Below is a list of communication hooks and events for the month of September that you can use to reach new audiences and inform existing ones. If you notice any omissions, please email us.
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States. Use this month to discuss Community, Opportunity, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Power of POP - Media Analysis of Representations of Immigrants in Popular TV Shows and 5 Key Facts: Online Discussion of Immigration in The Trump Era; Unidos US’ Power of the Purse: How Hispanics Contribute to the U.S. Economy; Hispanic Heritage Month’s resources
- Hashtags: #HispanicHeritage #HHM
September is the final month enumerators will count residents for the 2020 Census. Trillions of dollars in decisions on how to allocate resources over the next decade will be based on the count, which is being cut off early by the Trump administration despite the challenges of counting accurately amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Hard to reach populations such as low-income communities, people of color, indigenous populations and immigrants are further behind in responding to the 2020 census than they were in 2010 and experts are concerned speeding up the timeline will make it harder to make up the gap for those groups. Congress has the power to extend the Census Bureau's Dec. 31 deadline for a final count, though it is unclear whether this deadline is driving the decision to end enumerators' work on Sept. 30.
- Take action: Remind everyone in your community to make sure they are counted, and why the census matters.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Census Data and Storytelling and Census Data: A Fair and Accurate Count; Economic Policy Institute's By The Numbers and Racial and ethnic income gaps persist; Spotlight on Poverty's Five Things the Government’s Poverty Numbers Do (and Do Not) Tell Us
- Hashtags: #USApoverty; #CensusData; #Census2020
September is Hunger Action Month when Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks spread the word and take collective action on the hunger crisis. Our current unprecedented spike in joblessness combined with inadequate aid programs have stretched food banks' resources.
Use this hook to discuss the need to address underlying economic injustice that creates hunger. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Take Action: Share Feeding America’s Find a Local Food Bank as well as Need Help? Find Food resources.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars; Talking About Economic Justice and Shifting the Narrative on Poverty
- Hashtag: #HungerActionMonth
September is also National Recovery Month, which raises awareness about mental illness and substance abuse disorders. It also provides the opportunity to talk about harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, and the need for health insurance and federally-supported programs, many of which are under threat by Congress. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Alternatives to Incarceration; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ Report of Taking Away Medicaid from People with Substance Abuse Disorders; Drug Policy Alliance's Safety First curriculum; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's toolkit and Center for American Progress' Trump Administration’s Response to the Opioid Crisis: Re-Igniting the War on Drugs
- Hashtags: #RecoveryMonth; #handsoff
On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Adamson Act, which established an eight-hour workday, with additional pay for overtime work, for railroad workers. The act was the culmination of organizing by railroad workers and the first federal law to regulate the hours of workers in private companies. Discuss this anniversary as evidence of the importance of unions and worker rights. Cite the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: National Employment Law Project’s Remembering the Adamson Act; The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about the Importance of Unions and Economic Security; Economic Policy Institute's How Today’s Unions Help Working People
- Hashtags: #AdamsonAct; #8HourWorkDay
Hunger Action Month continues with National Food Bank Day when communities recognize the importance of fighting hunger. Use this day to extend the conversation to focus on the underlying economic injustices that create hunger. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.
On this day in 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Several lawsuits have prevented the program's complete shutdown. Use this anniversary to discuss the continued need to protect Dreamers and their families from deportation. Cite the values of Community, Voice, and Economic Opportunity.
- Take Action: Support United We Dream’s DACA Renewal Fund.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Communications to Protect Dreamers and our Nation’s Values; United We Dream's DACA in the Courts Timeline and Federal Judge Rules Trump’s Killing of DACA Was Wrong; The National Immigration Law Center's DACA resources; Center for American Progress' What We Know About DACA Recipients in the United States
- Hashtags: #HereToStay; #DefendDACA
On this day in 1860, the “mother of social work,” Jane Addams was born. Use this news hook to talk about the role of our nation’s public welfare programs in reducing poverty. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars; Talking about Economic Justice and Shifting the Narrative on Poverty
- Hashtag: #JaneAddams
Labor Day honors the contributions of American workers and the labor movement (the people who brought you the weekend, the eight-hour work day and improved working conditions). Use this holiday to highlight the importance of worker rights, including the right to organize and join a union.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about the Importance of Unions and Economic Security; Economic Policy Institute's How Today’s Unions Help Working People
- Hashtag: #LaborDay
On this day in 1965, Larry Itlong and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee led 1,000 Filipino workers to strike against Delano, California grape growers. They demanded the federal minimum wage and the right to form a union. When the farmers hired Mexican workers rather than give in to the strikers demands, Itliong partnered with Cezar Chaves' National Farm Workers to come up with a plan that benefited both groups. Itlong and Chavez combined their organizations to form the United Farm Workers Union. Cite the values of Equality, Voice and Economic Security when discussing this anniversary.
Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about the Importance of Unions and Economic Security; Economic Policy Institute's How Today’s Unions Help Working People;
On this day in 1971, the Attica Uprising began in New York state. For the next four days, prisoners took control of the Attica Correctional Facility and made a series of demands to prison administrators. In the assault by state police to retake the prison, 39 people were killed. Use this anniversary to talk about the need to ensure decent detention conditions in today’s correctional facilities. Cite the values of Voice and Redemption.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ensure Decent Detention Conditions; Human Rights Watch’s Prison Conditions and legacy of investigating U.S. prison conditions; United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
- Hastags: #Attica1971
This day is the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In addition to remembering and honoring those who lost their lives, we must continue to rise above hate and Islamophobia and put our Future Over Fear. Cite the values of Community and Voice when discussing this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Messaging Advice on The Supreme Court's Muslim Ban Decision and 5 Key Facts: Online Discussion of Immigration in The Trump Era
- Hashtags: #NoBanNoWall; #NoMuslimBanEver
During Welcoming Week, communities bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone. Use this week to discuss Community, Opportunity, and Equality. Kick off the week with Welcoming America's livestream event Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. ET (RSVP).
- Take Action: Participate in an event near you or use the Welcoming Week Toolkit to plan your own event. Print and share these Welcomer signs and postcards.
- Messaging and communication tools: A Winning Narrative on Immigration - Real Solutions, American Values; and 5 Key Facts About Online Discussion of Immigration in the New Trump Era
- Hashtags: #WelcomingWeek; #IWelcome
On this day in 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which set the tone for relying on incarceration to solve social problems. Today’s activism to end money bail is a step away from such punitive legislation, towards a more rehabilitative approach. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Redemption and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Promote Community Safety through Alternatives to Incarceration and Encourage Equitable Sentencing; Color of Change’s End Money Bail and Video: The Truth About the Money Bail Industry; Black Love’s Bail Out; ACLU’s We Can’t End Mass Incarceration Without Ending Money Bail; The Vera Institute’s Justice in Focus: The Crime Bill at 20; The Marshall Project’s 1994 Crime Bill links
- Hashtags: #1994crimebill; #EndBailMoney
On this day in 2013, a police officer in Charlotte, NC shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell while he was seeking help after being involved in a car accident. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Community, Economic Security and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools:The Opportunity Agenda’s Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices; CodeSwitch’s Charlotte's Trial: How Jonathan Ferrell's Death Put A City's Self-Image At Risk; The Nation’s Jonathan Ferrell, Former Football Player, Killed by Police
- Hashtags: #JonathanFerrell
On this day in 1963, white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, killing four young girls. The event was a turning point in the civil rights movement. It’s an important example of how our nation continues to face white supremacist resistance in the struggle for racial and economic justice. When talking about this anniversary, refer to the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Rejecting Bigotry, Demanding Action; Our President, the White Supremacist and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice;
- Hashtags: #16thStBaptist; #4LittleGirls
On this day in 2011, Occupy Wall Street protesters called out the nation’s economic inequality in the United States with a takeover of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Their campaign spurred a national conversation and provides an opportunity to talk about economic injustice. Cite the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security when talking about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Economic Justice and Breaking Through the Clutter; Economic Hardship Reporting Project's Occupy Wall Street’s Legacy Runs Deeper Than You Think; Inequality.org’s Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality and How We Can Make the Economy Work for All Stakeholders
- Hashtag: #occupy
Today is also Citizenship Day, the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. This is also known as Citizenship Week. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages us to use this week to "reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen." It's a good time to remind your audiences of our deeply held values around citizenship like Community and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: National Partnership for New Americans' Citizenship Day - Digital Toolkit; The Opportunity Agenda's Immigration Policy Solutions: A Roadmap to Citizenship and Talking about the American Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment
- Hashtags: #citizenshipday; #NewAmericanDreams; #ConstitutionDay
On this day in 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico with devastating effects. President Trump’s refutation of the death toll has kept the hurricane in the public’s eye. Use this anniversary to discuss the need for equitable infrastructure and emergency planning. Discuss the values of Community and Opportunity.
