2020-03-01 - 2020-03-31

Details

  • Start: 2020-03-01
  • End: 2020-03-31
  • Event Category Humanist Action Kit

Theme

March focuses on women’s rights and the continued fight to protect them. Humanistic social justice advocacy involves respect for the equality of all people, compassion for their dignity and welfare, and a conviction that positive change requires human intervention. Women’s rights are human rights, meaning all genders have the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property and live is safe living quarters; to vote; to bodily autonomy; and to earn a fair and equal wage. Together we expand awareness and understanding of various forms of bigotry and foster compassion in our society.

Useful Dates for March

Women's History Month
Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month” to honor women’s contributions in American history. The 2019 Women’s History Month theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” The theme honors “women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.” See more at https://www.womenshistory.org.
March 1 - Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day is observed each year on March 1 as a day to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the United Nations. The day is particularly noted by organizations like UNAIDS that combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. The 2020 focus aims to generate political will and support for action to address discrimination against women and girls that are legal and economic barriers to women’s equal access to health and education
March 3 - World Wildlife Day
According to the World Wildlife Day website, “we will celebrate the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. We will work to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, particularly to those communities who live in closest proximity to it, and we will discuss the threats they are facing and the urgent need for governments, civil society, private sector actors and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued use is sustainable.”
March 8 - International Women's Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 since 1911. It celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and encourages people around the world to actively challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, and improve situations. The 2020 theme is #EachforEqual: each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
March 8 - 72nd anniversary McCollum v. Board of Education
McCollum v. Board of Education is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on March 8, 1948, ruled (8–1) that an Illinois public school board had violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause when it allowed religious instruction during school hours and on school property. The court held that the program was “beyond all question” using “the tax-established and tax-supported public school system” to help “religious groups spread their faith.” This was in direct violation of the First Amendment, which “erected a wall between Church and State which must be kept high and impregnable.” Accordingly, the court found that the religious-instruction program was unconstitutional.
March 14 - Pi Day (3.14)
Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi) observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. It’s often used as an excuse to celebrate with pie.
March 16 - Freedom of Information Day
March 16th, the birthday of President James Madison, recognizes National Freedom of Information Day to celebrate our right to access information held by the federal government. Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution”, a key champion of the Bill of Rights, and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. Individual rights and freedom of information were of high importance to Madison.
March 19 - Spring Equinox
In 2020, March 19 is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. With the equinox, enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.
March 20 - International Day of Happiness
Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. People use the day to spread joy with celebrations, acts of kindness, humor, and advocating for well-being.
March 21 - International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21 in recognition of March 21, 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Racism and intolerance can take various forms—from denying individuals the basic principles of equality to fueling ethnic hatred that may lead to genocide—all of which can destroy lives and fracture communities.
March 22 - World Water Day
World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. The 2020 focus is about water and climate change—and how the two are inextricably linked. Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases.
March 26 - Richard Dawkin's Birthday
Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, professor, and author. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, which later merged with the Center for Inquiry. Dawkins has been awarded academic and writing awards, and he makes television, radio, and Internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, his atheism, and his ideas and opinions He is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design.He was named Humanist of the Year in 1996.

Activities

Celebrate Women’s Vote Centennial
The passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment was possible because local, state, and national organizations and activists fought together for change at every level of society and government. Today, local groups are banding together across the country to preserve local suffrage history and honor the ongoing work of women’s equality. Discover what is happening in your state for suffrage.

Join FHA Social Justice Representative Program
As intersectional feminists, we value genuine, non-tokenized diversity in our communities, and over time, several AHA groups have sought assistance with social justice activism from the Feminist Humanist Alliance. That’s why, as part of their 2019 Action Plan, the FHA developed and began implementation of a social justice representative program to provide education, support, and an open line of communication around social justice issues. The program is in its pilot stages, being tested in a few larger locations, but the goal is to see widespread participation across the country’s AHA groups. If you’re interested in participating, or if your group is doing powerful social justice work you’d like to share, let them know at feministhumanists@americanhumanist.org.

Letters to the Editor
A Letter to the Editor (or LTE) is a great way for your group to raise awareness on important issues locally, nationally, and globally, as well as get media attention for your group. Consider discussing your ideas during a letter-writing party. Here are step-by-step instructions, some additional tips, and below are some prompts you can use for March:
– Why do you stand up against discrimination as a humanist?
– Why is injustice to one group injustice to all?
– How do you appreciate life without any ties to faith?
– How does your group help people live happy, meaningful lives (connected to World Happiness Day)?

Recommended Books & Movies

The ERA’s New Era by Krista Cox, TheHumanist.com (Feb. 20, 2020)
Take our Feminism & Humanism: Women of Color Beyond Faith online course
Visit National Women’s History Museum online

Social Media Toolkit

#WomensRights #WomensEquality #GenderEquality

‪A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men. ‬― Gloria Steinem, 2012 Humanist of the Year

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t. ― Audre Lorde

Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table. ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez