Members of the radical activist group Canvas for a Cause. Courtesy of the organization
Members of the radical activist group Canvas for a Cause. Courtesy of the organization

By Anna Prouty

Despite the recent upsurge in activity around the minimum wage and the events in Ferguson, radical activism in San Diego is endangered. Canvass for a Cause, or CFAC, one of the pillars of the progressive community in San Diego, is in critical danger of shutting its doors for good.

CFAC was founded in 2009 as a queer canvassing organization focused on marriage equality. It quickly grew into the intersectional queer safe space and radical activism community it is now. In the five years CFAC has been out on the streets, we have worked on issues from banning “Pray the Gay Away” therapy for minors in California to ensuring patients maintain safe access to medical cannabis to, most recently, helping to pass Prop 47.

Our activists are on the street every day changing hearts and minds and educating the public on issues from anti-bullying legislation to the prison-industrial complex. One in every four non-supporters who meet our activists have changed their viewpoint to the side of justice and equality. It is those face-to-face conversations where true change occurs. Without them, every new law passed is just a piece of paper.

CFAC has been a passionate voice in the community, taking activism from an intersectional approach and fighting against all injustices as a part of the larger radical struggle. Our activists are at nearly every rally fighting injustice in the San Diego area, and our strike teams have gone across the country to help nationwide struggles to end oppression. We have planned community events such as Guerrilla Pride and We Are Here, and we send activists weekly to local gay-straight alliances to work with high school students on how to be activists and advocates for change.

Simply put, CFAC is a hub. It is a space where young queers can come and be accepted, respected, welcomed and supported for whoever they are and however they present. It is a space that teaches the most marginalized in society to fight for themselves and change the systems of oppression that marginalize them in the first place. From our youth outreach to our activists on the streets, CFAC empowers young people to take changing the world into their own hands.

I am not a talking head. I am not getting paid to write this. My name is Anna, and I’m a twenty-one-year old who came to CFAC looking for a purpose and found the most passionate activists I have ever met. I found an organization that manages to truly support its community, both by making change and by teaching people how to make change.

I am asking you for help. For the sake of every young person who walks into the CFAC office and comes out empowered and able to change the world, I am asking for your help. We have an online fundraiser to help us keep doing our work. Please take a moment to donate and to share it with your friends and family.

Anna Prouty is a grant writer for Canvas for a Cause. The organization is running an online fundraiser.