This summer, The Opportunity Agenda's weekly action alert system has a new schedule. Every two weeks, we’ll offer tools and tips for using breaking news to frame and advance economic opportunity and racial justice solutions. This edition covers events between August 7-21, 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
Push Back Against Gun Violence
Three mass shootings — in Dayton, Ohio; Gilroy, California; and mostly recently El Paso, Texas — claimed more than 30 lives last week, including dozens of Latinx victims. Most of the shooters targeted people of color, and espoused violent white nationalist rhetoric. It’s a vile narrative that’s been continuously uplifted and reflected by the Trump administration.
The gun violence pervading this country, particularly by white male shooters, cannot stand.
Freedom to live and work, without threat of violence and death, is an essential right in the United States, but the three shootings last week — as well as the ongoing hateful rhetoric from the Trump administration — flies in the face of our values. Together, we can push back against this divisive fear-mongering and uplift the inherent humanity and human rights of everyone in the United States. Together, we can affirm our values of human rights, dignity and compassion. Together, we can win.
Messaging and communication tools: To help you in your own responses to these horrific tragedies, please check out The Opportunity Agenda's resources:
- Our President, the White Supremacist
- Rejecting Bigotry, Demanding Action
- Turning Our Sorrow and Outrage into Communications for Change
- Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Friday, August 9
Five years ago on this day, police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an African-American teenager. His death sparked weeks of protest in Ferguson, Missouri. Use this anniversary to discuss police brutality and redefining safety in our communities. Cite the values of Voice and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Racial Divide in Attitudes Towards the Police; Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices; Implicit Bias and the Limitations of Video Footage in Tackling Police Brutality and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Movement for Black Lives’ A Vision for Black Lives; Magnolia Pictures’ documentary “Whose Streets?” (currently on Amazon Prime)
- Hashtags: #MichaelBrown; #Ferguson; #BlackLivesMatter; #racialjustice
The United Nations has designated today as International Day of the World's Indigenous People. Use this hook to amplify the voices and issues facing Native American communities by citing the values of Economic Security, Equality, and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Standing Rock, Ferguson or Mexican Border, ‘We Are All Related; IllumiNative’s Reclaiming Native Truths and Change the Story toolkit; Rebecca Nagle’s podcast, This Land; National Congress of American Indians’ Tribal Juvenile Justice Background & Recommendations
- Hashtags: #WeAreIndigenous; #NativeTruth; #IllumiNative
Saturday, August 10
On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act which provided reparations for Japanese-Americans who were interned by the U.S. government during World War II. In recognition of the impact of this shameful period in American history, the act gave each surviving internee about $20,000 in compensation (roughly $43,000 in inflation-adjusted 2019 dollars). Today, advocates are comparing these internment camps to the present-day policies of the Trump administration in detaining and separating migrant families and banning Muslim immigrants. Talk about this anniversary by referring to the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s What does safety really mean in America? and The Relationship Between Racial Integration and the Duty to Further Fair Housing; Densho’s Righting a Wrong and Why This Matters Now
- Hashtags: #NeverAgainIsNow; #NoCampsNoCages; #StopRepeatingHistory; #NeverAgainIsNow
On today’s traditional Jewish holiday of mourning, Tisha B’Av, Jewish organizations will hold vigils and protests outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in multiple cities demanding an end to the “unfolding modern-day catastrophe” at the border. Help promote these events and discuss the values of Economic Security, Family Unity, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Imprisoned Children at the Border; The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees and Talking About Unaccompanied Refugee Children Fleeing Harm
- Hashtags: #StopRepeatingHistory; #NeverAgainIsNow; #CommunitiesNotCages; #AbolishICE
Sunday, August 11
In 1965, the Watts Rebellion was ignited by the violent arrest of an African-American driver in Los Angeles. Use this anniversary to discuss policing and economic opportunity with your networks. Cite the values of Equality and Economic Security.
