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MTV News Social Justice Forecast March 31–April 8

Knowledge is essential for effective organizing

Ignorance is the enemy of justice, and we can fight it by seeking out and sharing knowledge. Educating ourselves and others also helps us acquire tools to get to the root causes of oppression. This week is full of opportunities to learn, connect with organizations, and get equipped to stay in the fight for the long haul.

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All Month Long:

Everywhere: Kick off for Beyond the Moment: Uniting Movements.

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and over 50 other organizations have joined together in a coalition called The Majority. The first thing on The Majority’s agenda is Beyond the Moment: Uniting Movements, a month of activist events. This kicks off on April 4 — the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's " Beyond Vietnam" speech. Events that day will educate attendees about the speech, particularly Dr. King's denouncement of racism, materialism, and militarism. The following weeks’ events will focus on environmental justice, racial justice, feminism, and many other issues before culminating in a massive protest on May 1 for International Workers' Day. After May 1, the coalition will lead an ongoing effort to support local organizing across the country.

Folks who are interested in participating can sign up at Follow Beyond the Moment on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates on upcoming events.

This Week:

People everywhere are celebrating neurodiversity for Autism Acceptance Day; an LGBTQ collegiate conference is being held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; a conference in New York, New York, is helping to improve online activism; and we're looking ahead to a series of online seminars for community organizers

For Sunday, April 2

Everywhere: Celebrate Autism Acceptance Day.

Autism Acceptance Month officially starts on April 2 with International Autism Acceptance Day — a day to educate yourself and others about neurodiversity. Autistic people are advocating for themselves and leading this conversation about autism as a range of human experience, with a focus on acceptance instead of awareness. Check out organizations like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to learn more about how to affirm and stand with autistic people. For events and more information about how you can show your support, go to the International Autism Acceptance Day Facebook page.

For Thursday, April 6

Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Attend the LGBT+ Collegiate Conference.

From 8 a.m. on April 6 to 9 p.m. on April 8

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)

1301 E Main St.

Murfreesboro, TN 37132

The theme for this year's conference is All Identities: Removing Obstacles to Inclusion. Presentations will look at how culture, race, class, gender, age, and sexuality intersect and affect both individuals’ and marginalized groups’ oppression and access to resources. Moreover, the conference will address how people and institutions can be more intentionally inclusive. Registration is free but required to attend.

For Friday, April 7

New York, New York: Attend the Organizing 2.0 Conference.

From 9 a.m. on April 7 to 8 p.m. on April 8

The Murphy Institute, 18th Floor

25 West 43rd St.

New York, NY 10036

An effective online presence can be an invaluable resource for any social justice movement. This two-day conference will train people on how to organize effectively online. Experts will share strategies on how to build social media networks and websites to bolster support for causes. Registration is free, but those who are able are asked to make a donation to support the conference.

Looking Ahead:

For Monday, April 10–Tuesday, May 16

Everywhere: Sign up for conference calls with SURJ.

Various days and times

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is hosting several online political education sessions. On April 10, the online sessions will be about organizing in the suburbs. On April 18, the sessions will be dedicated to an educational training on intersectional feminism that specifically addresses the need to stand with more individuals and groups than just cisgender, straight, white, middle-class women. The last scheduled call on May 16 is a crash course on what white nationalism is and how it is active in our society today. You can register for any or all of these conference calls at their respective event pages linked above.

The more we know, the more powerful our social justice organizing becomes. Activism isn't just about having passionate opinions; it's about taking action based on our shared knowledge and experience. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!