Grassroots Action Steps
Four things you can do to learn more and take action in 2012.
1. Stay informed through the civilrights.org network.
Keep up with important civil rights developments throughout the year, download valuable grassroots outreach and public education tools and resources, and learn how you can make your voice heard on critical civil rights issues.
Civilrights.org tracks important news and action opportunities on a broad array of civil rights issues, and delivers the newsletters and alerts you want to your email inbox. Sign up today!
2. Be an informed voter — and educate other voters, too.
In addition to shaping the country's political agenda and legislative priorities, the next president will likely have the opportunity to make a number of appointments to the federal courts that will have a significant impact on basic civil and human rights protections. Similarly, the new Congress will likely consider a number of issues at the top of the civil rights coalition's agenda.
Before you cast your votes this year, use our Voting Record to review senators' and representatives' votes on important civil rights issues.
And consider the Civil Rights Monitor your contemporary almanac on civil and human rights, using it as a tool to learn more about the issues of today. Forward these resources to your family, friends, colleagues, and other in your community.
3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Writing a letter to the editor is not only a good way to educate your community about pressing civil rights issues, but is also a useful tool to ensure that your elected officials are aware that you are monitoring their votes on priority civil rights issues.
In your letter you might note the scores your representative and senators received on the Voting Record and express appreciation for those who frequently voted in support of civil rights issues — and/or deep disappointment in those who could not be counted on to support civil rights priorities. Just remember to keep it short!
Send a copy of your letter to your representative and senators, to remind them that community leaders are watching what they do in D.C. And if your letter is published, be sure to send them the newspaper clipping! Please also let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Work with others in your community to form a civil and human rights coalition or to join an already existing coalition.
By working in coalition, you will be able to educate more people about civil rights issues, take on larger projects, gain additional visibility, and be a more effective advocate for change. The strongest coalitions are those that are diverse and involve a wide range of local organizations and community leaders.
Together, you might conduct voter education, plan public candidate and issue forums, hold press conferences, or request meetings with your elected officials.
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Grassroots Toolkit (pdf) includes a step-by-step guide to creating local civil and human rights coalitions.