October 2022

LGBTQI+ History Month, Filipino American History Month, Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, and Indigenous Peoples Day.

During October

October is See Us, Support Us Month which raises awareness and amplifies the voices of children with incarcerated parents. Led by the Osborne Association and partners, this year’s theme focuses on supporting children of incarcerated parents’ physical & emotional wellbeing.

LGBTQIA+ History Month celebrates the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender trailblazers. Use this month to talk about intersectional issues that affect LGBT Americans. Cite the values of Voice and Opportunity.

It’s also Filipino American History Month. First recognized by Congress in 2009, this celebration commemorates the arrival of the first Filipino immigrants to the United States, who landed in what is now Morro Bay, California on October 18, 1587. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security.

National Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to “the generations of Hispanic Americans who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.” Use this month to discuss Community, Opportunity, and Equality.

October 1

Today is National Diversity Day to “celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability.” Use this hook to talk about the need to move the conversation around diversity towards equity and inclusion. Cite the values of Community and Voice.

October 2

International Wrongful Conviction Day was created to “raise awareness of the causes and remedies of wrongful conviction and to recognize the tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs of wrongful conviction for innocent people and their families.” Use this hook to talk about the need for criminal justice reform. Cite the values of Voice and Redemption.

October 3 – 7

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) leads Mental Illness Awareness Week to challenge stigma and misunderstanding by showing that mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. This year’s MIAW is centered around the theme “What I Wish I Had Known” and focuses on the power of lived experience. Each day throughout the week, NAMI will be elevating the voices of people with lived experience to talk about the components of their recovery where they learned something that could have helped them sooner. Use this week to talk about how mental illness intersects with poverty and criminal justice. Discuss the need for government support of individuals and families dealing with mental illness. Cite the values of Community and Redemption.

October 6

On Oct. 6, 1917, voting and women’s rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was born in Mississippi. She co-founded the the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which challenged the all-white delegation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention where Hamer testified. She asked: “Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” Use Hamer’s birthday to discuss voter registration and rights. Cite the values of Community, Voice, and Economic Security.

October 8

On Oct. 8, 2001, President George Bush created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This anniversary provides a useful moment to examine how the national security frame has shaped the immigration agencies with DHS. Advocates are calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for its cruel practices that separate families and threaten the safety and health of immigrants locked up in detention facilities. In border communities, residents have organized to hold Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents accountable and protect human rights. Cite the values of Community and Voice when discussing this anniversary.

October 10

Today is World Day against the Death Penalty. Use this hook to talk about how the U.S. criminal justice system is overly punitive, costly, and racially biased. Also discuss how fewer and fewer Americans support the death penalty. Cite the values of Redemption and Voice.

Today is also Indigenous Peoples Day, recognized the second Monday in October to celebrate the cultures of North America that thrived prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Indigenous leaders continue to fight erasure and organize to demand the U.S. government respect treaties and agreements that protect tribal sovereignty. Use this hook to discuss Voice and Economic Security.

October 11

National Coming Out Day challenges homophobia by making the personal political. LGBTQ people are encouraged to come out to friends and family. Use this hook to talk about intersectional issues that affect LGBTQ Americans. Cite the values of Voice and Opportunity.

October 13

On this day in 1792, the cornerstone of the White House was laid. As former First Lady Michelle Obama noted, she “[woke] up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.” Use this anniversary to counter opposition attacks on critical race theory by lifting up the importance of an honest and truthful recounting of our nation’s legacy of racial injustice. Cite the values of Voice and Equality.

October 15

On this day in 2016, the #MeToo movement went viral online and quickly became a national discussion about sexual assault and harassment. The movement was founded in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke to address the lack of resources for survivors, specifically black and brown women and girls. The Me Too Movement is now also an organization committed to healing and action by centering survivors. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.

On Oct. 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded to seek justice for African Americans and other oppressed communities through a combination of revolutionary theory, education, and community programs. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Community.

October 16

On this day in 1968, African-American medal winners in the Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gave a Black Power salute during the award ceremony. This anniversary provides a useful hook to discuss today’s activism by athletes like Colin Kaepernick. Cite the values of Voice and Community.

It’s also World Food Day, which the United Nations created to focus on how people and communities can take action to end hunger. Use this hook to talk about ending hunger and poverty in the United States. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

October 17

The United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty recognizes “the knowledge and courage of families living in poverty throughout the world, the importance of reaching out to the poorest and building an alliance with citizens from all backgrounds to end poverty.” Use this hook to discuss the values of Economic Security and Community in the United States.

