Thursday, November 16 is Give to the Max Day, a Minnesota tradition started in 2009 by GiveMN, a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make our state a better place. Every year thousands of organizations raise money to improve the quality of life in Minnesota and communities around the world.
To support their fundraising efforts, the ACLU of Minnesota asked us a few questions about why we choose to give and what it's like to give together.
ACLU: Why do you think the work at the ACLU of Minnesota matters?
The ACLU of Minnesota has a long history of fighting to protect the rights of all Minnesotans through litigation, public education, and lobbying. Their work helps to build a world where everyone, regardless of background, sexual orientation, gender identification, skin color, or disability are included and valued.
In recent years we’ve witnessed an unprecedented explosion of xenophobia, racism, misogyny, and fear of “the other.” As proud Minnesotans, we are deeply concerned about legislative, judicial, and institutional actions that threaten to take away our rights and the rights of our neighbors near and far. As parents, we want our children to inherit a just and equitable world.
How did you all come together to decide to give to the ACLU of Minnesota?
We believe that we are all created equal and it is our responsibility as individuals to support everyone’s right to live free of discrimination and fear. We know that it is important to advocate for and protect these rights at many levels. As a collective of compassionate creatives, we use our talents and skills to uplift civic dialog and create inclusive, positive spaces for all within our community. We have a great respect for the ACLU’s dedication to protecting the rights of all Minnesotans and feel it is important to support their ongoing work.
Giving means being a part of something. Why do you personally want to be a part of the ACLU of Minnesota?
When we started All Are Welcome Here, the intent was to donate a portion of the proceeds to an organization that represented our values and mission. We wanted to choose an inclusive, secular, non-partisan organization that was working to better the lives of all. Being regular donors to the ACLU has made us acutely aware of the challenges to our rights that occur on a regular basis. We give to protect those rights for all.
I think it’s awesome that you are giving together. Can you talk about what that experience has been like—being able to take part in activism and philanthropy as friends and partners?
Our work is impacting our community and our country on many levels. Since November of 2106, we’ve raised more than $30,000 for the ACLU. But beyond the easy-to-measure financial impact, we’ve also heard the stories and seen the emotional responses from our community: A Somali employee felt more comfortable in her workplace because of our Somali language sign in her manager’s office; A cardiologist at a children’s hospital wears a button in Spanish on her coat to comfort her patients and their parents who don’t speak English; the family with a gender nonconforming child who attended our children’s Pride event because they knew ALL families would be welcome. We’ve helped created alliances and we know that the ACLU is an ally in protecting our families, friends, and neighbors.
It feels so good to give together and to be a part of something bigger like the ACLU. Being friends and partners in this endeavor has strengthened our resolve to use our time, skills, and talent to promote the values and ideals we hold dear.