With the 4th of July coming up, this is a perfect time not only to celebrate the independence of our country, but to continue to work for liberation and equality for everyone. Among the cookouts and fireworks, there are great opportunities to get involved with some social justice too. So grill some burgers, gather up your friends and fam, and light up the sky for freedom!
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:
Everywhere: Raise awareness for Minority Mental Health Month.
Members of marginalized groups in America have more difficulty gaining access to quality mental health care and are less likely to be diagnosed or seek treatment. This is why July has been declared Minority Mental Health Month.
Organizations and care providers are calling on minority communities to raise awareness of the need for access to health care and challenge the stigma around mental illness. Use the hashtags #MinorityMentalHealth and #StigmaFree to join the conversation. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also provides infographics, profile pics, and some example tweets and statuses to help get you started advocating on social media.
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and people deserve access to the care they need. Spread the word and check in with NAMI and the Office of Minority Health for ways you can help out this month.
We’re looking ahead to a hurricane of feminism heading to Chicago, Illinois next month. Expect black sunshine for a basketball tournament to save a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio next weekend. And it’s all rainbows and fireworks over San Francisco for the 4th of July!
Monday, July 4
San Francisco, CA: Attend a massive rent party to help folks keep their homes at Queer As Fourth.
3158 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
This is the second year for the Queer As Fourth party in San Francisco. This time they’ve teamed up with Make Your Rent Event Management (MYREM) to turn the party into a fundraiser. MYREM works to give financial relief to people struggling to pay their rent with small grants that can mean the difference between eviction and getting back on their feet. Admission is only $10, and there will be food, drinks, DJs, and gogo dancers. Saving homes by partying with the queer community is a pretty awesome way to spend the 4th.
Wednesday, July 6
Everywhere: Watch the live stream of the Anti-Defamation League’s 2016 Supreme Court Review.
This year, the Supreme Court has made some important decisions on reproductive rights, immigration, and affirmative action -- all with a vacancy still on the bench. The Anti-Defamation League is live-streaming a panel of legal experts as they answer some of the questions out there about how these rulings will affect legislation and what they mean for the election. Some chapters of the ADL are hosting viewing local events, so check with your regional ADL office to see if there’s one near you, or just watch on your computer.
New Orleans, LA: Learn how to defend yourself at CommUNITY Speak Out - LGBT Self Defense Series.
741 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
In the wake of the shooting in Orlando, LGBTQ people across the country are experiencing heightened concerns for their safety. Louisiana Equality Foundation is responding to those concerns in the New Orleans community by hosting self-defense trainings and community discussions about safety for LGBTQ folks. Members of the International Krav Maga Federation are providing the self-defense training. The event is free and open to all members of the LGBTQ community. Those who are interested in safety and self-defense training but cannot attend can watch the event live and submit questions in real time on the Louisiana Equality Foundation’s Facebook page. Additional trainings will be announced in the coming weeks. No one should have to live in fear, and these sessions could help some to walk with more confidence and security in their lives.
San Diego, CA: Embrace an international approach to feminism at the Immigrant and Refugee Feminism Workshops.
6035 University Avenue Suite 22
San Diego, CA 92115
Nile Sisters, an organization that works for immigrant and refugee women, is hosting a series of workshops on feminism for women who live in local immigrant communities. The goal is to address the needs and concerns of women from various backgrounds in order to have “a stronger local feminist community.” The sessions will be held through July and into August and translations will be provided for different languages at each one: French on July 6, Burmese on July 27, and Arabic on August 10. These sessions are free but registration is encouraged. Contact Workshop Leader Marisa Meno with any questions about this series.
Saturday, July 9
Cincinnati, OH: Score some points against gentrification at the Hoop on Main basketball tournament.
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
At the corner of Main St. and Schiller St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati and the campaign Keep Our Courts are hosting a basketball tournament to prevent several basketball courts from being destroyed by new development contracts in the city. The developments that would replace the courts could force current residents out through skyrocketing property values.
To demonstrate what’s at stake, the tournament is being held on the very courts that are on the city’s chopping block. It's free to attending the tournament and play, but they are taking donations through a GoFundMe page to help pay for the event. If you would like to donate materials or volunteer, you can contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be free food and music, and those who play in the tournament will receive t-shirts and medals. The hope is that the Keep Our Courts campaign will put pressure on the city to take a different approach to development. People need a plan for the future that doesn’t eclipse low income communities, but makes sure everyone has a place to play in the sun.
Monday, August 15
Chicago, IL: Be part of the next wave of feminists at Off The Sidelines Chicago's Young Feminist Conference.
9 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
200 E. Randolph, Floor 55
Chicago, IL 60601
This half-day conference lets young feminists between the ages of 14 and 20 participate in discussions about the issues that affect them directly. Panels will cover activism, campus sexual assault, and intergenerational feminism. Registration is free but required. This is a great opportunity for girls and women to come together and build strategies for justice in their lifetimes.
While every day there is work being done to expand and protect people’s rights, we still have a long way to go. So celebrate your independence by exercising your right to pursue liberty, and remember: whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you.