October 18

On this day in 1972, The Clean Water Act became law. Despite these protections, hundreds of thousands of Americans are exposed to contaminated drinking water. Use this anniversary to discuss the importance of equitable investments in infrastructure improvements. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security.

October 19

On this day in 1870, the first African Americans were elected to the House of Representatives. In South Carolina, Black Republicans won three of the state’s four congressional seats. The Zinn Education Projects points out that Reconstruction, the era immediately following the Civil War and emancipation, “is full of stories that help us see the possibility of a future defined by racial equity.” Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice and Community.

October 20

On this day in 2020, lawyers tasked with reunifying families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump Administration’s pilot program revealed the parents of 545 children were yet to be found. In June 2021, the Biden Administration’s task force reported that 2,127 children separated under the “zero-tolerance” program still await reunions. Uplift human rights guarantees of Equality and Family Unity when discussing this anniversary.

October 22

The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation has mobilized the National Day of Protest against Police Brutality every year since 1996. Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.

The first woman farmworker hired to be a union representative, Maria Moreno, was born on this day in 1920. Moreno was a vocal fighter for impoverished farm workers in California in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A film about her life is premiered on PBS in September. Discuss Moreno’s birthday by citing the values of Community, Voice, and Economic Security.

October 23

On Oct. 23, 1947, W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP petitioned the United Nations with a document titled “An Appeal to the World: A Statement on the Denial of Human Rights to Minorities in the Case of Citizens of the United States of America and an Appeal to the United Nations for Redress.” They asked for the U.N.’s help to address human rights violations the United States committed against its African-American citizens, such as lynching, segregation, and the gross inequalities in education, housing, health care, and voting rights.

October 24

On Oct. 24, 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) took effect, creating for the first time a federal right to a minimum wage and overtime while also banning child labor. Discuss this important anniversary by citing the values of Economic Security and Mobility.

October 26

On Oct. 26, 2001, just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush signed the PATRIOT Act into law. The legislation expanded surveillance powers of the government and permitted indefinite detention of non-citizens. In 2015, many of its expiring provisions were extended or modified by the USA FREEDOM Act. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Community and Voice.

October 27

On Oct. 27, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act to address rising unemployment. As many workers and families continue to struggle with job losses and economic downturn from COVID-19, use this hook to talk about how the government still has a role in assisting Americans who are bearing the brunt of our unfair economic system. Discuss the values of Community and Economic Security.

On this day in 1994, the Department of Justice announced that the U.S. prison population surpassed one million people for the first time in history. In 2020, the number of people held in local jails and state and federal prisons dropped to roughly 1.8 million — a 14% decrease from 2.1 million in 2019. Use this anniversary to discuss the need to end money bail, release people in response to COVID-19, and end mass incarceration. Cite the values of Redemption and Voice.

October 28

On this day in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York City. Lady Liberty has served as an enduring, national symbol of the importance of welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States. Given the adverse health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates are urging Congress to eliminate barriers based on immigration status to public programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security.

Today is also Vote Early Day. More and more jurisdictions allow voting before Election Day. Early voting is often faster and as simple as voting on Election Day. Use Vote Early Day to encourage your community to vote. Voting resources and early voting messaging are available on the Vote Early Day website.

October 29

On this day in 1929, the Wall Street stock market crashed and plunged the nation into the Great Depression. An array of programs that were part of “The New Deal” assisted millions of unemployed and starving Americans. The economic impacts of COVID-19 focused national attention on the government’s role to assist Americans facing economic hardship through programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits. Use this anniversary to discuss the values of Economic Security and Community.

On this day in 1969, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education that schools in the South had to desegregate “immediately,” instead of the previous ruling of “with all deliberate speed.” The case was brought by Beatrice Alexander, on behalf of her children, after she sued the Holmes County, Mississippi School District. At its core, today’s attacks on critical race theory promote dishonesty about our nation’s history. Use this anniversary to acknowledge the ongoing work of racial equity in our schools and communities. Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Mobility.

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City causing extensive damages to infrastructure in the city. As we’ve seen time and again, natural disasters reveal existing inequality and how climate change disproportionately affects people living in poverty, often in BIPOC communities. Use Hurricane Sandy to push for economic justice in infrastructure, storm preparedness, and recovery spending. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

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