Below is a list of communication hooks and events for the month of December that you can use to reach new audiences and inform existing ones. If you notice any omissions, please email us.
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
During Dec. 1850, abolitionist Harriet Tubman engineered her first rescue mission as part of the Underground Railroad. The exact date is unknown. Tubman prevented the sale of her niece and her two young children with the help of freed man. Tubman organized 13 rescues in which she led about 70 people to freedom. Tubman is the subject of a recent film, “Harriet.” Discuss Tubman’s legacy by citing the values of Voice and Equality.
Now until Sunday, Dec. 15
Open enrollment for health insurance plans ends on Dec.15. Besides helping to advertise this fact when the Trump administration refuses to, you can discuss the importance of healthcare insurance by citing the values of Community and Economic Security.
- Enrollment resources: Georgetown University Center for Children and Families' Navigator Resource Guide; GetAmericaCovered.org; Kaiser Family Foundation’s FAQs: Marketplace Eligibility, Enrollment Periods, Plans and Premiums
- Messaging and communication tools: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Social Media Graphics on Open Enrollment; 5 Good Reasons to Visit HealthCare.gov During Open Enrollment and Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA
- Hashtags: #ACA; #GetCovered
Sunday, Dec. 1
On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the “whites only” section on the bus, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. This anniversary provides an opportunity to discuss the ongoing struggle for racial justice by referencing the values of Equality, Voice, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtags: #RosaParks; #civilrights
Sunday is also World AIDS Day. This year’s global theme is “Communities make the difference,” and in the U.S., “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Community by Community.” On Dec. 1, show support for those living with AIDS and honor those who have died from AIDS-related illness.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Tips for Putting Intersectionality into Practice; UN AIDS' World AIDS Day resources
- Hashtags: #WorldAIDSDay; #WAD2019; #EndHIVEpidemic
Monday, Dec. 2
December 2 is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, another opportunity to discuss the legacies of racial injustice in the United States (especially this year with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved people in North America). In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Equality, Mobility and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; New York Times' 1619 Project
- Hashtags: #Endslavery; #1619project
Today is also the comment deadline to oppose the Trump administration’s latest proposed cuts to SNAP. If finalized, this latest attack would mean (on top of the cuts already proposed earlier this year) slashing $3.5 billion dollars from the program over the next five years. Seven million people stand to lose at least some of their nutrition assistance – seniors, children, and people with disabilities will be hit the hardest. We hope you’ll help to raise awareness and encourage your followers, supporters, members, and colleagues to submit public comments in strong opposition to this newest cruel cut. From 2 – 4 p.m. ET (note the two hour block!), the Coalition on Human Needs (CHN), the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, and many other national, state, and local advocates will be joining together once again for a #HandsOffSNAP/#ProtectSNAP tweetstorm.
- Messaging and communication tools: Center for American Progress' SNAP 3.0 SUA digital toolkit; The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars
- Hashtags: #ProtectSNAP; #HandsOffSNAP
Tuesday, Dec. 3
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It was created by the United Nations to empower and ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities. This year, they’re raising awareness about “the need for inclusiveness within sustainable development plans, especially in disaster recovery plans and urban development.” Discuss this news hook by citing the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Center for American Progress’ 10 Disability Policy Questions Every Presidential Candidate Should Answer and Beyond the ADA; The Opportunity Agenda’s Opportunity Impact Statement - Expanding the American Dream; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Protect People With Disabilities
- Hashtags: #IDPD; #DisabilityAtCAP
Wednesday, Dec. 4
On this day in 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told reporters in a press conference that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference would start an initiative that came to be called the Poor People’s Campaign. The campaign continues today and they're using this anniversary to mobilize for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020! Discuss this anniversary by referring to the values of Economic Security, Equality and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Poor People’s Campaign’s Dec. 4th Social Media Toolkit; America at the Crossroads and Building a Poor People’s Campaign for Today; Justseeds' Poor Peoples Campaign portfolio; The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about Economic Justice and Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars
- Hashtag: #PoorPeoplesCampaign
At 2pm EST, join The Opportunity Agenda’s webinar, “The Power of Story in a Fractured Society.” The entertainment industry plays an important role in contributing to the beliefs and attitudes that shape the current body politic. This webinar will highlight the challenges and opportunities of working in the entertainment industry to more accurately represent diverse communities on and off the screen. Featured guests include: Maha Chehlaoui, Founder of Pass the Mic Media; Crystal EchoHawk, CEO of IllumiNative; Kristen Marston, Culture and Entertainment Advocacy Director at Color of Change; and Lucy Odigie-Turley, Director of Research at The Opportunity Agenda. Register here.
