Monday, August 31, 2009

the divine survivors clinic


welcome to the divine survivors clinic!

my name is mai’a.

i am offering free reiki treatments to us– the lovers, the fighters, and the survivors. a way to reduce pain, cleanse and strengthen the body, balance the emotions and experience more clarity and vitality in our lives.

the divine survivors clinic began as a vision i had at dawn listening to the fajr call to prayer.

i have seen that many of us as doing amazing life-changing work and yet suffer from long terms and short term illnesses. we do not have the time, money, energy to eat well, laugh, meditate, move, and mother ourselves. we live on the edges of society, enduring and resisting with every breath, the various and connected forms of violence.

reiki is a specific frequency or wave of energy. i tune into this energy. connect with your mind and body (no matter where you are in the world). and then reiki vibrates throughout your being. allowing you to relax, de-stress, and transmutate toxins in the body.


The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.
–Audre Lorde

* is a safe, gentle, non-physical healing practice that reduces stress and promotes relaxation and transformation of all kind of ailments and disease.
* can never act harmfully.
* is not controlled by the practitioner, but by the needs of recipient’s bodymind.
* is not limited by time nor space. and thus can be activated across distances and times, allowing us to commune across oceans, heal the past and create a joyous future.
* transforms toxins and illness in the physical, emotional, and psychological systems.
* is not a religion and belief in reiki is not necessary for it to work.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Free Shifa

Free Shifa! Free Haris!
Challenge the violent tactics of the War on Terror!

As you all know Shifa Sadequee was convicted on August 12 of all four counts of conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations. The evidence is flimsy and the laws are all based on “pre-emptive prosecution” to convict people before a crime has been committed. The defense team will submit a motion for re-trial. He and his co-defendant will be sentenced by the same judge who presided over the trial on October 15. The appeal process begins after the sentencing.


1) 1000 Letters to Judge Duffey to reduce the sentencing
2) September 11th – Challenge the Culture of Fear:
Join us at Charis Bookstore to write letters & learn more about the case
3) September 21st - Community Meeting to launch long-term strategies

1) 1000 Letters to the Judge by October 1!

Shifa faces up to 60 years in prison and Haris faces 15 years. Shifa will be 83 years old before he gets out, if the judge throws the book at him which is likely.

Student movements across Bangladesh have committed to sending 1000 letters. Let’s match that in the US by sending 1000 personal letters to Judge Duffey, urging him to reduce the sentencing to time served (best case scenario) or the lowest sentencing possible in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.

Template is attached – Please make it as personal and from the heart as possible! Visit for more information in the “Who is Shifa” section
Send hard copy to judge and PLEASE EMAIL A COPY TO - Include your name and contact information.

Send hard copy to:
Judge William S. Duffey
District Court Judge
United States District Court
1721 Richard B. Russell Federal Building and United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Send email copy to:

2) September 11th – Challenge the Culture of Fear
Join us at Charis Bookstore at 8pm-9:30pm to write letters & learn more about the case. Food provided!

Charis Books & More
1189 Euclid
Atlanta GA 30307

3) Community Meeting – Atlanta Supporters
Monday, September 21, 2009 – 6:30pm
@ 9 Gammon Ave
Atlanta GA 30315
(Project South offices)

Come and find out more about the case and build long-term strategies to support the families, activate our solidarity with the Muslim community, and to eliminate these kind of attacks on all of our communities. We will discuss Media Strategies, Organizing Strategies, Safety Strategies, and general community awareness about all the issues that are connected to this significant and historic case. We will also prepare for the October 15th Sentencing Hearing.

If you are not in Atlanta and want to support, please don’t hesitate to contact
. There are multiple opportunities to join and support the organizing efforts through writing solidarity statements, connecting to media around the country, and connecting to similar cases and community responses.

Wherever you are, please write letters and forward this call on to your networks, friends, families, and organizations!

JOIN Facebook group with videos and all press releases from the 7 days of trial: Justice For Shifa

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Combahee Survival: Difficult

“We have found that it is very difficult to organize around Black feminist issues, difficult even to announce in certain contexts that we are Black feminists.”-Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977

What desire, anxiety, hope and love do you feel towards fellow members of your oppressed group?

What’s a time when you could not speak your political stance out loud? What caused that? What would it take to make your vision more speakable?


Send us your reflections about these questions at or leave a comment here!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bring Lex to Your Campus or Community Center!

This year Alexis is using her best developed and most cherished skill-the art of the life-changing workshop-to raise funds to support her decision to spend the next year doing the MobileHomeComing an immersive intergenerational community documentation and education project based on her lust for back queer community! (It's weird that somehow I have to be consistent with a choice to talk about myself in the third person here, but I want to interject in the first person to say that your support means everything to me and it is evidence of the fact that it is possible to be a community supported, community accountable scholar in the 21st Century. :)

Bring Alexis to your campus, community center, to speak, or do a workshop that you will never forget!

at the Furious Flower Poetry Center!

at the Furious Flower Poetry Center!


