Painting a Vision of Economic Justice for All
Introducing our bilingual discussion guide, including stunning artwork for the field and lesson plans, for the Economic Opportunity movement.
Below is a list of communication hooks and events for the month of January that you can use to reach new audiences and inform existing ones. If you notice any omissions, please email us.
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Month of January
This month, congress certifies electoral college votes, the Georgia Senate run-off election takes place, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are formerly inaugurated. As a new administration begins, we should remember to continue to advocate and push for economic opportunity, immigration justice, criminal justice, and equal opportunity for all.
- The Opportunity Agenda's Communication tools and Resources: Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars;
Telling a Story About Families and Opportunity;
Justice Reform & Human Rights in a Time of Crisis: Releasing People from Detention;
Beyond Policing; Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racial Justice
- Other Tools and Resources: Democracy RISING - a Social Media Toolkit on pushing a progressive agenda; Stopping the Coup - a messaging and organizing guide.
January is Poverty Awareness Month, when the Catholic community urges Americans to “take up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.” Use this month to discuss poverty with your audiences and cite the values of Community and Economic Opportunity.
- Messaging tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars; Shifting the Narrative on Poverty and A Window of Opportunity II: Analysis Public Opinion on Poverty; Campaign for Human Development’s Online calendar of daily ways to learn about poverty (also en Español); Poor People's Campaign's The Souls of Poor Folk Audit; Poverty USA’s interactive quiz
- Hashtag: #PovertyAwarenessMonth
Friday, Jan. 1
On this day in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. The Zinn Education Project notes that few textbooks credit the real anti-slavery heroes in this story: the enslaved themselves, along with their Black and white abolitionist allies. You can also make the connection to modern-day slavery and human trafficking in anticipation of Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11. Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Zinn Education Project’s Rethinkin' Lincoln
- Hashtag: #EmancipationProclamation
On Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police in Oakland, California. On the 11-year anniversary of Grant’s death, police brutality and community safety continue to be major concerns for people of color. Cite the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s 10 Key Facts About Perception of Fear, Safety & Criminal Justice in CA and Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices; Improving Media Coverage and Public Perceptions of African-American Men and Boys; Movement for Black Lives’ End the War on Black People
- Hashtags: #BlackLivesMatter; #OscarGrant
Tuesday, Jan. 5
The struggle for desegregated schools is often seen as an East Coast issue. But the earliest court cases occurred in the Southwest and California in the 1930s; the most important of which happened in the then-rural community of Lemon Grove. On Jan. 5, 1931, the principal of the Lemon Grove Grammar School admitted the school’s students except for Mexican-American and migrant children. The resulting legal case, Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, became the first successful school desegregation court decision in the history of the United States. School integration continues to be an issue across the United States. Discuss the anniversary of these events by referring the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; PBS/Explore San Diego’s Lemon Grove Incident documentary; R.J. Phillips Band’s Lemon Grove ballad; San Diego History Journal’s The Lemon Grove Incident: The Nation’s First Successful Desegregation Court Case; Zinn Education Project’s Lemon Grove Incident; Integrate NYC’s Resources
- Hashtag: #LemonGroveIncident
Wednesday, Jan. 6
On this day in 1891, folklorist, anthropologist, and author Zora Neale Hurston was born. Hurston is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. In her work for the Works Project Administration (WPA), she also documented songs and life histories of interesting, everyday people, including labor conditions. Discuss Hurston’s birthday by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; The Florida Memory Project’s Zora Neale Hurston, the WPA in Florida and the Cross City Turpentine Camps; NCTE High School Literature series’ Zora Neale Hurston in the Classroom
- Hashtag: #ZoraNealeHurston
Friday, Jan. 8
On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson gave his State of the Union address in which he announced "The War on Poverty." In his speech, Johnson said, "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort." The legislation that he introduced would create Food Stamps, Medicaid and Medicare, and other anti-poverty programs. Use this anniversary to talk about the successes of these programs and why they are still needed for many people. 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; Shifting the Narrative on Poverty and A Window of Opportunity II: Analysis Public Opinion on Poverty; Poor People's Campaign's The Souls of Poor Folk Audit
- Hashtag: #WarOnPoverty; #poorpeoplescampaign
On this day in 1811, 500 enslaved Africans, from 50 different nations with 50 different languages revolted and fought against U.S. troops and militias not just for their own emancipation, but to end slavery. The ultimate goal of the “German Coast Uprising” (as it came to be known) was to create an independent Black republic with New Orleans as its capital. Artist Dread Scott organized a Slave Rebellion Reenactment as a profound “what if?” story for freedom.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Slave Rebellion Reenactment’s Resources
- Hashtags: #GermanCoastUprising; #SlaveRebellionReenactment
Sunday, Jan. 10
