It’s here! The beginning of Spring comes with renewed life in nature, which seems to influence people as well. There’s no better way to refresh than to consider health. In step with that, many of this month’s commemorations focus on health because we believe it is essential. Our firm places health front and center, including sexual and reproductive health. Stay timely and learn more about the wide variety of April days to remember.
Medicaid Awareness Month
Did you know Medicaid was created in 1965 to support people who needed help paying hospital bills and medical insurance? Today, nearly 75 million people are enrolled in Medicaid. If you’ve heard of Medicaid, you’ve likely heard Medicare mentioned in the same breath. Although many people couple the two programs together, they are different in key ways. Federal and state governments jointly manage Medicaid to offer comprehensive health coverage to some people with limited income and resources. Medicare, on the other hand, is solely a federally-subsidized health insurance generally for anyone 65+ and is offered in four parts. The individual parts cover different aspects of treatment varying between hospital, general medical, and prescription coverage. Our firm supports Medicare and Medicaid – everyone deserves access to free healthcare, which we believe is a fundamental human right. Learn more about Medicaid and most importantly, how to protect it.
Volunteer Appreciation Month & National Volunteer Month
So much of the work nonprofits do could not happen without the help of volunteers! Organizations should show appreciation for volunteers this April by celebrating them — some great ideas can be found here. For aspiring volunteers, we recommend you consider volunteering at black-led, women-owned, and LGBTQIA organizations to help lift the load of their leaders. By volunteering you are making space for leaders to rest in order to refresh and strengthen strategy. Rest is resistance. Don’t think so, check out the Nap Ministry and the Black Power Naps exhibit at MoMA.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child abuse in the United States has been described as an “epidemic.” According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, in 2021, child protective services agencies received an estimated 4 million referrals involving approximately 7.2 million children. It’s likely that the number of children that are abused is higher than reported since emotional and financial abuse are not included. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, organizations and agencies highlight education and prevention strategies they’re using — and what still needs to happen — to improve the social and emotional health of children and families. This year’s theme is Building Together: Prevention in Partnership.
Alcohol Awareness Month
Created in 1987 by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol Awareness Month has a couple of goals:
- Reduce stigma around alcoholism
- Increase outreach and education around alcoholism and recovery
The month typically kicks off with “Alcohol-Free Weekend” during the first weekend of April… no judgments if you don’t participate, or if you do. In either case, the point of the weekend is to raise awareness about potential alcohol abuse.
Stress Awareness Month
Statistics show that more than 50% of Americans report stress they felt they couldn’t handle, at least once in the past year. This is especially concerning since stress kills – many may see this as an exaggeration; although stress itself doesn’t cause death, its effects can lead to death. According to BetterHelp, stress can be dangerous and potentially fatal in the long term by causing other life-threatening health concerns. There are many causes, however, one significant trigger of stress is racism. In fact, the American Psychological Association’s Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, notes that pervasive and persistent exposure to racism and discrimination adds a daily stressor for Black/African American people, ultimately affecting their psychological and physiological health. For gender, in cis-hetero couples, married men live longer than single men, but married women live shorter lives than single women. Research suggests that’s because women are carrying the weight of men’s emotional and social aspects of life, plus many more (e.g., making doctor’s appointments, reminding them of family events and significant dates). Stress caused by racism and sexism shaves years off lives. We all deserve better.
National Minority Health Month
Sponsored by the Office of Minority Health, the goal of this annual observance is to eliminate health disparities among African American, Asian American, Latina, and Native Americans. We’re using “minority” because that’s what the commemoration and office are called; however, our firm recognizes so-called “minorities” are actually the global majority. So, the term “minority” is really about power and oppression and it’s important to remember that. This year’s theme: Better Health Through Better Understanding. Let’s all take the time to become more informed and encourage others to do the same.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The purpose of this month is to:
- Raise awareness of sexual violence as a public health, human rights, and social justice issue; and
- Educate individuals and communities on sexual violence prevention.
Coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and other anti-sexual assault organizations, a wide variety of government and community-based organizations host events. Visit the NSVRC website to download a campaign toolkit or to get help with planning your own event. See the film Roll Red Roll this month by a friend of the firm, Nancy Schwartzman. She’s an amazing filmmaker that consistently delivers great, well-reported films that expose rape culture in America. Here’s a quote from our founder, “I respect the hell of Nancy! I was honored to be a panelist for one of her Washington, DC screenings of Roll Red Roll and a New York screening of xoxosms. It’s been amazing to watch her career blossom, and she so fully deserves every well-earned nod and recognition she has received.” Keep an eye out for her new film Victim/Suspect at Sundance.
STD Awareness Month
Anyone halfway listening to the news is aware of Trump’s current legal woes. However, did you know that during his tenure in office, his policies were correlated with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes across the country? Our founder wrote an article during his tenure regarding STD awareness.
