Social justice organizers often find creative ways to build solidarity within communities, whether by presenting music, sharing food, or even putting on festivals. This week, we’re looking at a few events that use unique means to unite people and pave the way for a better future.
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All Month Long:
Everywhere: Get ready for Pride Month.
LGBTQ Pride Month officially starts on June 1, but pride season is already underway in some cities. You can find a calendar of when and where festivals are being held across the country at gaypridecalendar.com. This is also an ideal time to commit to supporting ongoing efforts for LGBTQ equality.
An environmental justice summit in Oakland, California, will use hip-hop to bring people to the cause; Pewaukee, Wisconsin, will have a volunteer training to help stop human trafficking; Wear Orange Day is calling on people everywhere to stand against gun violence; and we’re looking ahead to a pop-up market supporting women, queer folks, and people of color in Richmond, Virginia.
Saturday, May 27
Oakland, California: Get down and get green at UNIFY: 2nd Annual Environmental Equity Summit.
Greenpeace Actions Warehouse
955 7th St.
Oakland, CA 94607
Presented by Hip Hop for Change, Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club, this summit will combine the art of hip-hop with advocacy for the environment. By bringing together local grassroots organizers and national environmental organizations, the event intends to bridge the divide between inner-city communities of color and mainstream environmental justice movements by strengthening partnerships between the two. Organizers hope doing so will help environmental activists overcome barriers of race and class in the movement. There will be live performances from hip-hop artists like Immortal Technique in addition to the panels and workshops. The event is free but registering in advance is recommended.
Tuesday, May 30
Pewaukee, Wisconsin: Attend Domestic Human Trafficking 101 and Volunteer Training.
N19 W24400 Riverwood Dr.
Pewaukee, WI 53072
According to the Damascus Road Project, human trafficking occurs in all 72 counties of the state of Wisconsin. To help combat this pervasive problem, the Redeem and Restore Center has organized an educational volunteer training session. There will be a screening of CHOSEN, a short documentary about teen victims of sex trafficking, followed by a discussion of how the Redeem and Restore Center works to end the exploitation of women and girls.
Friday, June 2
Everywhere: Stand against gun violence for Wear Orange Day 2017.
Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was senselessly shot and killed on the streets of Chicago in 2013. To honor her life, Pendleton’s friends took to the streets wearing orange, an attention-grabbing color, and demanding an end to gun violence. Their efforts quickly evolved into “Wear Orange,” a national campaign against gun violence that is led by the family and friends of shooting victims. At Wear Orange Day events, people share stories of the loved ones they have lost and community leaders offer strategies to save lives in the future. You can attend a local rally, use #WearOrange on social media, and pledge to help end violence in your community.
Sunday, June 25
Richmond, Virginia: Support women, LGBTQ people, and people of color at A Day for Us.
Blue Bee Cider
1320 Summit Ave.
Richmond, VA 23230
Organizers of A Day for Us want locals to invest in causes, organizations, and businesses run by marginalized people. This event, taking the form of a pop-up market, encourages people to shop local and provides information about groups working for equality across all races, genders, and sexual orientations. The event itself is free, but several vendors will donate 15 percent of their sales to the Virginia Anti-Violence Project. Community leaders will also be at the market running workshops on issues that affect marginalized communities.
There is no limit to the number of ways we can connect and build solidarity. Whether that means bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!