There are so many amazing organizations out there that can help you get active, and so many materials to help us be more effective.
You can start with some of the handouts we give our campers at YEA Camp.
- Beginning Activist Guide
- Thinking strategically about your issue
- Create an Action Plan to make a difference on a cause you care about
- How to Start a School Club
- How to make a Difference in One Hour Per Week
- How to Write a Letter About your Issue
- Top Ten Tips for Promoting Vegetarianism
- Fundraising for your school club, a cause, or for YEA camp! Here’s our Fundraising Guide for Youth with lots of ideas and tips
- The Volunteer-A-Thon: A fun way to make a difference and raise money at the same time
These are great resources from other organizations designed for experienced youth activists or ones who are just getting started:
- Fire It Up! Youth Action Guide A guide to activism for young people.
- Campus Activism Organizing Guides: How-to manuals for organizing on many issues and ideas.
- Firestarter Guide For Youth Inspiration, awareness, skill-building, and action planning for young people who care about the world and want to make a difference.
- Learn how to green your school!
There are so many outstanding organizations doing important work to make a difference in our world. Below is a list of those we recommend for our campers, or anyone who wants to get involved with a particular cause, to get involved with.
Youth Empowerment Organizations
- Challenge Day Offers life-changing school assemblies to create peace and community.
- DoSomething.org Youth activism resources, ideas for action, and resources for school clubs
- Generation Waking Up: a global campaign to ignite a generation of young people to bring forth a thriving, just, sustainable world.
- Global Concerns Classroom: a global education program that raises awareness of international humanitarian issues through powerful curriculum and empowers youth to take meaningful action to address them.
- Green Play Eco-friendly summer camp for 5 to 10 year olds.
- Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Powerful youth-driven network of members and member organizations taking action to improve the world.
- Mobilize.org empowers and invests in young adults to create and implement solutions to social problems.
- Pollination Project: Provides $1,000 startup grants to individual change makers and projects
that promote compassion around the world.
- To Write Love On Her Arms: presents hope for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury and thoughts of suicide while also investing directly into treatment and recovery.
- Youth for Environmental Sanity, YES!: helping visionary young leaders build a better world.
- YouthSpeaks Bay Area-based spoken word workshops for youth.
- Carrotmob A fun and innovative way to use incentives to get business owners to create positive change. A positive way to “vote” with your money.
Animal Rights/Vegetarian Resources and Organizations
- Compassion Over Killing: COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating.
- Farm Animal Rights Movement: Tours the country exposing the cruelty of livestock production.
- Farm Sanctuary is the largest sanctuary for farmed animals, with shelters in Upstate NY and northern California.
- Humane League: Advocacy organization for farmed animals with offices in many cities across the country.
- The Humane Society of the US’s Humane Teen website and action toolkit are amazing websites with tons of resources about how to help animals.
- Mercy For Animals: Preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies
- PETA2: PETA’s youth site enables you to make a difference for animals while also getting prizes, finding your favorite bands, and having fun.
- Vegan Outreach: Information and free leaflets about factory farming and veg eating.
Environmental Resources and Organizations
- Alliance for Climate Education: Provides free multimedia assemblies about climate change to high schools.
- Brower Youth Awards: the premier awards honoring bold young environmental leaders.
- Citizens Climate Lobby An organization made up of many local chapters building political will for a real solution to climate change.
- EarthTeam’s Green News: Read and contribute to this great youth-run, Bay Area-based environmental e-mag.
- Greenpeace: One of the world’s largest environmental advocacy organizations
- Green For All: Works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty
- Kids Vs. Global Warming Empowering Youth to Lead the Green Generation.
- iMatter Movement Youth movement to solve the climate crisis.
- Green My Parents Youth movement to seed the green economy & save the planet.
- Rainforest Action Network: Campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action.
- Story of Stuff is a great video and resource addressing the environmental and social impact of our consumption.
- 350.org building a global climate movement to advocate for political action on climate change
Gay Rights Resources and Organizations
- Advocates for Youth: Helps young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.
- Gay Straight Alliance Network: Resources for starting a gay-straight alliance at your school.
- Human Rights Campaign: Largest national organization advocating for LGBTQ rights with a campus and youth organizing branch.
- NoH8: a photographic silent protest in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8 that outlawed gay marriage in CA. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8″ painted on one cheek in protest.
- Pride Foundation: Supporting LGBTQ youth through the Queer Youth Initiative.
- Trevor Project: Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Call the hotline 866-488-7386 if you need, staffed 24/7.
Peace, Racial Justice and Human Rights Organizations
- Amnesty International: International human rights organization advocating for political prisoners.
- #BlackLivesMatter: Organizing to address police brutality and racial injustice.
- CodePink: Women’s organization advocating for peace and demilitarization.
- The Dream Is Now: working to fix America’s broken immigration system, giving undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship.
- Ella Baker Center: launches people-powered campaigns that take on racial and economic injustice.
- Everytown for Gun Safety: A movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.
- Food Empowerment Project seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices.
- Global Exchange San Francisco-based org focused on fair-trade, peace, a green economy, and human rights.
- Urban Peace Movement and Heal the Streets training young leaders and creating a shift in urban youth culture away from violence and fear and toward hope and empowerment.
Politics and Government Resources and Organizations
- The Bus Project Working on voter education and Get-out-the-vote efforts. The Bus Project also trains youth activists working on political issues and candidates.
- MoveOn.org Bringing Americans back to the political process.
- Rock the Vote Youth-based voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts.
- HeadCount focuses on voter registration by tapping into the music industry.
- Students First An organization using political will to help solve the education crisis.
Poverty, Homelessness, and Hunger Resources and Organizations
- Fight for $15: Working to raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour.
- Food Not Bombs: Community-based groups of people cook and serve food to the hungry in public areas.
- Food Shift: Develops long-term sustainable solutions to reduce food waste and build more resilient communities.
- Kiva: Micro-lending organization enabling people to lend small amounts of money to people in poor parts of the world
- National Coalition for the Homeless: working to prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.
- A Well-Fed World: International hunger relief organization that promotes the benefits of sustainable, animal-free solutions in response to global food security, health, hunger, and environmental concerns.
Women and Girls Resources and Organizations
- Embody Love Movement: Offers workshops and clubs to empower girls and women to adopt a positive body image, celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world.
- Girl Effect: A global movement supporting adolescent girls education, health, and safety to end poverty.
- Girls for a Change: a national organization that empowers girls to create social change.
- Girls, Inc: Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
- National Eating Disorder Awareness: Providing awareness and support for those with eating disorders.
- Planned Parenthood: Health care provider offering low-cost family planning services and STD prevention.
- Young Women Social Entrepreneurs serves women with a socially conscious agenda who are founders and leaders within businesses, non-profits, and government organizations in Portland, San Francisco and other cities.
If you’d like to be included in this list, or know of a great organization or resource that we missed, please email email@example.com.