Across the country, voters will also go to the polls to cast their ballots on Election Day. After the Supreme Court gutted key protections of the Voting Rights Act, many states are finding new ways to disenfranchise voters. Cite the values of voice and community when talking about Election Day.
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.
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.
On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted. While this served as a groundbreaking accomplishment to extend the right to vote to white women, Jim Crow laws would prevent many women of color from exercising this right for decades. Cite the values of equity and voice when talking about this anniversary.
On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to provide reparations for Japanese-Americans who were interned by the U.S. government during World War II. The act gave each surviving internee about $20,000 in compensation. This anniversary reminds us of the continued work to create an inclusive country where everyone feels safe. Cite the values of community, safety, and equity.
The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on this day in 1965. Since the Supreme Court’s gutting of the act, we’ve witnessed a nationwide onslaught of state legislatures introducing or passing measures to severely curtail the freedom to vote. Use this anniversary to uplift the power of BIPOC voices and votes and the need for local and federal solutions that enable everyone to participate in our democracy. Point to the values of equity, community, and voice.
On this day in 1868, Congress ratified the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted citizenship and rights to African Americans and formerly enslaved people. It also forms the basis of “birthright citizenship” for children of non-citizen immigrants. Use this anniversary to discuss the ongoing struggle for civil and immigrant rights by citing the values of equity, community, and voice.
As the birthday of the United States of America, Independence Day is yet another opportunity to raise the values we believe our nation should embody for everyone: opportunity, voice, equity, community, and safety. Also remind audiences about the importance of land acknowledgment and the ongoing work to repair the harms of colonization on Indigenous peoples.
On this day in 1997, Seattle-area postal workers organized the first National Postal Worker Day. From the COVID-19 pandemic to mail-in voting, recent events revealed how much we — and our democracy — depends on the essential labor of postal carriers and delivery workers. Cite the values of voice, community, and economic opportunity on this day.
Today is the anniversary in 1919 of Congress approving the Constitution’s 19th amendment, which gave white women the right to vote. While an important accomplishment, Jim Crow laws prevented many women of color from exercising this right for decades. Women of color continue to lead civic engagement within our communities, using both organizing and cultural strategies to expand voting rights in the face of continued efforts to suppress votes in communities of color. Cite the values of equity and voice when talking about this anniversary.