Alexis is available to speak on a variety of topics and has tons of experiences speaking to audiences at elementary schools, college campuses, community centers, rallies, conferences and workshops. Click on the links for examples of public talks she has given in the past. She might particularly be a great person to complement your community or campus programming during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Love Your Body Week, Celebration of Black Womanhood Week, Black Heritage Month, Women's History Month, National Coming Out Day, Mother's Day or throw tokenism to the wind and bring Alexis to speak and make any old day of the year a day filled with hope and magic!


Alexis's Academic CV



(Most workshops are available either as a one time session, a day-long intensive or a series within the NC Triangle or Triad areas. Get in touch about what works best for your community. Below are workshops that I have facilitated many times before. I can also design workshops specifically for your needs :)


Pressed for Knowledge: Alexis has facilitated this miraculous zine making workshop all over the United States in communities, on college campuses and at conferences. In this workshop participants (whether they are part of an existing group or are meeting for the first time on the day of the workshop) use the resources of urgency, homegrown brilliance and whatever's around to create their own publication in less than 2 hours. Alexis leads participants in a process of choosing an audience, a theme that connects their passions and a work structure and a group evaluation process for their own urgent publication! (NEW!!! Pressed for Knowledge is now available in a video version...where participants create and edit their own video in an amazingly short period of time!)

workin' on it!Grassroots Literary Production: Due to her experience leading the Pressed for Knowledge workshop and facilitating students at Duke University, UNC-Greensboro and the SpiritHouse Choosing Sides program in the creation of their own online and print collaborative publications, Alexis can train teachers, faculty and community cultural workers to make publication a part of their programming.

bhopal imageThe Activist Impulse: Similar to the Pressed for Knowledge Workshop, this workshops leads participants through a process of deciding on, designing and enacting and evaluating a site-specific direct action. Alexis has led this workshop with a class of Duke University Students, at the Ethnic Studies and the Activist Impulse Symposium at Columbia University, the Beyond the Box Conference at Barnard College, the Anarchist People of Color SouthEast Regional Conference and more!


(These workshops are grounded in Alexis's years of black feminist research and spiritual practice and are ideal for a community organization, school, department or group of people interested in how the theory, practice, poetry and lessons of black feminist practice apply to their present conditions)

audreLetters to Audre: developed in a special writing enrichment course that Alexis designed for Africana Women's Studies majors at Bennett College for Women, this workshop or series of workshops introduces participants to key works by black feminist lesbian poet, scholar, activist Audre Lorde. Participants create their own versions of/responses to poems and essays by Audre Lorde including Litany for Survival and The Uses of Anger. Participatns also write their own poetic letters to this literary feminist ancestor. See for examples. Alexis is also available to lead seminars for faculty, teachers, and community educators on Teaching Audre Lorde.

June_JordanLetters to June: Along a similar model as the Letters to Audre Workshop, this curriculum was developed for a feminist theory course at UNC-Greensboro. Participants will write their own "Poem About My Rights" and "What's Love Got to Do With It" and also engage some of Jordan's lesser known and unpublished pieces. Alexis is also available to use her privileged access as the first researcher to view June Jordan's archival papers to lead seminars on Teaching June Jordan.

lorde_oldLitany for Survival: The Poetics of Community Building This writing and movement workshop, designed in collaboration with Ebony Golden starts from the grounding point of Audre Lorde's Litany for Survival and leads participants through a process of analyzing the poem for themselves, using theater of the oppressed methodologies to demonstrate what survival means for them and creating their own praise poems towards the survival of their own communities. This workshop was debuted at the Brecht Forum in New York City with an amazing response.

45hamiltonIn Your Hands: The Depth of Legacy: based on a spiritual experience that Alexis had of recieving and writing down letters from chosen, (and uninvited!) black feminist ancestors including Fannie Lou Hamer, Nayo Watkins, Toni Cade Bambara, Octavia Butler and her own grandmother (see the letters and the video documentation of the process here) this workshop is designed to facilitate participants in listening for and to the legacies of their own chosen traditions. Alexis will facilitate a disucssion of some of the insights in the letters she recieved and each participant will leave with a plan and a way to make space for their own insights.


(these workshops are designed to keep community members, community organizers, students and teachers ALIVE AND WELL with full access to their love for themselves, each other and their inspired purpose!)

Photo 16Habit Forming Love: This workshop shares the gifts of a 21 day process in which Alexis sought to learn how to love herself, her partner and her community better and to train herself in online video production and distribution. Available as a one time workshop or a skills building series, this workshop will allow participants to use new media technology to deepen and activate their love for themselves, their chosen family and their communities. Browse Alexis's video project here.

alexis is audre lorde againMother Ourselves: Created in collaboration with Zachari Curtis for the Gumbo Yaya Sister Circle, and inspired by Audre Lorde's essay "Eye to Eye," this workshop provides participants with a safe space to examine their thoughts about the meaning of "mothering," and allows participants to explore what it might mean to nurture, teach and transform themselves. In this workshop we work in partners, listen to our bodies, use mirrors and talk about the affirming and difficult process of reflections linked to our varied experiencs with mothering.

