tl;dr: I give to organizations, causes and people I care about because it makes me sleep better. And because this is a crucial time to do so.
I am not going into too many details what the year of 2016 lots of people I care about and work with. John Oliver already did a great job. The global rise of
‘alt-right’ racist and fascist movements, a new level of hate speech online (or at least a new level of awareness of it among people who look like me), the proclaimed age of post-truth. All of these developments have made the people I follow in the realm of open and online education question both their strategies of coping and teaching but also their approaches to openness and safety in online education. After the election in the US, many articles circulated advising people what to do on a very pragmatic level. Some of the claims in these articles and posts stuck with me somehow. Most lists included the advice to give strategically to organizations that foster or fight for issues that are now more in jeopardy than they have been for some time. John Oliver gave very practical advice in his show “Last Week Tonight” and The Atlantic claimed a “post-election surge in donations”. All of this may seem quite like a Western coping strategy. It might soothe one’s mind to know that organizations which stand and fight for values and goals than those proclaimed by the nationalist, racist and fascist movements receive support and are therefore better equipped to fight the good fight. It might help some people sleep better and that’s fine. I am not excluding myself from this, giving to organizations and causes might make me sleep better as well. That’s fine. Because I am not only soothing my mind, I am also supporting causes that I believe are worth supporting. I know or follow people involved in many of the causes and organizations I have given to over the past weeks and I know that even my minor contributions can make a difference there. I can only encourage you to do the same. There will be elections and important decisions over the upcoming months and years and there are many good reasons to raise your voice. These organizations can be enablers and amplifiers for you and others.
So, here’s a list of people, causes and organizations that I have supported over the last year:
The Tor Project enables you to protect your privacy online
Digital Courage e.V. promotes civil rights and data safety
Hackeducation /Audrey Watters also goes by “EdTech’s Cassandra”
PRO ASYL works with refugees and steps in for human rights, especially related to migration.