Over the past few weeks, several communities have raised a national outcry over violence toward young black and Muslim men. In Utah, a 17-year-old Somali refugee was shot by police while holding a broomstick. In North Carolina, a 24-year-old father was killed while fleeing police on a warrant for drug charges. And in Indiana, three young Sudanese-Americans were murdered execution-style in what some believe to be a hate crime.
People across the country have held vigils, rallies, and meetings in solidarity with these communities, as well as to call for an end to police brutality. This week, we’ll show you how to support these efforts and engage in the conversation to value black and Muslim lives. As racist and Islamophobic rhetoric continues to spread, raise your voices against the storm of hate so the light of justice can break through.
If there’s something on the horizon in your area that you’d like to see featured in the MTV News Social Justice Forecast, email us at email@example.com!
All Month Long:
Join in the hailstorm of hashtags demanding justice for black and Muslim lives cut short by violence and police brutality.
#AbdiMohamed: Abdi Mohamed, a 17-year-old Somali refugee living in Salt Lake City, Utah, was shot by police on Saturday, February 27, and remains in critical condition. Police say he was threatening a man near a homeless shelter with a stick; locals question the necessity of deadly force, but their demands for the release of body cam footage have been unsuccessful so far. Add your voice to the call for a thorough and just investigation using #AbdiMohamed.
#AkielDenkins: Twenty-four-year-old Akiel Denkins was shot and killed outside his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, as he fled police attempting to arrest him on a warrant for drug charges. Protesters and members of Denkins’ family say that he should have been subdued through nonlethal means. Vigils and marches have been held in the Raleigh area in support of Denkins. Follow #AkielDenkins to track local efforts to secure a thorough investigation of his death.
#OurThreeBoys and #OurThreeBrothers are being used to raise awareness of the execution-style murder of three young Sudanese-American men, Muhannad Tairab, Adam Mekki, and Mohamedtaha Omar, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Many local Muslim and black community members believe the men may have been targets of a hate crime. At a time when Muslims across the country have expressed concern over increased violence and harassment against people of their faith, use #OurThreeBoys and #OurThreeBrothers to follow the conversation in Indiana, demand justice for these three young men, and fight Islamophobia.
There’s a storm of organizing around gender diversity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, folks in Tennessee are forming a high pressure system over Nashville to organize against anti-LGBT legislation, and across the globe people are preparing to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Saturday, March 5
Chattanooga, Tennessee: Attend The Peoples’ Movement Assembly: Re-Imagining Safety, Uprooting Violence.
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
4001 Hughes Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37410
People from the Chattanooga area are gathering during this all-day assembly to end violence in their streets by strategizing for a safer future with the Black Lives Matter affiliate Concerned Citizens for Justice. The assembly is free to attend, and food and child-care services are provided. Check out Black Lives Matter and The Movement For Black Lives to find similar organizations in your area. Justice is in your future, come rain or shine.
Memphis, Tennessee: Flood the phone lines to stop anti-trans legislation.
6 p.m.–7 p.m.
892 S Cooper St, Memphis, TN 38104
The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) is just coming off of what it has dubbed #TnHateWeek, during which it has tried to push back recent anti-LGBT state legislation advancing in Nashville. Now, an anti-trans student bathroom bill, similar to the one recently vetoed in South Dakota, is up for a hearing to advance on Tuesday, March 8. TEP members in Memphis are phone-banking to urge legislators to oppose the bill. While not as sexy as a protest or rally, phone calls and emails can have a profound impact on the decisions local legislators make. So, if you’re in the Memphis area, join TEP to make a flash flood of phone calls happen in support of trans rights.
Tuesday, March 8
Nationwide: Celebrate International Women’s Day.
Wherever you are
Wednesday is International Women’s Day, when we celebrate the contributions women have made to society and take a stand against the oppression still faced by women the world over. From pop-up festivals to rallies against female oppression, there are plenty of ways to recognize this day. It’s also the culmination of V-Day and One Billion Rising events across the globe. You can find information about International Women’s Day events near you here.
Nashville, Tennessee: Tell state officials to support LGBT people at Advancing Equality Day on the Hill.
301 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37243
After a weekend of phone banking, TEP is holding its annual Day on the Hill, when people from across Tennessee meet with their representatives to encourage them to support LGBT equality. Meetings are scheduled throughout the day starting at 8:30 a.m. This is a great way to get involved with the important process of engaging elected officials on issues — and to see firsthand how doing so can make a huge difference.
Tuesday is also the day that the aforementioned anti-trans student bill goes before another state senate committee for a hearing that will decide if the bill advances further or is defeated. Between the phone banking and meetings with state senators, all organized by TEP, this bill and other anti-LGBT efforts in the state can be stopped from moving forward. Turn up the heat on LGBT equality in Tennessee on Tuesday, and be sure to RSVP your plans to attend Equality Day on the Hill with TEP here!
Wednesday, March 9 – Sunday, March 13
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Attend the Keystone Conference: A Celebration of Gender Diversity.
10 a.m. Wednesday – noon Sunday
Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel
4650 Lindle Rd
Harrisburg, PA 17111
The eighth annual Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of programming to celebrate the diversity of the gender spectrum. From discussions on women’s rights to seminars on support services for trans and gender-nonconforming people, the conference plans to cover quite a bit of ground over the course of five days. Registration for the conference is available here — spots may become limited after March 6, so go ahead and register ASAP to make sure you have a spot for this gathering storm of gender diversity.
Friday, April 15
Universities and Schools Everywhere: Recognize GLSEN Day of Silence.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) asks students to take a vow of silence for one day every year to draw attention to anti-LGBT bullying in schools. The national Day of Silence is in recognition of the fact that bullying and harassment often leave LGBT students without a voice. Though it’s well over a month away, that leaves plenty of time for you to get involved with plans to host a Day of Silence at your own school. GLSEN has a wealth of resources, planning kits, and additional information about how to get involved. Find events near you or register your own event on the Day of Silence website. In this case, silence is only the eye of the hurricane calling for an end to anti-LGBT bullying.
Remember that this forecast covers only a small portion of the social justice world; we encourage you to stay informed about what’s happening in your corner so you can get involved in changing what’s on the horizon. Whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you.