Our June grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups fighting for economic equality, climate justice, and LGBTQ rights. In June, nearly 50,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Economic Policy Institute, League of Conservation Voters and The Trevor Project.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our June grant recipients thank you.


Economic Policy Institute
$54,765

Thank you! CREDO members like you make it possible for EPI to advocate for workers through original research, timely analysis, and a comprehensive policy agenda to strengthen worker power.” – Thea Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute

To learn more, visit epi.org.

 

League of Conservation Voters
$51,841

“Thank you for your continued support! CREDO members like you make it possible for LCV to build the political power necessary to fight for a safe climate that is protected by a just and equitable democracy for generations to come.” -Gene Karpinski, LCV President

To learn more, visit lcv.org.

 

The Trevor Project
$43,394

“The Trevor Project hopes to provide crisis counseling to 120,000 LGBTQ youth in 2020. Now more than ever, LGBTQ young people need to know they are supported. Thank you for helping us reach as many LGBTQ youth in need as possible.” – Shane Michael Singh, Corporate Development Manager, The Trevor Project

To learn more, visit thetrevorproject.org.

Now check out the three groups we are funding in July, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

This Independence Day, Being Patriotic Means Knowing Your Rights

For many, Independence Day means “patriotism,” and these days, that can feel like an awfully loaded term. Conservatives have certainly co-opted it to mean flags and anthems, blind loyalty, militarism, nationalism and xenophobia.

For us progressives, patriotism means just the opposite. It means working to fix our imperfect democratic system of government and fighting for liberty and justice for all people, no matter their gender identity, immigration status, race, age or physical ability. It means protesting and speaking out when our government abuses power. It means exercising our right to vote.

It means fighting to protect our rights and the rights of our country’s most vulnerable.

This Independence Day, we’d like to highlight some resources from our allies and grantees to help you know more about your rights for this socially-distanced Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy!

 

Your rights at the voting booth

From the American Civil Liberties Union

This November’s election will be one of the most important in our lifetime. Yet many people face significant challenges accessing their right to vote because of a fundamentally unequal process rigged against people of color, seniors, immigrants and other marginalized communities. It will become that much more difficult amid a pandemic as some states and local governments will force voters to choose between their health and exercising their right to cast a ballot.

Our long-time grantees at the ACLU have compiled a great guide on knowing your voting rights, including what you’ll need to register to vote, documentation you may need on Election Day, and what to do if a poll worker says you’re not registered to vote.

 

Your rights when stopped by the police

From the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

As demands for justice and reform of our current policing systems echo across the country, it’s important to know our rights if we encounter police. Our grantees at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund have published a useful handout that can provide more information on what you can do if you’re stopped, questioned or arrested by the police, including suggestions on how to act, what to say and *not* to say and information you should collect.  

 

Your rights to access abortion services

From Planned Parenthood

The landmark 1973 Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, affirmed the Constitutional right to an abortion. However, activist conservative judges and right-wing state governments have worked to chip away and erode these rights over the last few decades, making it nearly impossible for some people to access safe and legal reproductive services.

Planned Parenthood has published a comprehensive abortion access guide detailing the attacks on abortion rights, lists of states with 6 and 20 week bans, and more. They have also published a state-by-state list of parental consent laws for those under 18.

 

Your digital privacy rights at the border 

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Border agents have drastically increased their searches of electronic devices at the border in recent years, and generally speaking, the Fourth Amendment protects an individual’s property or person against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. However, searches of digital devices at the border fall into a complex maze of rules that are still being sorted out by courts and legal experts. 

Our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation provided CREDO members with a guide, “How to Protect Your Digital Data at the Border,” which can help you understand your risk for a search at the border and tips on securing and protecting your data.

 

Additional Reading

While the list above is far from comprehensive, the ACLU has published an incredibly useful “Know Your Rights” website with detailed guides for students, LGBTQ people, religious freedom, protesters, sex discrimination, prisoners and more. 

CREDO Calls on Facebook to #StopHateForProfit

Over 30 years ago, our co-founders started CREDO so that consumers could do business with a company that shares their progressive values. Today, CREDO is following those same founding values. 

Starting on July 1, CREDO will pause all advertising on Facebook and Instagram through at least the end of the month. We stand in solidarity with our allies and demand that Facebook take clear, actionable steps to end hate, racism and disinformation on its platform immediately, as laid out by the #StopHateForProfit campaign

It’s long past time for Facebook to make these changes, and we simply cannot stand by and contribute to a platform that allows voter suppression and the amplification of hate, white supremacy, violence and racism.

