Take Charge of Change Week

TRCF’s Social Justice Calendar series celebrates the days, weeks, and months that have been dedicated to human rights issues. By highlighting these lesser known but equally important holidays, TRCF hopes to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle for social justice marked by these occasions. 

To find out about upcoming events in western PA, check out our Community Calendar.  


Life is full of changes, and most of them aren’t easy. Negative changes can send us reeling, while positive changes often seem just out of reach. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day balancing act that is work and school, family and friends, life responsibilities and personal goals, until anything new that comes our way seems like too much effort, or more than we can handle.

National Take Charge of Change Week, the first week of July, was established to help us step out of the day-to-day and shift our focus to the big picture. It’s a time to embrace change, a chance to reframe the uncertainties in our lives as opportunities. By doing so, we can reclaim our actions so that we control the changes instead of letting them control us.

From a social justice perspective, taking charge of change means taking responsibility for ourselves and our communities. Everyday we pass by people who are treated as inferior because of their gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or disability, and we know they deserve better. We as a society deserve better.

If you’ve seen the injustice in your community but haven’t known what to do about it, or if you’ve wanted to speak up but you’ve been afraid to take on a new challenge in your life, this is your week. Take charge of change by getting involved. Meet new people and share their stories. Do things you never thought you could do.

Change isn’t easy, but it’s how we grow. Change moves us forward. By taking charge of change, we get to have a say in where we go as a society.

There are lots of opportunities to take an active role in change. Keep your eyes open for flyers and news articles about local organizations. Look up your hometown on VolunteerMatch.org or Volunteer.gov, and check out some great action tips and step-by-step instructions for your own advocacy projects on DoSomething.org.

If you live in the Pittsburgh area, here are some ideas to get you started:

Fight hunger and poverty with Just Harvest.

Grow healthy, local produce in one of Grow Pittsburgh’s community gardens.

Create safer school environments for LGBT students with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network of Pittsburgh.

Assist victims of sexual assault on the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape crisis hotline.

Empower students with disabilities to succeed in the workplace through Pittsburgh Disability Employment Project for Freedom.

Advocate for a fairer justice system with Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Identify discriminatory housing practices for the Fair Housing Partnership Of Greater Pittsburgh.