- Attend "What Goes Without Saying: Navigating Political Discussion in America" March 7 at 5:30
- Know your elected representatives at all levels and connect with them through direct advocacy, town halls, and other public events.
Opportunities for the 2022 series on climate change and water
- Participate in Catch the King, the world's largest environmental survey. It leverages citizen science to aid in GPS flood data collection throughout coastal Virginia. And register with MyCoast to document tides, storm damage, and which informs coastal decision makers.
- Engage in advocacy on state and federal legislation. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Wetlands Watch, James River Association, and others offer legislation guides.
- Plan your own advocacy or activism events. For W&M community members, check out the campus activism and advocacy resource guide.
- Ensure that your yard and home is water-friendly using tips from Chesapeake Bay Foundation, James River Association, Save the Bay, and others.
- Utilize GoGreenHampton Roads to find green products, services, and recycling opportunities
- Volunteer with organizations focused on water and sustainability including the James River Association, James City County Environmental Sustainability, Elizabeth River Project.
- You can also support organizations that mitigate the impacts of climate change and water including local safety-net health clinics, like Olde Town Medical and Dental Center, and groups that address flooding and mold issues in homes such as Housing Partnerships.
- Register for a W&M dialogue on climate change on March 23, or use this guide to host your own
- Attend a virtual screening of The Sacrifice Zone as part of the RVA Environmental Film Festival
- Attend the W&M Climate/Justice teach-in
- Subscribe to the W&M Sustainability listserv and the community engagement listserv for weekly updates on upcoming events and action opportunities
Opportunities for the 2020 series on ability and disability
- Engage with local non-profits such as The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Dream Catchers Therapeutic Riding, Child Development Resources, One Child Center for Autism, W&M Campus Buddies and W&M Best Buddies, Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads
- Follow and advocate on current legislation related to disability. You can also participate in advocacy programs hosted by organizations like The Arc of Virginia
- Evaluate the accessibility of the spaces and places you regularly frequent and evaluate the accessibility of the websites you manage or use.
- At William & Mary you can report an accessibility barrier and plan more accessible on-campus events
- Download and utilize Microsoft Translator which provides live captioning (in multiple languages) for presentations.
Opportunities from the 2019 series on addictionIndividual Actions
- Help de-stigmatize addiction: Use person-first language (e.g. person with with substance use disorder rather than "addict")
- Challenge people's biases surrounding addiction and mental health
Attend/support NARCAN training's
Support Harm Reduction programs (e.g. needle-exchange)
- Volunteer to teach classes in jails or mental health facilities for people with substance use disorders
- Support/volunteer with prison/jail re-entry programs
- Volunteer at Bacon Street to support their prevention, education, and counseling services with youth and their families.
- Support decreased punishment (decriminalization) for misdemeanor possession charges
- Advocate for improved access to substance use treatment
- Advocate for access to medical assisted treatment in jails/prisons for substance use
Also, visit the Addiction Policy Forum, which lists many resources and advocacy opportunities.
Opportunities from the 2017 series on criminal justice
SB995/HB1534 is up for a vote Friday, February 17, 2017 in the House of Delegates. The law is aimed to reduce long-term suspensions; text is: Student discipline; long-term suspension. Prohibits a long-term suspension from extending beyond 60 school days unless the school board or the superintendent find that the student's behavior could constitute an offense of an enumerated crime if the offense occurred at school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event. The bill requires the school board or the superintendent to conduct a review of any suspension that exceeds 60 days at the end of each grading period to determine if the student can return to school early.
According to the Legal Aid Justice Center, students who are excluded from school are more likely to experience academic failure and grade retention; dropping out of school; mental health issues; substance abuse; and justice system involvement. Schools with high suspension rates generally report lower test scores and graduation rates, and have less satisfactory climate ratings.A yes vote on this law could reduce suspension times to 11-90 days, rather than 11-364 days. The vote is currently tied and needs your voice. Call your Delegate and express your opinion NOW! Track the legislation here.
February 3 through March: Learn and connect
RichmondJustice.org is hosting an exhibit of their portraits of people who are connected to the criminal justice system, plus quotes, maps, and statistics, at UR Downtown, 626 E. Broad Street. The exhibit is available to travel to other locations as well.
February 18: Learn and connect
W&M’s annual Active Citizens conference, Saturday, February 18, is also built around the theme, The Daily Work of Justice. Keynote speaker Jeree Thomas, the Policy Director for The Campaign for Youth Justice, a national initiative focused on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system. Registrations are due February 8.
March 11: Volunteer and learn
Virginia Center for Restorative Justice is holding an Inintroduction to Restorative Justice session Saturday, March 11, 9 am - 5 pm at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 11220 Nuckols Road, Suite 188, Glen Allen, VA 23059. Those who participate can volunteer for the VCRJ. Register for training now; there are only 20 spots available.
March 12 - 16: Faith-based opportunity
Outrageous Justice Small-group Sessions at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Williamsburg, VA, 3 Sundays 6:30pm to 8pm – March 12, 19, and 26. God calls people to seek justice. But given the complexities of our criminal justice system, how can the followers of Jesus have a clear understanding of criminal justice issues and take action to promote peace and restoration? Small groups will learn about the challenges in the American criminal justice system and explore how Christians can respond in hands-on ways to pursue justice and bring about true hope, restoration, and healing. More information available here.
Ongoing: Get Involved
Join Black Lives Matter in Williamsburg.
Ongoing: Learn and connect
See more about Art 180's work to connect incarcerated teams, artists, and top legal experts to transform the juvenile justice system at www.performingstatistics.org. Learn about the art and advocacy work, download free teaching tools, and request more information.
Ongoing: Volunteer and teach
OAR has a great need for volunteers to facilitate classes at the Henrico County Regional Jail East (New Kent). The commitment is 1.5 hours per week. All curriculum, materials, and training are provided. Classes include: Anger Management, AA/NA, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups, Parenting, or Healthy Relationships. For more information, contact Hannah Brechlin, Community Engagement Coordinator at (804) 643-2746 or email@example.com.