Issue 67, February 2014
Cover Art: Alvin Black III
A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine
Living in Color
BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine
tHEiRstory, Activism, & Academia
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Seeking submissions on the topics of: history, feminist movements, social justice movements, activism, strikes, marches, academia, theorists, essayists, culture icons, actions, monuments, as well as modern takes on feminism, social justice, and oppression. Send your artwork, writing, and poetry to
firstname.lastname@example.org by March 24th
Feminisms: Theirstory, Activism, and Academia April
The Body Politic April
2014-15 BROAD Team Application & Interviews May
The Issue of Men
A feminist is a person who answers “yes” to the question, “Are women human?” Feminism is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men. And it’s certainly not about trading personal liberty--abortion, divorce, sexual self-expression-for social protection as wives and mothers, as pro-life feminists propose. It’s about justice, fairness, and access to the
range of human experience. It’s about women consulting their own well-being and being judged as individuals rather than as members of a class with one personality, one social function, one road to happiness. It’s about women having intrinsic value as persons rather than contingent value as a means to an end for others: fetuses, children, the “family,” men. ~ Katha Pollitt
broad | brÔd |
adjective 1 having an ample distance from side to side; wide 2 covering a large number and wide scope of subjects or areas: a broad range of experience 3 having or incorporating a wide range of meanings 4 including or coming from many people of many kinds 5 general without detail 6 (of a regional accent) very noticeable and strong 7 full, complete, clear, bright; she was attacked in broad daylight noun (informal) a woman.
broad | brÔd |
slang a promiscuous woman
phrases broad in the beam: with wide hips or large buttocks in broad daylight: during the day, when it is light, and surprising for this reason have broad shoulders: ability to cope with unpleasant responsibilities or to accept criticism City of broad shoulders: Chicago synonyms see: wide, extensive, ample, vast, liberal, open, all-embracing antonyms see: narrow, constricted, limited, subtle, slight, closed see also broadside (n.) historical: a common form of printed material, especially for poetry
BROAD Mission: Broad’s mission is to connect the WSGS program with communities of students, faculty, and staff at Loyola and beyond, continuing and extending the program’s mission. We provide space and support for a variety of voices while bridging communities of scholars, artists, and activists. Our editorial mission is to provoke thought and debate in an open forum characterized by respect and civility.
WSGS Mission: Founded in 1979, Loyola’s Women’s Studies Program is the first women’s studies program at a Jesuit institution and has served as a model for women’s studies programs at other Jesuit and Catholic universities. Our mission is to introduce students to feminist scholarship across the disciplines and the professional schools; to provide innovative, challenging, and thoughtful approaches to learning; and to promote social justice.
Living In Color Welcome to our long-awaited Living In Color issue! This has always been one of our most popular issues, and we always enjoy working on it. In this issue, you will find topics on family, identity, discrimination and racism, image, white washing, and a huge collection of artistic pieces. We also welcome our newest columnist, Alex Shea White, with his regular column, “[In]Visible.” Turn the page for more!
Gaby Ortiz Flores
Diversity and Outreach Editor
Katie Klingel Editor In-Chief
Contetnt and Section Editor
J. Curtis Main Consulting Editor
Cont words are useless
Devastating Codes of Beauty, Mickalene Thomas Collection of Works,, Alvin Black III
Cheerios Commercial 2 Coca-Cola Commercial
Children’s Clothing Ads The Burqa and Women’s Social Communication in Afghanistan, Kazem Shakib
Articles A Second-Year Grad’s Reflection, Daviree Velazquez
12 Years a Slave
Media /Art broadside
Beauty, Gonzalo Jimenez Imagine a Woman, Patricia Lynn Reilly I am. I is, Iztac Tocatl Metztli Being Human, Naima
Ain’t I a Woman, bell hooks The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, George Lipsitz FROM YOUR EDITOR Gaby Ortiz Flores Feminism: Theirstory, Activism, and Academia Ad VISITING EDITOR Karla Estela Rivera Nichole Smith
tents New Levels
My Grandfatherâ€™s Legacy, Nichole F. Smith
Over the Rainbow
Principal Institutio Justice and Leadership Academy, Cynthia Candida Nambo Program Coordinator, Paige Gardner
White Washing, Patrick Fina
[In]Visible, Alex Shea White
How does your race/ethnicity impact you on a daily basis? How do you feel about having converstaions about race?
An Open Letter to My Daughter of Color- Kissing a Warrior, Karla Estela Rivera
Selma Freedom March
The Multi-Layered Voice of Saul Williams, Emma Steiber
Columns middle eastern musings
She Held a Palestinian Passport... That Was Her Fault Abeer Allan
Americorps LENS Volunteer, Jenine Arteaga
Inside r out
I Look Back, Around, and Then Forward, and I am Grateful, J. Curtis Main
Grace Lee Boggs Aziz Ansari Dolores Huerta Mindy Kaling
Productivity and Resources Workshops, Jane Currie
BROAD Schedule 2014 CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES BROAD MISSION AND PEOPLE
From Your Editor
Love isn’t about we did yesterday; it’s about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after. --Grace Lee Boggs When I was little I didn’t realize that some of my insecurities were based on my internalized racism. I remember being self-conscious of my knees in elementary school because they did not look like the knees of the white girls at my school. I remember being obsessed with blue or green eyes and the honey colored hair of a couple of my friends. I grew up watching Shirley Temple movies with my grandmother. I wanted to be Shirley Temple with her golden curls and blue eyes. Even watching black and white films was no help. The profiles of the women on screen as they were passionately kissed by their love interest, made me sad that my profile would never look like that. My own culture’s internalized racism didn’t make matters any better. At night during the weekdays, my family would watch the two or three Mexican soap operas that would be playing on a nightly basis. These soap operas were high in drama and also almost exclusively featured light skinned Mexicans with light colored eyes. The darker skinned Mexicans were almost always servants or villains of some kind or simply poor and uneducated people.
munities. This BROAD issue of Living In Color to me is more than just an issue about the experiences of people of color. For me, it’s not just one more way to reclaim our own identities and our communities, it’s also one more way to reclaim our own love as people of color. One more way we can practice looking in the mirror and say to ourselves, “You are beautiful representation of all your identities and I love you.” I’m excited for this issue because while many of the stories are full of painful and harrowing moments, they are also about joy, resiliency, and love. They are about the present reality and the work towards a better future. I want to thank Karla Estela Rivera and Nichole Faith Smith who are our two phenomenal Visiting Editors for this issue. This issue would not have been possible without their hard work and support. I also want to thank my friend Alvin Black, III for continuously showing me the beauty of a woman of color through his art.
While I was “lucky” to have light skin, I knew that I looked nothing like the European-looking Mexicans or the white Americans on television. My almond shaped eyes, Mayan-like nose, and round, flat face declared my indigenous roots or simply confused those who tried to pinpoint my exact racial origins.
I didn’t realize that love is where change begins. Racism is all about hate and when we turn that hate towards ourselves or towards others it becomes impossible for us to love ourselves let alone anyone else. That’s why social justice leaders like Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi talked about love and its ability to transform com-
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No one on television looked like me and somewhere in my mind the idea that I must be ugly rooted itself deep into my psyche. Also, because beauty is how our culture values women, “knowing” that I was not beautiful led me to believe that I was not worthy of another’s affection. Of course, my family loved me and my parents thought I was beautiful but they were my parents and it was hard to believe that they were not blinded by parental love.
Karla Estela Rivera
Biography: I am so excited and proud to be this month’s Visiting Editor for BROAD Magazine! As a Puerto Rican, a woman, and a filmmaker, writer, performer and activist, I have always used my storytelling talents with a mind for community. As early as 1996, I was featured in The Nation magazine as “the paper’s most prolific North Side writers” for my work with New Expression newspaper. As a teaching artist, I have worked with over 2,500 youth ages 8-21 in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York City and Chicago, focusing on high-need and urban communities of color. I now work at Instituto del Progreso Latino, formerly as an Administrative Coordinator for the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative’s Youth Mentoring Plus Jobs program and currently as Development & Communications Manager. For me, writing and choosing work that speaks to the issue of race is SO incredibly important. While this country has made great legislative strides towards inclusivity and equality, there is so much more work to be done. Now, in the age of technology, where racist, sexist, and offensive tweets, comments, and posts spread like wildfire – it’s clear that there is no such thing as a “post-racial” America. We must continue to share our stories and, in the words of Assata Shakur, have a r/evolution and become “weapons of mass construction.” I continue to write and work with local organizations. Most recently, I am a board member for the Chicago Votes Education fund Board and part of the multigenerational collective at Free Street Theater. I am a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and hold a BA from Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Film & Video with graduate studies at New York University.
Nichole Faith Smith
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Nichole Faith Smith is an alumni and former administrator of Loyola University Chicago. She has a Master’s in Education degree from the University with a focus on higher education and student development. Nichole discovered her passion for empowerment and community building focused on womyn and people of color during her time at LUC while working with LUCES (Loyola University Chicago Empowering Sisterhood), the Multicultural Learning Community, The People’s Institute Retreat, the Women’s Retreat, the Social Justice Advocates High School Empowerment program and other leadership initiatives. These programs and communities have helped Nichole understand, and establish pride around her identities as a Black womyn while also solidifying her commitment to the empowerment and uplift of self and folks of other underrepresented, underserved, and
Bookmark Here Get Your Read On.
Back of Book: A groundbreaking work of feminst history and theory analyzing the complex relations between various forms of oppression. Ain’t I a Woman examines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism within the recent women’s movement, and black women’s involvement with feminsim.
broadside Expressions in poetry via street literature style
Beauty Gonzalo Jimenez
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To Webster, beauty is no more than a combination of qualities such as shape, color or form. Qualities that please the aesthetic sense especially the sense of sight. To me beauty is more than that, more than that pretty girl you see riding the el after a long day. Beauty is a place where you find peace of mind, a place where we become oblivious to the ongoing war we have all come to know as Chi-Iraq, a place like Rudy where the teachers hold up our walls day in and day out. Beauty are all those teenage mothers and fathers who come to school every day so they may offer their children a better tomorrow. In this country a Latino male is 3 times more likely to end up in prison than they are to make it to a college dorm. Beauty is coming to school every morning so we may take a step forward and change that statistic. Beauty is walking down a stage with a college degree so we may no longer have to see articles titled, “boy 16 shot and killed” but rather be the writers of articles saying, “Angel Cano, friend, son, student at Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy. Passed all his classes, Spoke to everyone with a bright smile on his face and always encouraged those around him to succeed.” Beauty is representing our fallen soldiers such as Angel but not through acts of ongoing violence but rather settling our differences whether we come from Bridgeport, Back of the Yards, Little Village or Pilsen. So that we can come together and take down the system that has oppressed us for so long. That is what I see as beauty!
