The Amp

April 17, 2019

This edition of The Opportunity Agenda's weekly action alert system offers tools and tips for using breaking news to frame and advance economic opportunity and racial justice solutions between April 17-24, 2019. If you'd like to get The Amp delivered to your inbox, click the "Sign Up" button on the left.

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

How to Talk About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars

Poverty and economic opportunity are often difficult subjects for advocates to talk about, especially within today's political climate. Instead of always refuting (and inadvertently reenforcing) misinformation and stereotypes of people living in poverty, we need to reframe economic issues through values-based messaging; spelling out what we believe is possible in the United States. To do that, we compiled the following three core messaging pillars in collaboration with some of our partners. These pillars offer tips for discussing shared values, naming systemic causes of poverty and addressing common sense solutions that work for everyone. Check out the pillars here along with suggested language to use.

Showcase Pulitzer and Peabody-Recognized Work


Again this year, several Pulitzer winners and Peabody nominees focus on social justice stories. Pulitzer winners covered topics ranging from Louisiana’s discriminatory conviction system, Salvadoran immigrants in Long Island, and injustice faced by people living in poverty in rural Missouri. The Peabody Award released its shortlist of nominees (final awards will be May 18). Nominees include  documentaries about Dolores Huerta and Lorraine Hansberry, “Ear Hustle” podcast made by men encarcerated in the San Quentin State Prison, and coverage of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border. Use these worthy works to discuss the values of Voice, Redemption,and Economic Security with your audiences.

Speak out for Sanctuary Cities

by Sanya Hyland

In a move that many see as political posturing, President Trump and his administration discussed the possibility of relocating undocumented immigrants from the border to “sanctuary cities.” Resist the urge to myth-bust when talking about this news, and discuss sanctuary cities using the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.


Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

During the Month of April


This is Second Chance Month when the Prison Fellowship and its partners recognize the dignity and potential of 70 million Americans with criminal records who have repaid their debt to society. Join the campaign and discuss the issue using the values of Redemption and Mobility.


It’s also Medicaid Awareness Month, with a different topic each week. This week, advocates will focus on how Medicaid is a lifeline for rural America and veterans. Next week, they’ll focus on the cost of sabotaging Medicaid. When talking about Medicaid, cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

Wednesday, April 17

From 1-2pm EST, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and ideas42 are hosting a Tweet Chat on why proposals to take benefits away from people who don't meet work requirements are flawed and what better policies might look like.


From 2-3pm EST, the National Reentry Resource Center and JustLeadershipUSA will host a webinar on “Promoting Your Reentry Work During Second Chance Month.” Panelists will explain the resources to help raise awareness about successful reentry this month and beyond. Register for the webinar here.

Thursday, April 18


United We Dream is leading the National Immigrant Resilience Day (NIRD) to reach education equity for undocumented students as well as ending detentions and deportations. They’re calling on institutions — K-12, universities, community colleges and community centers — and students to join. Discuss this hook citing the values of Economic Security and Community.

Friday, April 19


At 2pm EST, The Opportunity Agenda’s Immigration Research Consortium webinar will focus on the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's work with the pro-immigrant movement. Research and Policy Associate, Stephanie Peng, will be the guest speaker. Sign up to join the webinar. 

Saturday, April 20


On this day 80 years ago, jazz singer Billie Holiday recorded “Strange Fruit,” which is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement. The song directly addresses lynching in the South, an issue that activists and journalists like Ida B. Wells and the NAACP had been challenging for many years. Use this anniversary hook to discuss the power of artists in addressing social injustice. Cite the values of Voice and Equality.

Monday, April 22


Today is Earth Day to support environmental protection. Use this hook to talk about environmental injustice. Discuss proposals like the Green New Deal that would address climate change while creating jobs and economic opportunity. Use the values of Community and Voice


At 2pm EST, there will be a Second Chance Month Twitter chat about changing the narrative around second chances for people with convictions. Guests include speakers from, The Marshall Project, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and more. For further information, see the links above.


In a webinar at 4pm EST, experts from the National Immigration Law Center and Center for Law and Social Policy will explain current policy around “public charge” for immigrant families. They’ll answer questions about the changes that have already happened versus proposed changes as well as whether enrolling now in basic needs programs will harm immigration status for family members. The webinar will also cover how you can get more involved with Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign. Sign up here.

Tuesday, April 23


Today the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the census citizenship case. As advocates, we need to discuss the importance of a fair and accurate count in 2020 and how vital it is that all communities are counted. Cite the values of Community and Voice when discussing the case.


From 3 - 4 pm ET, several immigration rights organizations are hosting a webinar on how we can end the mass detention and deportations that are partially caused by the '96 immigration laws. The 1996 immigration laws have fueled today’s mass immigration detention and deportation crisis. We are kicking off an effort to fight back and dismantle these systems, Hear from lawyers, organizers, and movement leaders, and learn how you can get involved in efforts to repeal the 1996 laws and turn the tide on immigrant criminalization. Register here. 


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