No one can change the world on their own. It takes many people working together to achieve the goals set by social justice movements. Building those networks can be as simple as calling on friends and family to donate to a cause or as far-reaching as calling on an entire faith community to stand for justice. Here are some of the ways folks are mobilizing their communities for 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: Stomp out anti-LGBTQ legislation.
One hundred anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across the country this year — 17 in Texas alone, according to reports released by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Federation. These bills do everything from enabling businesses to discriminate against queer people to denying legal recognition of trans people's gender identities — all in an effort to roll back the progress LGBTQ communities have made toward achieving equal rights.
Both national and grassroots campaigns are fighting these bills. Sign up for the HRC's No Hate in My State Pledge, which will also sign you up for updates about local pro-LGBTQ advocacy efforts throughout the country, and check out the Equality Federation's Legislative Action Center map to find local organizations lobbying against this legislation and pinpoint problematic bills in each state.
Gender equality advocates are walking to support adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in Los Angeles, California; a vigil will call attention to missing black children in Washington, D.C.; a town hall advocating against juveniles being tried as adults will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina; there will be a #SacredResistance national day of action; and we're looking ahead to a teach-in about confronting Islamophobia in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Sunday, March 26
Los Angeles, California: March in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.
8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Pan Pacific Park
7600 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Congress first passed the Equal Rights Amendment, a constitutional amendment that prohibits sex-based discrimination, in 1972. To officially add the amendment to the constitution, at least 38 states had to vote to ratify it. Only 35 states did, and the amendment wasn't added to the Constitution. While the ERA has been reintroduced in every legislative session since 1982, it still has yet to be ratified by a total of 38 states. Recently, however, ERA advocates had reason to celebrate: On March 21, Nevada finally became the 36th state that voted to ratify.
While this development is encouraging, advocates won’t stop fighting until the amendment is finally passed. To that end, the Feminist Majority is sponsoring a Rally & Walk for Equality in Southern California to raise money for national campaigns supporting the ERA. Participants must join teams, collect donations, and are encouraged to use #Walk4Equality on social media to express why they believe in the cause. The walk will be preceded by a rally with politicians, celebrities, and activists voicing their support, and will go on rain or shine.
Wednesday, March 29
Washington, D.C.: Come together to #ProtectBlackKids.
African American Civil War Memorial
1925 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
An alarming number of young black girls and teens go missing in D.C. every year. Thirty-seven black and Latinx girls have been missing in D.C. since January this year. To address this awful trend, the National Black United Front has partnered with other local black-led organizations to hold an evening of interfaith prayer for the families of those missing children. This event is an opportunity for community members to figure out how to #ProtectBlackKids and make sure everyone notices when they go missing. You can register to attend here.
Thursday, March 30
Charlotte, North Carolina: Keep kids from being tried as adults and Raise the Age.
The Children and Family Services Building
601 E 5th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Only two states, New York and North Carolina, allow 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried as adults for crimes like petty theft and vandalism. Juvenile offenders’ options for the future can be severely limited by having an adult criminal record. NC Child and The Children's Alliance are holding a town hall to raise awareness about these state laws, build a groundswell of community support, and advocate for raising the minimum age to be tried as an adult in North Carolina to 18. This event is free and open to anyone who wants to learn how to advocate for the cause.
Saturday, April 1
Everywhere: Have faith in #SacredResistance.
Various times and locations
We often speak of how oppression affects people's rights and physical safety, but it can take a spiritual and emotional toll, too. Black Lives Matter chapters and leaders from a variety of faith communities are calling for 24 hours of healing and unity through spirituality on April 1. Regardless of religion, or lack thereof, people are welcome to come together at vigils, prayer circles, performances, and other events that will nourish souls often left weary by the struggle. For more information and to find or register events near you, go to the Sacred Resistance website.
Sunday, April 9
Takoma Park, Maryland: Learn how to fight prejudice at Teach In: Islamophobia.
Takoma Park Mobilization, a local network of social justice organizers, will host a panel of experts who will address what justice looks like for the Muslim community. Specifically, attendees will gain insight into how certain laws disproportionately harm Muslims and how to oppose such oppressive legislation. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for entry.
However we organize and resist, we cannot win without each other. We have to keep rallying the people around us for the good of others, not just our own personal interests. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!