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The May 4 'MHP' Syllabus

An immigration hunger striker reunites with her undocumented mother, the midterms, athlete activism, fighting for marriage equality in the church, and more!

In #nerdland, political strategy is one of our favorite topics, especially when the stakes are high.

Each side, Republicans and Democrats, must strategize, pick platform topics, raise money, and determine which states need more support than others in the critical midterm contests. This election cycle it seems that the House of Representatives will keep its Republican majority, but the Senate is a much different story. On Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of how the Democrats and Republicans plan to fight it out at the ballot box and who looks like they will have the better odds come November.

Three weeks ago we brought you the story of Cynthia Diaz, the 18-year old who went on a hunger strike in front of the White House to protest the detention of her mother, an undocumented immigrant. Cynthia’s mother was recently reunited with her family, but the same cannot be said for other families that have been ripped apart by the US’s current immigration system. The story of the Diaz family underscores the need for immigration reform. Despite his efforts, it does not appear that President Obama will be able to push through comprehensive immigration reform anytime soon. As for Republicans, their failure to broach the topic could alienate them from a growing voting demographic. But could Jeb Bush change all of that? We’ll discuss just why immigration reform has been so hard to enact and we’ll be joined by the newly reunited mother and daughter on Sunday’s MHP.

We’ve been talking a lot about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was recently banned from all NBA activities and fined $2.5 million for racist remarks he made in a recorded conversation leaked to TMZ Sports. NBA commissioner Adam Silver may have been the one to hand down the punishment, but it was the players who launched a full-court press to show the commissioner just how serious they were about punishing Sterling to the fullest extent of NBA guidelines. Should they have had to do so? WNBA star Swin Cash and ESPN

While some churches and organizations oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of freedom of religious expression, one church is using the same Constitutional protection to promote marriage equality. In North Carolina, the United Church of Christ along with other faith leaders, and same-sex couples, are suing the state in order to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage claiming the ban violates their freedom of religion.

The White House task force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, co-chaired by the Office of the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls, released its first report on Tuesday. Two survivors who helped make this task force a reality, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, will join us Sunday on set to talk about how their work helped to bring federal attention to campus sexual assault.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10am ET on msnbc! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.