Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) is a community-based non-profit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support services, and community building. MECA provides arts education, support services, and multicultural artistic performances and events to over 4,000 students and their families each year, helping to build discipline, self-esteem, and cultural pride.
Nameless Sound presents the best of international contemporary music and to support the exploration of new methods in arts education. Nameless Sound and its artists work directly with young people in public schools, community centers, and homeless shelters.
Project Row Houses (PRH) is a community-based arts and culture non-profit organization in Houston’s northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African American neighborhoods. Founded in 1993 as a result of the vision of local African-American artists wanting a positive creative presence in their own community, PRH shifts the view of art from traditional studio practice to a more conceptual base of transforming the social environment. PRH has instigated and hosted a variety of community programs and events. Volunteers, art and community lovers are all welcomed to participate!
Senorita Cinema is the Lone Star State’s very first all Latinx film festival. In the past the role of the Latinx woman in film, for the most part, was left to the imaginations of others with very typical Hollywood results. Senorita Cinema turns the screen over to the rising wave of Latinx women who are sharing their stories and visions by making movies and video art. The festival aims to show the rich tapestry of different voices, styles, ideas, unique to the Latinx experience. Volunteers of all and every background welcomed!
Shunya Theatre is a Houston-based non-profit theatre troupe dedicated to providing a voice to the South Asian American experience through the visual and performing arts.
COMMUNITY CENTERS AND/OR ORGANIZATIONS
Black Lives Matter Houston Chapter (ImagiNoir/BLMHTX Organizing Collective) aims to educate, empower, and build coalition in order to address issues that impact black lives in the city of Houston.
Houston Palestine Film Festival (HPFF) is a film festival comprised of many independent chapters across the US. The Houston chapter was founded in 2006 as an all volunteer run organization. It operates now as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and welcomes volunteers to assist in putting on its annual film festival, which celebrates Palestine, exposing the near 6 million diverse inhabitants of the greater Houston area to Palestinian culture and identity through film.
Palestinian American Cultural Center (PACC) is where organizers of the annual Houston Palestine Festival aim to unite and empower the Palestinian Community. Both the Festival and Center promote cultural and humanitarian programs that highlight the rich heritage of Palestine, sharing it with Houston’s diverse community of Palestinians and many others. Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcomed!
Self Help for African People through Education (SHAPE) is of the most visible and involved community centers in Houston’s African-American community and the Houston community as a whole. S.H.A.P.E. has led the way toward justice, equal opportunity, and institution building in the city, state, nation and world. Because of its deep commitment to the community, S.H.A.P.E. has actively sought ways to oppose injustice and to better the community for all people.
Students for Justice in Palestine at UH (SJP) was founded at the University of Houston with the promise that it would work to cultivate a culture on campus that actively opposed all human rights abuses that have been inflicted on the Palestinian people. We strongly believe that there is no better platform for the cause of social justice than the college campus, and that in order for a just peace to be achieved in Palestine, youth participation must be a part of the solution. This group works with numerous community organizations and welcomes support of the UH and non-UH student population. Non-students are also welcomed to participate and volunteer with the group.
Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) is dedicated to providing community members with the tools necessary to create sustainable, environmentally healthy communities by educating individuals on health concerns and implications arising from environmental pollution, empowering individuals with an understanding of applicable environmental laws and regulations and promoting their enforcement, and offering community building skills and resources for effective community action and greater public participation. Our goal is to promote environmental protection through education, policy development, community awareness, and legal action. Our guiding principle is that everyone, regardless of race or income, is entitled to live in a clean environment.
Community of Houston Asian Americans (CHAA) is a collective of Asian American Queer Houstonians committed to intersectional work around our identities, our communities, and fellow communities of color.
Gender Infinity is an organization that creates affirming spaces for families, learners, advocates, and providers to advance relationships, knowledge, and resources that empower gender diverse individuals. They also host an annual conference.
Houston GLBT Political Caucus is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. Founded in 1975, it is the largest GLBT political organization in the city of Houston and Harris County. The Caucus works to mobilize the city’s GLBT and GLBT-friendly voters, elect pro-equality candidates, influence local, state, and national elections, and works towards the implementation of pro-equality public policy.
Khush Texas is a social community and support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) South Asians in Texas. It was founded in 2004, and it currently has active groups in Austin and Dallas.
Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI) Established in 1992, LHI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to eliminating barriers to healthcare and promoting health and wellness for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)-identified women and transgender men through collaborative and integrated Education, Access and Advocacy programs.
The Montrose Center seeks to empower the Houston community, primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families, to enjoy healthier and more fulfilling lives. They envision a healthier society marked by permanent, positive changes in attitudes and behaviors toward the LGBT communities, and the ability of all LGBT individuals to realize their fullest potential.
Organización Latina de Trans en Tejas (OLTT) is a community based organization created by Latinx transwomen for the Latinx trans and intersex community and their allies. The organization’s main goals are to promote the human rights and well-being of the trans community through community organizing and support events. With this work they strive to fight for equality and dignity for their members. The website is in Spanish-only and contains many community resources and information.
Bowl-A-Thon is a national fundraiser to support access to reproductive health care. Get on their mailing list to get prepared to fundraise and bowl for access locally.
