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 Feb. 6-13, 2019. If you'd like to get the Amp delivered to your email inbox, click on the "Sign Up" button on the left.
Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Demand Reunification of Migrant Families
Last month, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that the Trump administration had separated thousands more children from their families than the 2,737 listed in court documents. On Friday, the administration told a federal court that it would take take too long to figure out how to reunite all the families and admitted that they have no tracking system in place. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) successfully sued the Trump administration to reunite the families. They return to court on Feb. 21 to ensure that the administration complies with the court order. Cite the values of Community, Economic Security, and Equality when talking about these developments.
- Take action: Encourage your audience to sign this petition.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About the Crisis at the U.S. Border: Imprisoned Children and Separated Families and Immigration Policy Solutions: Supporting Child Migrants; ACLU’s Ms. L v. ICE; Families Belong Together’s shareables and Coloring without Borders; America’s Voice Immigration 101: Why is the Trump Administration Separating Immigrant Families And Detaining Immigrant Children?
- Hashtags: #FamiliesBelongTogether #KeepFamiliesTogether #IStandWithImmigrants
Speak Out for Border Communities
As evident in his State of the Union speech, President Trump is not backing down from the fight for the border wall. Yet the southern border is a place of hope and opportunity, not fear and conflict. It is one of the safest regions in the country, rich with culture, commerce and growth. We must continue to amplify our values of Community and Economic Security when discussing this issue.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking Border Issues Amidst the Government Shutdown and 5 Tips for Talking About Border Communities Without Talking about A Wall
- Hashtags:#nobannowall #noborderwall
Comment Now on Proposed SNAP Admin Rule
The Trump administration posted its proposed rule to impose reporting requirements on SNAP recipients. This could result in 750,000 people losing food assistance. We now have 60 days (i.e. until April 2) to comment on it. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when discussing this proposal.
- Take action: Join the tweetstorm on Thursday, Feb. 7 below. Also encourage your networks to submit comments via Center for American Progress’ Hands Off SNAP and Feeding America’s platform.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about Economic Justice; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Trump SNAP Proposal Would Cost Many of Nation’s Poorest Their Food Aid; Center for American Progress’ Don’t Let Trump Take Food Away from Struggling Workers and Families
- Hashtag: #HandsOffSNAP
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Month of February
Black History/Futures Month provides the opportunity to tell an affirmative story about racial justice in the United States. Amplify the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s The Opportunity Survey: Understanding the Roots of Attitudes on Inequality and Improving Opportunity for Black Men and Boys - Messaging Guidance; Black Lives Matter’s Black Futures Month; Color of Change's A Dangerous Distortion: Representations of Our Familes, By Race, in News and Opinion Media
- Hashtags: #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackFuturesMonth
Thursday, Feb. 7
From 1-2pm ET, several organizations will host a #HandsOffSNAP tweetstorm to to push back and drive comments on the Trump admin’s proposed rule slashing SNAP. The deadline for comments is April 2nd. This the first of a series and upcoming actions will focus on specific stakeholder communities during the 60-day comment period. Stay tuned for the full schedule of topics.
- Take action: Encourage your networks to submit comments via Center for American Progress’ Hands Off SNAP and Feeding America’s platform.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about Economic Justice; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Trump SNAP Proposal Would Cost Many of Nation’s Poorest Their Food Aid; Center for American Progress’ Don’t Let Trump Take Food Away from Struggling Workers and Families and social media toolkit.
- Hashtag: #HandsOffSNAP
On this day, six years ago, Mississippi officially certified the 13th Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery and involuntary servitude. The amendment makes punishment for a crime as the only exception, which today is often discussed in the criminal justice reform debate (i.e. see 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. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Transforming the System: A New Sensibility; Criminal Justice Reform Phrase Guide; Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice and Rejecting Bigotry, Demanding Action; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights' 10 Actions That You Can Take to Stop White Supremacy and Stand Up for Civil and Human Rights
- Hashtag: #13thAmendment
Friday, Feb. 8
On this day in 1887, U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Act into law, imposing private land ownership on American Indians. This was intended to break up tribes as communal units and threaten tribal sovereignty. Use this anniversary to advocate for racial and economic justice for Native Americans. Cite the values of Voice and Economic Opportunity.
- Messaging and communication tools: Partnership with Native Americans’ The True Impact of the Dawes Act of 1887; Indian Country Today’s Dawes Act Signed Into Law to 'Civilize' Indians; National Congress of American Indians’ Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction; U.S. Department of Arts and Culture's #HonorNativeLand: A Guide and Call for Acknowledgement; Reclaiming Native Truths’ Changing the Narrative about Native Americans
- Hashtag: #DawesAct
Saturday, Feb. 9
The acclaimed documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about Fred Rogers arrives on television: Both PBS and HBO will air the film. For over 30 years, the beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues. Use the film to discuss the importance of values like Community, Voice and Equality.
Sunday, Feb. 10
The 61st Grammy awards will take place at 8pm EST. Women have been nominated for a record number of awards. One of the nominees, 21 Savage, was recently arrested by ICE after criticizing the agency on national television. Activists plan to use the ceremony to draw attention to his case. Resistance will undoubtedly be an overarching theme with Cardi B. (who is also nominated) likely to make political statements. When discussing the Grammys, cite the values of Community and Voice.
Monday, Feb. 11
Each year, the president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) presents the State of Indian Nations around the time that coincides with the U.S. president's State of the Union. NCAI President Jefferson Keel will “outline the goals of tribal leaders, the opportunities for success and advancement of Native peoples, and priorities to advance the nation-to-nation relationship with the United States.” A member of Congress is invited each year to deliver a congressional response.
- Messaging and communication tools: National Congress of American Indians’ Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction; Webinar recording: Exploring U.S. Census and Message Perceptions of Rural American Indian Residents and webinar slides
- Hashtag: #SOIN2019
On this day in 1978, Native American activists launched "The Longest Walk," a 3,200-mile spiritual walk across the country to support tribal sovereignty and challenge anti-Indian legislation that limited water rights. When discussing this anniversary, cite the values of Voice and Economic Opportunity.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s We Are All Related; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ American Indians and Alaska Natives in the 2020 Census; National Congress of American Indians’ Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction; Webinar recording: Exploring U.S. Census and Message Perceptions of Rural American Indian Residents and webinar slides; Reclaiming Native Truths’ Changing the Narrative about Native Americans
- Hashtag: #TheLongestWalk
Tuesday, Feb. 12
On this day in 1968, African American sanitation workers went on strike in Memphis, Tennessee for better pay and safer working conditions. The strikers would create the iconic image with their “I am a man,” posters. During the strike, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis, where he was assassinated. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Economic Security, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Unions and Economic Security; Center for Popular Democracy’s Why Labor and the Movement for Racial Justice Should Work Together
- Hashtag: #Memphis1968