On this day in 2021, Winter Storm Uri began rolling into Texas, leaving millions without electricity — and some without water service — across the state. The state’s final report estimates that 246 people died as a result of the storm, with roughly two-thirds of those deaths the result of hypothermia. Similar to recent hurricanes, the natural disaster revealed existing inequalities as people living in poverty struggled to stay warm. Commemorate this date as a reminder of the urgency to ensure racial justice grounds infrastructure debates and climate resilience planning. Cite the values of community and opportunity.
On this day in 1887, U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Act into law, imposing private land ownership on American Indians. This was intended to break up tribes as communal units and threaten tribal sovereignty. Use this anniversary to advocate for racial and economic justice for Native Americans. Cite the values of voice and opportunity.
The last seven days of March are National Farmworker Awareness Week. Since 1999, Student Action with Farmworkers has coordinated this week of action to “raise awareness about farmworker issues, honor their everyday contributions, and gain more allies to help advocate for better living and working conditions in the fields.” Farm work exposes workers to significant occupational hazards and has few federal labor protections such as overtime pay or unemployment insurance. Talk about farmworker rights citing the values of economic opportunity, equity, and community.
It’s National Professional Social Work Month, when social workers and their supporters educate the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession. Organized by The National Association of Social Workers, this annual observance celebrates the work of social workers amidst the converging crises of systemic racism, economic inequality, and global warming. Use this hook to discuss the values of community and economic opportunity.
The Met Gala, or Met Ball, is an annual event bringing together celebrities, influencers, politicians, and other high-profile individuals to celebrate the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Organized by Vogue around a particular theme, the event has become a platform for personalities to showcase innovative fashion and, at times, to make political statements. The gala – which is mostly accessible only to the wealthy – has also drawn much criticism, and protests are often held across the street. Use the event to talk about economic justice, sustainability and climate change, and social responsibility. Cite the values of opportunity and equity.
Today is Earth Day, a day to support environmental protection and advocate for the importance of racial justice to guide climate change solutions. Use the values of community, equity, and voice.
On this day in 1935, the worst dust storm in American history caused immense economic and agricultural damage across several states in what came to be known as “Black Sunday.” It’s important to commemorate how government intervention helped alleviate the crisis in the 1930s and how vital federal aid today can help Americans weather environmental catastrophes due to climate change. Cite the values of economic opportunity and community.
On this day in 2016, the organizers founded the Sacred Stone Camp in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The resistance to the DAPL thrust the U.S. government’s historic injustices and ongoing failure to respect tribal sovereignty into the national spotlight. Cite the values of voice and equity.