On this day in 1972, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, ruling in Furman v. Georgia that it was unconstitutional under the 8th and 14th Amendments. Justice William O. Douglas concluded that the death penalty “is disproportionately imposed and carried out on the poor, the Negro, and the members of unpopular groups.” Four years later, the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty on the idea that it was constitutional under the 8th Amendment. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of equity, safety, voice, and community.
Tag: criminal justice
Today is the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a key turning point in the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights. Use the anniversary to discuss the importance of intersectionality in our movements and the ongoing work to achieve racial and economic justice in the LGBTQIA+ community. Cite the values of safety, opportunity, community, and voice.
Father’s Day is an important time to talk about racial justice and economic opportunity with your community. The separation of immigrant families, impacts of discriminatory policing and mass incarceration, and cultural attacks on LGBTQ+ communities can make this a hard and heavy day for many. Talk about the need to protect family unity and inclusively celebrate all families on this date. Focus on the values of opportunity, safety, and equity.
On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court issued its decision on Ernesto Miranda vs. Arizona. The ruling created what became known as “Miranda rights,” the law enforcement procedure of reminding someone of their rights when being arrested. Use this anniversary to discuss the importance of criminal justice reform by referring to the values of equity, safety, and voice.
On this day in 2015, Kalief Browder took his own life after spending three years in New York’s Rikers Island jail. Browder had been awaiting trial for stealing a backpack and spent two years in solitary confinement. Supporters point to Browder’s incarceration as the source of his mental health struggle. Cite the values of equity and safety on this date.
Birth of Angela Davis
On this day in 1944, civil rights activist, writer, and professor Angela Davis was born. In 1970, the FBI added her to their Ten Most Wanted List based on false charges. After being jailed, she was eventually freed after a national campaign demanded her release. Davis is an outspoken critic of the racial injustice within the criminal court system.
Remembering Oscar Grant
On Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police in Oakland, California. On the 13-year anniversary of Grant’s death, ending police brutality and re-defining community safety continue to ground advocacy to move beyond policing. Cite the values of Community, Voice, and Equality when recognizing this anniversary.
Today is the birthday of Trayvon Martin. His death in 2012 and the acquittal of his killer in 2013 launched the #BlackLivesMatter movement. When discussing Trayvon Martin, cite the values of safety and equity.
Black History Month
While Black History Month is officially commemorated during February, we honor Black history and celebrate Black excellence and futures year-round. This month — and into March — opportunities abound for telling an affirmative story about racial justice in the United States. Cite the values of voice and community in sharing these resources with your audiences.
Public Defense Day
Public Defense Day commemorates the Supreme Court’s 1963 ruling that states must provide free legal counsel for people living in poverty. The case, Gideon v. Wainwright, was spurred by Clarence Earl Gideon who was charged with a felony in Florida state court and denied a court-appointed lawyer. The Supreme Court’s decision extended the right to counsel to state courts across the country. Discuss the importance of public defense by referring to the values of voice and equity.