We’re proud to join our long-time allies and grantees Color of Change, NAACP, Free Press and others who are leading this campaign, and we urge other companies to pull their advertising from Facebook until the company addresses hate and disinformation on its platform.

We are a mobile phone carrier that puts progress over profits and shares your values. Please consider joining CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience. Since 1985, CREDO has donated more than $14 million to groups fighting for civil rights, and nearly $90 million total to nonprofit organizations supporting climate justice, peace, women’s rights, voting rights and more.

If you’re already a CREDO Mobile customer and would like to refer your friends, don’t forget that you’ll get a $100 bill credit for every friend you refer that joins CREDO — and they’ll get a great deal on a great phone on the nation’s best network. To learn more, visit CREDOMobile.com today.

Ray Morris, CREDO

7 Podcasts Lifting Up Black Voices, History & Lives

As protests continue across the country calling for justice and reform, Americans are grappling with this nation’s shameful history of slavery, discrimination, brutality and the systemic racism that persists today — and what they should do about it.

Many people, including a lot of us here at CREDO, are heeding the calls of Black activists and leaders to educate ourselves even more about Black history and racism. That means more reading, more watching and more listening, especially to podcasts that feature Black hosts and topics meant to educate, inform and challenge.

We’ve compiled a short list — which is by no means comprehensive — of some of our favorite podcasts lifting up Black voices, history and lives. These podcasts are not meant as a substitute for the hard work of being anti-racist, but merely a starting point for discussion and to spotlight the issues facing Black America. Take the time to invest in a few or all of these podcasts and let us know what you think.

 

Code Switch

Support for the Black Lives Matter movement has spiked in recent weeks — two-thirds of all Americans support the movement in a recent poll — and so has the interest in podcasts about race. Gene Demby, co-host of Code Switch, NPR’s flagship podcast on race and diversity, recently revealed that the podcast hit number one on Apple’s Podcast chart as their Twitter following exploded with new, mostly white, followers (find out why here).

Learn more and subscribe to Code Switch.

Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay

In their brand new, twice-weekly podcast, hosts Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss current events, Black pop culture, politics and sports. Recent episodes have examined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Black Lives Matter statement, nationwide protests following George Floyd’s murder and Donald Trump’s recent, poorly attended rally. 

Learn more and subscribe to Higher Learning.

QueerWOC

Hosted by Nikeeta and Money, two self-identified Black Queer Troublemakers, who are, respectively, a Black feminist organizer and a mental health expert working with queer and trans women. QueerWOC is a bi-weekly podcast that shines a light on a different queer woman of color in each episode as they build an “insurgent audio syllabus that unites, ignites, and excites the queer women of color community.”

Learn more and subscribe to QueerWOC.

Still Processing

This is one of our favorites. Hosted by the incredible duo Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, culture writers for the New York Times, Still Processing explores pop culture, art, music and the internet. Although their most recent season ended before protests erupted across the nation over the murder of George Floyd and other Black people by police, the two reunited recently for a livestream to discuss the current moment.

Learn more and subscribe to Still Processing.

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

With recent episodes covering Black Lives Matter, white supremacy, police abolition and honoring Juneteenth, the Momentum podcast is, without a doubt, a place to “deepen your racial justice lens and get inspired to drive action.” Co-hosts Chevon Drew and Hiba Elyass discuss race and pop culture while lifting up the work of community organizers and leaders who are fighting to advance racial justice.

Learn more and subscribe to Momentum here.

Pod Save the People

Part of the Crooked Media podcast collection, Pod Save the People — hosted by activist DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Samuel Sinyangwe, and Dr. Clint Smith III — explores news, social justice, culture and more with special guests in their hour-long shows. Recent episodes covered reforming the criminal justice system, recent protests, climate change and the experience of Black farmers.

Learn more and subscribe to Pod Save the People here.

1619

Hosted by New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, this audio series examines the fateful moment 400 years ago when a ship carrying the first enslaved Africans arrived in the colony of Virginia — and the hundreds of years of slavery that followed. The podcast is part of the Times’ 1619 Project, an initiative that “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

Learn more and subscribe to 1619 here.

 

Don’t listen to podcasts?