Thursday, Dec. 5
The theme for the 2019 International Volunteer Day is “Volunteer for an inclusive future,” which highlights the pursuit of equality - including inclusion - through volunteerism. Volunteers and organizers are important parts of social justice movements. Today’s the day to thank them. In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Community and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Social Justice Phrase Guide: Guidelines for Conscientious Communications.
- Hashtags: #IVD2019; #ResilientCommunities
On this day in 1933, Prohibition ended when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment. The ban came into effect in 1920 and has lasted for 13 years until it was reversed by the 21st amendment. Today, we view this period as a wasteful, punitive and ill-conceived intrusion on the lives of Americans. Current discussions about criminal justice reform and drug policy demonstrate that our nation is moving towards more effective and humane ways of dealing with addiction harm reduction. Use this anniversary to discuss how far our nation has come in upholding the values of Redemption and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Americans Support Prevention, Rehabilitation and Reintegration and Eliminate the Criminalization of Public Health Issues; The Drug Policy Alliance’s About the Drug War; Center for American Progress’ Ending the War on Drugs; PBS and Ken Burns’ Prohibition documentary
- Hashtags: #Prohibition100; #18thAmendment; #harmreduction; #nomoredrugwar
On this day, four days after Rosa Parks was arrested the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. Out of Montgomery’s 50,000 African American residents, 30,000-40,000 participated in the boycott. The protest lasted for 381 days, they walked or bicycled or car-pooled, depriving the bus company of a substantial portion of its revenue.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Zinn Education Project’s Montgomery Bus Boycott Began; Danielle McGuire’s More Than a Seat on the Bus; Black Past’s Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)
- Hashtags: #MontgomeryBusBoycott; #RosaParks #civilrights
On this day in 1957, New York City passed the nation’s first fair housing ordinance making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race (something that was not covered by the 1964 Civil Rights Act). Congress did not pass a federal Fair Housing Law until 1968. The anniversary is even more important now that the Trump administration is undermining fair housing rules. When talking about this anniversary, cite the values of Economic Security, Equality and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s The Relationship Between Racial Integration and the Duty to Further Fair Housing and Talking about HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Regulations;
- Hashtags: #fairhousing
Friday, Dec. 6
On this day in 1931, The National Hunger March reached Washington D.C. The marchers demanded "unemployment insurance, the seven-hour workday with no cut in pay; a federal work program paying union wages; an end to racial discrimination, and an end to deportations of immigrant workers; support
for the demands of the veterans and poor farmers; and that all funds being built up for making war be used instead to help the unemployed." Throughout its history, the United States has risen to the challenge of poverty and hunger. Today, we continue to work to eradicate these issues. In telling your story, we recommend referring to the values of Economic Security, Community and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Economic Justice and Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars
- Hashtags: #hungermarch
Sunday, Dec. 8
On this day in 2018, seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin’s died while in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Discuss the anniversary of her death by citing the values of Family Unity, Voice, and Economic Security.
- Take action: If you're in Washington, D.C., join a vigil on Monday Dec. 9. See below.
- Messaging and communication tools: Families Belong Together's toolkit; The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Imprisoned Children at the Border; Talking About The U.S. Border: Imprisoned Children and Separated Families; The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees
and Talking About Unaccompanied Refugee Children Fleeing Harm;
- Hashtags: #JusticeForJakelin; #CloseTheCamps
On this day in 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law. The treaty has long-lasting social and economic impact on the U.S., Mexico and Canada. President Trump has been renegotiating the treaty as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (although it has not been ratified). Use this anniversary to discuss the relationship between international trade negotiations and migration. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's 5 Key Facts: Online Discussion of Immigration in The Trump Era and Quick Tips for Talking Immigration Issues
- Hashtag: #NAFTA
In anticipation of the federal government’s plans to restart executions and International Human Rights Day, anti-death penalty activists will hold a Death Penalty Convocation in Terra Haute, IN, not far from the U.S. Penitentiary. This will be followed by a march and prayer vigil. Help promote the discussion at this event by discussing the values of Redemption and Mobility.
- Messaging and communication tools: Death Penalty Action’s Say NO to Federal Executions!; The Opportunity Agenda’s Americans are Becoming Less Punitive; Ten Lessons for Talking About Criminal Justice Issues and Building a Narrative to Address Violence in the U.S.
