With the Republican National Convention wrapping up and the Democratic National Convention commencing next week, there’s a tremendous amount of organizing energy being directed toward Philadelphia right now. In some cases, that means protest. In others, that means meeting with elected officials. While the choices we make with our votes are important, they're not the only way we can make a difference.
Around the country, people have been organizing around issues in ways that will resonate far beyond November. Their voices will be heard as thunder. They will fill the streets as a rising flood. Their victories will shine for all to see. And, as always, we’re going to give you a glimpse of some of the ways the winds are being shifted.
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:
Everywhere: Register to vote and know your rights!
Deadlines for general election voter registration won’t be coming up until October for most states, but it’s never too early to make sure you’re registered and ready to hit the polls.
Requirements vary from state to state, and voter ID laws can get in the way of some folks casting their ballots. Fortunately, there are resources like Rock the Vote that can get you up to speed on laws where you live and help you register. They can give you information about local elections, too. Simply typing "register to vote" into Google will pull up a handy step-by-step guide with links tailored to each state.
So if you plan on voting this November — and in those critical but often forgotten local elections — make sure you use every tool you have to get informed, get registered, and get out the vote!
This week, we're looking at black sunshine for a march in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, calling for an end to state violence; Rainbows over Atlanta, Georgia, as the Pride School hosts a grand opening fundraiser; and gusts of green in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as folks define environmental justice.
Monday, July 25
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Organize against racist misogyny at Fighting Misogynoir: Centering ALL Black Femmes & Women.
7 p.m.–9 p.m., Community Futures Lab, 2204 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19121
Misogynoir is a term created by Moya Bailey to describe the forms of misogyny that are directed at black women. In the interest of centering the leadership and experiences of black women and femmes, the Womanist Working Collective, Community Futures Lab, and Women's Solo Project are hosting an event exploring misogynoir and strategies to fight it. This event is exclusively for black women, trans folks, and femmes so they can work on these issues in a safe and supportive space. Food will be served from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m., at which point the facilitated discussion will begin. Registration is free, but donations are appreciated.
Tuesday, July 26 to Thursday, July 28
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Stand against racism and economic injustice at the Black DNC Resistance March.
2 p.m., Broad & Diamond St, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Coalition for REAL Justice is challenging the Democratic Party’s failure to effectively address issues concerning the black community with a massive march during the Democratic National Convention. With so much attention on Philadelphia, the group sees this as an ideal time to bring people together and make its demands known. Those who choose to get involved should heed the advice and leadership of the march organizers for their safety and the safety of those around them. (BYP 100, though not organizing this particular march, offers some important advice for those participating in protests.) More information and updates on the march can be found at the Facebook event page.
Friday, July 29
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Help determine the future of green initiatives at Defining Environmental Justice Communities in Allegheny County.
12 p.m.–1:30 p.m., Allegheny County Health Department, 301 39th Street Building 7, Room 120, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
The Allegheny County Health Department is carrying out its Plan for a Healthier Allegheny, which includes assessments of the environmental needs in the county. The Health Department will be sharing their findings and facilitating a discussion with county residents who are concerned about environmental justice. Registration is free and required, so that information materials and lunch can be provided. As the county tries to forge ahead for the environment, make sure you are part of the conversation to determine what that work looks like.
Saturday, July 30
Atlanta, Georgia: Support a safe school for queer students and teachers at the Pride School Fabulous Festival.
12 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Pride School Atlanta, 1597 Frontage Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
The Pride School of Atlanta is a new school that is designed to be a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ folks and their allies. Its grand opening is being celebrated with a festival that is basically a pride celebration, complete with food, games, music, and a drag show! This festival is also a fundraiser for the school. It's free to attend, but folks are asked to spend money on food, buy art, participate in the auction, or donate directly to the school. More information about the school, including how to enroll, is available at its website. You can also sign up to volunteer for the festival here. While parents, students, and teachers always have questions about the safety of LGBTQ youth in our schools, this is one place where the full spectrum of identity is always celebrated.
Cincinnati, Ohio: Understand the price of xenophobia in America at "From Citizen to Enemy?"
August 27, 2 p.m.–4p.m., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2540 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45221
America has a long history of allowing fear to drive us to horribly mistreat people simply because they are of certain ethnicities or nationalities. Two prime examples are the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the current climate of islamophobia. The Japanese American Citizens League and the Council on American-Islamic Relations have teamed up for a panel that will discuss the parallels between several eras of fear-fueled discrimination. Experts with personal, academic, and activist experience will help attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of xenophobia on Americans. In addition to the panel, there will be a Q&A and group discussion. The event is free and open to the public.
After next week, the presidential race will go into full swing. Much of our collective attention will be directed toward who will wind up in the White House, but that doesn’t mean the work for justice gets put on hold or goes away. There will still be many ways to get involved on campaign trails and in the streets. Always remember that whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you.