Photo Credit: Karla Estela Rivera
Living In Color
A Second Year Grad’s Reflection Daviree Velázquez
When I was little, my mom took my sister and me to a modeling agency. She, just like most parents, thought she had the world’s most beautiful children. When it was my turn to meet with the agent, I sat down and smiled. The agent responded by saying, “Oh, you are still in the ugly stage. Come back when that changes.” Apparently, the modeling agent didn’t think I was so pretty. It sounds harsh now, but I laugh to myself when
I think about it; maybe because of how ridiculous that comment was to say to a six year old; or maybe because the agent had no idea that my outer appearance did not reflect how I felt inside. In any case, this experience taught me about the resilience of inner beauty. Regardless of how others may view me, it is truly my inner beauty that counts. As I reflect on my first year as a grad student/Assistant Resident Director, I remember straying away
from the life lesson that I had learned as a child. I remember feeling not so beautiful. I felt lost, overwhelmed, and disingenuous. In order to cope with these feelings, I would journal frequently. Folks who know me could tell you that I always carry a journal. When I journal, an open dialogue spills onto the paper. I write in this format because it creates a space where my physical self and spiritual self connect. Today I will share that intimate space with all of you. I thank the cosmos that last school year is over. For most of last year, I felt like someone was pushing me under water; and for the first time in months, I have emerged for a breath of air. Last year I tried so hard to be someone that other people admired. I remember observing the people who others looked up to, and strategically planning how I could be more like them. It required me to change the color of my skin, hide the texture of my hair, be a different gender, and double my age. This was an extremely tiring process, but one that I was willing to take to ensure my personal success. I began to feel this way during my first Division of Student Development In-Service Meeting. I was counting how many women of color I saw – there were five. How could it be that there are only five women of color in a division with more than 80 people? And how could it be that not a single one is in a top leadership position?
I began to have informative interviews with folks who I perceived to be admired, so that I could replicate their success story. I stopped engaging in programs about diversity, multiculturalism and social justice, because people expected that of me. Maybe it was because of the color my skin, or my knowledge
I thought to myself “how many white folks do you see working in a diversity office?” So, I attempted to keep my passion for social justice a secret. In addition to my assistantship I took on a leadership position with a Women of Color initiative at my institution, but I chose not to share that with my colleagues. I tried to diminish my involvement to the outside world, in fear that people would find out that I’m actually very proud to be a woman of color. By the end of the year I had developed a professional identity so foreign to me that I felt like two different people. Until one day a mentor came along. During second semester I received an email from one of my assistant directors, who is also a woman of color, asking me to list out everything I had been involved in regarding diversity and social justice at the institution. I read that email, and almost had a panic attack. Oh my gosh, did they find out? I’m going to lose my job! How do I respond? Why does she need to know? I called her and as my hands were sweating and my heart was pounding, I asked why she needed that list. And before she could answer I blurted out, “Am I in trouble?” She was quiet on the other end of the phone, and then said “Dav! Why would you be in trouble? I just want you to be acknowledged for the work that you do!” My heart dropped. She knew about my secret love for justice, and wanted to acknowledge me for it. My face felt warm, and my eyes began to water. I know, you are probably thinking how melodramatic this is, but for me it was life changing. Since then I have realized that I have been guided to this place in my life for a reason. I am unique, I am beautiful, and I am strong, and all of my identities allow me to be all of those things. I have also realized that there will be folks who do not celebrate all aspects of who I am, but I remind myself that I am not working in student affairs for them. I am here for the students, and the gifts and talents I have to offer are distinctly different from anyone else. Nowadays, I am bringing Daviree to work and I can confidently say that she is the same Daviree regardless of the setting. So, if you are a graduate student or young professional I encourage you to be yourself. In fact, the field needs you to be yourself. True transformational education starts within. So, bring your true self to work, and be prepared for the transformation to being.
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I felt scared. I wondered how successful I would be as a Puerto Rican woman. I questioned whether people could tell I was a woman of color, and began thinking of ways I could pass. Maybe I should straighten my curly hair, or maybe I shouldn’t wear “exotic” earrings. Should I continue to put the accent on the “a” in Velázquez? But then I stopped and questioned my feelings. Why am I feeling this way? Aren’t I proud to be a Latina? My mind was often clustered by these conflicting thoughts. Soon thereafter, my colleagues began to affirm my insecurities. A fellow grad told me I was hired because the department needed to diversify the staff. Another shared that I spoke English surprisingly well for a person from a Spanish speaking family. I began to feel angry; not at the people who released those micro aggressions, but at myself. I hadn’t done a good enough job hiding my differences, which meant I wasn’t going to be successful.
base, or because I excel at that work. However, at the time I thought it was because I was being pigeon-holed into those positions.
Alex Shea White
(In)Visible Negotiating Transient Visibilities
(In)Visible I have always been visible as a Black individual. For the majority of my life, I was socialized and perceived as a Black girl and, later, a young woman. I had/have no means to hide my race and, with the help of my very zealous mother, I was given the tools to combat racism I internalized and racism I experienced over the course of my life. I only have one clear memory of when my race was invisible and my perceived gender served as a questionable benefit. I received my second job because the hiring
manager, based off of my voice over the phone and legal name, thought I was â€œa hot white chick with big titsâ€?. Suffice to say, my presentation at the time displeased and disappointed him yet I chose to keep the job to be a thorn in his side. My race, in conjunction with my perceived gender, were the sources of ridicule, hatred and overtly sexual overtures from men far older than I was. However, I never had the lived experience of my racialized body as a weapon until recently.
August 1, 2012. That day I walked into the Howard Brown Health Center and was given the general, insurance-friendly medical diagnosis of an “unspecified endocrine disorder”. A few hours later, I was back in my apartment armed with a ten-week supply of syringes, needles and testosterone. I later learned more about what I carried home than just a bag from the pharmacy; a new set of visible/invisible identities and the silence that can accompany the navigation of identities. I am a queer Black transperson that is perceived as either a gay Black cisman or, if I’m with my partner who is a queer white ciswoman, as straight Black cisman. I struggle sometimes with the loss of communities I was a part of before starting testosterone, as it has rendered me invisible to those communities and hyper-visible in spaces where I used to be viewed solely as a potential sexual conquest. I struggle with the loss of visibility because I felt that there was something powerful in being read as someone queer, gender non-conforming and Black. The choice to do something that made me happy (starting hormone replacement therapy) and the subsequent loss of former forms of visibility is something that I’m working to reconcile.
other people understand the mix of things that make up my gender. For this reason, I’ve stopped using genderqueer (also because I’ve never felt fully comfortable within that label) and transman also isn’t really quite right because it just doesn’t encapsulate the nuances of my gender in the way I want and need. Some may see this action as a form of silence but I would disagree. Some of my struggles with visibility as a person that is queer and trans is due to silence based in fear, which is born of past experiences and interactions. I carry within me a lingering anxiety that some day I will again encounter someone that will force my body to become the site of the violent forms transphobia and gender policing can take on. In spite of that, I break my silence in classrooms, in my life outside of academia and now, here, because I don’t want to slip into the privilege of quiet anonymity when I see what happens to transfolks of color globally and remember the experiences of myself and close friends. I break my silence in the hopes that at least one person might be spared the numerous violations that can happen to the bodies and minds of queer and trans people of color.
When people ask me about my gender identity, I tend to tell them that I’m a trans unicorn... I use the word unicorn because I just don’t have all the words to articulate the various parts of my gender. Every meaningful interaction with a new person involves a negotiation of my silence and my wish to be consistently and consciously visible. I still believe that there is power in being visible as someone Black, queer and trans and I think that there is something healing in that visibility as well. My Blackness can’t and should never be hidden and I refuse to live a life where other aspects of my identity are cast in grayscale.
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When people ask me about my gender identity, I tend to tell them that I’m a trans unicorn that uses the pronouns he/him/his and they/them/theirs. I use the word unicorn because I just don’t have all the words to articulate the various parts of my gender to another person. It’s a feeling that doesn’t translate well into language and I’ve grown fond of using unicorn when I reach a point where words fail me. I am aware that “unicorn” doesn’t make sense people and they may believe that I’m trying to make a joke but I’m not overly concerned with making
Iâ€™m a very old woman. I was born in 1915 in what was later known as the 1st world war- two years before the Russian Revolution. And because I was born to Chinese immigrant parents and because I was born female- I learned very quickly that the world needed changing.
Since I left the university in 1940 [she earned her PhD from Bryn Mawr College that year--Ed.], I have been privileged to participate in most of the great humanizing movements of the past seventy yearsthe labor, civil rights, Black Power, womenâ€™s, Asian American, environmental justice, and antiwar movements. Each of these has been a tremendously transformative experience for me, expanding my understanding of what it means to be both an American and a human being, while challenging me to keep deepening my thinking about how to bring about radical social change.
You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it.
Can we build an America in which people of all races and ethnicities live together in harmony, and Euro-Americans, in particular, celebrate their role as one among many minorities constituting the multiethnic majority?
- Grace Lee Boggs
Cynthia Candido Nambo
Career Call Learn About the Workplace
- Principal Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy
2) Why did you get the job?
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1) Describe your job and its duties in one paragraph. - I am a Shape Shifter. There are many details to ensure quality social justice education and quality operations. I have to shift to meet anyone’s goal in communicating with me. One major area in this work is operating logistics and policy effectively in a way that is counter narrative. Not just logistics for efficiency sake but for efficiency and humanization. We’re still learning how to do this well. The other is curriculum whether it is academic weaved with social justice competencies or social emotional competencies of restorative justice. This is what a day can look like for me. It can be an auditor, a police officer, a teacher, a counselor, a student, a parent, a funder, a district authority, a community member, a technician, a contractor, a vendor, a partner. Just in starting this paragraph I gave testers their materials for a state test. I coordinated a leadership meeting and the food for the meeting. I talked a student out of dropping out of school. I intervened in a potential misconception of student behavior. Coordinated coaching sessions with teachers and departments. I sent an inspirational message to the staff recognizing their leadership. I greeted students in the hallway and gave them hand cream. I apologized for not being available when I was coaching my student not to drop out. I tagged team with my counselor on testing logistics. I had a deep five-minute conversation about growth. I signed growth certificates in school wide competencies and attendance. I checked in with a student on his tardiness. I answered emails. I offered training to a partner. I gave a hard drive to the tech. I gave a student a contact for an internship. All with a smile and hope to continue again. There are times I cannot shape shift fast enough and then I have to apologize. There are time I cannot fulfill someone’s goal have to forgive myself for saying “no”. I have to celebrate all the little and big things. And when there’s a breakdown I have to think about how that informs the breakthrough. And I’m about to develop a JAM SESSION agenda. I call our meetings Jam sessions.
