We don’t talk enough about what it means to be an ally. Allyship is often thought of as simply supporting the rights of people who are different from you — like being straight and supporting gay rights, or being white and opposed to racism. But being an ally is much deeper than that. It’s a complex journey with no true destination.
This week, as we navigate the stormy seas of oppression to find liberation, our forecast includes some events aimed at informing and developing allies. If we’re all going to be part of the winds of change, we’ve got to make sure we’re filling sails headed for shore, not forcing anyone further out to sea.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
All Month Long:
Eleven states have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration. Why? Because some legislators are against the federal government standing up for trans and gender-nonconforming students. This lawsuit is a huge waste of taxpayer money and government resources. The reality check on this is that countless schools have been accommodating trans students for years. The only problem is the anti-trans bigotry that so many of our conservative elected officials are currently obsessed with parroting.
You can help fight this latest tide of hate by supporting the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Both organizations fight discriminatory laws and help individuals who are experiencing discrimination. With this huge lawsuit coming at federal policies protecting trans people, we can be sure that trans folks will face more frequent recognition of their identities. If you or someone you know is harassed or discriminated against for being trans (or any other reason), do not hesitate to contact ACLU and SPLC to explore legal support. Follow them, HRC, and Equality Federation as this lawsuit develops, and learn more ways you can help defend the rights of LGBT folks across the country. The clouds of bigotry are dark and heavy, but that means the rainbow will be even brighter once this storm passes!
This week, we’re looking at the Muslim community’s role in the #BlackLivesMatter movement bringing black sunshine to D.C.; a straight ally workshop supporting rainbows over Jacksonville, Florida; and a gender-inclusive camping trip promising a feminist hurricane for Placerville, California!
Tuesday, May 31
Jacksonville, Florida: Make safe spaces for LGBT folks by coming out as a straight ally!
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
5130 Soutel Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32208
We Are Straight Allies is an organization dedicated to mobilizing straight and cis people who support LGBT rights. They are hosting a crash course in being an ally with their event Coming Out as a Straight Ally: Creating Safe Communities and Workspaces. This free workshop is a chance for allies of LGBT folks to explore some best practices for being an ally and supporting safe spaces for queer folks. There will be refreshments and a drawing for a free “I’m Coming Out” T-shirt. Everybody loves a free shirt! Be sure to keep up with this organization and register here to keep Jacksonville alive with rainbows.
Thursday, June 2
San Francisco, California: Dig into city politics and find out what the bleep is going on?
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3271 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Local politics can be complicated, confusing, even frustrating. So the Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club is hosting What The Bleep Is Going On? A Crash Course for Newbies to help clarify political life for San Franciscans. Presenter and moderator Alex Clemens promises to be informative, insightful, and irreverent as he helps attendees and panelists work through the issues directly affecting them. Event registration is free but required to guarantee your spot. Cheap food and drinks will be sold. Bring your questions about local government and let these folks help you cut through the fog of confusion.
Everywhere: Wear orange to take a stand against gun violence!
Wherever you are
On Thursday, June 2, people across the country will be wearing bright orange to stand against gun violence. Orange is the color hunters wear for safety and, since it is a color that literally saves lives, it is being claimed for this day by the #WearOrange campaign. The goal is for as many people as possible to be seen in orange calling for an end to the senseless gun violence that plagues our country. You can find events near you, show your support on social media, and get more information about the movement to end gun violence at the Wear Orange website. So get yourself some neon orange duds and be part of this thunderclap against violence!
Friday, June 3
Placerville, California: Celebrate the feminine and organize for justice at the North California Ladyfest Campout!
Friday 10 a.m. - Sunday 6 p.m.
7900 South Fork Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
Do you love music? Do you love camping? Do you love women and equality and community building? If you said yes to at least two of those, we have the perfect event for you: a whole camping weekend filled with live music, social justice workshops, art workshops, and activities for the kids! While this event is centered around women, it is inclusive of all genders and everyone is welcome to attend. Folks are encouraged to bring the whole family and kids get in free! Registration is priced on a sliding scale of $5 to $20 for day passes, $15 for one night of camping, and $30 for the whole weekend. For more info, email email@example.com. Grab your tent and kick off your shoes for a whirlwind of intersectional feminism!
Saturday, June 4
Washington, D.C.: Discuss the role of Muslims with Black Lives Matter at the next Townhall Dialogue!
1313 New York Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
The D.C.-based Townhall Dialogue Series is all about deep discussions on important, often controversial issues. This next installment is focused on looking into what role Muslims have in the Black Lives Matter movement; how religious, cultural, and racial identity intersect for black Muslims; and how non-black Muslims can support the struggle for black lives. The event is free and open to the public. Help continue this critical dialogue and let some sunshine in for black lives!
Thursday, June 9 - Sunday, June 11
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Register to attend The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference!
129 N Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
From prejudiced medical professionals to not being able to find information regarding specific concerns, there’s so much we need to work on when it comes to trans health. Next month, the Mazzoni Center is hosting its annual Trans Health Conference. This is open to trans and gender-nonconforming folks, healthcare professionals wanting to provide better care to trans patients, and family members and allies of trans folks looking for info on how to be supportive when dealing with medical issues. There is a wide range of presentations, workshops, and panels available. Child care and age-appropriate activities are available for kids ages five through 12. Conference registration is free but required. Make plans now to attend this amazing conference for trans life and wellness!
The outlook for the future of social justice is at its best when we are showing up for each other. Together we can build a system whose parts support each other to create something greater. Separately we may still affect some change, but when we come together we are a tempest of progress. And whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!