July 31, 2015
“I was stalked for 11 years & now I can finally talk about it.” Activist Julie Lalonde’s story is a good reminder that sometimes the only end to living in fear comes when the abuser dies.
Raising free-spirited black children in a world set on punishing them. Stacia Brown talks about the struggle to hide her fear from her daughter because “freedom of spirit is the only liberty” black people can give their children.
The war on female voices is just another way of telling women to shut up. “People are busy policing women’s language and nobody is policing older or younger men’s language.”
Men change…when we change the world around them:
July 24, 2015
Some news stories that caught our eye this week:
Latest immigration bills will hurt community safety and crime victims “Law enforcement leaders have stated repeatedly they do not want to be immigration law enforcers precisely because it interferes with their primary mission to fight crime.”
My wedding was perfect – and I was fat as hell the whole time “I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.”
Sandra Bland Never Should Have Been Arrested “She did nothing unlawful in her interactions with him. But that doesn’t matter in an America where knowing your rights means little when they can be revoked at the whim of an officer’s temper.”
And an extra funny/not-funny take on being black in America:
July 14, 2015
Posted by Kendra Gritsch under Sports
| Tags: media
, wage gap
, World Cup
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Last week I sat in a living room with ten of my friends, blinds drawn and snacks in hand, as I watched the USA Women’s Soccer team compete in the World Cup final. I didn’t even get the chance to nervously bite one fingernail before the USA scored their first goal in minute four. By the end we were jumping up and down, tears in our eyes, as we took the trophy.
Here are the three things that made me happiest about this win:
- People came together to support and cheer on women for their talent, team work, and mad skills! It was the most watched soccer game (men’s and women’s) in U.S. history. Millions watched the game, more than the NBA finals and last year’s World Series.
- Then we found out they made 40 times less than the men’s World Cup team (and they didn’t even win). Obviously, this is not a win. But what makes me happy is that it is an undeniable example that the pay gap is real. And if you think that’s unfair, you can do something about it.
- Images of the team in the media challenged stereotypes of women as catty, shallow, and competitive. These women are successful, strong, and supportive of each other.
I grew up playing soccer. It was a space where I could forget the everyday messages around what my body should look like, and what a woman should be. It taught me how to be strong and confident, how to trust myself and others, and to work as a team. So I couldn’t help but feel a deep connection to this win. I know we have a long way to go, but these wins inspire me to keep working toward gender equality.
July 7, 2015
It’s WSCADV’s 25th year and I’ve been here for seven of those years. To celebrate, I went down memory lane through my “favorite emails” folder and found some pretty remarkable quotes from coworkers, member programs, and activists from halfway across the world. Here is my favorite from each year I’ve worked here.
- “BRAVO to you and your staff for leading the way here and across the nation!”
- “If this does not make your day, we need to call the coroner.”
- “Warm greetings from Kampala! So nice to be in touch with you and the Washington Coalition – we feel connected to all of you but don’t actually know you…We are really excited to adapt In Her Shoes for the African context.”
- “My goodness, did we do all that at our gathering? You and the others did an awesome job of capturing all that was said. Keep up the GOOD work!!!”
- “Amazing women doing amazing work in amazing conditions here. Food is great. Malaria pills are fine. Saw one elephant, four peacocks, and a bunch of camels.”
- “I have been supported here to dream big, think carefully, act pragmatically, and speak the truth as I saw it. It has been amazing, and I have been very proud to be a part of our work together. Leaving here is tough, because I love this org and all the people in it.”
- “Thank you so much for taking the time and always providing us with the support we need.”
June 30, 2015
Photo by Dread Scott
During a week of searing sadness, tiredness, and anger, I am looking for a way to move forward. I find myself thinking about the people around me in the grocery store, standing on the bus, sitting on blankets at the farmer’s market, the faces of my children. These are the people I am with in my ordinary day … this is the “American public.” I wonder about what it takes to move public opinion. This week, I have read brilliant, challenging, and inspirational writing about the racist murders in Charleston. I believe that we are all grappling with the failure to openly dialogue about racism, acknowledge historic symbols of racism, and dismantle systems that perpetuate racism. What makes individuals risk offending those dear to them, speak up, do something different, make a change?
For me, learning from others shapes my thinking and moves me to act. I am not talking about grand gestures, but educating myself so I can figure out what to talk about with my children, neighbors, family members, and elected representatives. These are a few of the posts that have taught me this week:
On Faith, Forgiveness and Flags
Why I Can’t Forgive Dylann Roof
Confederate Flags and Institutional Racism
Reading these helped me grasp the enormity of what is ahead and reminded me of the decency in people. Ultimately, I do have faith that we will make change. This is the way forward for me.