August 2022

Anniversaries of the Voting Rights Act, DACA, the annual Night Out for Safety and Liberation, and more.

August 2

On this day in 1934, writer James Baldwin was born. Baldwin was an outspoken and influential advocate for racial justice. Use this anniversary to discuss the role of artists and culture shifters in challenging white supremacy. Cite the values of voice and equality.

Today is also Night Out for Safety and Liberation (NOSL), hosted by The Ella Baker Center and partners as a counter-program to the law-enforcement driven National Night Out. Both events are held annually on the first Tuesday of August. The goal of NOSL is to shift the conversation about public safety. Cite the values of equity, safety, and community.

August 3

On this day in 2019, a racist mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, TX stole the lives of 23 people and injured dozens more. This date marks the deadliest, anti-Latino attack in modern United States history. Talk about the values of human rights and safety when observing this anniversary.

August 6

The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on this day in 1965. Since the Supreme Court’s gutting of the act, we’ve witnessed a nationwide onslaught of state legislatures introducing or passing measures to severely curtail the freedom to vote. Use this anniversary to uplift the power of BIPOC voices and votes and the need for local and federal solutions that enable everyone to participate in our democracy. Point to the values of equity, community, and voice.

August 7

On this day in 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted one of the largest workplace raids in United States’ history, arresting as many as 680 immigrant workers across seven chicken processing plants in Mississippi. Traumatic family separations leave lasting emotional and physical impacts on children and families, in addition to economic hardship. Use this anniversary to talk about the need for permanent solutions that create opportunity for immigrant families and safety in our communities.

August 9

On this day in 2014, a Ferguson, Missouri police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African-American teenager. His death sparked weeks of protest in Ferguson and outrage across the country. Use this anniversary to discuss police brutality and redefining safety in our communities. Cite the values of voice, equity, and safety.

The United Nations has designated today as International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Use this hook to amplify the voices and issues facing Native American communities by citing the values of Economic Security, Equality, and Voice.

August 10

On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to provide reparations for Japanese-Americans who were interned by the U.S. government during World War II. The act gave each surviving internee about $20,000 in compensation. This anniversary reminds us of the continued work to create an inclusive country where everyone feels safe. Cite the values of community, safety, and equity.

August 11

In 1965, the Watts Rebellion was ignited by the violent arrest of an African-American driver in Los Angeles. Use this anniversary to discuss policing and economic opportunity with your networks. Cite the values of safety and equity.

On this day in 1973, hip-hop was officially born. At a dance party in the Bronx, NY, DJ Kool Herc used two turntables to create a “break beat.” Hip hop became a messaging tool for political activism. Use this anniversary to talk about art and culture’s role in creating social justice. Cite the values of voice and community.

August 12

On this day in 2017, during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, a counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed. Use this anniversary to talk about the values that Heather was defending: racial justice as exemplified by the values of equity and community.

August 14

On this day in 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Use this anniversary to discuss the importance of social security to creating economic opportunity for both older Americans and communities of color, including children.

Today also marks when professional football player Colin Kaepernick first protested racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem in 2016. Use this news hook to talk about the First Amendment right to challenge injustice and the value of Voice.

August 15

On this day in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) began to be implemented. Judicial threats to DACA add urgency for federal legislators to create a pathway to citizenship for not only DACA recipients, but also their families and all immigrants who lack documentation in the United States. Refer to the values of community, voice, and economic opportunity when discussing this news hook.

Woodstock, one of the biggest rock festivals of all time and a cultural touchstone for the late 1960s, began on this day in 1969. Use this anniversary to talk about art and culture’s role in creating social justice. Cite the values of voice and community.

August 20

On or about August 20, 1619, the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in North America. The recounting of the 1619 Project and 400 Years of Inequality, combined with narrative change led by the Movement for Black Lives, has thrust the United States’ legacy of slavery and ongoing racial inequality into the spotlight. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Economic Security.

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act into law. This created Head Start and nine other federal programs to combat poverty. Use this hook to discuss the benefits that these programs have had for Americans and how government should invest in “human infrastructure” to ensure everyone has access to a basic standard of living. Reference the values of economic opportunity and community.

August 21

On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring today National Senior Citizens Day. Use this hook to discuss how safety net programs are vital for older Americans. Use the values of economic opportunity and community.

In 2018, men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declared a National Prison Strike in response to the riot at the Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in South Carolina, where seven people lost their lives. The strikers demanded “humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern-day slavery.” Cite the values of safety, equity, and voice when discussing the anniversary of the strike.

August 22

On this day in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, known as “Welfare Reform.”  The act created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In recent years, most states have severely weakened supports for low-income families, with a disproportionate impact on children in BIPOC communities. Use this anniversary to talk about the need for safety programs and the values of economic opportunity and community.

August 23

Today, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Use this day as another opportunity to demand the United States reckon with its history of racial oppression. Cite the values of voice, equity, and community when talking about this event.

August 24

Today is the birthday of LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson. Born in 1945, Johnson grew up to be a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) along with Sylvia Rivera. When discussing Marsha P. Johnson’s birthday, cite the values of economic opportunity, community, and voice.

August 25

On this day in 1925, A. Philip Randolph and colleagues launched the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The union was the first labor organization led by African Americans to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor and played a vital role in U.S. labor and civil rights movements. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of voice and economic opportunity.

August 26

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted. While this served as a groundbreaking accomplishment to extend the right to vote to white women, Jim Crow laws would prevent many women of color from exercising this right for decades. Cite the values of equity and voice when talking about this anniversary.

August 28

On this day in 1955, African-American teenager Emmett Till was abducted for allegedly offending a white woman. His brutalized body was found a few days later. Historical markers recognizing Till’s death are regularly torn down and shot at by vandals — a symbolic reminder of the ongoing threat of white supremacy poses to Black communities. Cite the values of voice, equity, and community when discussing this anniversary.

Also on this day during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Use this anniversary to remind your audiences about the importance of reaffirming our values and our commitment to winning liberation. Cite the values of community, voice, and equity.

August 29

On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. The humanitarian disaster that followed laid bare racial and economic inequities and served as a precursor to the disparate impacts of recent natural disasters. Use the anniversary to discuss the need for equitable infrastructure spending and emergency assistance. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security.

August 31

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act, which formalized the federal program now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Use this hook to discuss protecting a program that supports the economic security of families and protects the American values of community and economic opportunity

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