Activism and Advocacy

One of the Material Collective’s foundational principles is to advocate for real progressive change in academia. Just as we pursue a variety of scholarly interests, we support a range of different causes and movements. But we all agree with what Eileen Joy had to say in her introduction to L.O. Aranye Fradenburg’s book, Staying Alive: A Survival Manual for the Liberal Arts (NY: Punctum Books, 2013):

…those of us who work within the humanities must commit some of our most valuable resources (primarily, our always-encroached-upon time, and some part of our inner emotional lives) to academic activism, whether through letter writing, blog polemics, organized protests and strikes, collectivist agitation and intervention, mutual aid initiatives, and books such as these. (p. xxv)

We also appreciate that an activist mode-of-being is not the natural state for many academics, and so we hope to use this platform to communicate more broadly about issues that affect us all. As Fradenburg herself puts it in Staying Alive, “No academic today, in whatever field, can afford to be ignorant of the historical, economic and political circumstances of his or her work.” (p. 30)

We offer a set of links to some resources and readings on academic activism, and we invite you to lend an ear to the blog and our twitter feed (@materialcoll) for specific issues and calls-to-action as they come to the fore.

General Organizations (Directing Donations)

The Giving Box

Disability Rights
The Seeing Eye

Organizations with Millennial Leaders

All of Us

Racial Justice

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Amend the 13th
The Movement for Black Lives
Black Youth Project 100
MPower Change

Reproductive Rights and Preventing Sexual Violence

Planned Parenthood
NARAL Pro-Choice America

Civil Rights, LGBT, and Immigrant Rights

Lambda Legal
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Trevor Project
United We Dream
Moviemento Cosecha

Broad Community Organizing

Pico National Network
National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

Fighting Anti-Semitism

Jewish Voice for Peace
If Not Now

Parent Activism


Getting Money out of Politics

Every Voice

Gun Control

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

The Environment

Environmental Defense Fund
The Sierra Club

Labor and Workers’ Rights

Fight for 15
Jobs with Justice
UAW Local 2110
Center for Community Change