: A great list of Nestle products.
- Why Many are Boycotting Nestle: A site maintained by Baby Milk Action that explains why Nestle is one of the most boycotted brands on the planet, and how you can get involved.
- Family Forward Oregon: Striving for workplace flexibility and enabling a family-friendly economy that supports the work of child-raising, this Oregon group organizes parents and forward-thinking employers.
- Common Sense Media: An advocacy group working to educate families about media and its effects, their website also provides an extensive database of movie, game and app reviews to help you make informed decisions about what you choose to view.
- The Big Push for Midwives: Advocating for successful regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
- Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement: A mothering and motherhood activist organization that is home to the Journal of Motherhood Initiative. They also produce a wealth of feminist and mothering literature through Demeter Press. Become a member to get involved and subscribe to the journal.
- The MAMA Campaign: An organization devoted to increasing access to midwifery care for all women.
- Doing Good Together: 101 Easy, Meaningful Service Projects for Families, Schools, and Communities, by Jenny Friedman, Ph. D. and Jolene Roehlkepartain
- The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Treasure, and Talent to Shape the World, by Kathy LeMay: This book espouses giving as a lifestyle, and that it connects us and gives purpose to our humanity. One of the main points is how giving requires courage but not necessarily funds and that there are many ways to make a difference.
- The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving, by Ellen Sabin: 64 pages of interactive lessons for children that “help them record their ideas, dreams and wishes for the world –making them the authors of their stories and creating a “scrapbook” of their journey into compassion, philanthropy and the power of their actions.”
- How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World—at No Cost, by Nicole Bouchard Boles
- Activism with Children, Kelly Palmatier: Compassionate Kids offers ways to involve your whole family in social justice work, with ideas for both in-person activism and ways to make a difference from home.
- Volunteering with Children, Kelly Palmatier: For those new to volunteerism, the many and varied needs for help may overwhelm rather than inspire. Compassionate Kids gives tips for choosing the right volunteer opportunity for your family.