Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
On this day in 1997, Seattle-area postal workers organized the first National Postal Worker Day. Last year brought into stark relief how much we — and our Democracy — depend on the essential labor of both postal carriers and delivery workers. While COVID-19 itself does not discriminate, the pandemic revealed the critical level of race-class disparities in the United States. Honor essential workers by citing core values of Voice, Community and Security to remind audiences we're all in this together.
On this day, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark civil rights and labor law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Use this anniversary to reaffirm the values of Voice, Mobility, and Community - particularly when talking about the recent SCOTUS ruling on LGBTQ rights in the workplace.
As the birthday of the United States of America, Independence Day is yet another opportunity to raise the values we believe our nation should embody: Opportunity, Voice, Equality, Community and Mobility. Use this day to remind audiences about the importance of this country's land, and its original inhabitants - Native American peoples - and their plight for equality and justice.
On this day in 2016, Alton Sterling was fatally shot several times at close range by Baton Rouge Police Department officers. Sterling had been selling CDs in a parking lot. His death was video recorded by several bystanders. On this anniversary, honor Alton by lifting up his life and discussing the values of Equality, Community, and Voice.
On this day in 1907, the pioneering artist and activist Frida Kahlo was born. Today her iconic work and image are shared as examples of politically engaged art and unapologetic self-expression. Use this hook to talk about the role of artists in social justice activism. Cite the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Pop Culture Strategies at Your Fingertips; “Artivism” Gets a 21st-Century Makeover and The Power of Pop; The Culture Groups’ Making Waves: A Guide to Cultural Strategy
- Hashtag: #fridakahlo; #CreativeChange
In 2016 on this day, Philando Castile was killed by Minnesota police officer Jeronime Yanez during a routine traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend video recorded the encounter while her infant daughter sat in the back seat. Castile’s death was yet another example of police brutality and the use of excessive force. This anniversary is an opportunity to discuss the values of Equality, Community, and Voice.
On this day in 1868, Congress ratified the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which granted citizenship and rights to African Americans and formerly enslaved people. It also forms the basis of “birthright citizenship” for children of non-citizen immigrants. Use this anniversary to discuss the ongoing struggle for civil and immigrant rights by citing the values of Community and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Talking about the American Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment and Vision, Values, Voice: A Communications Toolkit
- Hashtag: #14thamendment
On July 11, 1905, W.E.B Dubois and William Monroe Trotter gathered Black leaders and launched the Niagara Movement, one of the organizations that paved the way for the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The convening met at Niagara Falls, in Ontario, Canada, because hotels on the U.S. side of the falls barred Black people. Among their platform’s demands was the abolition of all caste distinctions based on race or color. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtag: #NiagaraMovement; #Reparations2020
On this day in 1960, the American classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, was published. The book focused on racial inequality and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Use this anniversary to talk about the need for writers and other artists to challenge injustice. Refer to the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice and Working with Cultural Influencers
- Hashtag: #ToKillAMockingbird; #CreativeChange
On this day in 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting and killing of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. This sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
And on this day in 2015, Sandra Bland died in police custody after being arrested for a minor traffic violation. Video shot by Bland further brings into question her treatment by police.
On these anniversaries, lift up their lives and discuss the values of Equality and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice and Opportunity for Black Men and Boys; Color of Change’s A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families; Pew Research Center’s The Hashtag #BlackLivesMatter Emerges: Social Activism on Twitter
- Hashtags: #BlackLivesMatter; #racialjustice
Ida B. Wells, the pioneering journalist and founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born on this day in 1862. Wells was one of the first journalists to investigate lynchings across the United States. Use her birthday as a hook to discuss the importance of working for racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Economic Opportunity and Voice.
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Equal Justice Initiative’s Lynching in America and Color of Change’s A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families
- Hashtags: #IdaBWells; #racialjustice
On this day in 2014, New York City police officers apprehended Eric Garner for selling single cigarettes. He was put in a chokehold which resulted in his death. Garner was recorded saying, “I can’t breathe,” which remains a rallying cry against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd. Honor Eric and discuss policing and racial justice issues by citing the values of Voice, Equality and Redemption.
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s 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;
- Hashtags: #EricGarner #BlackLivesMatter #racialjustice
On this day in 1951, the Mattachine Society formally organized and ratified its “Missions and Purposes” as a California corporation. The organization was one of the earliest LGBTQ activist organizations in the United States. Cite this anniversary by citing the values of Voice and Equality.
Poet Emma Lazarus was born on this day in 1849. Her poem “The New Colossus” is inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty and is frequently quoted today in the immigration debate. How we treat people arriving at our borders—including families and unaccompanied children—remains front and center in news media coverage of the Biden Administration. Use this hook to talk about the importance of welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States and refer to the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees; Talking About Imprisoned Children at the Border; Justice Reform & Human Rights in a Time of Crisis: Releasing People from Detention; and 5 Tips for Talking About Border Communities Without Talking about a Wall
- Hashtag: #FreeThemAll #EmmaLazarus #StatueOfLiberty
Established in 2011 by the International Self Care Foundation, International Self Care Day is celebrated on the basis that self care is imperative for healthier lifestyles and should be integrated into families, communities, organizations and society. Take this time to invest in the wellness of your mind, body and soul.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Activists Share Their Self Care Tips; Center for Story-based Strategy’s No Burnout Bingo Sheets; BRB! Digital Card Deck: 52 Interventions for Regenerative and Sustainable Movement Work; and Sustainability Survey;
- International Self Care Foundation’s The Seven Pillars of Self Care; The Guardian’s Don't give up! How to stay healthy, happy and combative in impossible political times; and Shine’s Your Complete Guide to Mental Health Days
- Hashtag: #InternationalSelfCareDay
On this day in 1972, the Washington Star broke the story of the unethical Tuskegee Syphilis Study conducted on 600 African-American sharecroppers. The exposure led to fundamental changes in medical research. Use this anniversary to underscore the importance of media coverage about people living in poverty and acknowledge vaccine hesitancy while amplifying trusted, public health voices in Black and brown communities. Cite the values of Equality, Community and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Talking About Economic Justice; Opportunity for Black Men and Boys; and COVID-19 Messaging Resources
- Hashtag: #TuskegeeStudy
On this day in 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This was the result of many years of advocacy by disability rights activists and allies. Use the anniversary to discuss current budget proposals that will hurt people with disabilities. Use the values of Equality and Economic Mobility.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Opportunity Impact Statement - Expanding the American Dream;
The Center for American Progress' Advancing Economic Security for People With Disabilities; and Beyond the ADA;
- Hashtags: #ADA; #SaveMedicaid
The Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees was signed on this day in 1951. The international treaty established the definition of who is a refugee. The geographic scope for this definition was extended worldwide in 1967. Use this hook to discuss the international commitments of the United States and our nation’s long history of welcoming refugees. Cite the values of Community, Economic Security, and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees
- Hashtags: #refugeeswelcome; #withrefugees
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson created both Medicaid and Medicare by signing into law an amendment to the Social Security Act. Investments in Medicaid to expand access to programs like Medicaid HCBS opens doors for people with disabilities to live near family, friends and contribute to our communities. Refer to 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; and The Arc's Home is in the Community – With the Services to Thrive.
- Hashtags: #MedicaidCantWait