Steve Saint, executive director of the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission, points out that there's a difference between charity work and activism. You can drop by one of the soup kitchens in town and serve someone lunch tomorrow, and that's commendable. Activism carries the thought a step further, though, delving into personal convictions, beliefs and the prevailing thought that change is possible, one step at a time.
The following is a sampling of some groups in the area that are focused on work that is both immediate and aligned with many college students' interests. For more, watch the Get Involved section in each week's Independent.
• ACLU of Colorado (aclu-co.org) is a subset of the national branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
• Citizens for Peace in Space (389-0644) is one of the founding groups that is part of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.
• Citizens Project (citizensproject.org) is a local nonprofit in its 21st year of defending religious freedom through the separation of church and state, and promoting a diverse and welcoming community.
• MoveOn Springs (tiny.cc/moveonsprings) is a local chapter of MoveOn, a group dedicated to fostering social and political change through petitions and campaigns.
• Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission (ppjpc.org) is a local nonprofit centered around community engagement and promotion of non-violence, sustainability and social and economic fairness.
• Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UCCS (ssdp.org) is an international students' network dedicated to ending the war on drugs and creating a safe space to discuss policy changes.
• Trails and Open Space Coalition (trailsandopenspaces.org) is a group working toward preserving vibrant parks and open space, while also creating more trails and bike paths in the Pikes Peak region.
• Women's Resource Agency (wrainc.org) is a local nonprofit helping women get the tools to become financially stable, have healthy relationships and succeed in the educational system.
• Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area (zontapikespeak.org) is a member of Zonta International, a group of more than 30,000 members focused on promotion of education, prevention of violence and abuse, work against human trafficking and more.