The Road Ahead for Social Justice

Americans are waking up to a stunning reality. Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. For those of us committed to social justice and opportunity for all, we may be entering one of the most challenging eras of our lives. But I am confident that, as a community, we will rise to the occasion.  We will not only endure, but prevail.

Equal Justice for All: Dogs, Water Cannons, and Collective Memory

Image by Josh YoderWhat is our democracy without our right to peacefully protest? Our justice system is supposed to keep all communities safe and treat all people fairly, even when groups come together to speak out against the unjust: segregation, wars, racial profiling, and corporate greed. These most basic first amendment rights also apply to the Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors and their allies, gathering to pray at a camp known as Oceti Sakowin (near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation) that stands in the way of the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Partner News: Standing Rock, Drug Policy, and More!

Although the presidential debates and campaigns seem to be all that anyone’s talking about these days, our partners have accomplished work that is duly attention-worthy. Our network is making real and tangible change on the frontlines of racial justice, immigration and criminal justice reform, and anti-poverty work.

Social Justice Rock, Talk, and Hip Hop

October is the month for music. A cadre of our Creative Change alumni are hitting the stage, flocking to musical festivals, and leading rallies for social justice from the Chattahoochee Hills of Georgia to the streets of Boston.

Hector Flores, Leah Gallegos, and David Flores (CC ’16) of the L.A.-based band Las Cafeteras have announced their fall national tour schedule with shows in cities across the United States and Canada. The tour, named "The People's Party,” celebrates the struggle for peace and justice by highlighting local work in the name of this mission. In addition, Las Cafeteras is collaborating with PICO Network to highlight immigrant rights work in six cities across the country and to Get Out the Vote. The activists will also be organizing a National Day of Action with Detention Watch Network in Washington D.C. to bring awareness to the human rights abuses of private detention centers and to end incarceration of migrant families. Learn more about Las Cafeteras!

Will Coley Joins The Opportunity Agenda, Leads New Work on Anti-Poverty

Many Americans consider poverty to be a significant national problem, even if it is rarely discussed in the current campaign season. A consistent majority of Americans feel that government has a role to play in reducing poverty, and support several high-profile policy solutions. Yet stereotypes and a lack of information about causes and solutions stand in the way of greater support for change. The task is to tell a new story, rooted in shared values, that informs, persuades, and activates key audiences. The Opportunity Agenda has been working on this for many years.

Partner News: Dreaming of a Nation Without Poverty

Further expanding our work on Poverty, we welcomed Will Coley to our Opportunity Agenda team in July. Will is developing a Communications Hub to amplify the voices of organizational partners and the larger social justice field. It’s a new project that’s launching as part of the organization’s economic opportunity initiative. We want to increase the quantity, quality, and coherence of the field’s communication while moving priority audiences. We’ve already engaged with partners taking huge steps to eradicate poverty. Learn about their work and what our Creative Changers are up to in this month’s Partner News.

Check out the amazing work of our 2016 Creative Change Alumni!

Our 2016 Creative Change Retreat just finished up in Utah last week and we are happy to share many highlights from some of this year's retreat participants!

Partner News: 2016 Communications Institute Fellows Already Making Ripples in the Media

Our 2016 Communications Institute Fellows are already shining a light on criminal justice and immigration issues by talking to the media and writing compelling op-eds. They join the 2015 Fellows in a shared effort to change how our nation talks about immigration and criminal justice issues. Janaé Bonsu, who just completed the Communications Institute two weeks ago, wrote an op-ed critiquing inequitable stop and search practices in black and brown communities. 2015 Fellows Soffiyah Elijah and Ricardo Favela contributed to stories highlighting problems in America’s criminal justice system.

The Moral Failure of the Ryan Budget

In this election year, our country is facing many choices about leaders and approaches to governing that will have a profound effect on future policies. In an era of increasingly partisan politics, routine measures like developing the annual federal budget have become highly politicized. Ultimately, governmental budgets are moral documents that reflect the values, priorities, ethics, and sense of justice of those who formulate them.

From Hollywood Headlines to Economic Policy

As it becomes plain that stories influence laws and policies, advocates are increasingly setting their sights on how these stories are created and reinforced in order to dismantle and shift them—and working with organizations like The Opportunity Agenda to do so collectively!

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