Further, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2017-2021:
- Chlamydia cases remained at record highs although cases reported dipped during the period;
- Gonorrhea cases increased by 25%;
- Syphilis cases increased by 68%.
During STD Awareness Month, health organizations across the country work to increase awareness around sexually transmitted diseases (also known as Sexually Transmitted Infections) and to educate the public about prevention, testing, and treatment. For more information on the month and about STIs themselves, visit the CDC or the American Sexual Health Association.
Sunday, April 2
World Autism Awareness Day
Autism is a lifelong condition that is found during early childhood regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status. The neurological condition presents itself through unique social interactions and challenges in communication and processing information. We celebrate this day to bring awareness to the high rate of occurrence around the globe and to remind people that disabilities aren’t always visible. We should never discredit the presence of invisible disabilities.
Wednesday, April 5
American Birth Control League is Incorporated in New York
Nearly a century ago, Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL). Widely considered to be the first organization focused on women and birth control, ABCL’s mission was to advocate for women to be legally and medically able to make their own fertility decisions. Through time and joint ventures, ABCL became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. While the ABCL played a pivotal role in America’s reproductive rights movement, the founder’s controversial support of eugenics has somewhat tarnished the work of the organization she founded. Much like the U.S. founding fathers (who were slave owners), she was a product of her time. It’s true — we can’t divorce people from the time in which they lived; however, shout out to Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and others who were often alive and well at the same exact time yet they choose freedom for all, over oppression, and love over fear. Basically, we want to name-check folks who were alive with Sanger and/or the Founding Fathers were alive who DIDN’T act as Sanger and the Founding Fathers did. It’s like that old joke: Consensus takes too long — ask the Quakers, for their position on slavery. They waited until they reached to consensus (which decided against in the 1700s and petitioned the U.S. to get rid of it.).
Booker T. Washington’s Birthday (1856)
Educator, author, speaker, and community leader Booker T. Washington was one of the most notable — and controversial intellectuals of the post-Reconstruction era. Despite being born as an enslaved person in 1856 he put himself through school and became an advocate for the uplifting of Black Americans.
Saturday, April 8
Kinsey Institute for Sex Research incorporated in Indiana
Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey had been a lecturer on marriage and family for nearly a decade by the time he established the Institute for Sex Research (ISR) on the Indiana University campus in 1947. According to the organization, when it was first established, the ISR had two primary goals: to continue researching human sexual behavior and to administer research resources. Dr. Kinsey was the director of the ISR from its beginnings until his death on August 25, 1956. During his leadership, the Kinsey Reports became a talking point in American culture.
Monday, April 10
Dolores Huerta’s Birthday (1930)
If you’ve ever chanted, “Si, se puede,” you’re chanting Dolores Huerta’s inspirational catchphrase. Labor leader, civil rights leader, and all-around badass Dolores Huerta turns 93 today. Huerta has spent the vast majority of her life as an organizer, first co-founding the Stockton chapter of the Community Service Organization, and then the Agricultural Workers’ Association. However, she’s probably best known for founding the National Farm Workers Association (now known as United Farm Workers of America) in 1962 with fellow activist César Chávez. Over the last few decades, Huerta’s focus has been on increasing Latinx political representation.
Tuesday, April 11
Fair Housing Act passed (1968)
Signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson just one week after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the Fair Housing Act was intended to prohibit several types of housing discrimination. This followed years of advocacy for housing rights, including a failed attempt in 1966 to pass a civil rights bill ensuring fair housing. Twenty years later, the Fair Housing Amendments Act expanded the 1968 law to prohibit discrimination in housing based on disability or family status. Today we have to deal with the rising cost of living. As of 2022, the inflation rate (which significantly affects the cost of living) of 6.5% jumped from numbers under 3% for nearly twenty years. This leads to increasing numbers of tent cities around the country – all of this disproportionately affects oppressed people, which is why fair housing is all the more important in these times.
Tuesday, April 18
Tax Day, as we now know it, was not made law until 1955 when sweeping changes were made to the tax code. The very first Tax Day, in 1914, was set for March 1st. Four years later, the Revenue Act of 1918 moved the date to March 15th (giving an American twist to “The Ides of March!”), and that’s where it stood for 37 years. When stating why they moved the date again, lawmakers explained that the later date of April 15th would help both taxpayers and the IRS. Hmm. If you haven’t yet completed your civic financial duty, visit the IRS to apply for an extension.
National Columnists’ Day
Established by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in honor of fallen colleague Ernie Pyle, this is a day to celebrate column writers around the world and their work. Our founder has written several columns herself, first with Nerve magazine, and most recently with Metro International newspapers. See more of her writing here.
