Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! MLK Jr. Day is celebrated across the US on the third Monday of January to honor the civil rights activist’s contributions to society. While many companies and figures post for the holiday, young people online critique this acknowledgment when it goes no further than a post. Public Citizen Tweeted, “Any elected official that blocked voting rights legislation should keep their MLK Jr. Tweets in the drafts.” The replies to Tweeted quotes by Kevin McCarthy and Kayleigh McEnany are laughable. King’s daughter, Bernice King, posted a Clippit asking, “It looks like you’ve quoted Martin Luther King Jr. out of context instead of engaging with the complex reality of white supremacy in America. Would you like some help with that?” The overarching message here? If you are going to post a King quote, do the work beyond one day. 

2022 was the year of the union! In Fiscal Year 2022, election petitions increased by 53% from FY2021 — with over 2,500 filed with the National Labor Relations Board. One hub for this development was universities. Workers from both the graduate school and campus facilities have joined together to fight for higher pay, more benefits, and appreciation from colleges. United Campus Workers, a southern-based organization, has chapters at universities in Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Higher Labor United campaign currently has over 556,000 workers and 300,000 students on board to call for the College for All Act, regulation to “stabilize higher education employment,” “categoriz[ation of] student workers as campus employees,” and more. Recently, Yale University, the University of North Carolina system, Duke University, Rice University, and the University of Buffalo announced substantial spikes to the salaries of graduate and facilities workers. The Twitter account Dripped Out Trade Unionists captured a Yale University graduate worker celebrating a 91% union win. 2022 may have been the year of the union but, with how 2023 is starting, it looks like the momentum for labor organizing can only increase. 

As per usual, the Golden Globes were … an event. After the 2021 Los Angeles Times exposé calling its hosts the Hollywood Foreign Press Association out for corruption, racism, sexual harassment, and exorbitantly high salaries, the HFPA and Golden Globes have struggled to regain footing. Studios and actors both boycotted the awards, with NBC taking a one-year hiatus from airing the ceremony. Since the LA Times article, the Golden Globes have added 103 international journalists representing 63 countries to their voting body (increasing their female representation to 52% and their racial/ethnic diversity to 51.8%). At the awards, many winners, as well as the host Jerrod Carmichael, addressed the criticism. Carmichael pointed out his role as the first Black host in the Golden Globe’s history, quoting, “I’m here ‘cause I’m Black. … [HFPA] didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died.” He also disclosed that he was paid $500,000 to host that night from the steps of the stage. joked she was “making note of everyone in hollywood who didn’t laugh at jerrod carmichaels opening monologue at the golden globes — and everyone who did.” Later during the show, Michelle Yeoh marveled at the 40 years of acting that have lead her to win a Golden Globe award. She pointed out the trio of experiences of being older, female, and Asian in the film industry, and thanked “the shoulders that [she stands] on, all who came before [her] who look like” her. The internet fell in love with Yeoh and Andrew Garfield’s interaction earlier that night. Now, we’ll get to see how well the HFPA and Golden Globes stick to their promise after 2023’s awards end. 

Over the past year, climate protests featured in mainstream media have become more unorthodox. From the infamous tomato-soup-and-“Sunflowers” demonstration to the cake-and-“Mona-Lisa” incident, activists have been met with increasing scrutiny by the general public. In light of this, Extinction Rebellion UK — a group notorious for eye-catching disruptive demonstrations — has “quit” their tactics of arrestable public disruption. While the international movement is planning to “go bigger and louder than ever before,” the UK chapter will temporarily shift towards relationships with decision makers. YouGov polling showing a high dislike of Extinction Rebellion (currently, 32% to 21%) has motivated many chapters to reassess their practices. This change was also motivated by the proposed “Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act,” which allows officers to more easily restrict protests. On social media, many young people have made trouble for polluters, from Regan Jayne’s “Random Acts of Climate” to providing easy pro-climate actions. One thing about Gen Z: we’ll always show up for what’s important to us. 

Emory University is showing up for their words. In December of 2022, they announced they would support faculty research projects that eradicate inequality. Grants range from $150,000 to $300,000 over three years. Research topics include, among others, “democracy and civil rights,” “the arts as a force for justice,” and “environmental justice and climate change.” Emory president Gregory Fenves joined the university in August 2020, with a commitment to social justice. They also provide RACE Forward $250 micro-grants to students championing racial equity.  Some other campuses that provide racial advocacy prizes are Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Miami, Williams College, and Columbia University. These grants are an important step for universities to encourage concrete steps towards equity. 


✨ This trend has me yelling, “DOOP” 24/7! Users point out ironic “dupes” of popular brands, whether at stores, in school, or at home. Check out examples by Zaya Perysian and @swagshady

✨ Sorry to break it to you, but naps, online shopping, and reading fanfiction are not healthy coping mechanisms. @mikaelaistired’s audio is exposing everyone on their coping skills — and we’re a bit concerned. Yet again, Gen Z is poking fun at our problems. 

✨ Does third wheeling make you think, “I guess I gotta go?” This TikTok audio, quoting SZA’s “Open Arms,” is used by young people to highlight the awkward moments that make you say “‘ight, I’mma head out.” @buffalochickendipbby and @saviangabrielle encapsulate the trend perfectly! 

Screenshot of the Week 

The love is strong here! In this photo, Hank Willis Thomas hugs his wife Rujeko Hockley at the opening of “The Embrace” in Boston. Willis Thomas designed the 20-foot-tall sculpture along with Embrace Boston, choosing to illustrate the iconic photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King celebrating his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize win. Ekua Holmes of the Boston Art Commission said, “as young people from around the world — but especially here in Boston — encounter The Embrace, I hope they see themselves reflected in its bronze patina, feel proud, and know that history moves forward from where they stand today.” “The Embrace” is now entering everyone’s bucket list! 

Harmonie Ramsden