September 2022

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, Hunger Action Month, National Recovery Month, and National Voter Registration Day.

During September

September 15 – October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the contributions made by Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the United States. Use this month to discuss Community, Opportunity, and Equality.

September is Hunger Action Month when Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks spread the word and take collective action on the hunger crisis. As a result of the pandemic, more than 42 million people face food insecurity nationwide. Use this hook to discuss the need to address underlying economic injustice that creates hunger. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

September is also National Recovery Month, which raises awareness about mental illness and substance abuse disorders. It also provides the opportunity to talk about harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, and the need for health insurance and federally-supported programs to expand access to treatment and housing. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.

September 2

Hunger Action Month continues with National Food Bank Day when communities recognize the importance of fighting hunger. Use this day to extend the conversation to focus on the underlying economic injustices that create hunger. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

September 3

On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Adamson Act, which established an eight-hour workday, with additional pay for overtime work for railroad workers. The Act was the culmination of organizing by railroad workers and the first federal law to regulate the hours of workers in private companies. Discuss the importance of unions and worker rights on this anniversary, and cite the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Community.

September 5

Labor Day honors the contributions of American workers and the labor movement (the people who brought you the weekend, the eight-hour work day and improved working conditions). Use this holiday to highlight the importance of worker rights, including the right to organize and join a union.

September 6

The “mother of social work,” Jane Addams, was also born on this day in 1860. Use this news hook to talk about the role of our nation’s public welfare programs in reducing poverty. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

September 8

On this day in 1965, Larry Itliong and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee led 1,000 Filipino workers to strike against Delano, California grape growers. They demanded the federal minimum wage and the right to form a union. When the farmers hired Mexican workers rather than give in to the strikers demands, Itliong partnered with Cezar Chavez’s National Farm Workers to come up with a plan that benefited both groups. Itliong and Chavez combined their organizations to form the United Farm Workers Union. Cite the values of Equality, Voice, and Economic Security when discussing this anniversary.

For a sixth consecutive year, the National Football League (NFL) will kick off regular season play without Colin Kaepernick on the field. The former NFL quarterback played his last game in January 2017. That season, Kaepernick helped signal boost the national conversation regarding police brutality by taking a knee. Since then, NFL teams have been accused of colluding to keep him off NFL rosters. Cite the values of Voice and Equality on opening weekend.

September 9

This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York state. From September 9-13, 1,300 incarcerated men took control of the Attica Correctional Facility and made a series of demands to prison administrators. In the assault by state police to retake the prison, 39 people were killed. Use this anniversary to talk about the need for decarceration, made more urgent by the threat of COVID-19 to the health of people incarcerated in inhumane facilities. Cite the values of Voice, Equal Justice, and Redemption.

September 9 – 18

Observed since 2012, Welcoming Week is an initiative of Welcoming America that lifts up the work of local communities to become more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. Use this week to discuss Community, Opportunity, and Equality.

September 11

Twenty years have passed since the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In addition to remembering and honoring those who lost their lives, we must continue to rise above hate and anti-Muslim racism. Cite the values of Community and Voice when discussing this anniversary.

September 12

The Television Academy’s 2022 Emmy Awards offer cause to reflect on the stories we tell as a culture and who tells them. Nominations provide an opportunity to discuss the values of Community, Equality, and Voice.

September 13

On this day in 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which set the tone for relying on incarceration to solve social problems. Ongoing activism to end money bail is a step away from such punitive legislation, towards a more rehabilitative approach. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Redemption and Voice.

September 14

On this day last year, a harrowing whistleblower complaint revealed immigrant women were allegedly subjected to forced sterilizations at a for-profit ICE detention center. Dawn Wooten, a nurse employed at the Irwin County Detention Center, detailed an alarming pattern of non-consensual medical procedures and negligence in protecting people at the facility from COVID-19. When discussing this event cite the values of Human Rights, Equality and connect it to the United States’ larger history of coercive sterilizations and medical experiments on vulnerable populations, particularly Black, Indigenous and Latinx women.

Also on this day in 2013, a police officer in Charlotte, NC shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell while he was seeking help after being involved in a car accident. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Community, Economic Security, and Equality.

September 15

On this day in 1963, white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, killing four young girls. The event was a turning point in the civil rights movement. It’s an important reminder of our nation’s deep rooted history of white supremacist resistance and violence in response to progress toward true racial and economic justice. When talking about this anniversary, refer to the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.

September 17

On this day in 2011, Occupy Wall Street protesters called out the nation’s economic inequality in the United States with a takeover of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Their campaign spurred a national conversation and provides an opportunity to talk about economic injustice. Cite the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security when talking about this anniversary.

Today is also Citizenship Day, the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. This is also known as Citizenship Week. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages us to use this week to “reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.” It’s a good time to remind your audiences of our deeply held values around citizenship like Community and Voice.

September 18

Today marks two years since the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the founding director of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, Ginsburg’s legacy re-wrote the rules on gender discrimination and upheld key protections on a full range of civil rights issues. Her impact transcended courts and made her a cultural icon. Her judicial record was mixed on issues of race and criminal justice, with particularly damaging decisions impacting indigenous rights. Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Opportunity when discussing her legacy.

September 20

On this day in 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico with devastating effects. Use this anniversary to discuss the need for equitable infrastructure and emergency planning. Discuss the values of Community and Opportunity.

On National Voter Registration Day 2022, encourage your audiences to register to vote, the most powerful tool we have for making our voices heard. The onslaught of voter restriction measures introduced and passed since the 2020 election affirms how critical expanding access to the polls is to our democracy. Cite the value of Voice and Equality.

September 23

Today is the birthday of several artist-activists: John Coltrane (1926), Ray Charles (1930), Bruce Springsteen (1949). The music of Coltrane, Charles, and Springsteen often focused on social justice issues and they personally funded the work of many activists. African American suffragette Mary Church Terrell (1863) was also born on this day. She was an early advocate for civil rights and a charter member — and first president — of the NAACP. Use these lives to talk about the role of activists, artists, and cultural workers in shaping social justice narratives. Cite the values of Voice and Equality.

September 24

On this day in 1789, the first U.S. Congress passed the Bill of Rights. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution enshrine many of the values we share as a nation. Even so, the Second Amendment is being widely discussed in light of mass shootings and gun violence. Cite the values of Voice and Equality when discussing this anniversary.

September 28

Also on this day in 1829, David Walker published the pamphlet, An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Walker circulated copies via underground networks to empower enslaved people throughout the South. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice and Equality.

September 29

In 2008, the U.S. Stock Market crashed, contributing to the start of The Great Recession. It’s an important time to talk about how many communities and American families had hardly recovered from this economic downturn before entering the economic downturn and job losses caused by COVID-19. Cite the values of Economic Opportunity and Community when talking about this anniversary.

This day also marks the anniversary of the 1977 Food Stamp Act, a landmark law that set the framework for the modern food stamp program — or, as it’s now known, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On August 15, the Biden Administration announced the largest increase to SNAP benefits in the history of the program. Use this news hook to discuss the values of Economic Security and Community with your audiences.

September 30

On this day in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). Use this hook to talk about how the law criminalized thousands of people and led to the deportation of more than 4 million people. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security when talking about this anniversary.

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