That’s okay, too! Netflix recently launched a “Black Lives Matter” collection to U.S. subscribers featuring over 40 films, series and documentaries about racial injustice and the Black experience in America. Plus, when you join CREDO Mobile today, you’ll get a year of Netflix (valid for new and existing Netflix subscribers) on us. Already a CREDO Mobile customer? Get a year of Netflix on us when you add a line!

Economic Policy Institute provides the research powering the movement for economic justice

The interests of working people and their families are vital to supporting an economy that works for everyone. This truth has always been central to the Economic Policy Institute’s research and analysis, grounded in solid empirical work and research methodology that are respected by experts across the ideological spectrum.

EPI organizes our research agenda to respond to the changing needs of workers. This year, EPI has documented the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic catastrophe on working people through more than 100 online resources including blogs, reports, and videos. We have provided a key voice for economic policy sanity during the pandemic, shining a light, with real-time data, on the struggles facing people trying to make ends meet as tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. That is why, from the beginning, EPI experts have called for a concerted policy response on the scale of the crisis, including significantly more aid to state and local governments, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, better safety and health protection for workers, a voice on the job, and full funding for coronavirus testing and treatment.  Now, more than ever, EPI’s economists are needed to provide essential insights to policy makers and activists to develop humane, equitable, and workable solutions to guide the United States through this crisis.

EPI research also examines the economic implications of longer-term trends like inequality, systemic racism, and other forms of discrimination, while identifying targeted policies to invest in communities that have been recently and historically overlooked. For example, a new EPI report explores how racial and economic inequality have left many black workers with few good options for protecting both their health and economic well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. Persistent racial disparities in health status, access to health care, wealth, employment, wages, housing, income, and poverty all contribute to greater susceptibility to the virus’s impact—both economically and physically.While it will take more than one policy solution to overcome deeply entrenched disparities and achieve economic justice, we need to reshape our economy to be more resilient and responsive during a crisis. This includes investing in communities, renewable energy, and infrastructure; rebuilding our tattered social safety net; and strengthening worker power to give workers the tools to bargain collectively for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. We need a solid economic foundation in order to achieve economic justice for all and better prepare us to weather the next economic downturn whenever it comes.

At EPI, we like to say our research powers the movement for economic justice. Grassroots partners use our data and analysis to win campaigns to raise the minimum wage, extend benefits for paid family and medical leave, increase the number of workers eligible for overtime protections, push back against efforts to weaken unions, and increase funding in state and local communities. Our experts are regularly called upon to provide testimony at the federal, state, and local level.

More than 20 years ago, EPI created the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a nationwide network of close to 60 state and local research, policy, and advocacy organizations that share expertise and resources to strengthen each other and pursue their common mission. Together with collaborating scholars and national organizations, along with allied state and local groups representing affected communities, EARN partners constitute the core progressive research and policy infrastructure for shaping and promoting a better economic future in the states. At a time that progress at the federal level has often stalled, the ability to support workers and their families at the state level is even more essential. Every successful campaign also helps to build the case for future federal action.

Over more than three decades, EPI has become the preeminent voice on the policies needed to support working people and their families with an unrivaled team of economic and policy experts. EPI led the way in calling out inequality long before that became mainstream. We were the first to note the wage-productivity gap — the growing gap between overall productivity growth and the growth in pay of the vast majority of workers since the 1970s, and the implications of what this means for worker power.  We have developed a robust and ever-evolving policy agenda informed by our research on the best policy solutions needed to truly make the economy work for everyone. Together, with the support of our friends at CREDO and its generous members like you, we can get these policies enacted and realize the dream of true economic justice for all.

AT&T says “Black Lives Matter.” So why are they donating to GOP Sen. Tom Cotton?

As protests calling for racial justice spread across the nation, AT&T quickly jumped on the Black Lives Matter corporate bandwagon to “stand for equality and embrace freedom.” Now we know these words ring very hollow.

According to recent reporting by Judd Legum at Popular Information, AT&T’s political arm has donated $21,000 to Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a Trump loyalist with a 6% rating from the NAACP who recently sent out a series of racist tweets calling for the military to give “no quarter” to people protesting the murder of Black people. “No quarter” is a term generally regarded to mean to kill the enemy rather than take prisoners. 

Cotton then penned a controversial piece of propaganda in the New York Times, which many staffers at the Times believed put Black lives in danger, urging Donald Trump to deploy the military on protestors, calling them “nihilist criminals” and “left-wing radicals.”