- I received calls for two years from the CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino, my predecessor, and the teachers. All stakeholders respected the work I did with them as an Education Consultant. 3) How did you get the job (online app, in person, nomination, etc.)? - I went through a 3 phase process. I participated in a CEO interview. Then the Vice President For Education and Programs interviewed me. Then counselors and teachers interviewed me. 4) Did you have help getting the job by inside recommendations? - Yes. Based on my work with them over the last 5 years and the work I’ve produced around the city and nation on small school development, curriculum development, early college programming, I received numerous recommendations. 6) Are you using or did you use some of your education for the job? - Absolutely, I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and two Master’s degree. One in Bilingual Urban Education and the other in Education Leadership. 7) Is this a job for the long-term? Why or why not? -Yes, the Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy is a multi-site alternative (options) charter that will open up to 1,800 students across the city of Chicago. It is a competency based, social justice school. We want to develop leadership that will transform students, their lives, and society. 8) Does the job and employer reinforce current social conditions or try to change them? How? Your thoughts? - Yes. Both as a parent institution as Instituto del Progreso Latino and through the high school we are Instituto Justice and Leadership Academies. Our focus is to problematize our reality, empower our worth, and transform the future so that justice and excellence. 9) What are the strengths of the job? - IThat I have constant contact with multiple stakeholders. It gives me clarity on perspectives needed to make something better. 10) Weaknesses? - That I have to constantly organize and strengthen my reorganizational skills to get each detail done with efficiency and power. Many times it moves into my family time and I am stressed when there are many breakdowns and shifting priorities. In social justice work, I see breakdowns as opportunities for calibration toward clarity on what has to happen for a breakthrough to occur. Breakdowns are guaranteed however not many people feel the same way and see it as wrong or want to blame instead of communicate to empower and change or refine the course if needed. 11) Would you recommend this job to others? - ABSOLUTELY. We need more leaders that follow through and persistent in developing social justice schools that are effective at equipping their student high academic skills and justice transformation skills. 12) What would you do differently with this position? - II would really like to invest in a facility that allows teachers and my colleagues from other programs to have collaborative spaces where they innovate, and de-stress - Like an Innovation Room and a Zen room. I already plan school priorities along with my staff and. However the stress of this position and that of any teacher and counselors makes me wish I had the ability to dedicate more time and resources to truly unwind to be able to reflect powerfully and plan initiatives in a fun way instead of meeting around a table and just talking. I also wish I could pay staff more money. They pour their passion and compassion into this school and they deserve more salary and benefits. 14) What level of survival and comfort did/do the benefits/pay allow? - I am comfortable. I do not have to survive. I can thrive without the need to be extravagant in my expenses.
15) Share your most memorable experience(s) from the position; good, bad, funny, and ugly! - Wow! I remember the day I had police barge into my school and ask to identify one of my students for a alleged crime. In this particular incident, I got a call from the Peace Counselor who enacted our protocol for police interventions and identification. We secure students are not in the hallway at the time and we “flow” the police to my office or the “flow” room. I call the strategy “the flow” and “riding the wave” of conflict to de-escalation. This is not to increase the tension in the school. However, the police got very irritated with this protocol and called the Sergeant, with whom I have a long, tenuous, but productive relationship. I get the information. And the officer asks me for two students. One was absent and the other comes down. I go for the students and stay with him in the room. At this time, a woman appears. The officer asks her to bring her daughter to identify the “suspect” in my school. I know that this is against protocol, so I begin to ask the officers to sit down calmly and respectfully. As I ask the officer what type of protocol this is, he not only refuses to sit down, he also refuses answer my questions. This is riding the wave. The mom comes in the room. When she sees my student there, she becomes irate, raising her voice. I ask her to be calm. She sat down. I gave her water. She reveals that she supposedly saw them (the boys) on video. So I asked how they were identified, as the quality of the video at that facility was low. I tell her she has the right to be upset. And not have anyone accost her daughter. The mom calmed down, but the officer refused to sit. At the moment I thought her daughter was a teenager. My student was 19 at the time and never caused any conflicts in the school. It starts to unravel that her daughter is 11 and that one of these young men grabbed the girl’s behind. The officer directs the mother to go get her daughter from school. I know there is a violation of rights. Especially since they never identified the attacker by name. The Sargent shows up to speak to me. Once I explained how the officer was conducting the investigation, he then continued to conduct the process and did so with integrity. My student and I kept our calm.
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The Sergeant came back later in the day and ended up arresting my student. But I arranged to have him escorted after students were dismissed. The result of the case was that there was not enough evidence to indicate it was my student and the judge did not approve of the identification process. This took two years. The school’s staff and I banded together and wrote character and support letters. He lost motivation to study but now he is about to graduate this year. In addition to that incident, that day I did budget reports, observed 2 classrooms, spoke to 5 students on a leadership proposal they were developing, and approved employee hours. I use the concept of flow to stay calm in the moment. I try to ride waves toward de-escalation and ultimately power. Some days are better than others. But knowing student will graduate, knowing that we teach all of our students the competencies that will last beyond us, rooted in justice, and finally knowing that they can articulate these values in their school work and my Facebook wall makes it all worth it.
Feminist Fires Audre Lorde, Writer Major Works: The First Cities Cables to Rage From a Land Where Other People Live New York Head Shop and Museum Coal Between Ourselves The Black Unicorn Cancer Inspired by: Starting all the way back to when she was young, Audre Lorde was influenced by her mother’s relationship with words and Lorde’s own communication through poetry. In her words, “Words had an energy and power and I came to respect that power early. Pronouns, nouns, and verbs were citizens of different countries, who really got together to make a new world” (Denver Quarterly, 1981). She is also inspired by her year as a student at the National University of Mexico in 1954 because it affirmed her identity, both personally and artistically. Upon returning to New York, she went to college and became involved in the gay culture of Greenwich Village. Thus, her identity in the lesbian community proved to be a major influence in her works. In the early 1960s she earned a master’s degree in library science at Columbia University. Her criticism toward the feminism of the 1960s, specifically toward the National Organization for Women and Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, influenced her focus on the “theory of difference” (women complexly made up of sub-divisions) and the issues of class, race, age, gender, and health. Inspires: Lorde’s focus on the intersectionality of feminism, women, and the individual influenced the following wave of feminism, including global feminism and Queer Theory. Her famous essay, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” has become a timeless, influential quote in feminist thought and theory courses. It emphasized how one cannot beat the dominant voice at “his own game” and, instead, share all the voices that make up feminism to combat oppression. Additionally, during her time in Berlin (1984-1992), Lorde was an influence to Germany’s social and political change, especially to the Afro-German women who sought empowerment against white privilege. Lorde’s discourse on racism, xenophobia, classism, homophobia, and more further inspired the Black movement and the intersectional women’s movement in Germany. This decade was significant because of the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that re-unified East and West Germany. Importance to Social Justice: Her promotion of the divergent and multi-layered viewpoints as a “black feminist lesbian mother poet” was and is important to the multiple voices that make up feminism(s). Her voice in the community and her advocacy for full inclusion were rooted in her anger at the racism and sexism in the United States, including the feminism promoted by Betty Friedan. Overall, her layered identities were seen and mirrored in the varying avenues she took to express them to promote change (poetry, essays, discourse, activism and action, lectures, and more).
tell-a-vision visions & revisions of our culture(s)
Cheerios Commercial 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKuQrKeGe6g
Questions: - How is this commercial more than just a Cheerios advertisement? What does this second commercial commentating on? - While this commercial shows an interracial family, what does it not show? How do heterosexuality and the privileged play into this?
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Context: After receiving racist hate comments for showing an interracial family in a Cheerios commercial in 2013, the company made another commercial for the 2014 Super Bowl with the same “family.” Overcoming the racist backlash on YouTube from the first commercial, Cheerios emphasized society’s appreciation for showing a mixed-race family within a loving context. (If you want to see the first Cheerios commercial that sparked the racist responses, here’s the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z01qH-jqGBY)
Middle Eastern Musings Abeer Allan
A Dive Into The Dead Sea
She Held a Palestinian Passport... That Was Her Fault “I am sick, let me in” Said Layan to the Israeli soldier who was enjoying the view of the long queue of the Palestinians who were waiting for his permission to enter Al Quds (Jerusalem), after he went through all the prepared documents that they had been holding in their hands for hours while waiting for their turns, to go in, or to be asked to turn around and go back
home, away from Al Quds. Layan, a young girl who had cancer –attacked her when she was around 18- and had to go for a treatment in a hospital that could have been one hour away from where she lived, but with the occupation, the circumstances that she was brought to, and be-
cause of the fact she held a Palestinian passport, not an Israeli one, nor any other foreigners’ passport, the trip was much longer, hours longer. I am not getting political here, I am getting personal. This is my worst “discrimination” experience I can ever share. Palestine, her home country, yet Layan could not move easily between the cities, same as for all other Palestinians who needed passports and special permissions to visit some of the cities which are occupied by the Israelis. Having a special medical condition may get you a permission to be able to visit the hospitals in Jerusalem or the nearby forbidden cities, but it does not get you the easy access, the simplest human right of being able to move at ease as a sick person to be able to reach the hospital with what’s left of your health. But no, human rights are not considered when talking about the case in Palestine. Layan, with her pride, she fought barriers, she escaped some at a late night and before the dawn she managed to pray in Jerusalem where she was not allowed to go to in the normal way, which was to just take a drive there. But that was the first and last time to break the rules of the occupiers, as her health started getting worse, escaping through fields, running and hiding in the mountains was no longer within her capability. She got the “special medical condition permission”, she was able to visit the hospital for her treatments (finally after many trials from before to be treated there), but by the time she reached the hospital, she would need double the treatment, as the wait itself under the sun for hours just to get approved to go in was in charge to let her reach the hospital out of breath. Layan, went back and forth many times to get treatments in the hospital. But with a visit after visit and going again through barriers made her life miserable all over, instead of being healed.