4864_92087517797_541817797_2162853_7570725_nSustainability for Organizers and Activists: The workshop, designed for (and with) the organizers and visionaries in Critical Resistance, is about ENDING ACTIVIST BURN OUT!!!! Remembering that we, our bodies and our spirits are the most important resources for change, this workshop facilitates organizers in identifying the resources that keep them inspired and practices that can keep/get us well. Every participant leaves with their own visible reminder of their own wellness insights!


(These workshop are ideal for a community organization/project/coalition at a stage of inception or renewal.)

-2Dig: Grounding Community Transformation in Local Resources

Based on Alexis's poem dig, this workshop is designed to get community members in touch with the secrets, issues, and resources in their own communities and to build a shared analysis of those resources as a guide for their community projects and alliances. Each community will leave with at the very least, a group poem, new clarity about their resources and projects that connect and align their existing resources. The "dig" exercise has been enacted in Greensboro, Miami, Asheville and Gainesville as part of the Grassroots Media Justice Tour.

wishful thinkingWishful Thinking: Vision and Actualization Based on Alexis's poem in honor of black women and survivors of sexual violence in her community and recorded as a track on the SPEAK! CD this workshop leads participants through a meditation about their desires for their local communities and communities of affinity. Participants will leave with a community wishlist and individual affirmations. To see some of the results of the version of Wishful Thinking facilitated with the Speak Media Collective at the Women and Action in the Media Conference see

Support the Work:

(all proceeds go towards Alexis's work on the mobilehomecoming project and do not include travel and accomodation. Priority will be given to institutions in Lex's home region of the North Carolina Triangle and Triad areas.)


Colleges and University-$1000 for lecture or poetic performance ($2500 for a lecture or poetic performance, Q&A and an additional classroom visit)

Community Center/Non-profit- $200-300 for lecture ($500 for lecture and workshop)

Autonomous Community Spaces (independent bookstores, churches etc.)- $100 for lecture(with the possibility of just passing the hat if we can also have publications for sale)


( each workshop will result in a publication/poem/major accomplishment for participants to keep and for the sponsor to be proud of!):

Colleges and Universities- $1000 ($3500 for a series)

Community Center/Non-profit- $300-500 (discounts for smaller or rural orgs, talk to me) ($850-1000 for a series)

Living Rooms/Kitchen Tables- $100 or gather your people, pass the hat and have some yummy food on hand and I'm there!!! (maybe I was a travelling black feminist preacher in a past life...)

All suggested prices are really suggested. Get in touch. (

We can work something out.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Podcast!!!!


Check out this FIRST EVER PODCAST as part of the BrokenBeautiful Press educational campaign "Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind." Black Feminism LIVES by every means necessary.

What does it take to survive a year like 1979?

This first podcast is about the year 1979 and how the world, and black feminism began and ended in some crucial ways that year. With the election of Ronald Reagan, the Boston Murders, the Atlanta Child Murders and the Greensboro Massacre all attacking the the lives, minds and spirits of black women 1979 was a crucial year. This podcast focuses on how Audre Lorde, Alexis DeVeaux, June Jordan and Barbara Smith reach(ed) across time and space to transform the meaning of survival. (And there is some good period appropriate and anachronistic music too!)

download here:

Please leave comments here!

p.s. Sorry about the moments of outburst distortion. A sista is clearly super exuberantly excited about black feminism and promises to stay a little further away from the mic on podcast number two! :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black August Brilliance and Beauty

Hello brilliant badass brave ones,
It is Black August, this month the heat escaping our pores reminds us of the huge segment of our community locked up for being too bad, too black too brave, too brilliant, too much in love with us. In Durham, QBG Nia reminds us to write haikus towards the freedom of all political prisoners every year this month. Here's one I wrote this morning:

assata throne out
bone in set cheek glare pierce win
love each yes nothing to lose

add your own haikus to the QBG forum:

August is also a good time of year to transform and re-energize for those of us involved in the Academic Industrial Complex (which we remember shares many of the funding sources and disciplinary purposes as the prison without forgetting the privilege that access to academic spaces grants some of us). And some of us are brave. Work is beginning on a website for black feminist scholars to supplement publication of Still Brave a Black Women's Studies reader in the tradition of ground breaking book All the Women Are White, All the Blacks are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave.

Wanna help? Email!

And last but not least this week we are lifting up the Smart/Ugly conversation that has been going on for sometime on QBG. In 1977 the Combahee River Collective pointed out that:

”We discovered that all of us, because we were ”smart” had also been considered ”ugly,” i.e. ”smart-ugly.” ”Smart-ugly” crytallized the way in which most of us had been forced to develop out intellects at great cost to our ”social” lives. The sanctions in the Black and white communities against Black women thinkers is comparatively much higher than for white women, particularly ones from the educated middle and upper classes.”
see Kameelah Rasheed's brilliant observations and join the convo: