5 Organizations Working To Improve Life In Texas
Texas is home to a diverse population of people, all of whom have their own issues and needs. That's why organizations like the ones listed here work to make life better for all Texans, from students to refugees to LGBTQ folks. If you live in the Lone Star State and want to lend a helping hand, consider giving them your support. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Groups Working Toward A Brighter Future In Texas
|Equality Texas||Austin, TX||Work to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration|
|Houston Endowment||Houston, TX||Advance equity of opportunity for the people of greater Houston and enhance the vibrancy of the region|
|Texas Campaign for the Environment||Austin, TX||Empower Texans to fight pollution through sustained grassroots organizing campaigns that shift corporate and governmental policy|
|Heart House||Dallas, TX||Use education as a catalyst to combat poverty and promote equity for refugee children|
|Texas Association of Community Colleges||Austin, TX||Promote solid policies that improve student education across all fifty public community college member districts in Texas|
What Climate Change Means For Texas
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Retreating shores due to rising sea levels
- Destruction of coastal ecosystems
- Increasingly frequent and powerful tropical storms and hurricanes
- Damage to homes and infrastructure
- Severe droughts threatening farms & cattle ranches
- Hotter summers increasing use of air conditioning
- Extreme heat causing dehydration and heat stroke
- More frequent and severe wildfires
What Is A Refugee?
According to the UN 1951 Refugee Convention, the legal definition of a refugee is "someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion."
10 Issues Faced By The LGBTQ+ Community
- Violent hate crimes
- Employment discrimination
- Parents who reject their LGBTQ+ children
- Bathrooms and other public accommodations being exclusionary
- Unequal healthcare
- Housing discrimination
- Criminal justice discrimination
- Bullying in schools
- Exclusion from military service
- Everyday prejudice
Texas Statistical Snapshot
- Estimated population in 2018: 28,701,845
- Rank by population: 2
- Land area: 268,597 square miles
- Rank by area: 2
- Number of veterans: 1,482,871
- Percentage of population born outside the U.S.: 16.9%
- Median gross rent: $952
- Poverty rate: 14.9%
- GDP: $1.7 trillion
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Cities with more than 1 million people: 3
- Firearm deaths in 2017: 3,513
- Leading cause of death: Heart disease
- Number of farms and ranches: 248,416
- Rank among states for greenhouse gas emissions: 1
Erasing The Stigma Of Community College Education
The second most populated state in America, Texas is home to a wide variety of people. Numerous groups throughout Texas seek to better the area through improving the environment, fighting for equality, and adding value to cities with endowment funds. Second only to Alaska in land mass, Texas has a vast amount of ground to cover for those seeking to make a difference. In no particular order, here are five organizations trying to enhance life in Texas.
At #1 is Equality Texas, an organization dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBTQ community. The group envisions a state where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer citizens and their families have full equality in the hearts and minds of their fellow Texans and in all areas of the law. They seek to accomplish their goals through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.
Equality Texas lobbies for the adoption of legislation that addresses critical issues, trying to stop in their tracks laws that make people's lives harder and more dangerous. Through rapid response communication, mobilization, and direct advocacy to lawmakers, they attempt to facilitate change. A donation goes toward the elimination of discrimination targeting the LGBTQ community.
Through rapid response communication, mobilization, and direct advocacy to lawmakers, they attempt to facilitate change.
At #2 is Houston Endowment, an organization that envisions a vibrant community where all people have the chance to thrive. Their mission includes working toward building a healthy metropolitan area with rich cultural assets and the infrastructure to provide potential for all residents. They seek to build a region that fosters a sense of engagement, inclusion and connection among its citizens. The group's desire is to strengthen critical pathways to opportunity and remove barriers that impede many of the people living there.
Houston Endowment partners with others in the nonprofit, public and private sectors to enhance the vibrancy of greater Houston and improve quality of life for its residents. They seek to build the capacity of arts organizations and strengthen greater Houston's arts ecosystem, and to cultivate conditions in which residents can thrive. They also support the launch of Mental Health America of Greater Houston's Center for School Behavioral Health. Those wishing to contribute to the organization can complete an application to work with the group.
For #3 we have Texas Campaign for the Environment, an organization seeking to empower citizens to fight pollution. They encourage a Zero Waste strategy that includes market-based and policy objectives that aim to reduce wasted materials in the economy. In practice, this plan takes a holistic approach, minimizing inefficiencies in every step along the commodity chain in order to reduce landfilling and incineration almost completely. Through grassroots organizing, advocacy, and policy research, the group is working to create a more circular economy for the Lone Star State.
They encourage a Zero Waste strategy that includes market-based and policy objectives that aim to reduce wasted materials in the economy.
Over the years, the organization has created a presence in all 181 legislative districts in Texas. Through their canvassing efforts, they have passed statewide environmental legislation to reduce air pollution, improve public "right-to-know" laws, and establish electronics recycling programs. They also helped to enact local ordinances such as a single-use bag ban in Austin and a protective gas drilling ordinance in Dallas. A donation will go toward fighting against polluters and funding future campaigns.
At #4 on the list is Heart House. This organization's vision is to use education as a catalyst to combat poverty, and promote equity for the refugee children in the city. Most of the children they target have experienced trauma from war-torn or poverty-stricken lands. Heart House hopes to establish a safe place where these students can come to study after school and in the summer. They take a holistic mental and behavioral health model in an attempt to meet kids where they are, taking into account their background and current emotional state.
The Head, Heart, Hands program or "H3" employs a comprehensive approach intended to deliver results through social-emotional learning. They focus on seeking to develop physical and academic health, developed simultaneously through customized educational and therapeutic experiences for students. A donation will help after school programs, help to fund mentoring, counseling, and protection from negative influences.
A donation will help after school programs, help to fund mentoring, counseling, and protection from negative influences.
For #5 we have the Texas Association of Community Colleges. This organization serves all fifty public community college districts in Texas. Their primary mission is to help advance policy development, innovation and institutional practices in higher education. They hope to create meaningful multi-sector partnerships on behalf of the institutions they serve, and better the lives of students attending the schools.
Throughout the year, this group seeks to build relationships with legislators and keep them informed about the needs of community colleges. They use an integrated, system-wide approach to success that guides participants from the selection of their high school endorsement through postsecondary education, to the attainment of high-quality credentials and careers with value in the labor market. A donation will help to fund the organization's efforts to give students the best chance for academic success.