GOODFest: The Southern Poverty Law Center on Why We Need Love-Based Charities Now More Than Ever

“Love and compassion-based charities are needed in 2017 more than ever to ensure our nation lives up to its highest ideals by standing up for those who have no other champions”

As much as we love getting lit af, GOODFest is nothing without its causes. They’re fundamental to our mission of creating a music event that does more than simply give you an excuse to bust out those embarrassing and/or fire dance moves for a few hours.

The world is in a state of constant turmoil and there are an unprecedented number of worthy non-profits that need your attention, time, and dollars. So why did we choose to partner with the ones we did? Rather than prattling on about it second-hand, we thought it best to give the charities themselves a soapbox here to explain directly to you why they’re so vital.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been working within the American court systems to combat hate groups, discriminatory laws, and other violations of basic human rights for decades, all without charging their clients fees or accepting government funding. You’d be hard pressed to think of a more noble pursuit.

We asked Southern Poverty Law Center representative Heidi Beirich why the world so desperately needs love and compassion-focused charities these days. Here’s what she had to say.

“Love and compassion-based charities are needed in 2017 more than ever to ensure our nation lives up to its highest ideals by standing up for those who have no other champions.

The presidential election exposed deep racial fissures that simply cannot be ignored. In the weeks after the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented almost 1,100 reports of harassment and intimidation across the country. And within our nation’s schools, teachers have reported an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language, along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags. Hate groups and other extremists have been emboldened as their message has gone mainstream.

Clearly, we’re facing a critical time in our nation. And it is why the Southern Poverty Law Center’s work of fighting hate, teaching tolerance and seeking justice is urgently needed in 2017.In the new year, we’ll be tracking nearly 1,900 extremist groups operating across the country. We’ll be stepping up our campaign to shut down the internet funding of hate groups and combat their efforts to indoctrinate young people online.

We’ll continue to expose politicians who get their policy ideas and talking points from hate groups and track the way extremist propaganda seeps into the media – helping Americans to connect the dots between far-right extremists and the politicians who pander to them. In the halls of government, we’ll continue to work with lawmakers fighting extremism. In the nation’s courts, we’ll continue to help thousands of people by winning justice for vulnerable children, people living in poverty, exploited immigrants, the LGBT community and other marginalized groups. And in our schools, we’ll help educators dedicated to creating inclusive, nurturing schools by providing them with free anti-bias resources designed to combat prejudice among our youth.

In 2017, it will be vitally important to stand with love- and compassion-based charities that recognize that by embracing our nation’s diversity, we’re embracing a brighter future for everyone.”

For more info on GOODFest and its causes, or for info on how to tune in to our final show in our home of LA, check out the site here.

AFP News Agency / Twitter

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