Activists and Agitators – 2019 Social Justice Tips

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On October 17, before Activists and Agitators, we asked Opening Reception guests to select a tip (or tangible action item) from one of three causes that spoke to them. Participants then signed their name to pledge support for the cause, committing to complete the action item. Below, we’ve gathered all tips in one location to encourage sharing with friends and family:

I'm on a Mission to Act on...

Commit to attending at least one public workshop for the new regional housing plan.

Attend your Area Commission meetings to learn about new development happening in your neighborhood, and its potential impact.

Observe evictions court.  Eviction hearings take place Monday through Friday beginning at 9am in Courtroom 11A of Franklin County Municipal Court.

Set up a screening of Segregated by Design with your peers.

Volunteer to drop off goods and serve a meal at The YWCA Family Center.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for low income families.

Have conversations with the children in your life about rigid gender norms and encourage them to question and challenge gendered expectations.  Deconstructing rigid gender norms has been found to have a greater impact on advancing a cultural shift towards gender equality than solely focusing on legislative and policy changes alone.

Create or join a Diversity and Inclusion committee and/or minority affinity groups to explore how your company is approaching inclusion in their policies and practices.

Increase women and girls’ exposure to financial literacy and education programs.  Talk to girls about credit, investing, saving, and other wealth escalators like homeownership and entrepreneurship to advance their economic empowerment.

Make your money talk!  Only support businesses providing “domestic work” if they have wage and overtime protections, and access to paid time off for employees, the majority of whom are women of color and immigrant women.

Advocate for change in your individual workplaces.  Ask these questions and advocate for the following:

  • Do all employees including part-time and contract workers have access to paid family and medical leave, sick and safe days? If not, adopt a program that allows all workers to take paid leave to care for new children, ill or aging family members, and medical concerns.
  • Do we have policies in place to prevent and address discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace? If not, advocate for reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing women, add mandated anti-harassment and implicit bias training, and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
  • Have we signed the Columbus Commitment towards achieving pay equity? If not, bring it to their attention. If so, ask where they are in their implementation.
  • Do we require applicants to disclose salary history in their hiring process? If so, advocate for salary questions to be removed from the application, increase pay transparency and remove penalties for employees discussing pay, and establish systems for employees to report complaints of wage discrimination.
  • Do we have protections against unpredictable and unstable work scheduling? Management should be required to give advance notice of work schedules, especially for low wage and hourly workers who are disproportionately affected by irregular, last minute scheduling.

Support cultural organizations and immerse yourself in exhibitions focused on racial justice.  You could visit an exhibit at The King Arts Complex, walk along the Long Street Cultural Wall and absorb historical information about the Near East Side, or take a road trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

Work to combat the school-to-prison pipeline – call your local school board and advocate for regular implicit bias training for teachers, administrative staff, and resource officers; advocate against schools using resource officers as means to handle discipline and encourage police community relations training.

Spread the word about the ABCs of safe sleep (Alone, on Back, in Crib) and connect young pregnant and recently parenting mothers to organizations, like CelebrateOne and Moms2B, which provide support and educational services to reduce high infant mortality rates that disproportionately affect women of color.

Support local organizations combatting racial disparities like YWCA Columbus, especially grassroots groups like People’s Justice Project, Columbus People’s Partnership, and Showing Up for Racial Justice – Columbus Ohio (SURJColumbus).

Research black-owned businesses and intentionally shop at and support those companies.

Join community conversations about important work in your community and policies that are under review. Check out the Franklin County Rise Together Blueprint.

« Thank you to our 2019 Event Sponors