5 Progressive LGBTQ Groups to Follow this Pride Month

LGBTQ Rights are Human rights written in white on a black background with the Pride, transgender, bisexual, and asexual flags underneath it

It’s June and that means it’s Pride Month, a month-long celebration to honor and recognize the incredible impact that the LGBTQ community has had throughout history. Chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots in June 1969 as a watershed moment in the LGBTQ equality movement, Pride Month symbolizes the resistance to the conservative ideologies that continue to harm LGBTQ people across the country and the globe.

Here at CREDO, we understand the importance of resistance more than ever – to Trump and his hateful administration, policies that still oppress the LGTBQ community and inequality in all its ugly forms. We’re proud that our members have voted to donate more than $5.9 million to progressive LGBTQ groups and of the victories we’ve helped to secure, like marriage equality and more protections for transgender people, because of our members’ activism.

Today, we thought we’d share five organizations we follow on Twitter that fight for LGBTQ equality every day. Here’s a little bit about them.

GLSEN 

GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is the leading national organization working to ensure a safe learning environment for LGBTQ students in K-12 education. GLSEN works to improve school environments for LGBTQ students through original research, influencing lawmakers and empowering students to ensure schools become and remain safe for students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Follow @GLSEN

OutRight Action International

OutRight Action is an international nonprofit fighting for the human rights of LGBTQ people across the globe. OurRight has staff in six countries and is the only LGBTQ organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations Headquarters to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ communities in countries across the world.

Follow @OutRightIntl

SONG

Southerners On New Ground is an inclusive queer liberation organization working on multiple social justice issues in the southern United States. Made up of Black people, people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class, and rural and small town LGBTQ people, SONG fights oppression and lifts up communities through leadership development, grassroots organizing, and direct action.

Follow @ignitekindred

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

The National LGBTQ Task Force is the country’s oldest national LGBTQ civil rights organization. It is building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. The Task Force is a close ally of CREDO, and our members have helped us donate more than $460,000 to the organization, including a recent donation that will enable the Task Force to help ensure that all LGBTQ people are counted on the 2020 census.

Follow @LGBTQTaskForce

Transgender Law Center 

Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all. A recent donation from CREDO members helped TLC rapidly move forward with impact litigation by providing technical assistance to communities needing trans organizing or Trans Immigration Defense Effort support in response to urgent threats facing immigrants.

Last summer, Transgender Law Center Executive Director Kris Hayashi, and Deputy Director Isa Noyola visited CREDO headquarters to discuss how transgender people are building community and power to protect and defend each other in a hostile and dangerous environment.

Follow @TransLawCenter.

Green New Deal – the best video you’ll watch explaining why we need it

What would the future look like if we passed a Green New Deal? Will we help stem the most horrible effects of climate change, reduce extreme weather events, lower emissions, protect vulnerable communities, keep global temperatures in check and transform our economy?

In partnership with The Intercept, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez narrates an incredible video set a few decades in the future to let us see.

In the short film, she explains the history of the climate crisis and the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to block climate science and sow skepticism and tells us that if lawmakers have the political will to tackle the most dire challenge facing us today, we still have time to slow climate change, grow our green economy, protect workers and communities, and save our planet.

 

Why doesn’t CREDO change our logo for Pride Month? Because we don’t need to.

You see it every June – brands across America slap rainbow colors across their logos in hopes of attracting a lucrative demographic through their support of Pride.

Brand logos like LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Uber, Lift and more in rainbow colors for Pride
Image from Reddit

Here at CREDO, we don’t change our logo in June. That’s because we don’t need to.

Our brand stands for LGBTQ equality all year, not just when other companies are co-opting a movement for a month-long marketing campaign.

Since our founding more than 30 years ago, CREDO and our members have been standing with the LGBTQ community as a core part of our company’s mission. We not only speak out when we see discrimination, we actively campaign against it and work to create a country and a world where everyone is free to be who they are. And with our monthly donations program, our members have voted to donate more than $5.9 million to progressive organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights, like the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Transgender Law Center.

If brands want to support the LGBTQ community, they should do so authentically and all year-round, starting with the understanding that Pride Month was founded on resistance, and it isn’t a once-a-year party that corporate America can crash.