Layan, that day, you cut the line, you told the others who were waiting that you are sick you couldn’t keep waiting under the sun, you reached the soldier who sarcastically asked “what’s wrong?” and you just said
You got in, with your sister, who accompanied you whenever she managed to get a permission to go to Jerusalem, using a different excuse every time. Unlike your parents, they had to take turns to visit you, no human rights granted you the visit of your family, and no other member was able to go see you. Your mom, with her heart filled in grief, sorrow and despair, she was able to manage a schedule with your father to take turns, as they were not allowed to both go visit you, even though your medical condition was clear that you needed support, but no, discrimination won. Layan, went to the hospital, she was strong as ever, yet so weak and fragile. Her mother was not able to be with her in this last visit, as it was her father’s turn. She stayed in the hospital with her father and sister. She visited the hospital, for one last time, she was able to go in, without ever going out. My words may seem to be all over the place while sharing the story, but this is Layan, I can’t be fine when I tell the story, and I can’t make sense because what happened to her at only 22 doesn’t make sense, yet. But this discrimination we face as Palestinians, this humiliation we go through to go to Jerusalem, whether to visit a hospital or the souq, and this long wait in line to see if we are lucky today to go in, this is not okay, this is not mentioned under any papers of human rights. This incident, the fact that you are not able to go for your treatment because of the passport you hold, to be forbidden from visiting your sick daughter, because of the passport you hold, and to have to go through a long process to be allowed in, this is a wound, a wound that cannot be easily healed, never I shall say. Again, I am not being political here, but no matter what the situation is, no matter what country we are talking about, regardless of the conditions, may it be at peace or at war, human rights should not be ignored, they should be cherished. This is the story of Layan, the amazing Palestinian artist who passed away at the age of 22, because of cancer. This is the story of the artist who had to go through checkpoints to be treated in the hospital, and who was deprived of her simple human rights; to move freely in her own home country, and to have her family see her before she left, for good. Photo Credit: “Ladies of Gaze” – By Layan Shawabkeh
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She never used her medical condition as an excuse to cut the line or to make an Israeli soldier let her pass in faster; her pride was bigger than begging for the mercy of an occupier. Until one day, life had no mercy, no pride was to be considered, and no waiting in line would have managed to give her time. Layan needed to visit the hospital, she did not know it would be her last, although she would always hope each visit would be the last, but the final visit was indeed the last, but not the way anyone hoped for.
“nothing, just a bit tired” you hated the fact that he asked you.
words are useless expression/commentary through art
Artist Background: New York-based artist
introduces a complex vision of what it means t classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and
Inspired by various sources that range from th notions of beauty from a contemporary perspe
Combining the genres of portraiture and dome female sexuality, beauty, and power. Meticulou are constructed through a rigorous three-part photograph—fragmenting, deconstructing, and greatly expanded scale, in acrylic, oil, and enam
As Thomas reorganizes the interior space surro Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger Combining patterns and styles drawn from a 1 wave of feminism that shattered cultural assum
vastating Codes of Beauty”
t Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel. Thomas to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty. Her work stems from her long study of art history and the still life.
estic interior, Mickalene Thomas draws on art history and popular culture to create contemporary images of black usly composed of layers of bold patterns and bright blocks of color adorned with Swarovski rhinestones, the paintings process. Thomas begins by constructing a tableau, posing a model, and taking a photograph. She then cuts up the d recontextualizing the interior space—and reassembles the image as a collage. Finally, she reproduces the collage, at a mel.
ounding the female figure, she draws inspiration from late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists such as r, and Romare Bearden—all of whom used abstraction, to one degree or another, in their representations of the world. 1970s aesthetic, Thomas’s compositions simultaneously recall the “black is beautiful” movement, as well as the second mptions about sexuality, family, the workplace, and reproductive rights.
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he 19th century Hudson River School to Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse and Romare Bearden, she continues to explore ective infused with the more recent influences of popular culture and Pop Art.
Living In Color
The Burqa and Womenâ€™s Social Communication in Afghanistan Kazem Shakib
The Burqa, or the traditional veil in Afghanistan, is the most usual custom of the Hijab. It covers the full body of women for their day-to-day, outdoor routines. There are many theories regarding where it came from. Some believe that it has come from neighboring countries like Pakistan, India, or Iran while others believe it is a fashion symbol of Afghan middle class women. The current custom, with different colors mostly with light blue, has been utilized for many years across the country.
However, there are also some other types of Burqa which are currently utilized by women in several regions of Pakistan and some south parts of Iran. There has been more than a decade since the establishment of a new democracy government in Afghanistan, where women are being granted remarkable freedoms after years of conflict and disempowerment in the country.
But there are still a myriad of patriarchal norms and de facto sexism existing in the country, particularly within communities in rural areas and tribal regions. Many Afghan women still need to wear the Burqa for different reasons, mainly because of family enforcement, lack of social security, street harassment, traditional and religious norms, and comfortability in public. Full coverage of the body helps Afghan women to stay anonymous while they are engaging in outdoor community activities such as shopping, accessing public services, visiting relatives and more important, commuting for work and school. Accordingly, for above mentioned reasons, many men also prefer to keep their female members anonymous while they are out of the house. Although it might not be suitable for many women to wear, the Burqa is still a reasonable way that they can maintain their so called social communication in the current patriarchal society of Afghanistan. There are many conservative families, particularly in the rural and tribal areas, where they even prohibit their female members to be seen by or interacted with other male relatives other than their Mahrams (blood relative to whom marriage is forbidden). As a result, there is almost no social communication means for many of these women, and they are not in a position to make even a basic and relevant communication with other male strangers in the community. There have been several attempts by past Afghan governments over banning or limiting the Burqa in public, where most of them have failed for some hasty and radical policies over a short period of time. For example, King Amanullah Khan and his wife Queen Suraya (1919-1929), and King Zahir Shah (1933-1973), had implemented some of the significant women’s rights movements especially for women’s education and women’s appearance in public. Their efforts were either rejected by community members or were limited only to big cities and higher class families.
Apart from the social communication restrictions, other indicators, such as higher rate of female illiteracy, low representation of women in the community, lack of public awareness, and restricted gender biased norms in public and government systems, have also brought negative impacts on women’s social communication abilities. As a young developing country, Afghanistan needs to make sure to secure an appropriate environment that women can feel free to make an arbitrary appearance with their personal desire and identification. In fact, the more women participate in the community, the more the prosperity comes to the society. Women with freedom of appearance in public and strong communication ability will further accelerate the reconstruction process of the country through strengthening their representation in labor market, higher education, better mental and emotional health, decision making process, women’s rights advocacy, and their participation in private and public domains. It also helps women to hold the government and other service providers accountable and become more involved for meeting their rights along with other members of the community. Although wearing the Burqa in Afghanistan is one of the most rigid ways of coverage for women in the region, it is still a tool for social integration and mainstreaming for many Afghan women in the community. The persistence and consistence change within public and government system is required for the country in order to dismantle many of the old traditional gender inequalities and sexism operations. However, there must be always freedom of choice for Afghan girls and women, whether they wear Burqa or not for their public appearance. References: 1. An interview from the film by Brishkay Ahmed. (2012). Story of Burqa: Case of confused Afghan. http://2012.doxafestival.ca/festival/films/story_ burqa 2. Queen of the Dessert: Suraya Tarzi, Queen of Afghanistan. (2010). http://theesotericredux.blogspot.com/2010/08/ queen-of-dessert-soraya-tarzi-queen-of.html Photo by http://www.telegraph.co.uk
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Therefore, a majority of the women living in rural areas and tribal regions were deprived of those women’s social reforms and policies over the years. For many Afghan conservatives, particularly in tribal communities, the proposed women’s rights and women empowerment policies have been known as a western, cultural invasion and a promotion of non-Islamic norms over the Islamic norms and Sharia (Islamic laws). This is almost the same situation as of today, where a number of conservative Afghan-
istan parliament members have suspended the law on Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), which was approved by a legislative decree of the President in 2009.
Message Me We Asked, You Answered
How does your racial/ethnic identity impact you on a daily basis?
Sometimes my actions are centered around reactions to stereotypes
As multicultural, I revel in the ambiguity
White people don’t have to think about it
It sometimes affects how I’m treated when I walk into a store
Living in constant fear; even though this country is based on equality, what I experiene makes me feel like that’s a lie
broadside Expressions in poetry via street literature style
Imagine a Woman Patricia Lynn Reilly
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Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman. A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories. Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life. Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself. A woman who listens to her needs and desires. Who meets them with tenderness and grace. Imagine a woman who acknowledges the pastâ€™s influence on the present. A woman who has walked through her past. Who has healed into the present. Imagine a woman who authors her own life. A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf. Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice. Imagine a woman who names her own gods. A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness. Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life. Imagine a woman in love with her own body. A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is. Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource. Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body. A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom. Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life. Imagine a woman who values the women in her life. A woman who sits in circles of women. Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets. Imagine yourself as this woman.
Photo Credit: Karla Estela Rivera
Volunteer Voices Service in Action
1) Describe your volunteer work in one paragraph. - As an Americorps volunteer tutor, at a social justice high school, I not only supported students academically but also found myself invested in helping them through their own personal processes of transformation. Being an in class and after school tutor meant realizing that our youth cannot be successful if we are not present their struggles. Helping them in class, meant also becoming a mentor. It meant listening to their struggles and seeing myself reflected in their experiences. As a volunteer, I found myself using all resources necessary to help them achieve their highest potentials, whether it was meeting twice a day; during lunch or after school or some times just listening to them when they felt helpless. 3) What previous skills and education do you bring to the cause? - Before becoming a volunteer tutor I had previously been an after school art teacher, poetry coach and mentor with a BA in Creative writing. I brought a different method to my interactions with youth by encouraging them to pursue creative outlets as a way to express their voices. More importantly, what I brought with me was a background similar to theirs which allowed me to really understand and support them. 4) Do you find yourself seeking a career in this field? - I absolutely find myself wanting to pursue a career in this field. The last five years, and especially the last year of volunteer service, have confirmed that there is nothing else I would like to do with my life. My youth inspire me everyday to continue developing in a field that is so desperately needed but so often ignored. 6) What are the strengths of the work? Setbacks? - One of the strengths of this work is the knowing that you are contributing to the development of your community and effectively making an impact in the lives of youth. I think the strength lies in the bonds that are made between staff and youth and how everyone in the community works together to create a network of support for students. A set back as with most causes, is the lack of funding and resources. For as much as our hearts and actions are in the right place, too often staff are stretched thin and overwhelmed with the intensity of the work. 8) If you were able to lead this effort, what would you do? - If I could lead an effort in youth development I would establish a cultural and arts basis for approaching youth work. Youth rarely given opportunities or spaces where they can come to discuss their cultures and create something that gives voice to their stories. In leading an effort I would try to establish more areas that focus on the arts and cultural immersion/diversity as a method of positive youth development and violence prevention.
enine Arteaga - Americorps LENS Volunteer; Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy
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10) Share your most memorable experience with this cause- good, bad, funny, or ugly. - The memory that I will carry for ever is the loss of a student to violence. At sixteen our youngest student was killed, and to add insult to injury, the most he received in the news was one sentence, â€œboy 16, shot dead.â€? No name, no face, nothing that would demonstrate that this was a life. For as devastating as this was for all of us, what it reinforced was the urgency for youth work and social justice in our communities. I carry his life and transformation with me as a reminder of why I wake up every morning and why I whole heartedly believe in investing in the development of our youth.
