The Amp

March 26, 2020

Amid the coronavirus crisis, many long-planned April events have been modified or postponed. At the same time, online advocacy is more important than ever as the nation shelters in place to confront new challenges. See our guidelines for talking about coronavirus using language grounded in inclusion, empowerment, and justice as you find intersections between April hooks and the coronavirus crisis.

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

During the Month of April

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The 2020 Census has been mailed to addresses across the United States. A fair and accurate census ensures that federal dollars are disbursed where they are needed most. 

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April is Second Chance Month when the Prison Fellowship and its partners recognize the dignity and potential of 70 million Americans with criminal records who have repaid their debt to society. Join the campaign and discuss the issue using the values of Redemption and Mobility.

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In past years, our partners have marked Medicaid Awareness Month in April. Given the coronavirus crisis, awareness of the need for equitable and affordable access to healthcare is everywhere. When talking about Medicaid, cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

Through Monday, April 20

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The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is partnering with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival for their sixth annual People’s State of The UnionDuring this month, hundreds of people across the nation will host Story Circles to share stories and visions for a more just future, and to build creative people-power to confront systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and militarism. The stories that come out of Story Circles will be interpreted by an array of artists, poets, and musicians, and make their way directly into the Poor People Campaign’s Mass Assembly and March in Washington, D.C. on June 20, 2020.

Saturday, April 4

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This day marks the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Use this occasion to talk about the accomplishments of Dr. King as well as his unfinished work, such as the Poor People's Campaign. Cite the values of Equality, Voice and Community.

Monday, April 6

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On this day in 1931, the first Scottsboro Trial started. Despite lack of evidence, nine African-American teenage boys were ultimately convicted of rape by an all-white jury. The trial has particular relevance this year as the Supreme Court considers the case of Curtis Flowers and racial bias in jury selection. Use this anniversary to discuss the continued need for criminal justice reform, especially as it affects people of color living in poverty. Cite the values of Equality and Voice. 

Friday, April 10

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Today is labor organizer and activist Dolores Huerta's 90th birthday. Use this anniversary to discuss the concerns of immigrant workers in the U.S. today. Cite the values of Equality, Voice and Economic Opportunity. 

Saturday, April 11

Seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on this day. The Act included the Fair Housing Act. Under the leadership of current Secretary Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development has stepped back its enforcement of fair housing laws. And in 2019, fair housing groups settled an historic lawsuit with Facebook after alleging that its advertising platform enabled landlords and real estate brokers to exclude people of color, and other protected groups from receiving housing ads. Use this hook to discuss home opportunity and fair housing. Cite the values of Voice and Economic Security.

Tuesday, April 14

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On this day in 1935, the worst dust storm in American history caused immense economic and agricultural damage across several states in what came to be known as “Black Sunday.” Combined with an eight-year drought, multiple dust storms caused crops and businesses to fail and forced many residents to flee in search of work in other states (as chronicled in books like John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath). It’s important to commemorate how government intervention helped alleviate the crisis in the 1930s and how vital federal aid today can help Americans weather environmental catastrophes due to climate change. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when talking about this anniversary. 

Wednesday, April 15

April 15 is traditionally Tax Day, though the deadline has been extended until July 15 due to the coronavirus crisis. Tax Day provides a great opportunity to connect the harms caused by the Trump-GOP tax scam with the Trump budget, which calls for slashing critical services such as healthcare and  education, and with Trump's call to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when talking about taxes on this day. And maybe take a moment to get a head start on your filing before July! 

Thursday, April 16

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On this day in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous open letter from Birmingham Jail. King was incarcerated for disobeying an injunction against public protest in Birmingham. The letter outlined King’s belief in nonviolent civil disobedience in the struggle for civil rights. He wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". This anniversary provides an opportunity to discuss the ongoing work of intersectional racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Equality, Voice, and Opportunity. 

Monday, April 20

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On this day in 1939, jazz singer Billie Holiday recorded “Strange Fruit,” which is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement. The song directly addresses lynching in the South, an issue that activists and journalists like Ida B. Wells and the NAACP had been challenging for many years. Use this anniversary hook to discuss the power of artists in addressing social injustice. Cite the values of Voice and Equality. 

Wednesday, April 22

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Today is Earth Day, a day to support environmental protection. Use this hook to talk about environmental injustice. Discuss proposals like the Green New Deal that would address climate change while creating jobs and economic opportunity. Use the values of Community and Voice.

Friday, April 24

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On this day in 2017, New Orleans began removing Confederate monuments from the city. Many monuments remain across the U.S., and several cities and states continue to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day in late April. As of 2020 it remains an official state holiday in South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Discuss this anniversary and the underlying problem citing the values of Community, Voice, and Equality. 

Saturday, April 25

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On this day in 1993, the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equal Rights and Liberation became one of the largest protests in American history with more than one million participants. “Transgender” was omitted from the title because organizers failed to gain support for its addition. Cite the values of Community and Voice when discussing this anniversary. 

Sunday, April 26

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Lesbian Day of Visibility provides a platform to speak out on the issues facing female sexual minorities. Use this hook to discuss intersectional issues for the LGBT community, including racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Economic Security, Community, and Voice.

Tuesday, April 28

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On Workers Memorial Day, labor unions and organizations working for occupational safety remember those who have suffered and died on the job, while renewing the fight for safe jobs. Cite the values of Economic Security, Community, and Voice when discussing this day. 

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