Celebrate Essential Workers This Weekend – The reFRESH

September 4, 2020

Mer Young for Dear Frontline

Art by Mer Young for Dear Frontline

Written by Jackson Bird

This week we’re reflecting on the true meaning of Labor Day and staying cognizant of how the internet is changing us as a society.

What we’re checking out…

As we kick off Labor Day weekend, let’s not forget about domestic workers who are systemically underpaid and unprotected. Caring Across Generations has a plan for that. Read their report.

Tune in Sunday evening at 8 PM Eastern for the Tribute to Essential Workers livestream. Organized by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and in partnership with dozens of other labor organizations, the Labor Day celebration will feature essential workers, their families, artists, unique performances, powerful stories, and more. 

How and when did we start celebrating Labor Day anyways? Read a brief history from the Smithsonsian.

This personal story of grief and mourning by Jesmyn Ward might be the best thing published all summer. 

If you follow us on Instagram, you know we’re big fans of The Sweet Feminist and her knack for making social justice look so delicious. But there’s a new cake trend on Instagram: just having fun and not caring how messy it looks. Could this trend finally free us of the pressure to appear perfect on social media? 

FRESH Co-Founder Courtney Martin wrote an excellent rumination on how we’re being changed by this age of video conferencing and physical isolation. 

If you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend, the Sundance award-winning documentary Feels Good Man is now streaming on Apple TV and other major platforms. It follows artist Matt Furie, who created the Pepe the Frog character that was co-opted by the alt-right. The film takes a critical look at how online culture has contributed to the polarizing vortex of misinformation we’re mired in today.

Relatedly, FRESH Speaker Jamia Wilson is featured in the documentary Netizens, which takes a look at the consequences of and possible solutions to online harassment. Netizens is now streaming on HBO Max and Apple TV.

Our reFRESHing Talk of the Week is from Clippers head coach Doc Rivers reflecting on the realities of being Black in America, following the murder of Jacob Blake.


The latest from our speakers…

Franklin Leonard and Jamil Smith appeared together on MSNBC to discuss the legacy of Chadwick Boseman.

Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo’s podcast Sunstorm is returning for its second season on Tuesday. Subscribe wherever you get podcasts!

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is one of four new Public Artists In Residence for the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

Your Vote Is Power by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Posters created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya as part of MoveOn.org x Amplifier’s “Your Vote is Power” campaign. Download or get a sticker for free here.

Veronica Chambers had an excellent end to August, appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and making it onto The New York Times Bestseller List with her new book Finish The Fight.

Jess Morales Rocketto, alongside Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Carmen Perez, and others, launched She Se Puede, a new community by and for Latinas.

Mychal Denzel Smith wrote for TIME about how he misses his Black barbershop, but how it’s about so much more than a haircut. 

Simran Jeet Singh wrote a piece for PEN America’s We Will Emerge project, which features over 100 writers reflecting on what America will look like after the pandemic.

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