Some stories that caught our eye this week:

I’m a Minister and a Mother—and I Had an Abortion Decisions about whether and when to grow one’s family carry the deepest meaning, and religious women make this decision in conversation with God, just as we do every decision.

When our (white) feminist heroes fail us: on “notorious RBG” and Colin Kaepernick “Let’s reevaluate the pedestal we put our feminist heroes on and demand that they do the constant work of allying their version of feminism with the fight against racial injustice.”

After FIFA lifts hijab ban, Muslim women soccer players hit the field “The optics of Muslim women charging out onto the pitch to the sounds of adoring crowds filled with Arab girls and women was striking.”

Life Advice From the Girl in Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” Music Video



This week kids across Washington State headed back to school.

According to our state constitution, educating our children is the paramount duty of government. It is the greatest collective responsibility we share as a community.

Of course, there is no lack of debate or dispute over what that duty requires.

Washington State has been ordered into court on Sept 7th by the WA Supreme Court to answer questions about the ongoing impact of the McCleary Decision, which has been fining WA State $100,000 a day for over a year for not making significant progress on special education, teachers’ salaries and a host of school basics.

Arguments over “teaching to the test” continue to brew. School bathrooms have taken center stage in the growing conversations and controversies over gender. The Department of Justice has pointed out the dangers of the “preschool to prison pipeline” where African American children, poor children and foster children disproportionately find public education not a path to stability and achievement, but a process of escalating surveillance and criminalized discipline that results in imprisonment rather than empowerment.

And a recent study by the NW Network and the National Domestic Violence Hotline demonstrates that fear of mandatory reporting to police or CPS by reporters such as school teachers and counselors results in young people delaying or avoiding seeking help when they are experiencing harm.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the storms that surround education. But, instead of turning away from the challenges that face our schools, let’s get educated about these challenges and the positions on education held by every candidate seeking office this fall. Let’s make sure we have all our kids’ backs as they head back to school.

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

What Can You Do to Broaden Your Worldview? Have Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor “One participant at the dinner suggested that it shouldn’t be the duty of the oppressed to educate the oppressors, but Saab dismissed that, explaining that it is one of the pillars of Islam to stand up for all people and to advocate for any marginalized people.”

The hotly contested Olympic medal table of sexism “Detailed commentary setting female gymnasts up against one another and reducing them entirely to their leotards, including references to how “dainty” or “ultra-feminine” they were and even comparing them to Disney fairies.”

Leslie Jones, we’ve got your back! “Racism is not new, but it’s happening in new and different ways. Hateful people have a huge platform to spew their racist hate, and they have no remorse.”

And finally, a little musical parody to entertain you:

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

New Allegations of Sexual Abuse at Fordham Prep Remind Us That Men Can Be Victims, Too “Movements for rape survivors have a history of forgetting that men can suffer sexual violence as well as perpetrate it.”

Simone Biles on Her Legacy: ‘I’m Not the Next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the 1st Simone Biles’ “Don’t compare her to Michael Phelps, or any other gold medal winner, because she’s not them. And during her post-win interview, she made it a point to make sure people knew that.”

A South Carolina Student Was Arrested for ‘Disturbing a School’ When She Challenged Police Abuse, So We Sued “Every year, more than a thousand students in South Carolina — some as young as 7 years old — face criminal charges for not following directions, loitering, cursing, or the vague allegation of acting “obnoxiously.”

This week we’re sharing a post from Eleanor Powell, our summer intern.

I don’t think I know anybody who could argue that the first six months of 2016 have been the best months of their lives. The continued police brutality against black Americans, the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States, a rise in blatant xenophobia—all these things have made it hard to be positive and keep fighting for justice.

So, here are five things I have been trying to think about when everything else seems hopeless:

  1. Over $150,000 was raised at the 2016 Goodwill Refuse To Abuse® 5K!
  2. Beyoncé, always.
  3. Leslie Jones, and the love shown towards her after she received hate on Twitter.
  4. Pokemon Go (What can I say, I’m a technology-obsessed millennial)
  5. The WSCADV staff. Thank you for working so tirelessly to end violence against women, and for making this internship special. Since my first day, I felt welcomed and included. I learned so much about the work you all do, and discovered what kind of work I want to be doing in the next five years. I truly cannot thank you guys enough for giving me such a great opportunity.

This week we’re sharing a post from Eleanor Powell, our summer intern.