On this day in 1957, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convened 60 Black ministers in Atlanta for a meeting that resulted in the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1968, the SCLC launched the Poor People's Campaign (which recently relaunched). In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Tips for Putting Intersectionality into Practice; Improving Opportunity for Black Men and Boys - Messaging Guidance and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice
- Hashtags: #poorpeoplescampaign
Monday, Jan. 11
Human Trafficking Awareness Day is an opportunity to draw more attention to forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, and sex trafficking affecting thousands of men, women, and children in the U.S. and around the world. Refer to the values of Voice, Economic Security, and Equality when discussing human trafficking.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Sex Workers Rights, Workers Rights, & Human Trafficking; Freedom Network USA’s Rights-Based Approach to Combating Human Trafficking; Ethical Journalism Network’s Media and Trafficking in Human Beings Guidelines; Catholic Relief Services’ Turn on the Light
- Hashtags: #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay; #HumanTrafficking
On this day in 1912, the Bread and Roses Strike began in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Thousands of textile workers from 30 different countries walked out after mill owners announced a pay cut and refused to address inhumane working conditions. Cite the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Community when talking about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about the Importance of Unions and Economic Security; Zinn Education Project's The Real Bread and Roses Strike Story Missing from Textbooks
- Hashtags: #BreadAndRosesStrike
Wednesday, Jan. 13
On this day in 1874, hundreds of New Yorkers demonstrated to lobby for public works projects to provide jobs during an economic depression. Police attacked and ignited the Tompkins Square Riot. Many people were injured in the melee. Use this anniversary to discuss activism lead by people living in poverty and the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today: Three Core Pillars; Shifting the Narrative on Poverty and A Window of Opportunity II: Analysis Public Opinion on Poverty; Poor People's Campaign's The Souls of Poor Folk Audit; Howard Zinn's A People’s History of the United States, Chapter 10: The Other Civil War
- Hashtags: #TompkinsSquareRiot
Saturday, Jan. 16
On this day in 1919, Prohibition was legalized when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, outlawing “intoxicating liquors.” The ban came into effect in 1920 and lasted for 13 years until it was reversed by the 21st amendment. Today, we view this period as a wasteful, punitive and ill-conceived intrusion on the lives of Americans. Current discussions about criminal justice reform and drug policy demonstrate that our nation is moving towards more effective and humane ways of dealing with addiction harm reduction. Use this anniversary to discuss how far our nation has come in upholding the values of Redemption and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Americans Support Prevention, Rehabilitation and Reintegration and Eliminate the Criminalization of Public Health Issues; The Drug Policy Alliance’s About the Drug War; Center for American Progress’ Ending the War on Drugs; PBS and Ken Burns’ Prohibition documentary
- Hashtags: #Prohibition100; #18thAmendment; #harmreduction; #nomoredrugwar
Sunday, Jan. 17
On this day in 1893, U.S. Marines arrested Queen Lili`uokalani of the independent indigenous kingdom of Hawai`i and overthrew her regime. American business leaders and the children of missionaries wanted the islands to be annexed by the United States. Pres. William McKinley authorized the annexation five years later. It’s important to discuss this anniversary as part of the United States' larger history of violating indigenous peoples’ rights. Cite the values of Voice, Economic Security, and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: Na Maka o ka `Aina’s Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation; The Opportunity Agenda’s Standing Rock, Ferguson or Mexican Border, ‘We Are All Related; IllumiNative’s Reclaiming Native Truths and Change the Story toolkit;
- Hashtag: #QueenLiliuokalani
Monday, Jan. 18
Today we celebrate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This federal holiday is a great opportunity to talk about the ongoing struggle for racial justice in the United States by citing the values of Equality, Community, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race; Talking About Race and The First Step Act and What He Means to Me: Dr. King’s Legacy; International Documentary Association's Documentaries to Watch: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Hashtags: #MLKDay
Tuesday, Jan. 19
Today is the National Day of Racial Healing, an opportunity for people, organizations and communities across the United States to “call for racial healing, bring people together in their common humanity and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.” Cite the values of Community, Equality, and Economic Security on this day.
- Messaging and communication tools: W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Conversation Guide and Individual Action Kit; The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race; 9 Ways Your Library and Community Can Recognize NDORH
- Events and Resources: In light of the pandemic, there are many activities, events, tools, and resources offered for virtual participation.
- Hashtag: #HowWeHeal
Friday, Jan. 22
On this day in 1973, the Supreme Court upheld the “right to privacy” in the case of Roe v. Wade. The court found that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Recent state-level bans on abortion could be potential challenges to this landmark decision and disproportionately impact people living in poverty. When talking about this anniversary, cite the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Equality.
