7 biggest moments of activism in 2022 (so far) – Mashable

Let’s not beat around the bush. This year has been a lot. From attacks on fundamental liberties to the systemic erasure of the existence of queer people, and yet more public and digital violence, 2022 hasn’t given us a break from bad news. It’s been exhausting to exist both in the real world and on the internet. 
But among these dark 2022 moments there have existed bright glimmers of hope. Communities knit together a warm cover of activism and resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors. Individuals stepped up for one another yet again. And history was still made for the better.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the bright moments within all the bad, to serve as a reminder that people can still make a difference.
After years of litigation, the National Women’s Soccer League finally saw its first equal pay win as the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team reached a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation in its class-action suit for equal pay. The globally recognized athletes and World Cup winners had been embroiled in a fight for fair compensation for three years, and the internet responded to the win with a resounding cheer of triumph. It was one step closer to equal pay in a highly competitive sport, coming with the promise that future players would be paid the same as the men’s team.
New Zealand achieved a global “win for humanity” as the country officially banned conversion therapy and made it an illegal offense to engage in practices “that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” according to the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill. After its first introduction in July 2021, the bill was met with historically popular petitions and country-wide public input in favor of the new legislation. New Zealand is one of 14 countries — including Brazil, Samoa, Fiji, Argentina, Germany, and others — that have banned some form of the practice.
After an arduous confirmation hearing that highlighted the hypocritical standards and power politics set for Black women in personal and professional settings, Ketanji Brown Jackson was finally confirmed in April as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Black woman justice. The hearing was an eye-opening moment for many, and spurred countless discussions about race and gender — including viral, highly emotional comments by Representative Cory Booker. A day after her confirmation, Jackson spoke about the history-making moment saying, “The path was cleared for me, so that I might rise to this occasion. And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now.”
This year saw multiple attempts at silencing the history and existence of LGBTQ people and youth. In Texas, political leaders targeted trans children and their families with a call to treat gender-affirmation treatments as child abuse. Meanwhile, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law banned the discussion of sexuality and gender identity by public school teachers. The two states joined (and influenced) other state legislators with discriminatory policies of their own, like those in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio, but also spurred inspirational acts of support for LGBTQ youth around the country. Students organized walkouts in Florida school districts, protests took over state capitols, and even Disney employees stepped out to protest their employer’s response to the discriminatory bill.
In February, the Russian military invaded the eastern border of Ukraine, beginning an international conflict that forced more than a million people living in Ukraine out of the country as refugees, resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and humanitarian violations, and increased violence against anti-war protesters in Russia. The international community threw out immense support for the displaced people, with fundraisers, temporary housing offers from around the world, and many other forms of aid.
To the horror of many, 2022 appeared to usher in the latest, perhaps most devastating, attack on reproductive health care in recent memory when a leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court justices implied a terrifying reversal of Roe v. Wade protections. In true fashion, reproductive justice activists, nonprofits, celebrities, and everyday folks gathered together to demand the right to safe reproductive healthcare and abortion access. From donation drives to nationwide protests, the #BansOffOurBodies movement swelled. Celebrities, including pop music’s biggest stars and indie favorite Phoebe Bridgers, signed a petition by Planned Parenthood and shared their personal abortion stories, while masses of people gathered around the country and in solidarity marches around the world.  
The middle of the year was marked by the devastating news of yet another mass shooting, this time at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The event was the worst school shooting since the events of Sandy Hook in 2012, and it was both preceded and followed by several more public, mass shootings around the country, including those in Buffalo, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Laguna Woods, California. Needless to say, many Americans were just fed up. Gun reform activists once again demanded action from slow-to-move politicians, protesters staked themselves outside the National Rifle Association annual meeting happening 5 hours away in Houston, and Texas residents waited their turn to donate blood for the victims as the state faced a crisis in supply.
For many, it finally felt like public opinion might be on the side of gun reform, with activists communicating a sense of hope, bi-partisan leaders meeting to hopefully strike a deal on gun reform legislation, and even some GOP donors voicing support for gun control measures. Ultimately, the somber moment was in part a reminder of how communities have joined together to offer support during an emotionally taxing year.
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