Saturday, April 22
The first ever Earth Day was held in 1970. The day was created to show support for environmental protection. Those seeking to learn more ways to celebrate should check out this website. Our firm finds this day significant for various reasons, but ultimately for how this movement intersects with reproductive health. The National Women’s Law Center reminds us, “By endorsing the principles of Reproductive Justice—including the right to bear and raise children in healthy environments—you are advancing Environmental Justice.” Read and share their five tips for supporting both movements:
- “Recognize women and children suffer unique effects of environmental hazards and advocate for policies that improve reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes.”
- “Support the right of all parents to raise their children in healthy environments by advocating for the equitable distribution of green space, walking and biking trails, and playgrounds in low-income communities.”
- “Urge regulatory protections and safer labor practices for those exposed to toxic chemicals in industries dominated by low-income workers and Women of Color. Protections ought to increase awareness of potential harms and inform workers of their rights without promoting employment discrimination against pregnant, potentially pregnant, or nursing women.”
- “Support programs that promote gender equality and improve women’s economic conditions. Increase access to safe and affordable contraceptives and abortion and oppose coercive solutions to environmental problems that limit reproductive autonomy, such as employment policies that require workers to prove they are infertile in order to work with substances that cause birth defects.”
- “Encourage agencies, such as the EPA, FDA, and OSHA, to pass and enforce regulations requiring industries using or producing chemicals to regularly test, report on, and reduce the toxicity of their products. Dismantle or repeal existing regulations that place the burden of harmful environmental exposures on poor communities and Communities of Color.”
Sunday, April 23
Loretta Lynch becomes first African American woman to be Attorney General
Nominated by President Obama, Loretta Lynch was confirmed as the nation’s most senior law enforcement official on this date in 2015. During her two-year tenure, she helped secure federal hate crime charges against the Charleston church shooter, worked with the FBI on the Orlando nightclub shooting case, and indicted leaders in the soccer governing body FIFA for corruption.
World Book Day
First established in 1995 by UNESCO, the purpose of this awareness day is for people around the world to develop an appreciation of reading, learn more about publishing, and increase awareness of copyright issues. In honor of this day, we encourage everyone “Read Banned Books” in an effort to challenge movements that seek to censor stories for various reasons but many have been representative of history and even the controversial aspects of it. Join the fight against banning these books.
National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23–29
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, founded the first National Infertility Awareness Week in 1989. During this awareness week, advocates seek to eliminate stigma around infertility; address issues with access to treatment, adoption, or third-party options; and provide support to anyone facing infertility.
Tuesday, April 25
Anniversary of March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation (1993)
Thought to be one of the largest protests in the community in U.S. history, the march focused on civil rights for the LGBTQIA community, including:
- Passage of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights bill;
- Repeal of sodomy laws;
- Increase in funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care;
- Legislation preventing discrimination in the areas of family diversity, custody, adoption and foster care.
Exactly how much progress has been made over the last 30 years is a matter of opinion; considering the growing number of anti-LGBTQIA bills the need for advocacy continues.
Wednesday, April 26
Lesbian Day of Visibility
First celebrated in the U.S. in 2008, Lesbian Visibility Day is now a worldwide observance to express pride, recognize the achievements of lesbian trailblazers, and celebrate diversity within lesbian culture. #LesbianVisibilityDay
National Immigrant Resilience Day (NIRD)
This day of resistance is led by the youth-focused immigration organization United We Dream. On National Immigrant Resilience Day, educational institutions (and individuals!) are urged to support undocumented students, fight against deportation efforts, and ensure places of learning are welcoming to all immigrants. Get more information on NIRD at the United We Dream website.
Thursday, April 27
Coretta Scott King’s Birthday (1927)
Activist and widow of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King was born in Heiberger, Alabama. After graduating from high school as the valedictorian of her class, she left Alabama to attend Antioch College in Ohio. She originally planned to become a teacher, however, the local school board would not allow her to teach. She then moved to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. It was there she met her future husband. After they married and relocated to Montgomery, she also participated in marches and joined him at his speeches. While she had begun some activism work apart from Dr. King, after his assassination she became even more prominent, leading marches, establishing The King Center, and advocating for a national holiday in honor of her husband’s birthday. In her later years, she became an anti-apartheid activist and an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and LGBTQIA rights. She died on January 30, 2006.
Sunday, April 30
Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
If you’re thinking of adding a furry family member to your home, consider skipping the breeders and heading to your local shelter instead. With thousands of animals placed in shelters daily, there’s never been a better time to help an animal find their “fur”ever home! Our founder adopted two shelter cats, and her life hasn’t been the same! Learn more about adopting a pet.
Do you have an April day that is especially important to you? We can help you incorporate it into your content calendar. From artificial intelligence to social media strategy to digital advertising, understanding data analytics and digital marketing is important to every social cause. If you’re interested in learning more about these technologies and putting them to good use at your organization to improve your social impact, get in touch with us.