Ten years ago, on December 25, 2006, James Brown, the Godfather of Soul died. For many years, in honor of his memory, I hosted an annual James Brown Party. We danced and laughed in celebration of his music, his life and his spirit. James Brown was a musical genius, a trailblazing businessman and a civil rights icon.
This year, instead of hosting the party, I am making donations in his name to some really worthwhile nonprofits. So, you should “save the date” for the 2017 James Brown Party, and make your tax-deductible donation in 2016 to an organization that is working to make a difference in this world.
Organizations That Work
Please check out and consider the following amazing organizations:
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI.org) is a non-profit organization in Montgomery, Alabama working to improve justice and fairness in America by providing legal assistance to condemned prisoners, people wrongfully or unfairly sentenced, including juveniles incarcerated as adults. You can make your donation online, by telephone or send a check to 122 Commerce St., Montgomery, AL 36104.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR.com) champions the legal rights of people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees, with a special commitment to African-Americans. You can make your donation online or send a check to 131 Steuart Street, #400, San Francisco, CA 94105.
The Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC) based in Cincinnati, Ohio fights to protect the basic human rights and dignity of incarcerated people. You can make your donation online or send a check to 215 East 9th Street, #601, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Friends Foundation International (FFI.org) is an organization of friends (including me) who share the bond of friendship to use our collective commitment, resources and energy to improve the human condition and protect the environment all over the world. You can make your donation online or send a check to Friends Foundation International, c/o Michael Freund, 1919 Addison St., #105, Berkeley, CA 94704.
Men and Women of Purpose ( MWP) is a community based non-profit in Richmond, California that provides re-entry services in Contra Costa County to help returning community members make the transition from jail to community. MWP’s re-entry programs include employment counseling, transportation, housing referrals, mentoring, sobriety support, family reunification counseling and life skills training to cope with the mental, emotional and financial challenges of re-entry. You can send a check to 3029 MacDonald Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804.
Kids Kasa is a foster family agency based in Fresno, California. Kids Kasa provides safe, structured, nurturing and therapeutic foster homes for at-risk children from ages 0 to 21. Their program includes Independent Living Skills to prepare kids for emancipation. You can send a check to 1275 W. Shaw Ave. #107, Fresno, CA 93711.
My list could go on and on, but since my money is limited, so is my list. The good news is that there are literally thousands of organizations around the world working to help others. Please pick one and make a donation in honor of the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. Have a happy and safe New Year!