Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Indigenous Voices Rising
The decades-long campaign to end the racist use of Indigenous people as mascots in sport saw progress this week. Sponsors and minority owners of the Washington football team pulled their support for that team's name — a racial slur tied to genocidal bounty killings of native people — and the team pledged to "undergo a thorough review of the team's name." The Cleveland Indians, who only phased out their egregious grinning "Chief Wahoo" logo last year, issued a similar statement a day later. Pressure on teams in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Chicago that incorporate Indigenous names or racist chants in to their fandom continues.
Meanwhile, the Indiginous-led campaign to protect sacred land from pollution by the oil industry won a victory when a Federal judge ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down and drained for further environmental review. Learn more from these partners: The Native Organizers Alliance, Honor The Earth, NDN Collective, Indigenous Environmental Network, and The Natural History Museum.
Also in the Dakotas, President Trump used Mount Rushmore as a backdrop for a July 3 speech. Native activists blocked traffic to the site to remind the nation that the monument stands on land never ceded by the Lakota people, and that the four presidents carved in to the mountain known as Six Grandfathers were chosen for their role in America's western expansion and the genocide of Indigenous people.
- Messaging and Communication Tools: #HonorNativeLand: A Guide and Call for Acknowledgement (U.S. Department of Arts and Culture); Proud to Be Campaign (National Congress of American Indians); Changing the Narrative about Native Americans (Reclaiming Native Truths); The false narratives, invisibility, and the erasure of Native peoples must end (IllumiNative)
- Event: The Time is Now National Native Town Hall July 8 6pm EST on Facebook Live (Illuminative)
- Hashtags: #ChangeTheName, #StoptheChop, #TheChopisRacist, #InsteadofRedface, #NotYourMascot, #DakotaAccess, #DAPL, #MountRushmore, #NativeVoicesRising, #LandBack, #FightRacism
Rent Forgiveness and Rent Control
With unemployment numbers reaching previously unthinkable levels due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the danger of missing rent payments and facing eviction is real for many. In Texas, a temporary ban has expired and a surge in eviction proceedings has begun making its way through the courts. While homeowners and landlords have received relief in Covid aid packages, low-income workers and the newly unemployed have received little beyond the soon to expire $600 weekly expanded unemployment benefit. And with schools likely to remain largely or partially online this fall, many parents who cannot work remotely face long-term uncertainty over their ability to work service jobs — even if those jobs reopen.
In Washington, Jobs With Justice and the recently formed DC Tenants Union are organizing to overhaul DC's broken rent control system, which has seen thousands of long-time Black and POC residents displaced in recent years. Without a reform of the system, the status quo means Coronavirus-related evictions will accelerate this pattern of displacement.
- Messaging and Communications Tools: Opportunity Agenda's Three Pillars for Talking About Poverty and Economic Opportunity and our memo on Shifting the Narrative on Poverty; and Why Fixing the Housing Crisis is a Black Lives Matter Issue (Refinery29)
- Take action: Fighting for an Eviction-Free NYC (Right to Counsel NYC); Make Housing a Human Right in New York (Housing Justice for All); Extend unemployment benefits through at least the end of 2020 (MoveOn)
- Hashtags: #RentIsDue, #RentForgiveness, #RentRelief
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Events and Cultural Hooks:
- July 8: The Time is Now National Native Town Hall July 8 6pm EST on Facebook Live (Illuminative)
- July 24 - 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; Shine’s Your Complete Guide to Mental Health Days
- Hashtag: #InternationalSelfCareDay
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
- July 9, 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.
- July 11, 1905 - W.E.B Dubois, William Monroe Trotter, and other black leaders launch the Niagara Movement, a predecessor of the NAACP.
- July 11, 1960 - Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was published. The book focused on racial inequality and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, an example of the need for writers and other artists to challenge injustice.
- July 13, 2013 - Black teenager Travon Martin's assailant was acquitted. The outrage over this verdict sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
- July 13, 2015 - Black motorist 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.
- July 16, 1862 - Birthday of Ida B. Wells, the pioneering journalist — one of the first to investigate lynchings — and founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
- July 16, 2014 - Eric Garner was arrested and killed by an officer of the New York Police Department for selling single cigarettes. The officer's use of a banned chokehold resulted in his death. Garner was recorded saying, “I can’t breathe,” which became a rallying cry against police brutality. Sadly, these were also the last words heard by George Floyd on Memorial Day of this year in Minneapolis under similar circumstances.
- July 20, 1951 - The Mattachine Society was formed in Los Angeles, one of the earliest LGBTQ activist organizations in the United States.
- July 22, 1849 - Poet Emma Lazarus was born. Her poem “The New Colossus” is inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty and is frequently quoted today in the immigration debate.
- July 26, 1972 - The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which unethically conducted medical research on 600 African-American sharecroppers. The exposure led to fundamental changes in medical research. Use this anniversary to underline the importance of the media's coverage of people living in poverty and cite the values of Equality and Economic Security.
- July 26, 1990 - President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, the result of many years of advocacy by disability rights activists and allies.
- July 28, 1951 - The Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees 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.
- July 30, 1965 - Medicaid and Medicare were created when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law an amendment to the Social Security Act. This is an important anniversary for defending these programs from attack using values of Economic Security and Community.