Best of the Decade: Social Justice Movements

In the last decade, people became more interconnected than ever as social media grew in popularity. This fostered communication across the US and even the world, which helped people point out injustices and fight for change. These are my top social justice movements of the decade. 

Black Lives Matter 

After George Zimmerman was acquitted for murdering Trayvon Martin, the “Black Lives Matter” movement gained traction as people came together to protest the injustices black people face due to racism. It especially focused on police brutality. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” emphasizes the fact that black lives matter just as much as white lives and that they would not be silenced until reform came. 

Gay Marriage Legalized 

In 1996, the Clinton Administration redefined marriage as the “union between one man and one woman.” This definition meant gay marriage was not nationally recognized. As a result, if states wanted to legalize it, they had to do it themselves. This changed on June 26, 2015, when the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage across the United States. After protesting for many years, they finally got the outcome they wanted. 

The Women’s March 

On January 21, 2017, over 470,000 people marched on Washington, DC, and over seven million people marched worldwide for the “Women’s March.” This was purposely organized the day after Trump’s inauguration in order to make a statement that his “anti-woman” rhetoric would not be accepted and that “women’s rights are human rights.” The Women’s March on Washington was the biggest protest in American history. 

The #MeToo Movement 

The Me Too Movement was founded in 2006 to help sexual assault survivors both by broadening the resources available to them and by creating a community of advocates. In 2017, #MeToo brought the Me Too Movement to the forefront of society, as survivors of sexual assault or violence shared their stories. They did this to give hope to people who have endured similar experiences, letting them know that they are not alone. Additionally, they hoped to bring change to industries where people were exploited by people in power, such as the corruption in Hollywood by people like Harvey Weinstein. 

The March For Our Lives 

On March 28, 2018, over 200,000 people marched on Capitol Hill following the deadly shooting in Parkland, FL. This march was organized by the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It rallied students across the nation to walk out of their schools in order to gain public support for gun control with the hope that politicians would take action. The march sparked conversation over the importance of gun reform and the impact young people can have on politics. 

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