I could write about how angry I am. I could write that I had more faith in this country, that I believe people are fundamentally good and honest, not born with hate in their souls. I could, but I won’t.

The truth is I don’t expect much better from this country. At a mere 18 years of age, after witnessing countless incidents of racialized police brutality across the country over the past few years, I have already become numb to gun violence against the oppressed, and the shooting at Pulse in Orlando is no different. I wish I could say with the fervor of straight allies that I’m shocked such a hate crime could happen in the year 2016… but I’m not. Blatant hatred towards LGBTQ+ folk is never surprising to me. Even in a city as liberal as Seattle, I am afraid to walk out of my house looking too gay/dykey/gender non-conforming. Public spaces are always places of anxiety for LGBTQ+ folk, and with the added intersectionalities of being a woman of color, I very rarely feel safe outside of my own home.

For many LGTBQ+ folk, their homes are not safe because they live with abusive families or partners. While abuse occurs at the same rate in same-gender couples as it does in straight couples, bisexual women are almost twice as likely to be rape or abused by their partners than straight or lesbian women. Now, one of the few safe spaces for LGBTQ+ folk, especially survivors, has been compromised. After Orlando, I did not go to any more Pride events. I am even more conscious of what I wear and how I act in public―I am terrified. And so are the rest of the LGBTQ+ folk, the people of color, and the women in this country, because our oppressors keep telling us through hate speech and hate crimes that our lives are not worth as much as theirs.

I am not just angry, I am sad. Really, really, really sad, and scared, and just plain tired. I am tired of being hated, tired of hating myself, tired of trying to not hate myself while others like me are being murdered in safe spaces.

Staying hopeful after events such as Orlando happen is difficult, but not impossible. Pride Month is almost over, but that does not mean all LGBTQ+ folk go back in the closet until next June. Nor does it mean that we will forget Orlando. If it is safe to do so, be out, be proud, be who you were destined to be.

To the 49 people who lost their lives, may you rest in love and peace and power. To those still alive, may you find the strength to continue living.

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

This Was a Bad, Gruesome, and Utterly Typical Week for Men Killing Their Partners “A week like this of any other kind of incident—mass shootings, publicized incidents of bullying, canoeing accidents—would probably occasion some editorials, some discussion on the morning talk shows, maybe even a grim press conference from the president, vowing not to stand for any more.”

As An Abuse Survivor, I Understand And Support Amber Heard “Suddenly, my morning ritual of laying in bed and browsing the internet on my phone wasn’t fun. Instead, it was peppered with stories about Heard that pointed the finger, hurled sexist slurs, and made up grandiose stories about what really could have happened.”

What the War on Reproductive Rights Has to do With Poverty and Race While claiming to care about Black lives, anti-abortion advocates have used racist billboard campaigns to shame Black women out of having abortions without addressing any of the reasons why we choose abortion

There was another mass shooting last week. This one was in Pennsylvania. As I write this (on March 10) there have been 8 mass shootings in the U.S. this month. EIGHT MASS SHOOTINGS IN TEN DAYS!!!! Sorry to get shouty, but I’m super mad. My heart breaks for the children whose parents were taken from them. My heart breaks for the communities that have a lot of healing to do. I’m struck by how little media attention this last shooting has received (the fact that the victims were Black probably also had something to do with it). How jaded we’ve become about mass murder.

Image from Demand Action To End Gun Violence

Image from Demand Action To End Gun Violence

Did you know that more than half of mass shootings in America are domestic violence related? Most of the victims are women and children. Most of the shooters are men. This sounds all too familiar to advocates like me. We hear about this kind of thing all the time―survivors who fear for their lives because someone who is supposed to love them has threatened them with a gun.

The media pays less attention to mass shootings when the victims are family members of the perpetrator. But some of the more high profile shootings also include elements of domestic violence. Like this recent tragedy in Kansas where the gunman was just issued a restraining order by his girlfriend and promptly went on a shooting spree at his workplace.

We know the facts, so why aren’t we putting domestic violence front and center when we are talking about guns? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently asked his first question from the bench in a decade. Why? To question if we should be taking guns away from abusers. The New York Times calls the case in question a “minor” one. I disagree. A gun in the hands of an abuser is anything but minor.

ignore-me-elephantAyer por la noche mientras mi pequeño se preparaba para dormir después de un dia difícil, se acercó muy tiernamente, me abrazo y me pidió disculpas por haberme respondido no de la mejor manera durante la tarde y se disculpó diciendo que estaba muy cansado. Lo escuche, lo abracé y con todo amor y mirándolo a los ojos le explique que cuando uno se disculpa es mejor hacerlo sin presentar la excusa.