And companies who support LGBTQ rights – not just the rainbow logos and cash that follows – should stop donating to the Republican party and lawmakers who are relentless in their attacks on LGBTQ equality. Instead, they should follow the lead of Salesforce and Angie’s List who announced boycotts of Indiana when then-Gov. Mike Pence signed anti-LGBTQ legislation into law. Or IBM, PayPal, and Google when they did the same in 2016 after North Carolina passed anti-trans legislation. Or CREDO, by directly funding LGBTQ rights groups and mobilizing customers to take action.

With the constant attacks by the Trump administration and right-wing conservatives on their civil rights, the LGBTQ community needs allies all year, not just in June. We hope other brands who are cashing in this month remember that.

Victory: Gov. Newsom pardons Cambodian Americans facing deportation

The statement "Stand Up for Immigrants." in white letters on an indigo background

Together, we stopped two California families from being ripped apart by ICE, but there’s still more to do.

Thanks to the relentless activism of our friends at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Southeast Asian Resource Action Center, DailyKos and nearly 10,000 CREDO members in California who signed our petition, Gov. Gavin Newsom pardoned two Cambodian-American refugees, Hay Hov and Kang Hen, who were facing deportation.

ICE is tearing apart California families by deporting Cambodian-Americans with past convictions of any kind at an alarming rate. A majority of the Cambodian-Americans that ICE is targeting arrived in the country as refugees during the Vietnam War era when the United States military secretly bombed Cambodia with 2.7 million tons of explosives.

Hov and Hen are two Cambodian refugees who came to the United States as children. ICE targeted them for deportation based on crimes they committed as young adults. Both completed their sentences, turned around their lives, started families and became important parts of their communities.

Thanks to massive grassroots pressure on Gov. Newsom to grant them pardons, Hov and Hen will likely be able to remain with their families in California. But our work is not done yet. ICE is still detaining more than 50 Cambodian Americans and could deport them to a country they barely know as soon as this summer.

Speak out now to keep the pressure on the governor to intervene. Add your name today to urge Gov. Newsom to continue to grant pardons to Cambodian-Americans who face imminent deportation.

 

CREDO Tip: 6 Facebook changes to make now to protect your privacy

Facebook has a long and troubling history with privacy and user data.

From recent reports that Facebook gave away users’ private communications, without permission or notification, to more than 150 other companies, to how the company failed to act when the Trump campaign and Cambridge Analytica accessed the private personal data of 50 million people without their knowledge, the company has shown again and again that it will exploit its 2.2 billion users for profit in any way possible, even if it means violating its own privacy policies – or the law.

In the face of these breaches, many decide to delete their profiles on Facebook and Instagram. Others continue to use Facebook products. If that’s you, here are six steps you should take now if you use Facebook and want to keep your personal information as private as possible.

Editor’s note: The below instructions are current as of June 2019 and are easier to follow on your computer than on your phone.

1. Delete your personal details

When you first joined, Facebook prompted you to provide personal details like your hometown, your phone number and where you went to school. At the time, you probably didn’t think twice about it. You might have thought it would help friends find you.

It does. But it also helps hackers impersonate you and access your online accounts – like your bank account. Because, if you’re like a lot of people, you use details from your personal life to create your passwords, like your college mascot, perhaps, or the year you were born. This makes your passwords easier to remember. But if these details are visible at your Facebook profile, it also makes your passwords easier for hackers to guess.

Never entered your personal details? No matter. Facebook may well have entered them without your knowledge, using the information you’ve shared on your account. Here’s how to delete them.

Go to your Profile page and click About. You’ll see a list of information about you, from Overview to Places You’ve Lived to Life Events. Click on each of these and you can edit or delete these personal details. Make sure to change your settings so that your email can be seen by only friends or only you and that it’s hidden from your Timeline.

2.Block access by third-party apps and websites

A lot of apps offer you the option of creating an account and logging in via Facebook. It’s quick and convenient. But when you do this, you automatically give these apps access to your private information. Worse, you may be giving these apps access to your friends’ private information.

To see what apps and websites have access to your Facebook account, go to Settings, then Apps and Websites. Here you can remove any apps and websites you don’t use or whose security you think is suspect. You can also turn off access altogether under Preferences.

3.Limit who can see what you share

Unless you’re aiming for a career as a social media influencer, set your default sharing option to Friends – not Public – so that only your friends can see what you post.

