Showing up is powerful. Think of the impact that just the sight of the millions who have marched together in protest this year has had. Now think of what each and every one of those people could accomplish if they continue to show up for their communities. If you want to be part of the rising tide of this fight, here are some opportunities to learn, lobby, and laugh together on the road to freedom.
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 email@example.com!
All Month Long:
Everywhere: Recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month, which was first officially recognized by the federal government in 2009, is all about listening to survivors and taking action to prevent sexual assault. This year's theme, “Engaging New Voices,” calls for faith leaders, parents, coaches, fraternities, and sororities to become actively engaged in dismantling rape culture.
To help get these conversations started in your community, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has provided handy digital postcards, which you can send to people you know. There are also graphics you can share on social media and action kits that include posters, talking points, and guides for how to organize events available in English and Spanish on the website. You can also show your support for SAAM by wearing a teal ribbon and, more importantly, working to end sexual assault all year round.
There's a workshop on gender identity in Leesburg, Virginia; a march for progressive policy reform in Tallahassee, Florida; a seminar about social justice and climate change in Tempe, Arizona; and we're looking ahead to comedians working for reproductive justice on the Vagical Mystery Tour.
Monday, April 10
Leesburg, Virginia: Get a better perspective at Together We Will: Learn Gender Identity.
7 p.m.–9 p.m.
Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road Northwest, Leesburg, VA 20176
Together We Will North Virginia, a local network of social justice activists, is hosting a workshop on gender identity. Connie Rice, a speaker associated with Equality Virginia's Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau, will facilitate the workshop and Q&A. Attendees will have the chance to learn more about the issues concerning trans and gender nonconforming people and ask questions about how to advocate for gender equality. This event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, April 12
Tallahassee, Florida: March with local advocates at The Rally on Tally.
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Florida State Capitol, 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Broward Young Black Progressives (BYBP) has organized a march and day of advocacy for reforming criminal justice, health care, education, economic development, and environmental protections in Florida. In preparation for the 2018 midterm elections, BYBP hopes this rally will force elected officials to hear the voices of the Floridians they represent. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with some of their representatives and learn effective ways to engage with local government. You can find more information about the march at the BYBP Facebook page.
Saturday, April 15
Tempe, Arizona: Attend Climate Change: Morality and Social Justice.
3 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Arizona State University Tempe Campus, Building LSA, Room 191, Tempe, AZ 85281
Stronger Together AZ, a diverse statewide social justice coalition, is working with Arizona State University to present a talk about the impact climate change will have on low-income people, communities of color, and future generations more generally. There will also be a discussion about strategies for advocating for policy changes that would protect both our environment and those who are most vulnerable in our society. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday, June 2–Saturday, July 22
Various locations: Get the last laugh for reproductive justice at The Vagical Mystery Tour.
The Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL) is hitting the road with a music-and-comedy tour supporting abortion clinics in need. With LPJL founder and cocreator of The Daily Show Lizz Winstead at the helm as host, a great rotating lineup of entertainers will delight audiences and encourage folks to get involved with local clinics. The LPJL crew will also roll up their sleeves to do some hands-on volunteering in each town. The tour kicks off June 2 in Atlanta, Georgia, and will run through the summer. LPJL is still adding shows to the tour, so be sure to check the website for tour dates and tickets. If you want to support the cause but can't make it to a show, go to the LPJL site for other ways you can get involved.
Consider the power of being someone who changes the world for the better. Whether that means calling down a storm or bringing out the sun, we need you!