A prayer in the Wind…

I welcome the challenge to push beyond my comfort, to dig down in that place solid in my willingness. Though I posses the stubbornness, let me seek my humility as the light towards awakening. May my passion for understanding be met by the gift of unlearning those ideas that burn my soul and chain my heart. I ask that breath return between my bones so that I might stand upright in my healing, always seeking that which is my salvation, my own humanity…May I know that false pride lies in the ego dance and that I am neither my praise or my blame, may the dance between the two always grow smaller… I wish blessing to you and the knowledge that you matter ♥

Some links to folks doing Great Work

Here are a few links to some great organizations do work that might be of interest to many of you. I keep put links up off and on and when I learn how I will link to some readings. Stay Blessed
World Trust.org is a wonderful educational organization offering great tools for dialog in the goal of racial equity.
“Through education rooted in love and justice, World Trust is a catalyst for racial equity. World Trust produces programs and seminars based on our films that open minds and hearts. We offer the skills to perceive and challenge the internal and external system that reinforces racial oppression. We believe that suffering perpetuated by racial and economic divides is, at its core, the result of a disconnect from our collective humanity. This disconnect plays itself out within ourselves, in our relationships with others and in our institutions and structures. We use the powerful combination of film, dialogue and transformative learning to create new understandings. In addition, we work to heal the wounds of racism by building community and cultivating the practices of love-in-action and respect: kindness, non-judgment, compassion, deep listening. World Trust sparks individual learning and links it to a growing collective will that is committed to change.
http://world-trust.org/

CUAV: Community United Against Violence
MISSION
Founded in 1979, CUAV works to build the power of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities to transform violence and oppression. We support the healing and leadership of those impacted by abuse and mobilize our broader communities to replace cycles of trauma with cycles of safety and liberation. As part of the larger social justice movement, CUAV works to create truly safe communities where everyone can thrive.
Therefore, our liberations are fundamentally connected. Our work seeks to build lives, relationships and communities organized around individual and collective possibility and self-determination for everyone.
http://www.cuav.org/

Queers for Economic Justice
Mission
QEJ Mission Statement
Queers for Economic Justice is a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation.
Our goal is to challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities, and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity.
We are committed to the principle that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right, and we work to create social and economic equity through grassroots organizing, public education, advocacy and research.
We do this work because although poor queers have always been a part of both the gay rights and economic justice movements, they have been, and continue to be, largely invisible in both movements.
This work will always be informed by the lived experiences and expressed needs of queer people in poverty.
http://q4ej.org/

Brown Boi Project
Mission
The Brown Boi Project is a community of masculine of center womyn, men, two-spirit people, transmen, and our allies committed to transforming our privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving Racial and Gender Justice.
Masculine of center (MoC), which, in its evolving definition, recognizes the cultural breadth and depth of identity for lesbian/queer womyn and gender nonconforming/trans people who tilt toward the masculine side of the gender spectrum�including a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, macha, dom, trans masculine, boi, etc. (B. Cole, 2008)
http://www.brownboiproject.org/

Whitenoise Collective
What is the White Noise Collective?
We are a collective of people dedicated to racial justice that explores how internalized sexism and heterosexism show up in the work of anti-racist activists, educators and allies. Through blogs, workshops and monthly dialogues, we collectively investigate patterns common among people at this intersection of white privilege and gender oppression from our various unique relationships to it. We encourage and welcome participation from people who do not identify as white or female.

When we say “white woman,” we are referring to a dominant or mainstream identity with certain images, messages and narratives that have been used to uphold systems of oppression. It is an identity that many who have been socialized as white and female often have to negotiate with, whether by resisting, conforming, imitating, subverting or distancing. It’s this negotiation and relationship to “white women” that we are investigating, whether it is our current identity, a past or new identity, or a personal connection to people with this identity. In our dialogues and workshops we honor every body’s unique relationship to the themes explored. Even if we have never had a Barbie, we know what she looks like and what she symbolizes.
http://www.conspireforchange.org/

Who Matters when coming out!