Go to Settings, then Privacy. Under Privacy Settings and Tools, Your Activity, find Who can see your future posts? Click Edit and set the option to Friends.

You can also choose who you want to see your past posts. Find Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?, click Limit Past Posts and then Limit Past Posts again. Do this, and posts that you’ve shared with friends of friends and with the public will be visible only to your friends, anyone tagged in those posts and their friends.

See the line that says Review all your posts and things your tagged in? Click it and you can review all the posts and photos that others have tagged you in. You can remove tags by clicking on the three dots at the top right of a post and selecting Remove tag.

Also, you can change your Timeline and Tagging settings to control your visibility. Go to Settings, then Timeline and Tagging. At Who can post on your timeline? select Friends. Do the same at Who can see what others post on your Timeline?. Below, in the Review section, change the settings so that you can review posts you’re tagged in and remove the tags if you want.

4.Opt out of targeted ads

Facebook watches your activity online and serves you ads based on that activity. So if you want to buy a unicycle and you spend time researching the topic, you’re likely to see a lot of unicycle ads on your Facebook feed and other places online.

Some people appreciate this sort of targeting. Others find it troubling or invasive. To see what Facebook knows about your interests, go to Settings, then Ads. Under Your interests, you can opt out of any categories Facebook thinks you’re interested in. Under Your information, you can choose to withhold from advertisers personal details like your relationship status and employer. So if you’ve got, say, a 55th birthday coming up, you’re less likely to get a barrage of ads for retirement homes, fiber supplements and bladder-control medications. You can also make changes to your Ad settings so that you see fewer ads based on your online activity.

5.Opt out of facial recognition

Have you ever received a notification telling you that someone just added “a photo you might be in” and asking if you want to tag yourself? This facial recognition feature is fairly new, and it’s on by default. Facebook says the goal is to “make Facebook better.”

There are some disconcerting privacy implications to Facebook’s facial recognition technology, and if you believe this violates your privacy, you can turn it off.

To opt out of facial recognition, select Settings, then Face Recognition and turn it off.

6.Delete your payment information

Facebook once allowed advertisers to target you by your spending habits. Facebook stopped sharing this information with advertisers, but it’s not clear whether Facebook still profiles you internally by your spending habits.

To prevent Facebook profiling you by your spending, open Settings, then go to Payments. Under Account Settings, you’ll see all the payment information you share with Facebook. To ensure your privacy, delete all your payment methods and shipping addresses.

Here at CREDO, we take customer privacy very seriously. In fact, respecting our customers’ privacy rights is a core mission of our company, and we have a long history of fighting for it. Click here to learn more about our record fighting for privacy.

AT&T fired workers after raking in billions from Trump’s tax scam

AT&T is at it yet again: The company cozied up to Donald Trump and Republicans – and this time, its workers paid the price.

Recent news reports reveal that after the company lobbied Republican lawmakers to push through Trump’s massive Tax Scam, AT&T laid off more than 23,000 employees, despite promises to create more jobs.

In 2017, AT&T announced it would invest $1 billion the following year in telecom infrastructure resulting in the creation of “7,000 good jobs for the middle class” if Congress slashed tax rates for corporate America.

Congress rammed through Trump’s Tax Scam, but AT&T didn’t deliver on its promise. Instead, it cut capital spending, continued to lay off workers and pocketed $3 billion in a massive tax windfall. AT&T executive pay soared after the Tax Scam went into effect: CEO Randall Stephenson reportedly made $29 million in total compensation last year. Not a bad payout for going back on your word.

This isn’t the first time AT&T’s cozy relationship with Republicans and Trump administration helped its bottom line. In 2017, the company donated $2 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration and paid Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time fixer and personal lawyer who is now serving time in federal prison, $600,000 to advise the telecom giant on “regulatory policy development,” although he has no experience in policy or the telecom sector.

The payments seemed to have paid off: the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations, and the telecom giant was awarded a secret $3.3 billion contract with the National Security Agency, which is in addition to AT&T’s partnership with the NSA to spy on Americans.