Through its political action committee, AT&T is one of Tom Cotton’s top five corporate donors. In addition, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson personally donated $5,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this year, which will help the campaigns of Tom Cotton and other Republicans in the Senate.

When asked about the hypocrisy of corporations like AT&T who say one thing to customers then continue to support politicians like Tom Cotton, Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said, “You can’t say Black Lives Matter or get credit for supporting the movement and give your dollars and support to political leaders who unabashedly advance policies, people and practices that will kill us.” (Color of Change is long-time CREDO ally and grantee. We recently donated an extra $50,000 to help the organization continue their critical work fighting injustice in all its forms.)

AT&T has yet again proven it is putting profits over progress and doesn’t support our values. These actions by AT&T’s political organization are just another in a long line of examples of AT&T getting into bed with the extreme right-wing to cash in: 

At CREDO, we will never align ourselves with right-wing hate. We have always believed that Black Lives Matter, and we have the receipts to prove it. Over the years, we’ve financially supported the work of organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change and a number of groups advancing the Black Lives Matter movement. In total, our members have helped us donate more than $14 million to organizations fighting for civil rights.

If you’d like to join the mobile company that shares your values and the fight for Black lives, please visit CREDO Mobile to make the switch today. If you’re already a CREDO Mobile customer and would like to refer your friends, don’t forget that you’ll get a $100 bill credit for every friend that joins!

More tips to be a better ally to your LGBTQ friends

What an incredible victory for the LGBTQ community this Pride month: This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace.

Our partners — and CREDO grantees — at the ACLU successfully represented both Aimee Stephens, who was fired by her employer for coming out as a transgender woman, and Don Zarda, a skydiving instructor who was fired for being gay.

The ACLU has been a long-time ally of the LGBTQ community, fighting for their rights in and out of court for equality, justice and freedom of expression and association.

But what does it really mean to be an ally, and how can we all be better allies to our LGBTQ friends and family? This Pride month, we wanted to add to our blog post from earlier this year with a few more tips and resources to be a better ally.

Understanding what an ally is not

To understand what being an ally is, it’s good to also understand what being an ally is not. Being an ally is not just simply changing your social media profile photo, posting a meme to Facebook or Instagram about LGBTQ rights or jumping on a trending hashtag. If you’re a small business owner or a big corporation, it’s not slapping a rainbow flag on your logo for the month of June or issuing a statement of support once a year (Here’s why CREDO doesn’t change our logo for Pride). 

In other words, performative allyship — “passive displays of support focused on one’s self rather than the community in question” — is typically not helpful and can even be dangerous. Although it’s most likely well-intended, it’s critically important to find different and more constructive ways to be an ally. As columnist Eric Peterson put it, “The performatively woke person takes up a lot of space. The ally makes space. It’s a crucial difference.”

An ally is someone who uses their position of privilege in a non-marginalized group (here, that can refer to white cisgender people) to advocate for those in a marginalized group. Not someone who uses allyship to pat themselves on the back or posts to social media for validation.

Open your wallet & offer financial support

One of the best ways to be a true ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community is by donating financial support, either directly to LGBTQ people or organizations advocating on their behalf. Surveys have shown that LGBTQ people, on average, face enormous wage gaps and earn less than their straight and cisgender counterparts, due to a wide range of factors including systemic discrimination, workplace harassment and extreme poverty. Within the LGBTQ community, according to our allies at the National LGBTQ Task Force, women in same-sex couples earn significantly less than men in same-sex couples, and transgender people are four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 a year.

Hashtags like #TransCrowdFund can help plug you into ways to directly donate, or you can make charitable gifts to CREDO-backed organizations like the Task Force, ACLU, Transgender Law Center, or the Trevor Project.

(For more than 30 years, CREDO has donated over $6 million to progressive groups fighting for LGBTQ rights. If you’d like to support these groups simply by using your mobile device, consider switching to CREDO Mobile. Already a CREDO Mobile customer? Refer your friends to CREDO and get a $100 bill credit for every friend you refer that joins!)

Be a Trans Ally

Transgender and gender nonconforming people have been subject to particularly harsh discrimination and violence, especially against Black transgender people. Just since the start of 2020, at least 14 Black trans and gender non-conforming people have been murdered which has sparked Black Trans Lives Matter protests after the murders of Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells of Philadelphia and Riah Milton of Cincinnati last week.

