Nonprofit Spotlight: Texas Organizing Project

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In August 2021, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to the Texas Organizing Project (TOP).

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2009

  • Leadership: Executive Director and Co-Founder, Michelle Tremillo, is a 4th generation Tejano from a low income neighborhood in San Antonio. She attended Stanford University, before returning to her hometown to fight for racial and economic justice.

  • Issue they address: TOP organizes around several issue-based campaigns that impact black and latino Texans, including: voting rights, immigration, education, housing, healthcare, and climate justice.

  • What they do: Advocate for working people of color in Texas

  • How they do it:

    • Direct-action organizing;

    • Grassroots lobbying for equitable policies;

    • Electoral organizing to increase voter participation; and,

    • Leadership development trainings in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

Why they were chosen

TOP has built a strong coalition (285,000+ members and supporters) and works on a local, grassroots level to center and amplify the voices of Black and Latino communities. They focus on systemic changes and have a track-record of success from increasing voter turnout to achieving major policy shifts.

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In case you missed it

In June, Biden signed an executive order to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Government.

What about representation at the highest levels of government?

It trends towards progress. It’s been widely reported that the 117th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse in history. And President Biden boasts the most diverse cabinet ever.

But gaps certainly remain. One report from Pew Research looked at the “upward, but uneven trajectory of Black political leadership in America”. Some findings:

  • Congress: 1965 vs. 2021
    • 5 vs. 57 Black members of the House of Representatives
    • 0 vs. 3 Black U.S. Senators
    • 0 vs. 0 Black Governors
  • In total, only 11 Black Americans have ever served in the Senate, and until 2013, no two Black senators had served at the same time.
  • There have been no Black governors since Deval Patrick (MA) retired in 2015, and there have only been four in U.S. history.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Racial Justice cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit creating a more equitable world.