At CREDO, we’re not spending millions to influence Republican lawmakers or making massive donations to Donald Trump like other big mobile companies. In fact, we’re doing just the opposite. Through our members, we’re funding the progressive resistance to the Trump administration’s corrupt and dangerous policies and mobilizing our members to stand with the communities Trump attacks and work together to create the world we all deserve.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can help fund progressive organizations and activism through your mobile company, click here to find out how you can join CREDO Mobile.

Don’t Ban Equality

CREDO CEO Ray Morris signs letter of support for reproductive health care with other corporate leaders of Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Amalgamated Bank and Hint, Inc.

At CREDO, we believe that companies have a fundamental responsibility to support unfettered access to comprehensive reproductive care. And let there be no question: Abortion is health care. Policies that reduce access to health care hurt workplace productivity and have a disproportionate negative effect on lower-income workers, people of color and women.

When we were asked to join a coalition formed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights, there was no hesitation. We eagerly signed a letter of support for reproductive health care.

I consider it an honor to stand with our progressive partners like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights. CREDO members with their CREDO Mobile phones, CREDO Energy offsetting their homes’ dirty electricity, longstanding CREDO Long Distance accounts and Working Assets Credit Cards have all enabled CREDO to donate millions of dollars to these amazing organizations fighting on the front lines to protect what should be basic freedoms.

As CEO, I’m happy to represent our employees, our members and our company, by signing my name.

You can learn more at DontBanEquality.com.

Please join me in sharing this message with your friends, family and coworkers today.

In solidarity,

Ray Morris, CEO, CREDO

CREDO Tip: How to Stop Robocalls

Heard from any robots lately? You’re not the only one. Robocalls are exploding. There were 4.9 billion robocalls placed nationwide in April 2019 alone (up from 2.6 billion the previous year). That’s around 14.9 calls to every person in the United States – in one month! In fact, almost half of all calls made on any given day are robocalls.

Many of these calls are legitimate, of course. Like maybe your dentist calling to remind you of that root canal. But many are worse. Worse than a root canal? Yes. Many robocalls – and live calls from people you don’t know – come from scammers trying to swindle you.

The Senate is trying to crack down on robocalls and recently passed the TRACED act, a bill that allows fines as high as $10,000 per call from robocallers who knowingly disregard the rules. The bill also seeks to increase the statute of limitations from one year to three years. It’s a great first step, but regulatory action alone will not stop robocalls. Regulators are up against the combined forces of internet technology, profit motive and geography (a lot of robocalls come from outside the United States) – and they’re losing.

The problem is robocall scammers are getting better. Techniques like “neighbor spoofing,” which makes it appear that a robocall is from a number in your area and, therefore, perhaps a call with an honest purpose. Maybe it’s your kid’s school or your car mechanic – so you answer. A lot of people do. And some of them are cruelly scammed. Some lose their life savings.

Take measures to protect yourself. Here’s what you can do.

Register your number in the National Do Not Call registry

This is a good first step. Once your number is listed here, most legitimate companies won’t call you anymore. But the Do Not Call registry prohibits only sales calls. You may still receive calls from political campaigns, charities, debt collectors and survey takers. And some think robocallers have outwitted the government, rendering the National Do Not Call Registry ineffective.

In addition, a company can call you if it has recently done business with you. Although if you ask a company not to call you again, it must stop. Make sure to record the date of your request if this happens.

Dismiss calls you don’t recognize

If your number is on the Do Not Call Registry for more than 31 days and you get a sales call or any kind of robocall, the simplest approach is to ignore it.

This is not always easy to do, of course. What if it’s important? If you do answer a call from a number you don’t recognize and it does turn out to be spam, don’t interact in any way. Don’t press a button to be removed from the call list or to speak with a live person. Doing this will flag you as a target and likely lead to more calls.

Instead, hang up and report the call to the FTC.

Get a call-blocking app

(Standard disclaimer: App creators’ views and values are their own and are not endorsed by CREDO Mobile. Before downloading any app, please confirm that it meets your personal standards for corporate ethics and protection of privacy.)

There are hundreds of call-blocking apps on the market now. Most work a similar way: They check incoming calls against a robocall database and block them. But they can only stop calls from known robocallers, so calls from fresh numbers may still get through.

One highly rated free app is Hiya, which is available for Android and Apple phones. Other free apps to check out include YouMail, Mr. Number and Truecaller. If you don’t mind a small subscription fee, there are paid apps that claim to do more, like Nomorobo ($1.99/month) and RoboKiller ($2.99/month).