- Hashtag: #NoFederalExecutions
Monday, Dec. 9
Today at 5pm in Washington, D.C., Church World Service and partners will hold a candle-lit vigil to mark the anniversary of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death while in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Attendees will hold candles, flowers, and signs for Jakelin and the five other migrant children who have died in immigration custody. Faith-leaders will recite a short prayer for her. Organizers will place toys and water bottles outside CBP offices, signifying her needless death by dehydration while in CBP custody.
- Take action: If you're in Washington, D.C., join the vigil and/or share social media posts with #JusticeForJakelin
- Messaging and communication tools: Families Belong Together toolkit; The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Imprisoned Children at the Border; Talking About The U.S. Border: Imprisoned Children and Separated Families; The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees
and Talking About Unaccompanied Refugee Children Fleeing Harm; American Civil Liberties Union's Family Separation by the Numbers; Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)'s Family Separation;
- Hashtags: #JusticeForJakelin; #CloseTheCamps
Tuesday, Dec. 10
Today is International Human Rights Day that honors the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The U.S. delegate to the United Nations and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in drafting the document. When discussing this hook, we recommend leading with the values of Equality, Community and Redemption.
Friday, Dec. 13
Today is the birthday of civil rights activist Ella Baker, who played an instrumental role in the movement. Use this day to talk about the intersectional nature of the struggle for racial justice in the United States. Cite the values of Equality and Community when talking about Ella Baker and her legacy.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Tips for Putting Intersectionality into Practice and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Ella Baker Center for Human Rights’ Who was Ella Baker?
- Hashtag: #EllaBaker
Today is the deadline to submit a question for Democratic Presidential candidates at the next debate on Dec. 19. The live television event will be cohosted by Politico and PBS in Los Angeles, CA.
Sunday, Dec. 15
President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated December 15 as Bill of Rights Day to commemorate the first 10 amendments becoming a part of the Constitution of the United States in 1791. A few years later, Roosevelt called for a Second Bill of Rights to ensure economic security and prosperity. In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Equality and Community.
Monday, Dec. 16
On this day in 1974, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Safe Drinking Water Act. The legislation was supposed to ensure access to safe drinking water across the country, but the law clearly has not been enforced equally for everyone (i.e. Flint, Michigan). Use this anniversary to discuss the issue of environmental racism and the importance equitable of infrastructure spending. Connect it to the anniversary of Trump's tax cuts on the following day. Promote the values of Community and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: National Resources Defense Council's Watered Down Justice and Advisory on Safe Drinking Water; Enviornmental Protection Agency's Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' A Four-Point Fiscal Policy Blueprint for Building Thriving State Economies; Topos Public Will Initiative's Public Water; Our Neighborhoods, Our Future’s principles, Partnership for Working Families’ We Make This City
- Hashtag: #SafeDrinkingWater
Tuesday, Dec. 17
Advocates are marking the two-year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to highlight how the tax cuts "have been a gift for the wealthy and corporations but a lump of coal for workers and the overall economy." Refer to the values of Community and Economic Security when tweeting about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Quick Tips for Talking About Poverty and Taxes; Americans for Tax Fairness’ Trump-GOP Tax Cuts Two-Year Anniversary Materials; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' social media graphics page; National Women's Law Center's Two Years Later: The Impact of the 2017 Tax Law on Women & Families; Navigator Research's 2017 Republican tax law remains unpopular overall; Center for American Progress' The TCJA 2 Years Later: Corporations, Not Workers, Are the Big Winners
- Hashtags: #2YearsOfTCJA; #GOPTaxScam; #TCJA
On this day in 1944, Public Proclamation No. 21 ended Japanese-American internment and eventually allowed them return to their homes. For the 110,000 Americans who were “relocated” during World War II, this announcement ended a shameful period in American history, one that President Reagan apologized for many years later. Today advocates are making comparison between the internment camps, the present-day detention of migrants and the banning of Muslim immigrants. Talk about this anniversary by referring to the values of Community, Voice and Equality.
Wednesday, Dec. 18
From 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST, join The Opportunity Agenda for a storytelling webinar that focuses on promoting narratives for long-term change. We will provide some examples of how to use personal stories to highlight systemic change while still honoring people’s authentic experiences, protecting those we’re featuring, and ensuring that audiences walk away understanding the solutions we recommend. Julie Fisher-Rowe, Director of Narrative and Engagement for The Opportunity Agenda, will lead the conversation with guest speakers Elayne Gregg of Indivisible Tohono and Krystal Ortiz, a consultant with the ACLU of Texas. Register now.
