These days, it can feel like a scary time to be alive. So much is happening in this country—and in the world—that it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel of helpless in the swirl of decisions, disasters, tragic events and nonstop change.
If you're like me, you probably find yourself constantly wondering "What more can I be doing?"
To make it a little easier, each week I will be outlining a list 7 social justice takeaways, including tips for what you can do if you want to take action.
Let's get started:
1. Hurricane & Earthquake Disaster Relief
It has now been 9 days since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Millions of people are still without power, and there are massive lines to buy gasoline and fuel to power generators.
The situation is desperate, yet the U.S. government has not done enough. Celebrities including Fat Joe and PitBull are taking matters into their own hands and delivering aid and evacuating cancer patients, but the situation remains dire. Also, Beyonce and J. Balvin released a new song with proceeds going to disaster relief in Mexico — who was recently also hit by two massive earthquakes — Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.
We must put more pressure on the Trump administration to do more in this crisis, and continue supporting Mexico, Puerto Rico, and The Caribbean. See a list of resources here.
2. Immigration Social Media Monitoring
In the wake of massive threats against Dreamers/DACA, and undocumented immigrants across the country, the Trump administration announced this week that the Department of Homeland Security will now start collecting social media information from U.S. Immigrants — including naturalized citizens and Green Card holders.
Learn more here.
3. International Safe Abortion Day
Yesterday was International Safe Abortion Day, and though access to abortion and reproductive health care has long been threatened, things have gotten more serious under this administration through fake news and science, increased stigma, and constant threats to the Affordable Care Act.
4. LGBTQ+ Community Under New Threats
Trump's Department of Justice showed up in federal court Tuesday to fight for the right for employers to fire people because of their sexual orientation.
This is the latest in a string of attacks against the LGBTQ+ community during this administration. Learn more here.
5. Native American Women Deserve Equal Pay
Currently, American Indian and Alaska Native women are paid, on average, only 57 cents for every dollar a white man is paid. For Native Hawaiian and women of Pacific Island descent, this figure hovers at around 59 cents.
6. Betsy DeVos's Policy Rollback Undermines Sexual Assault Survivors
Devos rescinded Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault. Her new interim rules make it so that schools can place more emphasis on survivors' provision of "proof" after an assault.
The rules also allow accused rapists to cross-examine their victims and will eliminate survivors' ability to appeal, among other things.
Read more here.
7. The March for Racial Justice
This Saturday, September 30, Washington D.C. will play host to the March for Racial Justice. The march will center around Black women and girls. “We are marching to say that Black women’s lives matter, that Black mamas matter, and to call for an end to systems and policies that deny our dignity," co-chair Monica Simpson said in a statement.
There are also a number of sister marches and town halls taking place across the nation. Learn more and find an event in your area here.
Stay vigilant, folks!
(Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)