44 progressive Florida organizations that could use your help right now

The best way to stay grounded and busy for the rest of the Trump administration is to help those who are probably going to need it in the next for years. From what we've seen so far, this administration has already started chipping away at voting rights, environmental protections, Title IX requirements, climate change policy, public education and workplace protections. Communities in need now more than ever include immigrants, LGBTQ youth, the working poor, POC and the disabled.

We’ve put together a list of local, state and national organizations working to shore up protections in these areas, including six profiles of local leaders working to effect change. They need your help and support, whether you can give time, money or both.

click to enlarge Rasha Mubarak - Photo by Deanna Ferrante
Photo by Deanna Ferrante
Rasha Mubarak

Council on American-Islamic Relations

You already know the Council on American-Islamic Relations as the national Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group suing the Trump administration to stop what they call the "Muslim Exclusion Order."

You may not have known that our state's chapter, CAIR Florida, supports these legal efforts by providing training to a wide range of people, and not just Muslims.

CAIR Florida teaches "Islam 101" courses for law enforcement officials, and "know your rights" workshops for civilians. They provide cultural competency training for doctors who see Muslim patients, and personal safety training at community centers. They help serve Muslim children through partnerships with organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Florida.

Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator for CAIR Florida, says these collaborations have grown and emboldened "the movement family" in Central Florida.

Mubarak and a handful of local activist leaders organized a successful protest inside Orlando International Airport on Jan. 29. The event made news and brought pro-immigrant demonstrators within earshot of the families of Syrian and Iranian travelers being questioned by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Many protesters heard about the action through online forums usually dedicated to UCF student progressive groups, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ advocacy.

"These relationships have been built over time, over being there together," says Mubarak. "By joining one movement, you learn about other people doing great work without reinventing the wheel. None of us are free so long as any of us are oppressed."

CAIR and CAIR Florida need donations and volunteers, but Mubarak says there are other important ways for people to help.

"We encourage people to donate but we also ask for support in the form of coming out to our events and inviting us to participate in your conversations, letting us now how can we provide our support at your organization or community center," Mubarak says. "There are always volunteer opportunities like tabling with us, helping us set up new events, and making allies and connections with different interfaith groups and support groups."

Mubarak also recommends following CAIR Florida on social media, as well as following related groups like the Support Central Florida Muslim Community, Floridians Responding to Refugees and the Muslim Woman Organization.

"Let us know how we can be there for you, too." - DP