Ya dormido me puse a pensar lo importante de ser responsable de nuestros actos y no pude evitar pensar en lo que está ocurriendo a nuestro alrededor con todas las ofensas y racismo abierto y descarado que se escucha de los aspirantes a ser candidatos presidenciales y además de todos aquellos que en este país se sienten superiores a inmigrantes y personas que ellos consideran distintas. Yo me pregunto, ¿cómo hacer para que estas personas se hagan responsables de sus acciones y del impacto del odio que están sembrando en contra de lo diverso?

Es triste a lo que hemos llegando y al mismo tiempo puede que no sea tan malo pues tal vez es necesario llegar a lo más bajo para que ya de una vez por todas sea hable abiertamente de lo que siempre ha estado presente de una manera silenciosa: El racismo. Si, ya la esclavitud no es legal pero fuera de ahí, el odio, el miedo a lo diferente y distinto, y la necesidad de marcar la superioridad siempre han estado presentes. Es incómodo, triste, pero es una realidad y la única manera de que haya un cambio es que se vea y se palpe de una manera real y abierta.

Ahora bien, ¿qué podemos hacer al respecto? ¿Cuál es mi parte en todo esto? ¿Responder con odio, sentirme ofendida, atacar, estar a la defensiva? Creo que no. Como inmigrante por supuesto que he sentido todas estas emociones pero si realmente quiero formar parte de un cambio o mejor aún de una transformación social donde la tolerancia, inclusión y aceptación sean parte del  mundo donde nos desenvolvemos mi respuesta tiene que ser proactiva, pensada, con estrategia y con la intención de crear una mejor sociedad.

Por mi parte continuaré cuestionándome y haciéndome responsable de mis acciones. Crearé espacios donde se pueda conversar al respecto, en fin es un granito de arena, y si cada quien pone un poquito quien quita y esta vez realmente sea el inicio de una transformación en la conciencia social para vivir mejor.


Last night while my son was getting ready for bed after a rough day, he very kindly came and hugged me. He apologized for not having responded in the best way that afternoon and he excused himself, telling me that it happened because he was very tired. I listened to him, hugged him, and with all my love, looked into his eyes and explained to him that when you apologize it is best done without an excuse.

Once he was asleep I started thinking about how important it is to be accountable for our actions. I could not help thinking about what is happening around us in politics;  all the offensive remarks and the open racism that we are hearing from  aspiring presidential candidates  as well as from all those in this country who feel superior to immigrants and people they consider different. I wonder, what needs to be done for these people to be accountable for their actions and for the impact the hate they are spreading against diversity is causing.

It’s sad what we have come to, and at the same time it may not be as bad as we think.  Maybe it is necessary to get to this low point, so we can start speaking openly about what has always been there in a silent way: Racism. Yes, slavery is not legal but the hate, fear of the different and diverse, and the need to show superiority has always been there. It is uncomfortable, it hurts,  it’s sad, but it is a reality and the only way to change it is to see it and examine it in a real and open way.

Now, what can we do about it? What is my part in this? Responding with hate? Feel offended? Attack back? Be defensive? I don’t think so. As an immigrant, of course I have felt all these emotions, but if I really want to be part of a real change—or, even better, a social transformation where tolerance, inclusion, and acceptance are part of the world where we live—my response has to be proactive, thoughtful and strategic, with the intention of creating a better society.

For my part, I will continue questioning and being accountable for my actions. I will work to create spaces where we can talk, discuss, and learn about racism. It is not much but if everyone does a little, maybe this time really is the beginning of a transformation in the social conscience.

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

The black female engineers at Slack took the spotlight this week, accepting the award for Fastest Rising Startup Award. Then one of them, Erica Baker, called via Twitter for white men to give up space to minorities: “I don’t *need* another board seat, let me help them find a woman of color to take it.”

Meet The Queer Woman Who Proved Einstein’s Theory About Gravitational Waves “I am just myself,” says Prof. Nergis Mavalvala. “But out of that comes something positive.”

When actually doing something meaningful to disrupt institutional inequality would be way too much work; why not just Rent-A-Minority instead?