Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Say Their Names
Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner. As we prepared The Amp's July listing of anniversaries and cultural hooks, the names of Black lives killed at the hands of police that we have marked in years past kept coming. Add to these names those of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, whose deaths this year sparked the current wave of outrage. We are reminded of the years of groundwork that our communities have put in to build and prepare for this moment. Yet the list of names goes on. Still another name emerged as this post was being written: that of Carlos Ingram Lopez, who was killed in the custody of Tucson police in April, but video of the excessive force used against him emerged only Wednesday. His death is a reminder that Black and brown lives are both threatened by police violence. As you mark July's grim anniversaries and work to ensure the last name has been added to this list, The Opportunity Agenda highlights resources to support you in calling for an end to police violence.
Defund the Police
The energy and momentum this month to end police brutality and protect Black lives continues to grow. Within this movement is a call to #DefundThePolice so that we can protect, serve, and provide for communities in nonviolent and safe ways. What this means and how to achieve it is a discussion consuming advocates, organizers, and the media. We recommend reading this Vox piece on the topic, in which Communications Institute Fellow and UCLA scholar, Isaac Bryan, shares his vision.
- Further Reading: The Minneapolis Group That's Been Calling for Police Abolition Since 2016 (Next City); Frequently Asked Questions on a police-free future (MPD150; en español aqui);
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Eight Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice and Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices and Why People Trust Their Lying Eyes: Implicit Bias and the Limitations of Video Footage in Tackling Police Brutality;
- Hashtags: #DefundThePolice, #BlackLivesMatter
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
June 26 - July 7
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
- June 26, 2018 — Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of President Trump’s “Muslim Ban.”
- June 27, 2015 — Activist Bree Newsome removed the Confederate battle flag after climbing the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building.
- June 28, 1969 — The Stonewall Uprising takes place in New York City, a key turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ rights.
- June 29, 1956 — President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. The 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” insured safe and speedy transcontinental travel and created economic opportunity for millions of people.
- June 29, 1972 — In Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, ruling it as unconstitutional under the 8th and 14th Amendments. Justice William O. Douglas concluded that the death penalty "is disproportionately imposed and carried out on the poor, the Negro, and the members of unpopular groups." Four years later, the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty on the idea that it was constitutional under the 8th amendment.
- June 30, 2018 — Activists organized nationwide protests in opposition to the Trump administration’s family separation policy, which has separated hundreds of immigrant children from their parents.
- July 2, 1964 — 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.
- July 4, 1776 — 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.
- July 5, 2016 — 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.
- July 6, 1907 — Birthday of pioneering artist and activist Frida Kahlo. 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.
- July 6, 2016 — On this day, Philando Castile was killed in suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota 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.
- 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.