Small Victories Issue 24

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Stacy-Marie Ishmael shared her thoughts about the choice between indifference and action in her newsletter last week, and we can’t stop thinking about it because it’s so true:

“Indifference feels easier because it absolves us of responsibility. We tell ourselves there’s nothing to be done, we slip into the passive tense and a passive sensibility.

“Choosing not to be indifferent is not fun. Your reward is difficult conversations and people being angry and accusing you of hurting their feelings. No one gives you a gold star or a pat on the shoulder. No one ever thanks you for pointing out hateful speech or cruel (in)actions.

“But being thanked is not why you make the choice.”

Here at Small Victories, we do want to thank you—for continuing to fight against injustice in big ways and small, for staying hopeful even when things feel hopeless, for refusing to give up or give in.

We were floored by your incredible responses to our survey last week. We’re taking all of your feedback and working on making this newsletter the best it can be. We also have our survey winner and we’ll be emailing the lucky reader later today, so keep an eye on your inbox for double the goodness! Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Your weekly songspiration


1. It’s official: Donald Trump is now under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, broadening the scope of the special counsel’s work.

Meanwhile, nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress and the Maryland and Washington, D.C. attorneys general filed two separate lawsuits against Trump for violating the Constitution, CNN is suing for the public release of Comey’s memos, and the Senate voted to stop him from being able to unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia. #nyet

Plus, in a surprising move, he’s not going to overturn DACA; many of his executive orders aren’t actually amounting to anything; and his tweets have been turned into a force for good. We know—we never thought we’d say that either. (Thanks for sharing, Alex!)

2. Pride month continues! The L.A. Pride Parade turned into an intersectional protest march, while No Justice No Pride activists disrupted the D.C. Pride Parade, condemning the march’s military and corporate sponsors and advocating for marginalized communities, including queer and trans people of color. As an alternative to the parade, they hosted inclusive events honoring Pride’s radical political history. Also, we love these proud pride parents. 💗 🌈

3. Wonder Woman’s impact continues to soar, and we can’t help but think that these kindergarteners are just the tip of the iceberg. #somanyfeels

Small Victories Issue 24

4. Vermont is creating a “racial justice oversight board” and updating their policing policies statewide in a move to combat racial bias and decrease incarceration rates.

5. Trump’s Muslim ban has been blocked yet again, this time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Next up, the Supremes.

6. Danica Roem became the first transgender candidate to win a Virginia legislative primary—and if she wins in November, she’ll be defeating a transphobic Republican.

7. New Mexico granted pharmacists the ability to prescribe contraceptives, so women can skip that extra appointment and head straight to the pharmacy to get their birth control.

Meanwhile, across the country, the #OhioHandmaids protested an anti-reproductive rights bill in their state Senate:

8. Thanks to the work of a strong grassroots campaign and the Nevada teachers’ union, the Nevada state government rejected a bill to divert $60 million in public education funding to unconstitutional school vouchers. (Thanks, Elvera!)

9. Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law an equal pay bill, and Nevada’s largely female state legislature passed a ton of women’s rights laws. While not every woman politician works for women’s rights, studies show that the more women in office, the better chance women’s rights policies will be passed. #proofisinthepudding

10. With strong support from Republican lawmakers, Louisiana passed the largest criminal justice reform package in the state’s history. Plus, this masterpiece is funding criminal justice reform at the state and local level. (Thanks, Nancy!)

11. After ruling that the Trump administration had not adequately examined the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a federal judge called for an additional environmental review, which could end up halting construction until a full assessment has been completed.

12. Resistance continues around the world. Russia erupted in wide-scale protests—and teenage girls were on the front lines.

 @maxseddon                              @paulachertok
Image via Pussy Riot

Plus, thousands of Moroccans protested corruption; the National Front barely won any seats in the French parliament; and Canada announced a new feminist-focused foreign policy to support human and women’s rights around the world.

13. When an Obama-era fiduciary rule goes into effect this Friday, we can feel more confident that financial advisors will put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. (Thanks, Marcy!)

14. Betsy DeVos is having a bad week. Both Democrats and Republicans (!) gave her terrifying education budget a big fat F; a court ruled against her plan to delay student loan relief; and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey already said she will file a lawsuit over DeVos’ decision to delay Obama-era rulings protecting students from predatory for-profit colleges.

15. When Islamophobic groups held anti-Muslim protests across the country this week, they were outnumbered by counter-protesters, including #NYCLovesMuslims rally attendees.

Small Victories Issue 24

We’re thrilled that Tracy K. Smith was named U.S. Poet Laureate! As we sign off for the weekend, we’ll leave you with her poem “My God, It’s Full of Stars.” 🌟

P.S. Another reason why bicycles are the best.

P.P.S. Can everyone on TV do this please? Never hearing his name again would be too soon. #yasyasyas

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Posted in Blog, Small Victories