With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it's the time of year when our thoughts turn to the countless iterations of love. Love can be an incredible force for good, as we champion our causes out of love for this world and the people in it. In that spirit, here are a few ways you can show some love for social justice this week.
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: Rise, disrupt, and connect with One Billion Rising.
One Billion Rising is a global call to action for people to stand up for the rights and safety of women. This mobilization effort emerged from the V-Day movement (which in turn emerged from the renowned play The Vagina Monologues), and every year One Billion Rising chooses a new theme for all of the events organized under its umbrella. This year's is "Rise! Disrupt! Connect!" Women around the world are organizing hundreds of events and actions that will take place from Valentine's Day through International Women's Day on March 8. The forms these events take are as diverse as the women leading them; they include protest dances, fundraisers for women's shelters, and many other kinds of resistance.
An immigration advocacy workshop will take place in New York, New York; BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors will give a presentation on fighting for black queer lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; a nonviolent resistance training will be held in Seattle, Washington; and we’re looking ahead to a lobbying day for LGBTQ rights in Nashville, Tennessee.
Monday, February 13
New York, New York: Organize against xenophobia at Immigration Advocacy with FWD.US.
25 W. 39th St., 14th Floor
New York, NY 10018
FWD.US works with members of the tech community to bring about immigration reform, which they believe benefits all people regardless of their country of origin. This event will explore the problems posed by the current administration's legislative attacks on immigrants and the prejudiced rhetoric that helped lead to those policies. Facilitators will also explain the ways people can support immigrants and refugees, and discuss how they’re preparing for a day of action on February 14. Register now to get involved.
Thursday, February 16
Cincinnati, Ohio: Learn why Resistance Is Essential.
University of Cincinnati, TUC Great Hall
2766 UC Main St.
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, will dig into the need for resistance, the importance of coalition building, and why we must center the lives of black, queer people when combating hate in America. This event will be a great opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion with someone at the forefront of the struggle. It's free and open to the public, but make sure to register in advance.
Friday, February 17–Saturday, February 18
Tuesday, March 7
Nashville, Tennessee: Work against anti-LGBTQ state legislation at Advancing Equality Days on the Hill.
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
301 6th Ave. N
Nashville, TN 37243
Every year, Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) heads to the state capitol to bring LGBTQ Tennesseans face to face with legislators. This is a chance for people to speak directly to power about the impact homophobic and transphobic policies have on many lives. It's also an opportunity to speak to elected officials about how they can support the queer communities they represent. If you want to learn how to lobby at the state level, check with TEP for training sessions and meetings in your part of the state. Make sure you register to participate in the next Equality Day on the Hill.
Don't live in Tennessee, but want to work for LGBTQ rights in your state? Check the Equality Federation for information on similar organizations across the country.
We rise against hate and cruelty because love has planted compassion within us. That's why we can and will overcome anything: No matter how much effort is put into oppressing us, we will work tirelessly for our freedom out of the love in our hearts. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!