Much of the work for social justice happens when people listen to each other. Folks lift up voices in many different ways, and often it takes just one person calling people to action to begin a movement. After all, a single raindrop doesn't make a storm, but it can signal the start of a flood.
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: Demand justice for missing Latina women.
Women of color who go missing are often labeled runaways and become low-priority cases for law enforcement, and national media outlets tend to focus on missing upper- and middle-class white women. Now the story of Maylin Reynoso has become symbolic for the crisis of missing Latina and Hispanic women. Reynoso was last seen leaving work on July 27. On July 31, her body was found in the Harlem River. In between, there was no broad coverage of her disappearance, and little after her death. While Reynoso's family and friends initially took to social media begging for help to find her, that call has now become a demand that the disappearances of Latina and Hispanic women be fully investigated.
The hashtag #MaylinReynoso has also become a rallying cry, and people are also hashtagging the names of other women whose disappearances have been ignored. You can follow #MaylinReynoso to learn more about her and see the ways communities are organizing to center the stories of women that we often fail to hear.
This week, we’ve got women knitting up a storm for reproductive rights in Chicago, IL; a bike tour kicking up environmental justice in Louisville, KY; and a series of events in New York City that are shining a light on black power.
Sunday, September 18
Louisville, KY: Exercise an interest in polluted communities at the Environmental Justice Bike Tour.
12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
St. William Catholic Church, 1226 West Oak Street, Louisville, KY
Louisville has a problem with pollution in low-income neighborhoods, and people in other areas might become more compelled to join those communities' struggle for environmental justice if they witness how this issue affects locals. That's why Bicycling for Louisville has planned a presentation and bike tour of some polluted sites in the city. The event will offer information about the health crisis caused by pollution as well as ways people can work to improve the quality of life for all people in the area. You can register for the ride here, and support Bicycling for Louisville as they use cycling to improve health and raise awareness of issues across the city.
Tuesday, September 20
Oshkosh, WI: Take a step Toward Right Relationship with Native People.
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1860 Wisconsin St., Oshkosh, WI
Christian ideology has been used to subjugate Native people in America ever since Europeans first arrived. Under the Doctrine of Discovery, it was believed that Christians could claim any land they encountered for "Christendom." This resulted in the genocide of people and the theft of an entire continent. Folks at Our Savior's Lutheran Church are presenting an examination of this history through records left by both Native and European people of the time. Following the presentation, there will be a discussion about how folks can support Indigenous communities and move from a history of imperialism toward a future of healing. The presentation will be facilitated by sociologist, activist, and executive director of global response Paula Palmer. Registration is free and required to ensure seating and materials.
Thursday, September 22
Chicago, IL: Knit for reproductive justice at the Wandering Uterus Project Knitting Workshop.
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Awakenings Foundation Center and Gallery, 4001 North Ravenswood Avenue #204-C, Chicago, IL
I've featured Wandering Uterus Project events before, because they sound fun, informative, and engaging. This time, while knitting things (like lovely little yarn uteruses), participants will engage in discussions about reproductive justice. All skill levels of knitters, from "never held a pair of needles" to "can knit a sweater for an octopus," are welcome. You can bring your own needles and yarn if you want, but materials will be provided. A $20 donation to help out is suggested but not required, and registration is free.
October 19 – November 19
New York, NY: Experience the legacy of black organizing at the Schomburg Center.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY
The New York Public Library and the Schomburg Center are honoring 50 years of the Black Power Movement. The series of events planned for this fall will be closing out a year of exploring that rich history with music, film, presentations, and community events.
Anticipate jazz and poetry honoring the legacy of lyrical legends. There will also be presentations by iconic figures like Stephen Shames, known for his work as an activist and photographer for the Black Panther Party. Films like ¡Palante, Siempre Palante!, which explores black power in Puerto Rico, will be shown. Panels, presentations, and parties will fill the next couple of months at the Schomburg Institute, all in recognition of the long and ongoing work of Black Power activists in shaping the landscape of social justice.
You can find more information about upcoming Black Power 50 events here.
There is a wealth of power and information out there. By elevating the stories of marginalized people and taking control of our narratives, we build up our movements. Where we go is not only determined by where we've been, but past triumphs and trials can bring clarity as we chart our paths forward. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you.