Our friends at the ACLU have put together a quick video with three ways to be a trans ally, which include knowing the terminology, recognizing the humanity and knowing the issues. 

 

Additional Resources

The above list is by no means comprehensive. CREDO and many other organizations have compiled other ways to be a better LGBTQ ally. Here are some links for additional reading:

This World Refugee Day, Every Action Counts: How to Get Involved

This Saturday, June 20, marks World Refugee Day, a day to raise awareness about the millions of refugees and forcibly displaced people across the globe.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 70 million people — refugees, internally displaced people, asylum-seekers — have been forcibly displaced worldwide. Every minute, roughly 20 people will be forced to flee war, terror, persecution, disasters and the devastating effects of climate change.

This year, the UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign theme “Every Action Counts” recognizes the recent protests for racial justice because we “need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind.” The UN has even partnered with Twitter this year to release a limited-time emoji to help raise awareness on the social media platform.

CREDO’s grantees are also recognizing World Refugee Day with special events and actions. Here’s what Mercy Corps, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Rescue Committee are doing to commemorate the day and raise awareness for the millions of refugees around the world.

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians, working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper. In more than 40 countries around the world, Mercy Corps works side by side with people living through poverty, suffering and oppression in their struggle to build a better future. Since 1999, CREDO members have helped us donate $346,732 to Mercy Corps.

For World Refugee Day, Mercy Corps is asking people to join them to view a new 36-minute documentary film, Terror and Hope, The Science of Resilience, by Portland filmmaker Ron Bourke. Terror and Hope offers a singular view into the impact of war on children. It will be available for viewing between June 14 and June 20, and they will be hosting a live discussion on June 18 at 5:30 PST / 8:30 EST. Learn more here.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

The Americas region is now the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic—with the largest numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Brazil. Among those worst affected by the pandemic are people on the move: refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants living in difficult and dangerous conditions, and with limited access to health care.

Ahead of World Refugee Day, MSF will be hosting a webinar with experts about the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants in the Americas. Learn more here.

For World Refugee Day, MSF-USA will also share a moving story about an MSF staff member in Nduta refugee camp in Tanzania, who fled his home country of Burundi in 2015, and embarked on a courageous journey; cycling from his hometown, across the country and into Tanzania where his life as a refugee began. They will share this first-person piece along with some photos of him and his family in Nduta camp, home to 75,000 Burundian refugees, with the hope of humanising refugees in Tanzania and across the world by showing their strength, kindness and resilience. Visit MSF USA’s website for more information.

Since 1991, CREDO members have helped us donate $1,819,812 to MSF.

International Rescue Committee

Since COVID-19 has taken hold of our lives, the world has seen and heard — rightly so — hundreds, if not thousands, of stories of front-line and essential workers. But not many stories of refugees on the frontlines.

This World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee will be highlighting stories from refugees all around the world who are also on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. Because in the battle against COVID-19 and beyond, refugees are essential to keeping communities safe, making society stronger and rebuilding our world. We will show the refugee doctors and nurses and community healthcare workers, but also volunteers, food distributors, mask makers.

The organization is urging people to visit their social media channels to share the stories of refugees on the frontlines. Visit them at @RESCUEorg on Twitter, @rescueorg on Instagram and InternationalRescueCommittee on Facebook on or after June 15 – but especially on June 20th, World Refugee Day, to take part.

Since 2015, CREDO members have helped us donate $83,599 to the International Rescue Committee.

Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

Written by Tia Dole, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Operations Officer, The Trevor Project and originally shared on The Trevor Project Blog on June 1, 2020.

Over the last several days, The Trevor Project has been supporting Black LGBTQ youth in crisis expressing a wide range of emotions over the senseless and unjust violence against Black Americans. No matter where you’re located, it’s possible that these current events are impacting your mental health in ways you might not realize.

Black LGBTQ young people hold multiple marginalized identities. Under the minority stress model, experiences of discrimination, rejection, threats, and violence are compounded, and can lead to negative mental health outcomes. In addition, we know from our research that despite Black LGBTQ youth having similar rates of mental health disparities to all LGBTQ youth, they are significantly less likely to receive professional care.

