Small Victories Issue 66

Originally posted on the Small Victories website

People across the country commemorated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death this week. It’s pretty much impossible to write something about MLK that hasn’t been said before, right? But at a time when his legacy has been both tamed and co-opted, we want to keep striving for a greater understanding of his life and work.

So we’re pausing to reflect on his words—like this incredible clip—and the people who are carrying on his legacy today.


1. Despite the state’s history, Vermont’s state legislature passed not one but three gun control bills, and a Chicago suburb banned a looong list of assault rifles.

2. Wisconsin elected a liberal judge to the state’s Supreme Court for the first time in more than 20 years.

3. Thanks to the work of Fair Anchorage and young organizers like Lillian and Col, voters appear to have shot down an anti-trans bathroom bill in Alaska.

4. Yet ANOTHER Trump appointee is out. This time, a Department of Defense officer resigned after his racist Facebook posts were exposed.

5. It’s been a full week, and Howard University students are still occupying a campus building to call for guaranteed housing for students, a better system to combat campus sexual assault, and the university president’s resignation.

6. After a federal court’s ruling that DACA renewals must continue, the Trump administration approved more than 55,000 applications so far in 2018. That doesn’t mean Dreamers are in the clear—there are still 50,000 pending applications—but DACA is far from dead, and the fight for permanent protection continues.

7. Plus, a judge ruled that the administration can’t block undocumented teens from receiving abortions, thanks to a lawsuit brought by the ACLU.

8. And the undocumented high school student who was detained after being bullied at school has been released to fight his case from home.

9. From this vigil led by a 14-year-old to marches and rallies, people continue to demand justice after Stephon Clark’s death. And in Brooklyn, hundreds rallied against police violence after another unarmed black man, Saheed Vassell, was killed by police.

10. Schools across New York state will now provide free tampons and pads for students.

11. Oklahoma teachers have been on strike since Monday to demand higher wages and increased school funding—this video is super inspiring. And Kentucky teachers are also rallying en masse at the State Capitol during their spring break. As high school teacher Diane Walker put it,

We will hold the line until hell freezes over, and then we will be here on ice skates. We love our kids.”

First West Virginia, now Kentucky and Oklahoma (with the support of students and other unions), and it looks like Arizona could be next. Click here if you want to help support these teachers.

12. Another way you can support teachers? Vote for them! Dozens are running for state office in Kentucky. And after an Oklahoma lawmaker went on a Facebook rant against the strike, this teacher was inspired to run for his seat.

13. A record 309 women, almost ¾ of them Democratic, are running for house seats this November.

14. The IDC—a group of New York Democratic state Senators who have a power-sharing agreement with Republicans—has disbanded and will start voting with their fellow Democrats again, thanks to pressure from Cynthia Nixon and groups like No IDC NY. But we still hope their primary challengers kick them out in September!

15. While Laura Ingraham is on a perfectly-timed vacation following her recent controversy, an investment group and other companies continue to remove their ads from her TV show. #OReillyDéjàVu?

16. Columbus, Indiana—Mike Pence’s hometown—is holding its very first gay pride festival thanks this high school senior.

17. Following public outcry, it looks like Trump’s proposal to raise entrance fees at national parks may not happen after all.

18. A federal judge thwarted Exxon Mobil’s attempt to stop investigations into whether the company lied about climate change. Plus, a Wyoming judge ruled that state officials must consider climate change when making infrastructure decisions in the Powder River Basin.

19. We’re still appalled he worked any days at The Atlantic, but the editor-in-chief finally figured out just how bad Kevin Williamson is and fired him.

Small Victories Issue 66

20. Thanks to a new bill in New York, convicted domestic abusers will be banned from buying and owning guns.

21. And New York also made it illegal for police officers to have sex with people in custody.

22. Denmark now has its first public monument to a black woman, honoring Queen Mary Thomas, who led a revolt against Danish colonial power in the Caribbean.

23. Thanks to a campaign led by Jimmy Carter, South Sudan had zero cases of Guinea worm in the last 15 months.

24. Costa Rica elected a new president who campaigned heavily on his support for same-sex marriage.  

Gratitude Journal

These past few weeks have felt wilder than usual, so we thought we’d share some things that have been keeping us going:

Alison: Women owning it online; all of Queer Eye on Netflix; and listening to this woman speak about how she’s been making trouble, and how we can too.

Stephanie: Ridiculously addictive, and just plain ridiculous, comedy podcasts; Donald Glover’s masterpiece of a TV show; and this hilarious 9-year-old’s early work.

Your Weekly Songspiration

Small Victories Issue 66

Small Victories Issue 44Small Victories is brought to you with support from Peace is Loud.

Posted in Blog, Small Victories