- Messaging tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtag: #WattsRebellion
On this day in 1973, hip hop was officially born. At a dance party in the Bronx, NY, DJ Kool Herc used two turntables to create a “break beat.” Hip hop became a messaging tool for political activism. Some even credit it for violence prevention since some gang members stopped fighting in order to breakdance. Use this anniversary to talk about art and culture’s role in creating social justice. Cite the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Working with Cultural Influencers and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Sourcebooks’ Hip Hop Speaks to Children; Laban Carrick Hill’s When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and The Creation of Hip Hop; The Rethinking Schools’ Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice
- Hashtag: #hiphopbirthday
Sunday, August 12
Two years ago, during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed. Use this anniversary to talk about the values that Heather was defending: racial justice as exemplified by the values of Equality and Community.
Wednesday, August 14
On this day in 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Use this anniversary to discuss policy changes that would undermine the social safety net by reaffirming the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Take Action: Join the "Truth about Social Security" tweetstorm from 2-3pm ET. See resources and hashtags below
- Messaging and communication tools: Social Security Works' Tweetsheet and social media graphics; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Social Security Lifts More Americans Above Poverty Than Any Other Program; National Employment Law Center's Work Benefits - Ensuring Economic Security in the 21st Century
- Hashtags: #SocSec84; #TruthAboutSocialSecurity
Today also marks when professional football player Colin Kaepernick first protested racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem in 2016. Use this news hook to talk about the First Amendment right to challenge injustice and the value of Voice.
Thursday, August 15
On this day in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) began to be implemented. This anniversary is important today because DACA recipients and their families are currently under threat. Refer to the values of Community, Voice, and Economic Security when discussing this news hook.
- Take Action: With this site, encourage DACA recipients to renew their status ASAP. Ask others to donate to United We Dream’s DACA Renewal Fund.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Communications to Protect Dreamers and our Nation’s Values; United We Dream's DACA in the Courts Timeline and Federal Judge Rules Trump’s Killing of DACA Was Wrong; The National Immigration Law Center's DACA resources
- Hashtags: #HereToStay; #DefendDACA
Friday, August 16
Today is the 50th anniversary of the start of Woodstock, one of the biggest rock festivals of all time and a cultural touchstone for the late 1960s. Use this anniversary to talk about art and culture’s role in creating social justice. Cite the values of Voice and Community.
Tuesday, August 20
On or about August 20, 1619, the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in North America. As 400 Years of Inequality writes, “Nearly 400 years of division have created an apartheid society: we need a new social infrastructure to carry us through the challenges of climate change, decaying physical infrastructure, rapidly evolving jobs, underperforming schools, uneven access to health care and lack of affordable housing.” Throughout this year, communities and organizations across the country are addressing these inequalities by sharing their stories of oppression and resistance. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: 400 Years of Inequality’s timeline and Guidebook to Planning Your Place-Based Observance; The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtags: #400YearsofInequality
On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act into law. This created Head Start and nine other federal programs to combat poverty. Use this hook to discuss the benefits that these programs have had for Americans and how current Congressional proposals could undermine them. Reference the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars and A Window of Opportunity: Media and Public Opinion on Poverty in America
- Hashtags: #HandsOff; #Headstart; #EconOpp4All
Wednesday, August 21
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring today National Senior Citizens Day. Use this hook to discuss how safety net programs are vital for elderly Americans. Use the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging tools: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' SNAP Supports Seniors’ Health; Medicaid Works for Seniors and SNAP Helps Millions of Low-Income Seniors
- Hashtag: #seniorcitizensday
In 2018, men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declared a National Prison Strike in response to the riot at the Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina, where seven people lost their lives. The strikers demanded “humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.” Cite the values of Redemption and Voice when discussing the anniversary of the strike.
Thursday, August 22
On this day in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, known as “Welfare Reform.” The act created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which Congress is currently considering changing drastically. Use this anniversary to talk about the need for safety programs and the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars and Shifting the Narrative on Poverty; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ TANF at 22: Cash Income Is Vital to Families Living on the Edge and Potential Changes to House TANF Bill’s “Universal Engagement” Approach Would Discourage States From Helping Those With Greatest Needs
- Hashtag: #HandsOff