DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE (Joe Hill)
So many organizations do important work. My list of favorites would take pages and pages, so I’ve included mostly some that may not be widely-known.
Founded by American Airlines flight attendant Nancy Rivard, AA provides humanitarian aid, including crisis response, to children and families around the world.
Beads For Education
Through this miraculous organization, you can send a Kenyan girl to school, and have the wonderful opportunity to correspond with and get to know the young woman you sponsor! BEADS also works respectfully with communities to develop alternative (to FGM) coming of age ceremonies. Many ways to get involved: become a sponsor, make a one-time donation to help BEADS grow, join the next Walkathon, shop for gorgeous beaded handicrafts made by the Dupoto Women's Group (many of whose members are mothers of sponsored students).
photo by Michael Keel
Through Women For Women you can sponsor a woman in any of several countries affected by conflict so she'll the opportunity to participate in a year-long program that provides rights education, training for finding employment or starting a business, information about family health, voting, and more. Correspond with and get to know the woman you sponsor; alternatively, you can make a donation to help WFW run its programs, or shop for beautiful handicrafts that benefit the women served.
One of the largest anti-trafficking organizations, operating in the U.S. and Japan, "Polaris Project's vision is for a world without slavery."
Two essential human rights organizations; get informed, get involved, take action.
Project Vote Smart
A great resource for U.S. voters, Project Vote Smart provides comprehensive, unbiased, non-partisan information about the political process, elected officials, candidates, etc.
"One here. One there. With every backpack purchase we will donate a schoolbag with supplies to a kid in need."
The Jazz Foundation
The JFA Emergency Fund helps jazz professionals (especially older musicians, who may have no health insurance, pensions, or retirement funds) through hard times.
Society of Singers
The Society of Singers benefits the health and welfare of professional singers worldwide and awards scholarships to students pursuing an education in the vocal arts.
WHEN I SING, TROUBLE CAN SIT RIGHT ON MY
SHOULDER AND I DON'T EVEN NOTICE (Sarah Vaughan)
International Women In Jazz
I'm a past president and longtime board member.
Jazz Women/Jazz USA Foundation
LIFE IS FAR TOO IMPORTANT A THING TO
EVER TALK SERIOUSLY ABOUT (Oscar Wilde)
TV Be Gone
I hate sitting in an airport or waiting room and being forced to listen to a TV with the volume turned way up. I haven’t bought one of these devices yet. . . but I’m tempted!
New old-fashioned cartoons.
Coffee, however, is a serious matter. So is organic, fair trade, shade grown, and so forth, but my taste buds were at war with my social conscience. Then I found Dean's Beans, which satisfies on every level. I am at peace.
I HATE WRITING; I LOVE HAVING WRITTEN (Dorothy Parker)
In my days as a freelance writer, I wrote articles for all kinds of publications (including numerous features and lead stories for BackStage, pre-web). Here's some of my writing. (By the way, I don't hate writing, but I do like Dorothy Parker.)
"Women's Rights, Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives"
ed. Julie Stone Peters and Andrea Wolper (Routledge Press, 1994)
The first-ever collection on international women's human rights.
"The Actors City Sourcebook:
A Comparative Guide to America's Best Places to Work and Live As a Performing Artist"
My first book (Watson-Guptill, 1992).
"But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art As Activism"
By Nina Felshin (Bay Press, 1995)
I contributed the essay on The Artist and Homeless Collaborative.
Spin The Wheel
My blog: 'Round and 'round and 'round she goes; where she stops, nobody knows: music, politics, human rights, cartoons, poetry, and more.