Today is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). While many associate this holiday with Mexican traditions, festivals to honor and celebrate deceased family members are celebrated in a diverse range of nations worldwide, from Latin America to Haiti to the Philippines. This hook presents not only an opportunity to celebrate cultural traditions but has also been used to demand government agencies be held accountable for deaths in U.S. custody. Cite the values of voice and community when discussing this day.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
On National Voter Registration Day 2023, 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.
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.
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.
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.