"A different world cannot be built by indifferent people." — Dr. Peter Marshall
When it comes to social justice (laws that enforce equal treatment of every person) there is always work to be done. There are issues globally and locally that deserve your attention. We've picked just a few social, political, economic, and environmental issues that you can advocate for with your words and actions.
- Water = Life. In April of 2014 the city of Flint, Michigan decided to change their water source from Flint directly instead of Detroit, Michigan in an effort to save money. Immediately the residents in Flint began to complain about the appearance and taste of their water. Within the year, doctors reported high levels of lead found in people's systems and the state regulations admitted that the water wasn't safe for consumption or even bathing. Though some measures have been taken to fix the problem, nearly half of Flint's population still does not have clean water. With 57% of the population being black and 37% of the population living below the poverty line, it's understandable how this also could be considered an issue of class and civil rights. A great way to draw attention to this issue (and any other) is through your art. Advocate for others by writing poetry on the issue and keep reminding people that just because something may have happened a while ago, it doesn't mean it isn't affecting people still. You can organize rallies in your community also attend peaceful protests and social events and share your poetry there. Use your voice to share your perspective. Post your poem on our site: You have the power to open up the conversation with your creativity!
- Immigrants are at Risk. Under Obama's presidency, the limited immigration benefit known as DACA was put into action. This program has allowed undocumented young people to live in the US without fear of being deported. Since 2012 DACA has allowed young immigrants who came to the US illegally to still apply to work and live in the US safely. Though DACA isn't a straight path to citizenship, it allows immigrants to live a normalized life. They can do things like get their driver's license, apply for bank accounts, go to school, etc. Recently, DACA has been put at risk by Trump, who has vowed to bring an end to the program. Without DACA, over 800k young immigrants who have lived over half their lives in the US could be forced to leave their new lives and migrate back to their country of origin. It is important to maintain the integrity of this country's diverse population by protecting those thriving under DACA. You can advocate for those who aren't being heard by writing their truths. Listen to the needs of those 800k individuals and use your poetry to make sure everyone knows them.
- In Need of Relief. Every year several islands and coastline communities in the US and across the globe brace for hurricane season with hopes that mother nature will be kind. This year several hurricanes like Harvey and Irma placed communities in states like Texas and Florida in states of emergency. Islands like Puerto Rico and Haiti have experienced major damage without the resources to find clean water or medical attention. This year's hurricane season is the 7th worst in history. There are many communities that can use your help. One of the easiest ways to offer assistance is to pick up a pen and begin to get the word out. Organize a disaster relief open mic and use your words to bring attention to this issue.
- They Go Missing. You speak Up. Human trafficking is a very real and serious issue that occurs across the globe and in all 50 states. It is an industry that violates the human rights of individuals by transporting them against their will and forcing them to give up control of their minds and bodies. There are over 100k children under the age of 18 who are lured into trafficking every year in America alone. Many disappearances of children and young adults are the result of human trafficking. You can help by knowing how to reach out and spread awareness. Spread the word when a young person goes missing. Draw attention to the issue by writing and sharing your poetry. Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Your voice has the power to make a difference. All you have to do is use it.