International Migrants Day recognizes and celebrates the rights of migrants around the world. In discussing migration, we recommend leading with the values of Equality, Mobility and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's 5 Key Facts: Online Discussion of Immigration in the Trump Era; Five Questions to ask when Crafting Messages about Refugees; and RadioPublic's Immigration and migration podcasts
- Hashtags: #MigrantsDay, #IMD2019 and #ForMigration
On December 18, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was officially approved. The amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. This exception is often discussed in today’s discussions about criminal justice reform (including Ava Devernay’s documentary, “13th”). Use this anniversary to talk about the continued need for racial justice in the U.S., especially in our criminal justice system. Only two-thirds of existing states needed to ratify the amendment in 1865. The state of Mississippi did not take the necessary steps until 2013. When discussing this anniversary, cite the values of Redemption and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Transforming the System: A New Sensibility and Criminal Justice Reform Phrase Guide
On this day in 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Fred Korematsu, declaring the denial of civil liberties based on race and national origin was constitutional. Fred Korematsu was a U.S. citizen and the son of Japanese immigrants and had refused to be interned with other Japanese-Americans during World War II. The case has further relevance today because of the Supreme Court's upholding of Trump's Muslim Ban. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Equality, Voice, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Fred Korematsu Institute’s Digital Curriculum toolkit; The Opportunity Agenda’s What does safety really mean in America? and The Relationship Between Racial Integration and the Duty to Further Fair Housing; Noah Feldman’s Why Korematsu Is Not a Precedent; Radiolab’s More Perfect podcast- American Pendulum I; ThinkProgress’ Judge compares Trump’s Muslim ban to one of the worst chapters in American history; PBS documentary Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story
- Hashtag: #Korematsu
Thursday, December 19
The U.S. Census Bureau releases the 2014-2019 American Community Survey: five years of data collection from across the United States, including information on income, poverty and health insurance. Use this release to discuss Economic Security and Community and the need for an accurate and well-funded census count.
- Messaging tool: Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Census Data: A Fair and Accurate Count and Census Data and Storytelling
- Hashtag: #CensusData
At 9pm EST, Politico and PBS will host the next Democratic Presidential debate in Los Angeles, CA. Submit a question for candidates here before Dec. 13.
Christmas and Kwanzaa
Help your audiences prepare for effective and meaningful conversations about racial justice and economic opportunity with family over the holidays. Refer to values of Equality, Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Five Tips for Surviving Holiday Conversations; The Social Justice Phrase Guide and Transforming the System; Colorlines: 5 Ways to Face Race at the Thanksgiving Table – and Not Choke; Southern Poverty Law Center: Responding to Everyday Bigotry; The New York Times: How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor
- Hashtag: #futureoverfear
There are a number of films with social justice themes that are premiering in movie theaters over the holiday break, i.e. "Just Mercy" about Bryan Stevenson's work defending death row inmates. Use these films to talk about economic and racial justice and cite the values of Community, Voice, Redemption, and Equality.
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Future Over Fear: Pop Culture Strategies at Your Fingertips and Power of POP Media Analysis of Representations of Immigrants in Popular TV Shows; AndAction’s Pop Culture Works for Social Change; Pop Culture Collaborative’s Imagining a Future Beyond White Supremacy
- Hashtag: #MakeJusticePop
Sunday, Dec. 29
Massacre at Wounded Knee . On the morning of December 29, 1890, the United States 7th Calvary Regiment surrounded a group of Lakota Sioux where they had made camp at Wounded Knee Creek. After a brief scuffle between individuals, the troops began firing on Native Americans, killing more than 300 people; over half of those killed were women, children, and elderly tribal members. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: Zinn Education Project's Wounded Knee Massacre; The Opportunity Agenda’s ‘We Are All Related’; Smithsonian Museum and partners’ Native American History Month; U.S. Department of Arts and Culture's #HonorNativeLand: A Guide and Call for Acknowledgement; National Congress of American Indians' Proud to Be Campaign; Reclaiming Native Truths’ Changing the Narrative about Native Americans; IllumiNative’s The false narratives, invisibility, and the erasure of Native peoples must end
- Hashtag: #NAHeritage