Monday, March 26, 2012

On Appropriate Victims: More on Trayvon Martin and Other Names You Need to Know


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via The Crunk Feminist Collective by moyazb on 3/26/12

Image of Rekia Boyd

Part of the reason folks rallied in reaction to Trayvon Martin's murder has to do with ideas about who is an appropriate or worthy victim. He was shot by a vigilante, he wasn't armed, he was a good student, had some class privilege, he was doing something mundane, simply returning from buying Skittles and ice tea. He was "innocent" and killed in cold blood.

We have an idea of who is deserving of support en masse and who is not. And for similar reasons we thought, with 911 tapes, eyewitness testimony, national outrage that it would result in a prosecution in the very least. If anything, the murder of Trayvon Martin shows us once again that there is no such thing as an "appropriate" Black victim.

Despite all evidence, Geraldo, Gingrich and others have found a way to make Trayvon the guilty party in his own fatal shooting. When brown and black men wear hoodies, they are asking for it. In a moment when it seems undeniable that race is a factor, people are still denying it! They even use victim blaming language.

Last week was International Anti-Street Harassment Week and I was struck with the similarities between the harassment that Black and Latino men experience by the police and the experiences of trans and cis women and gender non-conforming folks on the street. The language used by men of color to describe police harassment, is very similar to the language that those of us marginalized by our genders use to name our realities. Our clothing choices, our right to be where we are, when we want are all called into question.

Stopped, Frisked and Speaking Out from NYT The Local – Ft. Greene on Vimeo.

It seems that this time we can begin to talk across these incidents of violence and see the ways in which societal oppression is killing people. When you wear your hoodie for Trayvon, also think of:

Shaima Alawadi
Rekia Boyd
Deoni Jones
CeCe McDonald

Because these victims were women, Iraqi, trans, they didn't pass the appropriate victim test. News media and popular opinion hasn't prompted folks to take to the streets in the same numbers for them. But people are making the connections. We can be more coordinated with our outrage. We can demand a justice that doesn't rely on the very system that didn't help Trayvon in the first place (will we really be satisfied with the prosecution of Zimmerman? Can't we ask for something else?). We can build solidarity to deal with the xenophobia, transmisogyny, and racism that target our communities in similar ways. In the wake of this tragedy we can start new collaborative initiatives that support survivors and families that are recovering after loss and move our collective response from reaction to revolution!


Things you can do from here:


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Active Being: Clarity from the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar Participants

Active Beings Speak the Truth!

Last night was our second session of the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar. The brilliance, clarity, faith and bravery of the participants continues to rev my heart!! By the way...if you want to sign up for the next Webinar series get details here. We talked about the difference between being used and being on purpose. Check out these insights about what we believe is required to embody what Lorde calls "active being":

“Interdependency…is the way to a freedom which allows the I to be, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is a difference between the passive be and the active being.”

Audre Lorde “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”

Actively being embodies a way of life and living, continuous conscious decision making. And that sometimes means you will fall short but recognize the "uh-oh" moments.

Active being is being okay with making mistakes, having compassion for yourself and others, not being perfectionist, sharing works-in-progress.

Active being means letting go.

Active being is hard when most of my days I’m on autopilot.

I cannot practice humility on auto pilot!

Active being is starting with creativity. Asking what should we do? instead of

looking around at traditional models and saying how do we most quickly reproduce that?

As a disabled person and a survivor, part of my active being is doing enough healing & rest & self care & self-awareness that when I step up into being and doing I can actually sustain it accountably.

Active being is growing roots such that your vision starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has become one.

Radical self care is the foundation of active being for me. When I take good care of me, I do good work. Such simple things like drinking enough water, cooking good meals, praying, putting on lotion.

Active being is listening to myself and listening to my community and physically putting my body where it needs to be

Active being is trusting my intuition.

Active being requires creating and seeking spaces which affirm us completely.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Survival is Not: A Group Poem by the Remastered Tools 101 Webinar Crew!

Last night was the first ever Remastered Tools 101 Webinar session for visionary under-represented graduate students and emerging community accountable scholars! It was an amazing cyber love-fest in the name of the Lorde across at least 6 time zones! How awesome to engage the context and challenge of Audre Lorde's "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" with such brilliant love filled computer screen beams! It was a faith-building and clarifying experience for me and I am filled with gratitude for the bravery and clarity of the participants!

Check out one version of the group poem that we made based on Audre Lorde's statement that "Survival is Not an Academic Skill."

Survival is Not

(when academics kill)

“Survival is not an academic skill.” -Audre Lorde “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”

“Capitalism of the mind makes us all stupid.” Anna Torres’s advisor

Based on a group poem activity by the 2012 Remastered Tools 101 crew!

Survival is not the death of me.

Survival is not the death of you.

And I wish people would stop making it so complicated.

Love is not an academic skill.

Listening is not an academic skill.

Liberation is not an academic skill.

Compassion is not an academic skill.

Care is not an academic skill.

Comradeship is not an academic skill.

Courage is not an academic skill.

Mindfulness is not an academic skill.

Humility is not an academic skill.

Self-correction is not an academic skill.

Feminism is not an academic skill.

Speaking truth to power is not an academic skill.