Over the Rainbow Exploring a rich and diverse q-munity
Fellow White folk of the LGBTQI Community, we need to do better. When you Google ‘famous LGBT,’ the first image you get is Neil Patrick Harris. Second, is Ricky Martin, followed by two different photos of Ellen DeGeneres, finished out with Sir McKellen and at the tail end, Raven-Symoné.
http://zahrawithaz.livejournal.com/12471.html I’d also throw in Mia McKenzie’s The Summer We Got Free and Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, two recent works published after this list was generated. That being said, I know there are far more works out there than what I was able to find in fifteen minutes of Google research, which speaks to the incredibly
For a community that spans across all races (as well as other identities), it seems we’ve become obsessed with holding up entire White, cisgender, temporarily able-bodied, upper class, folks in monogamous relationships as who we are. For a community that spans across all races (as well as all other identities), it seems that we’ve become obsessed with holding up almost entirely White, cisgender, temporarily able-bodied, upper class, folks in monogamous relationships as who we are. And we are so much more.
http://out.ucr.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/ queer_people_of_color_heroes_posters.pdf I would also suggest the next time we, as the White LGBTQI community, want to engage in something about our identities next time, that we turn away from Dan Savage and all those books and movies about gay, White men. Instead, check out this list that livejournal.com user zahrawithaz created:
In closing, read this piece from Sylvia Rivera that quite nicely situates some history and sets facts, well, ‘straight.’ As part of the White folk, I should probably stop speaking for the true activists of our community that paved the way for us. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fxa. yimg.com%2Fkq%2Fgroups%2F21904777%2F1703979022%2Fname%2FRivera%2Barticle%255D. pdf&ei=_EoHU6fgMYay2gW7n4CoCQ&usg=AFQjCNGoKxSxraemdAxjYf9nZ9i1rqMdug&sig2=tn8szifKA8eueVRumet_Jw&bvm=bv.61725948,d.b2I
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As a White, queer man, I even struggle with how to write this. I initially had a long, kind of rant, but instead I think I’m going to just give a few resources – the first, a .pdf from the University of California, Riverside, of who we should include when we think of famous folks in our community, and making sure we stop actively White-washing and erasing the critical moments that have created the community that we are today.
detrimental force we as White folks in the LGBTQI community have created that silence those we claim to be in community with.
broadside Expressions in poetry via street literature style
I am. I is. Iztac Tocatl Metztli
Let me be furious, fast paced, Spanish Smooth, lyrical English, Fierce urban street poetics I am multi-tongued, not language deficient. I am (not) sorry my cultural differences leave you drunk in a whirlwind of, dialects and code switching. I do not lack education because I say I’m funna, o’ Porque alguna’s veces me explicó en Español. And when I get angry you better believe syllables will run against each other
Because I choose not to, does not make me uneducated. I AM educated I went to college Have gotten published And seek to pursue a PhD. So, don’t judge my urban linguistics As frail or poorly spoken Just because it does not reflect a culture of colonizers and white men.
It is mother, womb sacred ancestry. I am representing Nahuatl philosophy when I say LA Agua.
As if we haven’t already been systematically marginalized. Now, you’re trying to take my tongue. To shape it into something that is not mine.
So, don’t limit my language, as if I should feel bad for not fitting into one cultural context.
See, I am Jenine Marie, Yo soy Juana Maria Nehuatl Notoka Iztac Metztli and I refuse to tame my explosive shifts in Language just so that you will see me as complacent.
I can, speak your dry, monotone Standard American Diction, Can fit your rigid Spanish formats, and grammatically correct sentences.
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a rush of angry water, that often leave Mexican cousins saying, “QUE?” I drop my r’s Dare to utter que tiempo es instead of que hora. I prefer la agua to EL because water is feminine.
Ain’t nobody got time to sit quietly in another persons reflection. I am from Paseo Boricua streets that rang bullets at four in the morning and yes, my vocabulary reveals my experience and I am not ashamed to expose it. I do not apologize for my methods of communication Because they don’t reflect your idea of eloquence.
Photo Credit: Karla Estela Rivera
Career Call Learn About the Workplace
Paige G Diversi Loyola
1) Describe your job and its duties in one paragraph. I currently serve as a Program Coordinator for the Women of Color Initiatives and Empowerment Pipeline High School Outreach program. A large portion of my professional commitments lie with LUCES, an intergenerational program for women of color. We are able to host monthly gatherings, annual retreats and leadership summits. I also directly supervise a Graduate Assistant and 4 LUCES Scholars who are amazing students. With out them there would be no LUCES. Together as a team of 6 we have been able to increase our membership and add compents to our program that make us accessible to a wide range of Women of Color. 2) Why did you get the job? The story behind getting this position is powerful and represents how I came full circle in my journey as a professional women of color. This job became available during a time of discernment, where I was questioning my purpose in the field of student affairs. When I saw the job description and how I would be able to focus on a particular population of students I nearly jumped at the opportunity. As a women of color one of the things that aren’t talked about so directly is the power of networking and uplifting one another. It just so happens that I now get to work for Sadika Sulaiman-Hara who is a significant mentor in my life. I find so much joy in working for someone who truly believes in my dreams and aspirations and works to challenge and support me in all personal and professional endeavors. In a way I have come full circle because I now get to work full time with a professional mentor who facilitated and led my first experience in a WOC retreat when I was an undergraduate student. My hope is to not only make her proud but to solidfy my life’s work within multicultural affairs and diversity inclusion. 3) How did you get the job (online app, in person, nomination, etc.)? I applied for this job online and went through a phone interview and campus interview. 4) Did you hear about the job through word of mouth? If so, by whom? I heard about this job through word of mouth and was encouraged to apply. As I said before I was actively looking into new opportunities outside of the realm of residence life. 5) Did you have help getting the job by inside recommendations? Because I am in the field of student affairs where essential “everyone knows everyone”, I had some support from colleagues and mentors who highly encouraged me to apply. However these supportive people in my life clearly stated that it was my sole responsibility to make sure I come prepared to do my best. 6) Are you using or did you use some of your education for the job? I currently work with in the field of Student Affairs and Higher Education which for the most part requires a masters level degree with in High Education, and/or Counseling. As an example, I have my
Gardner - Coordinator; Student ity and Multicultural Affairs at University Chicago
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Masters of Education in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. This program helped me prepare to work at Colleges/Universities and to provide access and resources to college students. 7) Is this a job for the long-term? Why or why not? As of now I can say that this career in Student Affairs is definitely a life-long commitment for myself. Within the next 5-7 years I feel that there is room for professional growth and change whether that be a new position at Loyola or pursuing the last part of my education. This particular position may not be long term but I do feel that its essential to helping me arrive to the “long-term” portion of my professional experience. 8) Does the job and employer reinforce current social conditions or try to change them? How? Your thoughts? I look at my working environment/community as a place that fosters support, change, and accountability. Throughout my time here we partner with departments across campus as well as provide training for staff, faculty and students. And all of these opportunities fall outside of our day-today responsibilities. One solid example is the importance of me and my colleagues leaving the office as close
to 5pm as possible. We constantly hold each other accountable in terms of leaving the office because work will always be present. Wellness is at the forefront of our work and allows us to be present and fully prepared for our rigorous work days. Now this doesn’t mean that everyone is out of the office everyday by 5pm but we all make sure that if we are staying later it’s for a good reason. 9) What are the strengths of the job? The strength of my job is honestly the team that I work within. The amount of love, passion and support fostered in SDMA allow us to produce the quality and quantity of programs we do in a month-semester-year. I probably say “I love my job” about every other week. I also understand that this work environment is extremely unique and blessed. Because of this experience I now hope to only look for jobs that have very loving and understanding philosophy that allows growth and values of self-care to exist together in harmony. 10) Weaknesses? Our weakness lies in our strength, meaning that we are all willing to over extend ourselves to succeed as a team. Although we strive to leave the office, there are times where we have a high volume of programs and commitments that must be upheld. This can be tiresome but amazing to see how a team can truly rely on eachother. 11) Would you recommend this job to others? I strongly recommend this job for those who are looking to create change with in themselves and others, as well as challenge and support students, staff, and faculty. This job requires awareness, knowledge and skills in cultural competency and requires someone who is dedicated to taking action to fight against the injustices that exist for college students. 12) What would you do differently with this position? I don’t think there is anything I will do differently with this position I will just continue to shape the programs I oversee and remain open to making changes along that way that will benefit communities of color here at Loyola University Chicago. 13) Describe the people above you in terms of Socioeconomic Status. Do the same for the people below you. I currently identity as being a part of the lower middle class which means I am barely making ends meet because of my educational debt in loans. When I think of people above me in terms of socio economic status I think of upper middle class where the ends meet and there’s room for unexpected plans, whether good or bad.
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When I describe people who may be below me I think of working class where certain jobs don’t offer benefits and don’t require any degree of higher education. 14) What level of survival and comfort did/do the benefits/pay allow? I truly am thankful that my job offers great benefits and opportunities to save money. In terms of survival I have definitely had to re-examine the type of life I want to live and how to grasp it. I would love to own a house one day in the future but with the type of debt I’m in I have to make conscious decisions and sacrifices to help me reach that goal. 15) Share your most memorable experience(s) from the position; good, bad, funny, and ugly! Honestly there is nothing I would regret or feel is pretty ugly. I work for an institution and with power comes responsibilities. It think the hardest part about this job is staying in tune with my personal values and the institutional values I am required to uphold. If at any point these begin to clash, the harsh reality is that I will have to think about my purpose at that institution. Aside from that the Women of Color Retreat at LUREC, was one of the most memorable and special moments I experienced as a staff member and participant. All in all I am so grateful to have the job that I have and work with the people I work with.
I’m not interested in stereotypes and all that – I just talk about a guy in his 20s and what’s going on in his life
Indian people have a lot of presence in the culture. I saw an Indian woman won the Miss American contest… Very cool-- an Indian person won the whitest contest ever created. But I was bummed because I thought the news story got taken over by the fact that there were a few hundred people that tweeted racist stuff and that became the news story. I was like, “Who cares?” There’s millions of people who didn’t tweet racist stuff…Why give those racist people a voice? Like, we all know there are still racist people around. That’s not a news story.