Common Feelings

The LGBTQ youth reaching out over the last few days have expressed a variety of feelings as they try to process current events. While The Trevor Project will always be here to support you, we also want to provide you with some ways to understand and cope with the anxiety and stress that has come up consistently across our phone, chat, and text crisis services. It’s important to normalize and acknowledge that you may be experiencing some or all of the following feelings.

  • Grief. You may experience sorrow because of the senseless deaths of so many Black Americans, including numerous Black trans women over many years. This grief isn’t simply about recent events. For many, this grief has compounded over time. Working through this feeling is an ongoing process–one that may result in many conflicting desires.
  • Sense of helplessness. You might feel like there’s nothing you can do because you’re only one person. This helplessness can be rooted in the sense that you are a single person, with a single voice. We want to emphasize many people are feeling this as well. Being open and candid about it can make you feel vulnerable. This is something we understand very well.
  • Sense of hopelessness. It’s possible that the long history of systemic racism can make you feel as though things will never change. As a person who may hold multiple identities, sometimes it seems like we as a country may not do the work that needs to happen for there to be equality.
  • Disconnecting from white allies. You may distance yourself from white allies who are supportive of the Black community. This may be because it can seem burdensome to share your experience or put your complex thoughts into words. Or it may be that you are feeling anger towards people who share that identity, in this moment.
  • Rage. On social media and in the news, people are seeing coverage of Black Americans who were unjustly killed, and it can leave you feeling rage. This rage could be directed towards individuals or to institutions.
  • Desire to escape. As certain towns experience unrest and protests, it’s possible you may feel a desire to leave your area or change your life completely. We hear a lot of people talking about going to another country simply because circumstances here have become unbearable.
  • Fear. You may be experiencing a great deal of fear. The things that are happening right now are scary. Fear is a normal reaction to these events; in fact, fear is a protective emotion that is your body’s warning symptom that something is dangerous. Based on what is happening in the world right now, if you are feeling fear, that means that your body’s warning system is working.
  • Numbness. You may be feeling nothing. For some people, feeling nothing is worse than feeling intense emotions. The events of recent months and years may be too much to process. Numbness can be your body’s reactions to being overwhelmed.

I want you to know that all of these experiences are valid. All of them. I also want to emphasize that whatever you are feeling is true to your experience. I ask that you do not judge your own experience (or others!) and try to find some support in your community.

What Can I Do to Take Care of Myself?

The biggest question on many minds is “what can I do to take care of myself?” Discovering what helps you feel cared for and relaxed can help people cope with everything that’s going on, and centers you.

  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgement. This is probably the most challenging one, because it can be difficult to not be judgemental towards oneself but also because of a lack of space and time to do so. You may have obligations that do not allow you to process all of your emotions, prohibiting them from decreasing on their own.
  • Work to decrease your emotional intensity. Some people may not have the space or time to allow these intense emotions to run rampant. You can use some tools to decrease your intensity so you can simply make it through the day. When you have more time, you can process some of the recent events.
  • Pivot to action. Feeling out of control or feeling a lack of control can lead to negative emotions. If you engage in action you will likely experience a decrease in negative emotions. These actions could involve activism, donating to organizations, lending an ear to others or simply being helpful to someone else.
  • Seek support. We also want to emphasize that we at The Trevor Project are here for you, 24/7 and for free. Visit TheTrevorProject.org/Help to connect to a trained crisis counselor.

Supporting Black & Brown Youth

The Trevor Project serves diverse communities across the country, and takes an intersectional approach to supporting the mental health of LGBTQ youth. We encourage you to use the following tips to support yourself, and to care for the Black LGBTQ young people in your lives.

  • Check-in with Black LGBTQ youth. Ask the Black LGBTQ youth in your lives what their support system looks like during this time. In some cases, you may want to explore whether they have access to therapy or professional support. You can also tell them about online peer support, like TrevorSpace.org, which can be a great way to build connectivity and community.
  • Use your platform. While it might be difficult to translate your complex thoughts and feelings, it’s okay to use your platform to speak out against racism and racial violence. Your feelings and experiences are valid, and can help educate others about current events. However, it is also important to know when to let others speak, and when to raise others’ voices.
  • Center Black experiences and voices. Black lives matter, and amplifying their voices is an authentic way to share their unique experiences with the world.
  • Educate yourself. Learning information about current events directly from reliable sources can put your mind at ease. It’s also important to educate yourself about racism, violence against the Black and LGBTQ communities, and police violence.
  • Take a break from news and social media. While it can be great to stay informed, the world might seem like too much right now. Ask yourself how it would feel to unplug for a bit, or minimize the amount of information you’re taking in. Check-in with yourself around your mental health, set boundaries, and be honest about when you need to take a break.
  • Learn the difference between sympathy and empathy. Empathy has the power to bring people together, connecting them over difficult emotions. Sympathy, while recognizing hardships in others’ experiences, can drive disconnection. (Watch: Brené Brown on Empathy)