- Messaging and communication tools: National Institute for Reproductive Health’s 2019 Report: Gaining Ground: Proactive Reproductive Health and Rights Legislation in the States and Local Reproductive Freedom Index: Evaluating U.S. Cities 2019; Sister Song’s What is Reproductive Justice?; NARAL’s Reproductive Rights are Human Rights; National Women’s Law Center’s Reproductive Health Is Part of the Economic Health of Women and Their Families; Center for American Progress’ 13 Ways States Can Protect and Advance Women’s Health and Rights
- Hashtags: #reproductivefreedom; #StopTheBans; #YouKnowMe; #Roe4All; #RoeVWade
Saturday, Jan. 23
Today is the birthday of Edward Verne Roberts, who was a pioneering advocate for people with disabilities. Many consider him the “father of independent living.” Use the anniversary to discuss how public benefits help 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; Huffington Post's Trump Administration Quietly Goes After Disability Benefits; 99% Invisible podcast’s Curb Cuts; The Center for American Progress’ 10 Disability Policy Questions Every Presidential Candidate Should Answer and Beyond the ADA; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Medicaid Work Requirements Don’t Protect People With Disabilities
- Hashtags: #ADA; #SaveMedicaid
Tuesday, Jan. 26
On this day in 1944, civil rights activist, writer, and professor Angela Davis was born. In 1970, the FBI added her to their Ten Most Wanted List based on false charges. After being jailed, she was eventually freed after a national campaign demanded her release. Davis is an outspoken critic of the racial injustice within the criminal court system.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Transforming the System; Democracy Now's Angela Davis on the Prison Abolishment Movement; Angela Davis’ Reflections on prison abolition movement; New York Public Library's video Toni Morrison and Angela Davis talking about Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- Hashtag: #AngelaDavis
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Today is the anniversary of President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” executive order which barred the entry of nationals and refugees from 11 Muslim-majority nations. In response, thousands of people protested at airports around the country. The Supreme Court later upheld a similar updated ban. When discussing this anniversary, cite the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Messaging Advice on The Supreme Court's Muslim Ban Decision; #NoMuslimBanEver campaign’s Digital Action Toolkit on the Ruling; Muslim Advocates’ Muslim Ban Decision “Puts the Basic Rights of All Americans at Risk; National Immigration Law Center's Muslim Ban 3-Year Anniversary
- Hashtags: #MuslimBanTurns3; #NoMuslimBanEver; #NoBanNoWall
Thursday, Jan. 28
Today the Sundance Film Festival begins (virtually and through select in-person locations throughout the country), where many new documentaries and films focused on social justice issues will premiere. These films can have remarkable influence on social narratives about immigration, poverty, and criminal justice. Amidst all the buzz, be sure to refer to the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security.
Friday, Jan. 29
Two years ago today, the Trump administration began implementation of the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (better known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy) for asylum-seekers arriving at the U.S./Mexico border. Advocates are pushing for the new administration to reverse such policies.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's 4 Tips to Keep the Border Conversation on What Really Matters; Latin America Working Group's “All about the “Remain in Mexico’ Policy and Opposing Efforts to Shut the Door on Asylum Seekers; Presbyterian Disaster Assistance's Families, Children and the US/Mexico Border; American Immigration Lawyers Association's Policy Brief: “Remain in Mexico” Plan Sows Chaos, Puts Asylum Seekers at Risk; U.S. Immigration Policy Center at University of San Diego's Walls to Protection: The Grim Reality of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy; Human Rights First's Delivered to Danger and A Year of Horrors: The Trump Administration’s Illegal Returns of Asylum Seekers to Danger in Mexico; Interfaith Immigration Coalition's Asylum Stories for Prayer Vigils and social media toolkit
- Hashtags: #RestoreAsylumNow; #SaveAsylum; #EndMPP; #Faith4Asylum and #UnintendedTies
Saturday, Jan. 30
Korematsu Day celebrates the birth of Fred Korematsu, who challenged the constitutionality of President Roosevelt’s executive order to create the “relocation camps” or internment camps for Japanese-Americans. The case is being discussed in relation to Trump’s Muslim Ban. Cite the values of Equality, Community, and Voice when talking about this date.
- Messaging and communication tools: Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s What does safety really mean in America? and The Relationship Between Racial Integration and the Duty to Further Fair Housing; Noah Feldman’s Why Korematsu Is Not a Precedent; Radiolab’s More Perfect podcast- American Pendulum I; ThinkProgress’ Judge compares Trump’s Muslim ban to one of the worst chapters in American history
- Hashtags: #Korematsu
Sunday, Jan. 31
On Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, the Internal Revenue Service and community groups want to “increase eligibility awareness of refundable credits that many miss claiming or don’t get right.” Discuss the EITC using the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: Internal Revenue Service’s Resources; PSAs, Video, Audio and Print Files; News Releases; Twitter Messages, Screen Savers and Badge Graphics; EITC Quick Marketing Kit; EITC Fast Facts; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Boosting EITC Awareness and Working-Family Tax Credits Lifted 8.9 Million People out of Poverty in 2017
- Hashtags: #EITC and #EITCAware
On this day in 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate in voting to add the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. This exception is often discussed in today’s discussions about criminal justice reform (including Ava DeVernay’s documentary, “13th”). Use this anniversary to talk about the continued need for racial justice in the U.S., especially in our criminal justice system. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.