I never saw an Indian person on TV unless it was like Gandhi or a James Bond movie where he goes to India or they’re showing the KwikE-Mart guy. There was no one Indian on TV. When I did the MTV sketch show called Human Giant around 2007, I joked around and said, ‘I think I might be the first Indian person you’ve ever had on MTV.’ And I was half-joking, but I think it may be true. I can’t think of ever seeing an Indian person on MTV.
I made the decision early on not to take roles who’s sole source of humor is ethnic stereotype humor. And I think over the years, that trend of staying away from that is obviously taken off between myself, Mindy Kaling, Danny Pudi, and many others. As an Indian American, I’m proud because I don’t ever remember seeing Indians represented on television or film growing up and now we are. Just think 25 years ago, Fischer Stevens PLAYED an Indian guy in Short Circuit 2!
- Aziz Ansari
WLA (Re)Animated expression/commentary through art
“Selma Freedom March”
WLA Mission Statement: Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, organizes, and makes available the materials of enduring value to researchers (and others) studying women’s contributions to society.
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Commentary: In this photograph, Mundelein College’s Catholic Interracial Council (CIC) marched to promote racial rights within the Catholic Church and in society overall. This photograph is part of a larger collection highlighted within the Women and Social Justice online exhibit for WLA. This online exhibit includes manuscripts, such as brochures, fliers, photographs, and brief articles, that focus on a variety of social justice causes important to the history of Loyola University Chicago.
By Jane P. Currie
Ex Bibliothecis From Loyolaâ€™s Libraries to you. Assisting you in your search for information.
Productivity and Resources Workshops at University Libraries Each semester University Libraries offers a selection of workshops. This semesterâ€™s schedule is more diverse than ever. Offerings include Citation Searching, Hacking the Internet for Research, and Managing Your Research. Opportunities to learn popular citation management systems, RefWorks and Zotero, are also planned. The entire list of workshops with descriptions and schedules is available now. Your questions are always welcome. Write to email@example.com. We hope to see you at a workshop this semester! URL for the link above: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxlt7FN2-UsLU0NlN3FGeEU1YUE/edit?usp=sharing
Screen/Play Film Review, Feminist Take
My love for the medium of film has everything to do with its ability to capture small, powerful moments. A single shot of a quivering eye can communicate a character’s deepest fear and in the next scene an equally powerful, big picture image can encompass an entire experience without words. This art form has been used to recount numerous historical events and figures that are important to remember like Schindler’s List, Glory, X and the upcoming Cesar Chavez. These stories are sometimes controversial, uncomfortable, and hard to watch, but immortalizing these events and people creates an enhanced legitimacy and their importance is unquestioned. When I sat down to watch 12 Years A Slave, I knew what I was getting myself into. As a direct descendant of colonialism, the legacy of the slave trade courses through my veins, it is reflected in the various hair textures, skin colors, and facial features of my relatives. The trans-generational wounds, mixed with this country’s past and present struggles to combat racism, along with my own personal journey never make films about slavery sit well with me. I get a little sick. I get uncomfortable. Without a doubt, Steve McQueen’s masterful direction of this film truly digs into the psyche of viewers, painting a brutally vivid picture of what is was like to be in the shoes of Solomon Northrup. As a man born free in the North, lured to Washington, DC with the promise of well-paying work, then drugged, sold into slavery and sold from owner to owner, we witness the physical, mental, and emotional confinement of slavery. Through the stories of others in the film, we witness the horrific separation of children from their mother, the violation of women, unapologetic whipping, and children playing from a short distance while Northrup himself struggles to live, pushing his toes into muddy ground while hanging from a tree, the Spanish moss hanging from Louisina’s trees like ghosts. These images stay with you – as it should be.
I applaud McQueen’s storytelling in this film. The book should be read and the film should be watched by high school students across the country. It must become part of the canon used to recount the painful past that will take generations to reconcile. - Karla Estela Rivera
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The joy of his being found and freed is bittersweet, as he embraces Patsey (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and leaves the plantation, and his fellow slaves behind. For me, this short-lived joy still permeates our society. Although slavery was abolished in 1865, the residuals of this domestic terrorism have far reached into the 21st century. With online movements like #BlackLivesMatter in the wake of the murders of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, the disproportionate amount of people of color in prison, the fact the it’s still cool to say the “N” word in certain circles (especially among urban teens of color), because there are still so many “Slavery was such a long time ago, get over it” comments, and the fact that standard textbooks only slightly graze the issue of slavery in schools, 12 Years A Slave is not only relevant, it’s a narrative that must not be ignored.
Queer Thoughts Turning Theory Into (Inter)Action
The Multi-Layered Voice of Saul Williams “We are determined to be the channelers of these changing Frequencies into songs, paintings, writings, dance, drama Photography, carpentry, crafts, love and love, we enlist every instrument Acoustic, electronic every so called race, gender and sexual preference
Every person as beings of sound to acknowledge their responsibility To uplift the consciousness of the entire fucking world” - Saul Williams - “Coded Language” Lyrics, from Amethyst Rock Star album I have, yet again, found myself influenced by a mu-
sician. However, this individual is not just a musician, but a poet, a slam poet, a writer, a musician, an activist, a performance artist, and an actor. The list could probably go on, but what is most important about this individual, Saul Williams, is that his poetry is at the center of these avenues of voice. The above words are a part of his song/poem “Coded Language.” It is this specific stanza, though, that emphasizes what I will focus on-- change and expression through multiple mediums. On the stage, he does more than slam these words-- he performs these words. Whether he takes out an endless scroll with the words written on them or he is merely slamming, he is emphasizing a message and a meaning.
by you/ But the only shiny black thing that you liked was my shoes/ Now, I apologize for bottlin’ up/ All the little things you said that warped my head and my gut/ Even though I always told you not to/ Brag about the fact that your great grand/ Mother was raped by her slave master.” From the song, “Black Stacey,” these lyrics (this poem) emphasizes the racist image of Black Stacey, a name given to “stereotype” the individual for his color, but not for, in Williams’ words, the individual’s sharing of his “essence” and his “heart.” Even more so, he evokes emotion by connecting bragging with the rape by a slave master. Williams’ expression becomes weighted with the contradictory, yet emotional and physical violence that history and its effects provoke.
He articulates, but then he confuses; he yells, then he whispers; he sings, but then he speaks as in conversation. For example, the song/poem seen above emphasizes Williams’ message that standards of speech are constructed. “We do hereby declare reality unkempt by the/ changing/ Standards of dialog, statements such as ‘Keep it/ real’/...An unchanging rule of events will hence forth be seen as retro-active/ And not representative of the individually determined is/ Furthermore, as determined by the collective/ consciousness”. His emphasis on the collective voice is seen in his writing, in the left-out periods, in the format, and in what he enunciates and yells on stage.
In an interview with ORIGIN Magazine, Williams recalled that the song “Black Stacey” was his excitement at being able to make “music of pain.” In his words, “…I could see my own personal growth and I could see how it applied to my creative expression, to my creative output.” To him, it was “cathartic.” Most importantly, though, Williams saw that, if something could help his growth, his expressions could help someone else. And while he can see the entertainment value in certain music, in his seriousness, he sees a “lost generation” of “philosophies encoded and embedded” that such rappers’s lyrics have buried. It is from these moments that Williams attempts to retrieve, reclaim, and voice this lost generation in his distinct ways. Take, for example, his 2011 album Volcanic Sunlight. To him, this album came to signify the light from underground that rises and the “rise of the underground…that internal source…and that burst of…energy.”
As he sings and performs his words, he performs in open-mic style. He is animated and alive. And he is rough, but not in the bad sense. He pushes out his words and gets his messages to be heard, not just through voice, but through his song, his performance, and his actions. “I used to use bleachin’ creme/ ‘Til madame C.J. Walker walked into my dreams/ I dreamt of bein’ white/ and complimented
The reason why I chose to focus on Williams and his use of poetry and expression through his music is because of his inclusion of different mediums in order to create and voice feelings, opinions, and messages. Not only do the words do it, but their relationship to the performance, the dance, the rhythm, and the voice do it as well. Williams interweaves mediums together, even with his “punk rock meditation,” which is his letting go through blasting punk rock and going crazy. Williams’ musical career began around the late 1990s, but his poetry/open mic/writing career has started from earlier on and continues to be his outlet. His works, which include The Seventh Octave, She, Said the Shotgun to the Head, and Chorus, are such examples of his passion for poetry. His words alone are living things and performances.
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However, Williams does not believe he balances these mediums of art. It is the varying arts that “balance” him out. In an interview with him in the book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, Williams proclaims, “So, that there is a certain type of emotion that is more easily accessible through music than poetry…some things are meant to be written, some are meant to be sung, some things are meant to be hummed, some things are meant to be yelled, and that’s just how life works.” Different mediums are able to “voice” messages and words different ways, but, in the end, get the messages to the audience.
Bookmark Here Get Your Read On.
Back of Book: In this unflinching look at white supremacy, George Lipsitz argues that racism is a matter of interests as well as attitudes, a problem of property as well as pigment. Above and beyond personal feelings and acts of individual prejudice, whiteness is a structured advantage that produced unfair gains and unearned rewards for whites while imposing impediments to asset accumulation, employment, housing, and health care for members of aggrieved racial groups. Reaching beyond the black/white binary, Lipsitz shows how whiteness works in respect to Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Lipsitz delineates the weaknesses embedded in civil rights laws, the racialised dimensions of economic restructuring and deindustrialization, and the effects of environmental racism, job discrimination, and school segregation. He also analyzes the centrality of whiteness to U.S. culture, the racial appeals encoded within patriotic nationalism, commercialized leisure, and political advertising. Perhaps most important, he identifies the sustained and perceptive critique of white privilege embedded in the art and politics of the radical black tradition. This revised and expanded edition includes an essay about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on working class Blacks in New Orleans, whose perpetual struggle for dignity and self determination has been obscured by the cityâ€™s image as a tourist party town.
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[Assuming you don
h Well, you don’t speak Spanis so you’re not a REAL Latina
words are useless expression/commentary through art
“Big Hair Big Laugh”
Alvin Black III Artist Background: Chicago born and raised, Alvin’s first mem-
These three pieces in particular highlight a narrative...defying, contemplation- loving whats in the mirror, and arriving at a place of joy.