- Messaging and communication tools: Climate Justice Institute’s Moving Towards a Just Recovery; 350.org’s Climate Resistance Handbook; Milken Institute of Public Health’s Ascertainment of the Estimated Excess Mortality from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico; Center for American Progress’ On the Ground in Puerto Rico: A Population Left Behind, A Monumental Task Ahead; UnidosUS’ Mr. President: Puerto Ricans are Americans Too; Intercepted Podcast: Hurricane Colonialism: The Economic, Political, and Environmental War on Puerto Rico; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ History Shows What Steps Trump Administration and Congress Can Take to Ensure Access to Health Care for Those Affected by the Hurricanes; The Brookings Institute’s Can people afford American infrastructure?
- Hashtag: #HurricaneMaria
The Television Academy's 2020 Emmy Awards offer cause to reflect on the stories we tell as a culture and who tells them. Nominations provide an opportunity to discuss the values of Community, Equality, and Voice.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Power of POP - Media Analysis of Representations of Immigrants in Popular TV Shows; Working with Cultural Influencers
- Hashtags: #emmys;
On National Voter Registration Day, encourage your audiences to register to vote, the most powerful tool we have for making our voices heard. Cite the value of Voice when discussing this event.
Today is the birthday of several artist-activists: John Coltrane (1926), Ray Charles (1930), Bruce Springsteen (1949). The music of Coltrane, Charles and Springsteen often focused on social justice issues and they personally funded the work of many activists.
African American suffragette Mary Church Terrell (1863) was also born on this day. She was an early advocate for civil rights and a charter member — and first president — of the NAACP.
Use these lives to talk about the role of activists, artists and cultural workers in shaping social justice narratives. Cite the values of Voice and Equality.
On this day in 1789, the first U.S. Congress passed the Bill of Rights. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution enshrine many of the values we share as a nation. Even so, the Second Amendment is being widely discussed in light of mass shootings and gun violence. Cite the values of Voice and Equality when discussing this anniversary.
On this day in 1829, David Walker published the pamphlet, An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Walker circulated copies via underground networks to empower enslaved people throughout the South. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The David Walker Memorial Project’s website; Zinn Education Project’s An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World; The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtag: #DavidWalkerAppeal
In 2008, the U.S. Stock Market crashed, contributing to the start of the Great Recession. It’s an important time to talk about how many communities and American families have yet to recover from this economic downturn. Cite the values of Economic Opportunity and Community when talking about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: the Opportunity Agenda’s Ensuring Equal Opportunity in Our Nation’s Economic Recovery Efforts; Center for Popular Democracy’s 10 Years After: the Financial Crisis and the New York Federal Reserve District and video series; Annie E. Casey Foundations’ U.S. Child Poverty Rate Reaches Prerecession Level; Center for Economic and Social Rights’ Assessing Austerity: Monitoring the human rights impacts of fiscal consolidation; The Roosevelt Institute's 10 Years After the Financial Crisis; Marketplace’s Divided Decade and On the Media's One Financial Crisis, Many Explanations
- Hashtags: #HowWeChanged
This day also marks the anniversary of the 1977 Food Stamp Act, a landmark law that set the framework for the modern food stamp program — or, as it’s now known, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Congress is considering changes to SNAP in the new Farm Bill that it needs to pass. Use this news hook to discuss the values of Economic Security and Community with your audiences.
On this day in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.” Use this hook to talk about how the law criminalized thousands of people and led to the deportation of more than 4 million people. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security when talking about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Quick Tips for Talking Immigration Issues and Power of POP: Media Analysis of Representations of Immigrants in Popular TV Shows; Human Rights Watch’s 20 Years of Immigrant Abuses; Immigrant Defense Project’s Dismantle, Don’t Expand: The 1996 Immigration Laws
- Hasthags: #heretostay; #crimmigration; #fix96