Visibility is not an academic skill.

Affirming the beauty of others is not an academic skill.

Honoring one another and our visions are not academic skills.

Ethics are not academic skills.

Trust is not an academic skill.

Trusting intuitive power and hope are not academic skills.

Nurturing spirit is not an academic skill.

Being human is not an academic skill.

Being yourself is not an academic skill.

Creating family is not an academic skill.

What our grandmothers taught us

and what we learn through the body are not academic skills.

Dancing is not an academic skill.

Making love is not an academic skill.


Survival is not an optional skill.

Survival is not a game for pay.

Survival is not the illusion of safety.

Survival is not thinking we need to fit into boxes.

Survival is not becoming who you need me to be.

Survival is not holding our breath.

Survival is not made possible by overriding our bodies.

Survival is not possible without rest.

Survival is not scary when we know what we are living for.

Community is everything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Indigo Night School Session #2: Healing Wounds That Can/Not Be Seen

Friday March 16, 2012


At the NEW Inspiration Station

Durham, NC

(email for directions)

"Rock in the manner of a quiet sea. Hum softly from your heart. Repeat the victim's name with love." -from Indigo's "Emergency Care of Wounds that Cannot be Seen" in Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass Cypress and Indigo.

Inspired by Ntozake Shange's brilliant novel Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo, I present to you INDIGO NIGHT SCHOOL (aka night-time is the right time). We will be convening on the Fridays closest to this season's new moons into Spring for evening long rituals based on the magical remedies, recipies and rituals of the healer-girl sister in the novel, our beloved Indigo. This is a special sacred space for grown black warrior healers who identify as black women and/or black two-spirit, twinspirit, gatekeeper or genderqueer folks.

Please join me in participating in three sessions of luxurious, fragrant, nourishing evening rituals where we can set our intentions, support each other and bask in the brilliance of a Black Feminist literary legacy!!!!

Save the Dates!
Healing (Wounds that can/not be seen) Friday, March 16th, 6pm-10pm

Dreams Coming True Friday, April 20th, 6pm-10pm

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shawty Got Skillz at AMC 2012 email me Monday 3/12!!

It's time for the 4th annual Shawty Got Skillz (#SGSZ)  Session at the Allied Media Conference!!!!

We aim to pull together a skillshare at the AMC for radical trans women, trans*, non-binary, fluid, and genderqueer folks and cis women of color that reminds us that we have the skills we need to thrive!

We need your help! Click here to make Shawty Got Skillz happen this Year!

Ask yourself how your skills, whether they be analog or digital, could be used by folks to:

* sustain their community and themselves!
* create spaces for connection, laughter, and fun in movement work!
* end gendered violence against people of color!
* prepare fellow shawties for future we create now!

On the day of the Skillshare, participants move from station to station learning skills, meeting people and figuring out how the skills connect to the work they are already doing in their communities. We also hope to make a zine of the skills shared and more! We'll document the process as well as creating mechanisms to sustain what's shared after the conference!

We need help with all of that so, if you are down with the get down, send an email to us by Midnight March 12 at with your name and skill in the subject line. Call Us at (909) SHA-WTY1 (742-9891)! Climb aboard the starship connection! Join the "we" and help make this manifest!!!!

Love always,

The Shawties
@shawtygtskillz on Twitter

Friday, March 2, 2012

IMPORTANT - Bumming Cigarettes UPDATES & Press Release.

Just wanted to update you all on the progress of Bumming Cigarettes: I'm attaching all of the promo material, as well as the Official Press Release for the film. Please feel free to send out to anyone you feel may be interested in the film!

We are now in the home stretch of the Kickstarter Campaign with only 10 days left to reach our goal. As of today we have 41 Backers who have pledged $2,965 of the $5,000 goal! Which leaves us with a little over $2,000 to raise before March 13. -Monday at Midnight.

For as little as $1 folks can back our project. The breakdown for REWARDS are at the levels of $5 , $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, & $1,000. (The current average pledge is at $75 range)

We currently have currently have folks who have BACKED us at the following levels:
$5 (2 Backers) , $10 (2 Backers), $25 (15 Backers), $50 (8 Backers), $100 (2 Backers), $500 (1 backer), & $1,000 (1 Backer)<--this one is a MAJOR accomplishment for a short film!.

So what does all of this mean?! It means we are really good shape for a short film project! We just need to get the word out and encourage folks to either back the film or spread the word! I am confident that Bumming Cigarettes will make the goal so that we can get this baby done!

So far i have received invites to premiere the film in NY-April, Detroit-summer, and a few more film festivals-but the film has to be finished up asap to really get it out there on the road. The film will have strong support on the film fest circuit once its finished so lets work together to get the word out!

So here is what you can do to help out!

Encourage your contacts to Connect with Bumming Cigarettes Online:

Bumming Cigarettes Kickstarter Campaign:


FACEBOOK PAGE: Bumming Cigarettes-A Short Film

TWITTER: @bummingcigsfilm

If you have some time please tweet, embed to you blog, and share links regarding the campaign at least twice before the end. This will help get the word out a great deal!

thanks and looking forward to celebrating reaching the goal after the 13th!!!
tiona ;)