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ories are of making art. Studying fine art at Dartmouth College, his focus was on oil painting and drawing. For the last three years, he has taken on pastels as his medium of choice- enjoying the immediacy and ease with which he can travel with them. He has recently come to a mantra with his work “Virtue of the Real”- drawing inspiration from the places he has been and the models that he has worked with and sharing his reality with the viewer.
J. Curtis Main
Inside R Out? White? Male? Feminist? YES
I Look Back, Around, and Then Forward, and I am Grateful
The other day, Symone and I were talking about our pasts and how they have shaped us today. S mentioned racial identity, and how as a white person, I tend to think about mine even when it might not benefit me or be expected of me. Our conversation got me thinking about aspects of my life that I appreciate. Indeed, many of them make me feel lucky. I am thankful Symone inspired me to write for BROAD this month, since these past two weeks have been beyond busy with work and school. For this column, I want to focus on my own life and what I appreciate about it in relation to race, color, and ethnicity. When I was just 5 or 6 years old, Brandon and Betty, my best friend and his mom, asked me if I would be okay joining their family on a trip to Betty’s mom’s house. As most children are, I was weary of meeting more adults. Since I was spending the night at Brandon’s house like we usually did, I went along. After all, Brandon’s family was like my second family. When I met his grandmother, in a room full of people, with my pale skin, bright white hair, and faded blue eyes, Brandon’s old grandmother loudly proclaimed/interrogated, “Who is this white boy in my house? Who brought him?” She sounded
with Brandon’s family and with other friends and at school that my whiteness was put on trial, or called out, or teased. I do not recall it being a bad thing, but it was certainly childhood and adolescent attention to racial difference. I am truly grateful, too, that several times I was made uncomfortable for being different, or pale, or privileged. As an adult I can look back and recognize that this helped me want to understand how it must feel to underrepresented and oppressed races and ethnicities in the US, or anywhere really. And likewise, Brandon would spend a lot of time with my family as well. He met my extended family and joined us for family vacations. He was like a sibling in a way. We spent a lot of time together as friends and shared many of the same friends. My parents loved him like I believe Betty loved me. There was, on my family’s side, commentary about Brandon being black. My father would jokingly refer to Brandon as the “Black sheep” of the family. I think my father was trying to be funny, but to this day I am not sure if it bothered or upset Brandon. Like anyone, I cared about my best friend very much, so when disparaging things were said about
As a white person in the South, in North Carolina, it was assumed that I would accept racism and segregation as normal and logical. But I didn’t. When family members, friends, teachers, or whoever shared their racism with me, they were attacking Brandon.
I doubt this was the first moment I knew I was white. But it was certainly one of many moments
black people, it was like they were attacking Brandon, his siblings, and Betty. It made my insides burn with anger and hurt, from the first times I heard these things at a very young age. The n word, racist jokes, racist hate, and racist practices did not sit well with me; as a white person in the south, in North Carolina, it was assumed that I would accept racism and segregation as normal and logical. But I didn’t. When family members, friends, teachers,
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half joking and half startled. I shyly moved toward Brandon and Betty and Betty responded with something like, “Oh, no worries, Ma, it’s Brandon’s friend and he’s a good kid.” Though the memory is faded, I believe his grandmother chuckled but gave me a long look.
or whoever shared their racism with me, they were attacking Brandon. Or Betty. Or Monica. Or Lakeisha. Or Latasha. Or Frank. Or Gracie. Or Gayle. Or Dr. Sturdivant. Or Ms. Watkins. Or Gertrude. Or Sven. Or Micah. Or Arian. Or Maruka. Or Jenny. Or Mrs. Bellamy. Or Charity. Or Alex. Or Duane. Or Alisa. Or Ms. Kelly. Or Geneva. Or Calvin. Or Andrew. Or Raquel. Or Eduardo. Or Manveen. Or Monique. Or Kamal. I can go on a long time. Nearly every part of my life included people of color with varying ethnicities: my friends, my classmates, my favorite television shows and movies, the books I read, my siblings’ friends, my teachers, my neighbors, my lovers, and still more. I feel fortunate to have had this experience and to be able to, more and more, as an adult, continue to choose a life that not only accepts people of varying ethnicities, colors, and races, but also a life that actively celebrates their achievements and empowerment. This makes sense to me. Some of the most cherished people in my life, those that have inspired me the most, those that have moved my soul greatly, are people of color. That’s completely normal to me, it’s expected. But it is hard for me to imagine how untrue this remains for many people, regardless of their identity. For example, my parents were taught to find connection with other white people, to only be attracted to and date other white people, to find positive attributes in other white people, and so on. My father lived through desegregation and Jim Crow laws. My parents, like many white parents, expressed confusion and some concern at interracial friendship, dating, marriage, and mixed families. The difference between their raced experiences and their children’s raced experiences is white and black almost. Again, I feel fortunate. I feel grateful that my parents decided to raise their children in a city that is almost 50% African American / black. I feel grateful that the same city of Greensboro, NC has a history of civil rights movements and activism regarding race, ethniity, gender, and sexual orientation. I am grateful that North Carolina has a large and diverse immigrant population. Growing up in public schools, my classmates came from many types of backgrounds and identities. Many of my friends were immigrants or children of immigrants. Some of them were rich, some poor. I just think back and realize that my version of normal is SUCH a struggle for so many, especially so many white people, and I am grateful I have less struggle as an adult with racism and xenophobia.
Consider some of my favorite television and music as a child: Captain Planet, Saved by the Bell, Martin, Living Single, Ally McBeal, Fried Green Tomatoes, Growing Pains, Golden Girls, Roseanne, The Goonies, Salt-n-Pepa, Melissa Etheridge, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Janet Jackson; I could keep going. Media had a lot of impact on me, and what I absorbed (from those listed) was an imagining of underrepresented people as normal, beautiful, complex, talented, inspirational, brilliant, and most important of all, relatable and human. Some of my biggest crushes as a child were Slater (Mario Lopez), Pepa, Idgi from Fried Green Tomatoes, and yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. So as I look forward, I see more of the same. I see my brother soon to marry his fiancee of black and Italian heritage. I see my sister soon to marry her partner, a woman. I see so many people in my life, whether I know them or not, who are diverse, and the diversity is beautiful and interesting. I add to the mix. I see myself adopting children in the coming years, regardless of their color, ethnicity, or race. The same goes for a potential partner. I see myself continuing to greatly enjoy and benefit from working in an office with so many underrepresented folks, who are leaders, teachers, and making a positive impact. I look back, around, and then forward, and I am grateful.
tell-a-vision visions & revisions of our culture(s)
Coca-Cola Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs
How many languages did you count? How many did you recognize? What is the message of this advertisement? How is this message amplified by the fact that it aired during the Super Bowl? Does this change, or make you think more on what you think is â€œAmerican?â€?
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Message Me We Asked, You Answered
How do you feel about having conversations about race?
I donâ€™t think we have enough safe conversations about race
Iâ€™d be lying if I said I was 100% comfortable, but that just underlines why these conversations need to be had
I feel they need to happen more often
Pride and roots is what it is. It definitely does not mean separation or nationalism in the sense that we want to go back to Mexico.
Don’t be a marshmallow. Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk. Stop being vegetables. Work for Justice. Viva the boycott!
The Mexican flag is like a symbol of dignity and identity and pride for the people who carry it. If people try to read more into that flag than what it is, they’re wrong.
We can’t let people drive wedges between us...because there is only one human race.
- Dolores Huerta
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Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.
Not spending any money at all would show the economic impact of Latino purchasing power.
Nichole F. Smith
New Levels Building From the Bottom
My Grandfather’s Legacy These pictures are pictures of my family. My grandparents, my mother, and my aunts and uncles. They are biologically related. When I share these pictures with white friends they are often surprised to see that I have family members who do not “look Black.” When I share stories about my family I speak of my Black family, and I guess that identifier conjures visuals of folks with skin the color of chocolate, ginger, or ebony. While many of my cousins are biracial and multiracial, all of my aunts and uncles identify as Black. I have been taught by my grandparents
and parents that we are a Black family. Those lessons about the family being Black did not included a single session on skin color. It was not until the 3rd grade that it was brought to attention by my peers that not every member of my family “looks Black.” I remember that day that not everyone in my family “looks Black” was brought to my awareness. I was in the third grade and the school was having a special day for grandparents, it was bring-yourgrandparents-to-school day. I had had other
bring-your-grandparent-to-school days, and they had gone without any event worth mentioning, without a moment of race awareness or race related questions from my classmates. My previous bringyour-grandparent-to-school days were attended by my grandmothers. But this year, in transformative grade three, my grandfather was the grandparent who came to school with me. My grandfather was an amazing man, he was quiet as many grandfathers are, and he was incredibly loving, protective, and generous with his family and others. Pawpaw watched over his daughters by scaring away their suitors with his shotgun collection, he climbed trees to rescue his grandchildren and our wayward kites, he farmed, raced horses, and opened his home to folks seeking safety, shelter, food, and family. For these reasons and many others, I loved my grandpa dearly.
become as dark as mine every summer from hours spent in the sun, but my grandpa’s skin wasn’t as dark as mine. And his eyes were blue.
During my third grade year I was ecstatic to bring Pawpaw to my school. I imagine that we both had a great day as I showed him all of the things I was learning, participating in, and was proud of. Although, I can not say that with certainty because there is only one moment of that day that I remember. And I can’t say that moment was a great one. Honestly, there aren’t many days from my third grade that I remember at all, nobody remembers much from when they were 8 years old, right? Anyway, I remember standing in the lunch line with my grandfather, we were one student/grandparent pair away from crossing the threshold between the hallway and the lunch room. I could smell the “Mexican pizza” and I was getting excited to share my favorite lunch meal with my grandfather when one of my classmates leaned in to talk to me. Confused, and matter-of-factly my classmate said, “Nichole, your grandpa is white!” Immediately, I screwed up my face, and shot back, “No, he’s not!” At eight years old, I was proud to have my grandpa beside me and I was proud of our shared race.
My grandfather is African American. Sure, the further down the line of his heritage we look we see that he is multiracial, but he identified as a Black man who raised a Black family. And he chose to identify this way during an exceptionally difficult time for race relations in our country. Many of my grandfather’s family members passed as white for reasons I can only guess at - Survival? Preference? Fear? While members of his family passed, my grandfather chose not to. This fact alone shows how my grandfather was a model for pride and self-love. Those two characteristics are ones that I strive to achieve as a Black woman working to empower myself in a culture that gives power and reward to patriarchy, white skin, and white gentility. As I strive for pride and self-love I remember my grandfather. I remember that he put family above everything else, he was generous with folks in need, and he did not discriminate. I figure I can be pretty proud of myself if I end up anything like my grandfather. Now that I am a parent, I wonder how my daughter will experience similar questions to the one posed by my classmate. And I look forward to talking with her about the breadth and variety of life experiences that are the reality for people of color. I hope that understanding this breadth will help her grow into an empathic and justice driven person who values the diversity in our family and the communities that we are a part of. And just as important, I hope that by valuing diversity she will value herself, and be proud to claim an identity as a person of color. And if she grows into this person I will be proud that I have passed down the legacy of my grandfather.