One fun app is the Jolly Roger Telephone Co., which has the tagline “our robots talk to telemarketers so that humans don’t have to”. It’s 99 cents a month, but that small fee might be worth the satisfaction of sticking it to the scammers. For a few laughs, go to the Jolly Roger blog and listen to the remarkably lifelike Jolly Roger bots give clueless scammers the runaround. Score one for our side.

AT&T and Robocalls

While we’re on the topic of robocalls, we’d like to tell you about a 2018 robocall campaign by AT&T that was aimed at stopping California’s landmark bill to preserve net neutrality. The bill that AT&T was against would have ensured that California residents had access to a free and fair internet, without Big Telecom’s throttling and price gouging by.

Specifically targeted at senior citizens, the AT&T robocalls spread misinformation and claimed that California’s net neutrality legislation would increase cell phone bills and slow down data connections.

If you’re an AT&T customer, you should be angry. Do you really want to send a monthly payment to a company that wants to interfere with your internet so it can make more millions?

Instead, consider CREDO Mobile, the only carrier fighting for your rights and a free, open internet. For more than a decade, CREDO has been fighting for strong net neutrality protections. We’ve mobilized hundreds of thousands of CREDO members to take millions of actions, including petitions and phone calls to key decision makers and protests in Washington and across the country.

Are there other tips to block robocallers that have worked for you? We’d love to hear about them!

This is an update to a previously published article.

Our May grantees thank CREDO members for their support

A blue image with text saying "Thank you from our grantees" next to a photo of people at a rally holding signs and a rainbow flag

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, they help fund groups fighting for economic justice, net neutrality and workers’ rights. In May, CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to the Center for Media and Democracy, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, and Movement School.

These donations are made possible by CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy customers and the revenue they generate by using our products and services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our May grant recipients thank you.

Center for Media and Democracy

“Thank you for your generous support and partnership with CMD. CREDO members like you make possible our breakthrough investigations into the hidden influence of big corporations and billionaires distorting our democracy. You’ve helped shine a light!”

-Arn Pearson, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy

To learn more, visit www.exposedbycmd.org.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

“Thank you CREDO and its members for your support of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Your generosity helps doctors, nurses, midwives and many others provide life-saving medical care to people in urgent need around the world.”

To learn more, visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

Movement School

“We are so appreciative of CREDO’s support at this critical and early stage of Movement School, and look forward to many more years of close collaboration with you and your members.

-Gabe Tobias, National Training Director, Movement School

To learn more, visit www.movementschool.us.    

Now check out the three groups we are funding in June, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.

Vote to fund Free Speech For People, Friends of the Earth Action and MPower Change this June

Every month, CREDO members help us decide how to distribute $150,000 between three great progressive organizations. This June, you can help groups holding Trump accountable, defending the environment and standing up for the American Muslim community by casting your vote for the Free Speech For People, Friends of the Earth Action and MPower Change.

Free Speech For People

Free Speech For People works to challenge big money in politics, the unprecedented corruption of the White House and unchecked corporate power. The organization envisions a democratic process in which all people have an equal voice and an equal vote.

Support from CREDO members would help to expand the group’s campaign for an impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, fight the corruption of the current administration and work to end the dominance of big money in our elections.

Friends of the Earth Action

A close ally of CREDO in the fight for environmental and climate justice, Friends of the Earth Action defends the environment and champions a healthy and just world. The group works at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way people and the environment are valued.

Support from CREDO members would help Friends of the Earth Action defend the environment from the Trump agenda by exposing corruption by Trump and his appointees, fight for the Green New Deal and making sure it is strong enough to address the true threat of the climate crisis, pressure corporations to protect the environment and help pass new laws at the state level to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticides.

MPower Change

MPower Change is a grassroots movement of U.S. Muslims organizing for social, racial, and economic justice for all. The organization coproduces campaigns, both online and in the streets, that reach millions of people and train hundreds of organizers around the country.

With the relentless attacks on the American Muslim community by Donald Trump and his administration, funding from CREDO members is more important now than ever. CREDO support would help the MPower Change team to rapidly respond to political and community emergencies with high-profile campaigns and invest in training and support for local Muslim community organizers, groups and networks.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by June 30.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.