It's easy to think that everyone in the United States has all they need. But so many lack the basics--running water, safety, food. What can YOU do? #fmfparty #MMNWG #DayofAwareness

In a country where consumerism rules as king, I often forget that I live better than 80% of the world’s population. I lack little in my life. We have vehicles that work, running water, a warm house, fun jobs, religious freedom, and spare change to indulge in luxuries now and then.

But, oh, so many people in the United States and the world lack so much. The books I’ve read lately press in on my heart. Killers of the Flower Moon highlights the lack of humanity towards Native Americans in the 1920s and 30s. The inhumanity has abated, but it still exists.

It's easy to think that everyone in the United States has all they need. But so many lack the basics--running water, safety, food. What can YOU do? #fmfparty #MMNWG #DayofAwareness

Devil in the Grove tells the story of Thurgood Marshall’s greatest case and highlights the lack of human decency in the south in the 40s and 50s. A country sheriff kills black suspects with impunity, bombs civil rights workers, and sends four young men to their deaths on a trumped-up rape charge.

These stories make me wonder. How have things changed in the past 90 years? Do black citizens feel as safe and equal as I have the privilege of feeling? Can Native Americans claim full citizenship and equality with other Americans?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

Fifty percent of my students come from homes that lack basic indoor plumbing or running water. And I live and teach in the United States. Currently, over 500 Native and Indigenous women and girls are missing. That’s an epidemic. The mother of two of our students is one of the missing.

We Lack Little, but We Can Do More

Jesus tells us over and over to take care of the weak, the underrepresented, the disenfranchised, the poor, the widows, and the children. So today I bought a t-shirt. Two of them, in fact. And on May 5, I’ll wear my red t-shirt, take a selfie, and join other concerned citizens who want to call attention to the missing and murdered Native women and girls in the United States.

You can get your t-shirt here. I challenge you to take a selfie and use the hashtags #DayofAwareness #MMNWG #MMIWG #StoptheViolence. Let your voice raise awareness to a group who has no voice. Hey, you don’t have to buy the t-shirt to participate, just wear red and do the selfie thing.

I challenge you to raise awareness of the crisis. Wear red on May 5. #DayofAwareness #MMNWG #fmfparty Click To Tweet

#MMNWG stands for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. You can also use the hashtag #MMIWG Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!


  1. Living as a target,
    hated near and far,
    not allowed to forget
    the damning yellow star.
    All they ever wanted
    was a place to live in peace,
    never to be haunted
    by evil’s dark release.
    But it’s the benjamins, baby,
    and racism is chic
    coming from a congress-lady
    who’s anything but unique.
    The necessary old refrain:
    “Masada will not fall again.”

  2. We sadly live in a similar reality here in Australia. We live in peace and prosperity, while our first people live in disadvantaged circumstances. These kinds of awareness campaigns are very important.

  3. Thank You! We can do so much better. White privilege in a lot of ways is a disease and needs some healing! Very thought provoking post!

  4. I often said during my career that many in America have no idea how so many children live in need! Appalachia is another place where poverty prevails. Your post evokes such sadness in me. There is nothing difficult about being kind and offering a helping hand and yet we humans have a hard time doing it. Adding your cause to my prayer list!

  5. Thank you for opening my eyes, Anita! Raising awareness about the injustices in the world is huge for starting to correct those injustices. Given your experiences, what are some solid ways–or what has proven to be more effective ways–to bring about positive change in the face of overwhelming and huge problems? I’m honestly asking, as I feel like whatever small things I can and do do, they just feel rather futile. What honestly works? What’s effective, rather than just being a pat-on-the-back or a bandaid?

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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