We know that some days can be tougher than others, and want to acknowledge that experiencing a range of emotions at this time is normal. But no matter where you are, you are not alone. The Trevor Project‘s crisis counselors are trained and always available to support the unique needs of Black LGBTQ young people, 24/7 and for free.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

Warmly,

Tia Dole (she/her), Ph.D.
Chief Clinical Operations Officer
The Trevor Project

5 Great Gift Ideas for Progressive Dads and Grads

It’s June, and that means it’s a time to honor graduates for their recent success, and dads for their hard work year-round.

As you know, this year’s holiday and celebrations will be different, with canceled graduation ceremonies and fewer visits with family, as we all continue to do our part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

But we can still show appreciation for our loved ones this month. If you’re looking for some gift ideas, we put together a few suggestions for your progressive dad or grad.

Harry’s Pride Shaving Set

Looking to combine Pride and a gift for your dad or grad this month? Harry’s has you covered with its “Shave with Pride Set.” Each set comes with a unique iridescent shave handle, 4oz of shave gel, three blade cartridges and travel cover, and a fun box designed by artist José Roda. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth (which is also on CREDO’s donations ballot this month).

Buy Harry’s Shave with Pride Set here.

Face Mask that Gives Back

It’s now widely accepted that wearing a face mask in public can help slow the spread of coronavirus. The CDC recommends wearing a face mask while continuing to remain socially distant and practice proper hygiene. Without a vaccine available, face masks may likely remain a go-to clothing item for quite some time. While some well-known fashion companies are looking to cash in on the face mask market, some other clothing manufacturers are making face masks with a social mission. 

If your dad or grad is looking for a new face mask, take a look at the ones made by Minna, a queer woman-owned and majority queer or woman operated business, which will donate one mask to an organization in need, like the Two Bridges Women’s Shelter in NYC, for every mask purchased.

Here’s a list of mask manufacturers and brands that are giving back.

Ben & Jerry’s Gift Certificates

We know, nothing says you went last-minute shopping like a gift card. But hear us out: First, during stay-at-home orders and social distancing, e-gift certificates make a lot of sense. Second, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and frozen yogurt are really good. And third, the company has been a long-time and outspoken advocate for progressive issues. The company recently called for dismantling white supremacy with a bold statement and action plan after the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.

We always want to recognize other companies that share our values and take meaningful action, so if you’re interested in voting with your wallet and giving some great ice cream to your dad or grad, you can purchase a Ben & Jerry’s gift certificate here.

Or get a year’s worth of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and $100 off a new smartphone of your choice (see last gift idea!)

ACLU’s Protest T-Shirt

Is your dad or grad planning to march for social justice and to reform our policing system? Give them a gift that will keep them and their fellow demonstrators informed of their constitutional rights as they protest with the ACLU’s Protest Tee.

The front of the tee features a warning to law enforcement that you are aware of your rights, and the back lists five steps to take if you or your friends are stopped by the police. With this t-shirt, the ACLU (a long-time CREDO grantee and ally) is “uniting in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives to completely reimagine policing by divesting from police and reinvesting in communities targeted by police.”

Buy the “Know Your Rights” Protest T-shirt or check out other gift ideas in the ACLU’s online store.

$100 Off ALL Smartphones (and more Ben & Jerry’s)

We might be biased, but what better way to celebrate your progressive dad or grad than with a new phone from CREDO Mobile, the only mobile company that shares their values and donates $150,000 every month to support civil rights, equality, voting rights, economic and climate justice, and more.

Add a line today to get $100 off ALL smartphones. You’ll also get 12 pints of Ben & Jerry’s® Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt—it’s ice cream all year!

Your dad or grad will not only get a phone on the nation’s best network, they’ll get the satisfaction knowing their mobile carrier is fighting for and funding the causes they care about.

Get $100 off all smartphones + 12 pints of Ben & Jerry’s here.