Lilith Fund assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access. Lilith provides direct financial assistance to empower people seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and education and outreach within the community about reproductive rights. Each April, the Lilith Fund participates in the National Network of Abortion Funds.
National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast seeks a world in which all children are wanted and cared for, all women and men have equal rights and dignity, sexuality is expressed with honesty, equality, and responsibility, and the decision to bear children is private and voluntary. The mission of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. is to ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education and advocacy.
The Prison Show on KPFT discusses issues of interest to convicts and features shout-outs from family and friends to loved ones in the free world to their loved ones behind bars.
Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement – is an activist group based at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center in Houston. They fight, educate, and organize for the end of capital punishment. Volunteer members of the group arrange carpools to protest each execution in Huntsville, TX as well as other modes of death row inmate support (letters, holiday cards, fundraisers for families of those incarcerated, etc). The organization was founded by friends and family members of those on death row, many of whom have a long history of working to abolish the death penalty as well as dismantle the prison industrial complex at various levels internationally and at the local state and city levels. The TDPAM is comprised of a warm group of people from various backgrounds. They welcome young people, those new to social justice, and all those interested in ending capital punishment as well as the prison system.
IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE JUSTICE
Amaanah Refugee Services is focused on providing post-resettlement services to women and children in Houston and now in Austin, Texas.
United We Dream – Houston is the local chapter of United We Dream, a national organization founded by DREAMers which advocates for undocumented immigrant rights. In Houston recently, the group (also known as Deportation Defense Network) has focused on a campaign to stop SB4, federal legislation which would grant police officers the right to stop anyone they deem suspicious and ask for their immigration status. They also coordinate solidarity initiatives and actions to counter immigration raid activity and deportation proceedings.
Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR) works to empower refugee youth to navigate American society, reach their academic potential, and become community leaders. They achieve their mission through a variety of educational mentoring programs. In achieving its mission, PAIR also provides a substantial benefit to its volunteers who increase their leadership and communication skills and their understanding of diverse cultures.
South Texas Human Rights Center is a community based organization in Falfurrias, Texas dedicated to the promotion, protection, defense and exercise of human rights and dignity in South Texas. Our mission is to end death and suffering on the Texas/Mexico border through community initiatives. Volunteers welcomed, check out the link for info.
ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
Daya Inc. supports South Asian women, their children and families who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya empowers these women by offering counseling and advocacy, promoting community awareness, and by advocating at the policy level. Daya’s approach fosters individual freedom and respect leading to healthy families.
Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC) helps individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence in their efforts to move their lives forward. We provide shelter, counseling and advocacy to support them in building lives free from the effects of violence. We seek social change to end domestic and sexual violence through community awareness and education. Our services are confidential and available to everyone.
Asian Against Domestic Abuse (AADA) provides resources and assistance for abused Asian women in Houston and neighboring counties. The goal of the organization is to promote healthy family relationships in the Asian community through community empowerment and collaborations with organizations sharing similar goals.
ORGANIZATIONS THAT ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR RIGHTS
Child Advocates mobilizes court appointed volunteers to break the vicious cycle of child abuse. We speak up for abused children who are lost in the system and guide them into safe environments where they can thrive.
Children at Risk serves as a catalyst for change to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy. Through its research and advocacy programs, the organization is a well-known leader in understanding the health, safety and economic indicators impacting children, and educating public policy makers about their importance in improving the lives of children.
Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) is a national organization with a chapter and office in Houston. KIND staff and our pro bono attorney partners at law firms, corporations, and law schools nationwide represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings. Together, we ensure that no child stands in court alone.
Tahirih Justice Center is a national non-profit that has served over 22,000 courageous individuals fleeing violence since 1997. Our efficient, effective, and innovative model of service is now delivered from four locations, and we’re committed to serving as many immigrant women and girls as possible. There is an office and chapter in Houston.
United Against Human Trafficking formed in 2005 as a volunteer coalition in response to the growing recognition and alarm over the prevalence of human trafficking in the Greater Houston area. The organization aspires for all people to experience freedom and live beyond bondage to others. They envision a world that is intolerant of buyers and sellers of human beings.
VOLUNTEER AND COMMUNITY MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS
South West Alternative Media Project (SWAMP) is a non-profit organization that encourages a diverse, multicultural community to create and appreciate film as an art form. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts center in 1977, SWAMP is Houston’s premier creative resource for filmmakers and film lovers. SWAMP promotes film and new media through education, information, and presentation activities for all ages.
KPFT 90.1 FM is a local community radio station, which hosts a number of shows dedicated to Progressive news/views and an eclectic range of music. Specific shows on KPFT welcome volunteers.
Houston Indymedia is a non commercial, democratic collective of independent media makers and media outlets, and serves as the local organizing unit of the global Indymedia network. They run a weekly all volunteer-run radio show on KPFT 90.1FM and welcome new and seasoned volunteers alike!
Nuestra Palabra features interviews with leading authors and new voices in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memorias, teatro and musica with insights into the Latinx literary Renaissance in all its splendor. In addition to the Latinx community, the radio program often collaborates with other communities of color to bring its listeners content that deals with a wide range of issues such as immigration, the environment, LGBTQIA+ rights, etc. They run a weekly all volunteer-run radio show on KPFT 90.1FM and welcome new and seasoned volunteers alike!