This site has been created in order to provide a list of resources and possible allies for those interested in social justice, systems advocacy and public policy. We hope all people with passions around one or more social justice issues will use this to learn, connect with others of a similar passion and take action.
In an effort to be more effective, we believe all of us do better if we have more knowledge on the issues (from the Resources) and if we have connections with other groups (possible Allies) with whom we can partner. Not every group out there working on social justice is listed. Our goal is to focus on those nonprofits and others that are nonpartisan and provide leadership on an issue with a focus on public policy and systems advocacy. We also are including only those groups listed as Key Allies that want to be included. Each has reviewed their listing and given approval, and a review is done semi-annually to ensure accuracy.
We see that addressing social justice can happen both from “outside” and “inside” government. The first is the traditional way we often see social action, working through a nonprofit or a volunteer organization to encourage government to change in the way we want. The latter, however, puts people “at the table”, helping to make decisions through being on a local government board or commission. Most boards and commissions are open to citizen participation. In Asheville and Buncombe County governments, for example, openings may vary. Where appropriate, you may see a board or commission listed under one of the issues listed in the tabs.
Finally, this document was created to give people in western North Carolina opportunities to participate to make government work better. That is the beauty but also the responsibility of people who live in a democracy. We believe that democracy works best when all participate. There is no pressure to participate; the place where and the amount that one participates is up to her or him.
If you have questions about this site, please use the contact form to connect.
Some people’s interests are more aligned with “direct service” rather than systems advocacy or public policy. Some of the organizations listed below also are looking for volunteers for this type of service. If you are interested in “direct service”, consider Hands On Asheville-Buncombe. Hands On is the volunteer center of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and works with a variety of community partners and schools to recruit volunteers needed.