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I don’t remember a time before that moment that I even considered my own race in school which was an environment of white faces, bodies, and ways of being. But for some reason, for someone to tell me that my grandfather was white annoyed and frustrated me. That feeling of annoyance and frustration was fleeting, however. I looked up at my grandfather then, and with my nose scrunched up indignantly and confused I noticed something that I had never seen before. My grandfather is “white”. His skin was the same color as my white friends and their grandparents. True that my classmates’ skin would
It is twenty-three years since that day in third grade and my friends and colleagues upon seeing a picture of my grandfather still ask, “Is your grandfather white?” I am still trying to figure out a complete answer to that question. Not everyone in my grandfather’s life knew how he identified. What matters more to me is that this moment started my own discoveries of what skin color means for the lived experiences of people of color. The discovery that skin color impacts how we make sense of one another and ourselves. That some people of color have the option, and privilege, to claim or deny their ethnic heritage. That it is an identity that is both claimed and prescribed.
MadAds Busted Advertising, Bustling Economy
- Which ethnicities do the children appear to represent? - What ethnicities appear to be excluded from the ads? - Who looks at these ads? - Why are there no models with darker skin? - What does it mean that it is easier to find dark skin boys rather than dark skin girls in childrenâ€™s ads?
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Karla Estela Rivera
Mama Says... Mutinous Musings of an Urban Mami
My Open Letter to My Daughter of Color Kissing a Warrior
It is my belief that as a mother of a daughter of color, that I must raise her in the realities we face. I don’t do her any favors by pretending they don’t exist. This country still struggles to heal deep racial divides. We experience the repercussions in real-time, especially in the age of technology where vilifying comment sections and racist posts are avail-
experiencing developmental milestones. As you get older, some of the skills you develop will be out of necessity. I wish you had the privilege to be a little more sheltered, where the only thing you had to be afraid of was your own shadow. But as a child, and eventually
I wish you had the privilege to be a little more sheltered, where the only thing you had to be afraid of was your own shadow. But as a child, and eventually a woman of color, you will have to brave the world with a little more armor. able at the click of a mouse. Latinas are admired too many times for their bodies and not enough for their minds. Laws like SB1070 and Stand Your Ground exist in this country, where black and brown people are being incarcerated and murdered at alarming rates. The following is an open letter to my daughter, Frida – a two year old, Puerto Rican girl. My sweet baby love,
Now, as a toddler, I get excited when you say, “I do it.” And when you take a tumble, you just pick yourself up and say, “Awright.” I love that about you. As you continue to grow, you’re going to continue
I don’t remember any period of time in my life when race was not a clear and present issue and I don’t see that changing much in your generation. As a colony with many European settlers, as a stop on the slave trade route, in the extinction of the people of our first nation, in our various diasporic realities across the United States – Being Puerto Rican is a beautiful slice of schizophrenia. Our family comes in all colors, nose, lip and hip sizes, hair textures, body types, and temperaments. We’re immigrants, but not. Citizens when troops are needed for war, a drain on the American society in times of peace. Celebrated for our ample behinds and dance moves, but the Boricua Supreme Court Justice gets subpar respect and is a consistent punching bag for Fox News. We can’t catch a break! My mom, your Nana, raised me with pretty thick skin. I can’t remember how young I was – definitely under the age of ten – when she sat me down and told me, “You are always going to have to work harder (than your White peers). As a Puerto Rican female, there is very little expected of you.” This would explain why a grade school teacher spoke to me of vocational schools instead of college, or why Harvard would be described as a “long shot,” despite
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There are no words to explain how happy I am that you are in my life. Together your Papa and I grow to love you more and more each day. It’s amazing to see how much you progress at each stage of your life. My favorite thing is witnessing how you toggle two languages, how you express joy, empathy and gratitude. These are important skills. When you were an infant, learning to crawl and eventually climb, we would lay blankets on the hardwood floor and surround you with mountains of pillows – giant obstacles, which you learned to topple to the point when we realized that adding more pillows was just an exercise in futility. There were times when you’d stumble, rolling down the hill to the padded floor, but you were determined. Nothing was going to stop you.
as a woman of color, you will have to brave the world with a little more armor than anyone in the various stages of your life would want.
the fact that your Tata (grandfather) has a doctorate from there. Why my Freshman English Teacher, Mrs. Bjorklund, teamed up with my Freshman Counselor, Mrs. McNulty and discouraged me to take Honors English. I’ve been called a spic. I’ve been singled out, bullied and picked on as a child. As a young adult, I was once asked, “How many abortions have you had?” Referencing a stereotype of a Latina’s sexual prowess (get back to me on this when you’re a teenager). I went out on a date with a white boy who said he wanted to be my boyfriend so that he could, “Feel the racism.” As a college student at the beginning of the 21st Century, I would find myself being the only female, and more often than not, the only person of color in the room. I want to be optimistic, but I honestly do not see this changing by much in your generation. So there will come a time when you get treated differently for seemingly no reason. Police might harass you. You will hear a million micro aggressions by non-Latinos about how well you speak or how non-Latina you look (whatever that is supposed to look like). Your light skin will lead to a bit of privilege until they find out you’re not Italian. You will also encounter a number of definitions of what it is to be Puerto Rican, who is a “real” Puerto Rican, a real Latina. You will neither be from here nor from the island, but you will be connected deeply to both – stuck in a cultural limbo that will sometimes fill you with doubt, sometimes with loathing. You will sometimes wish you were something else. You will experience trans generational pain, especially when you learn of the atrocities done by you’re ancestors, to your ancestors. You will sometimes be angry, but don’t let that anger consume you (please refer to Star Wars – Yoda is pretty smart in this arena.). I will prepare you for all of these challenges and, more. Your father and I will train you to be a warrior – Armed with the tools to reject rejection, continue your pursuits whatever they may be, and recognize the beauty of your roots while navigating their complexity. We will teach you Spanish in the hopes that you will freely flow between both languages proudly, thus opening the doors to your culture and others across the world. We will teach you that these struggles are not unique to you, or to our people, but that there are people from across the color spectrum that are experiencing these same challenges – some much worse than you are. We will teach you to love them, learn from their experiences, and fight for them too.
I want to badly to believe that you will grow up in a reality that doesn’t have these challenges. I know that your grandparents’ generation had it much harder than I did. I pray that your path is filled with teachers who expect nothing but excellence. I pray that you read this letter and that I’m proven wrong. But there’s much work to be done. I believe that we can collectively evolve and believe that it is the mission of every parent of color to raise young warriors that tear down the walls of racial, and ethnic adversity. It is also our job to share with our children the beauty in our backyard. If I can’t buy you a ticket around the world, I want you to remember that you are privileged to live in a country where you can experience the world by exploring our communities. I know that this letter will evolve as you do. But whatever you do, please remain fearless. And remember, nothing can stop you. If anyone tries, you always have your Mama. Te amo con mi alma, Mami Photo Credit Karla Estela Rivera 2010
A third frequently asked question is: “Girl, where you from? Trinidad? Guyana? Dominican Republic? You married? You got kids?” This is mostly asked by guys on the sidewalk selling I LOVE NEW YORK paraphernalia in New York City.
I didn’t completely forget how to be nice or feminine because I have a career.
The expectation that TV women need to be more likeable than men is bullshit and in need of a change.
- Mindy Kaling
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As it is, I guess I find “Jack and Diane” a little disgusting. As a child of immigrant professionals, I can’t help but notice the wasteful frivolity of it all. Why are these kids not at home doing their homework? Why aren’t they setting the table for dinner or helping out around the house? Who allows their kids to hang out in parking lots? Isn’t that loitering? I wish there was a song called “Nguyen & Ari,” a little ditty about a hardworking Vietnamese girl who helps her parents with the franchised Holiday Inn they run, and does homework in the lobby, and Ari, a hardworking Jewish boy who does volunteer work at his grandmother’s old-age home, and they meet after school at Princeton Review. They help each other study for the SATs and different AP courses, and then, after months of studying, and mountains of flashcards, they kiss chastely upon hearing the news that they both got into their top college choices. This is a song teens need to inadvertently memorize. Now that’s a song I’d request at Johnny Rockets!
Nothing gives you confidence like being a member of a small, weirdly specific, hard-to-find demographic.
broadside Expressions in poetry via street literature style
Being Human Naima
I wonder if the sun debates dawn some mornings not wanting to rise out of bed from under the down-feather horizon If the sky grows tired of being everywhere at once adapting to the mood swings of the weather If the clouds drift off trying to hold themselves together make deals with gravity to loiter a little longer I wonder if rain is scared of falling if it has trouble letting go
I wonder if sunrise and sunset respect each other even though they’ve never met If volcanoes get stressed If storms have regrets If compost believes in life after death I wonder if breath ever thinks about suicide I wonder if the wind just wants to sit still sometimes and watch the world pass by If smoke was born knowing how to rise If rainbows get shy back stage not sure if their colors match right
If snow flakes get sick of being perfect all the time each one trying to be one-of-a-kind
I wonder if lightning sets an alarm clock to know when to crack If rivers ever stop and think of turning back
I wonder if stars wish upon themselves before the die if they need to teach their young to shine
If streams meet the wrong sea and their whole lives run off-track I wonder if the snow wants to be black
I wonder if shadows long to once feel the sun if they get lost in the shuffle not knowing where they’re from
If the soil thinks she’s too dark If butterflies want to cover up their marks If rocks are self-conscious of their weight If mountains are insecure of their strength
I wonder if w crawling up only to be pu to where the
I wonder if la If sand feels If trees need to know whe
If branches w unsure of wh If the leaves and still dan
I wonder wh when she is h I want to find and watch th spin from a d Listen to her stir in her sle
effort give w
waves get discouraged the sand ulled back again ey began
and feels stepped upon insignificant d to question their lovers ere they stand
waver in the crossroads hich way to grow understand theyâ€™re replaceable nce when the wind blows
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here the moon goes hiding d her there he ocean distance r eep
way to existence
Photo Credit: Karla Estela Rivera
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