Friday, May 28, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Project 33 Memorial Fund

Memorial Day is coming up on Monday so we’re taking a moment on this Feel Good Friday to focus on an organization honoring fallen soldiers, Project 33 Memorial Fund.

Founded in 2018 by Michael Gomolka, Project 33 takes its name from numbers in his Army Ranger Regiment and Special Forces units. Having served in the military himself, the mission of Project 33 is to preserve the memories of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces killed in action since 9/11/01.

Each Memorial Day, Project 33 organizes a 7-mile run in Hamburg, New York to raise awareness of that year’s honoree as well as raise funds for the honoree’s family or a charity of their choice. This year’s honoree is U.S. Army Ranger SSG Timothy Michael Conneway. SSG Conneway completed multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and died in 2003 from wounds sustained from an explosive device that detonated and struck his vehicle during an operation in Baghdad.
If you’d like help preserve the memory SSG Conneway by joining the run on Monday the good news is you don’t need to live in New York. There are both local and virtual options of the run and you can register at this link. Other ways to support Project 33 Memorial Fund are with a donation and by amplifying their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @Project33F. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Alley Cat Allies

May is National Pet Month and since my pets are cats, we’re focusing this Feel Good Friday on our feline friends and their Alley Cat Allies

Founded in 1990, the mission of Alley Cat Allies is “to transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats.” With more than 650,000 supporters, Alley Cat Allies works with lawmakers, animal shelters, and the public to change attitudes and advance lifesaving policies that best serve the interests of cats. 


A sample of these activities includes: educating decision-makers and communities about policies that save cats, advocating for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only humane and effective approach for community cat management, sharing advice and connecting people to resources through the Feral Friends Network and providing emergency assistance to animal organizations that help feed and care for cats and kittens in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition to this ongoing work, there are featured campaigns. One is working with Australia’s Animal Justice Party to stop the Port Authority from killing cats in the Port of Newcastle. A campaign that hits much closer to home is the one fighting against lethal removal of cats from the East Bay Regional Park District. Between 2018 and 2020, 34 cats found in three East Bay parks have been either shot and killed or euthanized! Alley Cat Allies is working to get EBRPD to control the cat population using Trap-Neuter-Return instead of killing the cats.


If you want to fight against these types of issues to help cats in your community, download this advocacy toolkit. It will provide you with background information on the issues and teach you how to make an impact and grow the community.


Other ways you can help Alley Cat Allies protect and improve the lives of cats is by making a donation, shopping for merchandise and amplifying their message by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @alleycatallies.



Friday, May 14, 2021

Feel Good Friday - National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum

Happy Feel Good Friday! We’re profiling another great organization during Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. 

Founded in 1996 by 157 women who recognized the need for an organization that would amplify AAPI women’s stories and experiences, The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) is “the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian and Pacific Islander women and girls in the U.S.”

The mission of NAPAWF is “to build power with AAPI women and girls” and they do this by focusing on the following core issues: reproductive health and rights, economic justice, immigrant rights and racial justice.


Specific examples of work being done by NAPAWF include: fighting against sex-selective abortion bans which use racist stereotypes to put abortion care out of reach for AAPI women; working to break the “model minority” myth and address wage disparities among AAPI women; and advocating for laws to give immigrant families access to affordable healthcare.


There are 14 chapters across the United States with members engaging in policy and structural change, organizing and civic engagement, and legal advocacy and judicial strategy. NAPAWF recently launched a virtual speaker series that explores the way race and gender intersect to impact the lives of AAPI people, from activists to authors. The next event focuses on Asian American women in government and takes place on May 21st.


If you’d like to support the work of NAPAWF there are many ways to do so! Become a member, buy and wear a t-shirt, make a donation, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @NAPAWF.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Stop AAPI Hate

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month so in today’s Feel Good Friday we’re going to highlight an organization that’s been addressing anti-Asian hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate. 

Stop AAPI Hate was launched on March 19, 2020 in response to the escalation of xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The center “tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.” 


It’s founding members represent three organizations: Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University. They came together to track incidents of anti-Asian racism after the Attorney General’s office in California denied their request to track these incidents. Read more about the origins of Stop AAPI Hate in this NBS News article.


In their work, they acknowledge that “in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.” They do this by focusing their efforts to:

  • Serve as the leading aggregator of anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander hate incidents
  • Offer multilingual resources for impacted community members
  • Provide technical assistance from rapid response to preventative measures
  • Support community-based safety measures and restorative justice efforts
  • Advocate for local, state, and national policies that reinforces human rights and civil rights protections


In the period from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021, Stop AAPI Hate recorded 6,603 incidents of verbal harassment, physical assault, civil rights violations (such as workplace discrimination) and online harassment. Read the full report here


Stop AAPI Hate uses data gathered from incident reporting on their website to identify patterns and sources of anti-Asian racism. This helps them offer practical solutions and policy recommendations to government agencies and community-based organizations that request their assistance. They also educate corporations, schools, and community groups about anti-Asian racism and how we can collectively address it.

There are safety tips and resources (in 13 languages) for people experiencing or witnessing hate here and you can report an incident at this link. If you’d like to learn more about the Stop AAPI Hate coalition and how to address root causes of racism and xenophobia, you can register for a FREE virtual event coming up on May 11th. Finally, to support the work of Stop AAPI Hate you can make a donation and amplify their message by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @StopAAPIHate. #stopaapihate