So it is all over today, did or did not Jodie Foster come out? I watch the show, having grown up in Santa Monica many folks,friends,parents were or are in the business. These are my thoughts on coming out, please come out in your own way at your own time. I never liked or do I like the practices of outing as it can be life threatening. I do not have the right to decide for another the choice, I can encourage folks to live their lives in ways that support them.That said, I got in this discussion about Queen Latifah after she preformed in Long Beach pride about why it is or is not important. My view is this, all of us that our out have more effect on the lives of people in our world than a celebrity. The teacher, carpenter,sex worker,student, parent who is out can impact far more lives than one celebrity. Second, what right do I have to expect someone to come out, again I encourage it of course, join us, be another vision of truth, but I have no right to demand it. Jodie foster said clearly that she was out to everyone she met, what more is expected of any of us? Some of us are out in high profile ways, others of us are not public for many reason. I came out in 1979, it was not easy in high school after that, nor for the next few years till I began to build a logical family, we live in a different time, coming out is still important, but I support us as people to recall what it was like, how are safety would be effected, and the financial cost before we demand others to risks what is their lives. I worked towards a day that coming out is not necessary, that my life and the lives of my friends are not threatened with violence for their difference. I also live out so that others who might want to make the choice to live out see a variety of people that have one or many things in common. We all know that coming out does not provide a homogenous community, we see that with the current political debate in the TBGL communities. Some of us are fighting for marriage rights, some of us are fighting to abolish prisons, and there are even gay republicans. So please come out, be a beacon of visibility in your daily life but lets us not assume we know why or why not a “public figure” does not come out, and who decides what out is anyway? Is out to myself any less important than being out to you? We are all public figures we all are important, and we all make a difference. Stay blessed I am….

Coffee, Football and reflection

So I admit my love hate relationship with football,men in tight pants 😉 and Coffee is the nectar of my morning. I find self-reflection a powerful tool in my life and work. I also know I am finding and refining my voice, perspective, and knowledge. I do this both in and out of the academic environment, in fact, I find academia a bit stifling to knowledge production which is nothing new or some brilliant insight. It is in plain sight the rules of progress, jump the hoops, get the letters, then write about how messed up that process is. I come to school as a late bloomer, I was the stoner kid who could not spell in high school and barley read a whole book, and became the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. I never felt that folks in school were any smarter than those that choose other routes, I had chosen the trade of carpenter, went to school for 4.5 years but always had my skills questioned (wrong kind of school). Anyway I digress, doing work around the body,race,gender,sex and state violence sometimes becomes a difficult place to find hope that things can change, I am changing which is good, but I am loosing hope that “We” are. I am not sure what to do sometimes, I think my style offends more people than I want to, but I also think us as white folks have a really hard time looking at ourselves, our part, and our work. I am not special, nor do I find myself feeling “better’ than others, I do believe I have a willingness to stay in the trenches and as the post yesterday pointed out, no-one needs to pat me on the back or feel grateful. I do wish that the understanding the we all have internal bias did not become a competition when discussing difference. Many smarter and gentler folks are doing this work, I am one doing the work, some times not so graceful, sometimes with humor, but always will the goal of healing. Trying to write about difference is hard, it is a skill I am in the process of getting better at, in some areas I must use the big words and in others not so much, this is hard translating theory into the everyday, not for some, but for me yes. I ask for patience, feedback and love. This is a life long process and self-reflection is not just navel gazing with out action, action is required when what was unseen or unknown becomes visible. More coffee is needed and the wonder dog needs a walk, blessings

Is there Such a thing as a “White anti-Racist”?

I was on my facebook page when this article pop up from the QWOCMAP page. I had read it a while back, but find it to have many great points.I tend to agree with many points in this article and think I was trying to say some of this in my other posts. Whiteness is also a political and social construction, and a lived experience. For us as folks who are considered white we must take a hard look at how we approach our work and this sentence from the article is important point, “Additionally, white activism, especially white anti-racism, is predicated on an economy of gratitude” We need to really get clear that no one owes us a thank you or gratitude for doing what is right. Especially unlearning our white privilege. Anyway I will re-post others work and helpful readings on this blog as well my own thoughts, take what you want and leave the rest. Again, discussion is encouraged 🙂

The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron An Open Letter to “White Anti-Racists”

By Kil Ja Kim

http://www.nathanielturner.com/whiteantiracistsopenletter.htm

Random Thoughts on Being White

Hey White friends, guess what? YOU’RE WHITE, that is right no need to feel guilty, or ashamed, no need to appropriate other folks culture, No nothing is the New Black, White guilt has no purpose, and racial equality is not when we get to use the N-word! We never get to say it, it is that simple. Justice is not us being able to go where we want, take up space that is not ours, and whine when we are called out on our racist behavior. No, our job is to learn the difference between whiteness and being raced white. No the difference does not mean we arrived in a post-racial world, it means read a book, talk to other white folks, unlearn, but avoid oppression “Olympics”, it is not a pretty game. Yes the first thing people see is race, that means us too, the first thing folks notice about me is that I am white, masculine and queer depending on the location of the moment. So embrace your whiteness do not be ashamed of it, or apologize for it. Now that you know you’re raced white, do something about it. Make mistakes, do it wrong, understand that we are unlearning a structural system that expects us to feel shame, white guilt, and fear. Being “PC” does not mean safety rather being “PC” means being vulnerable and uncomfortable in that moment of truth and growth, learn to sit with the feelings so each time it happens shame and looking foolish lose their power. The biggest gift I received in my unlearning process was realizing there is no arrival point, there is no finish line that I cross where I am no longer white or live in a world that needs racism to build capitol for the 1%. The other thing I found, and still find, important is forgiveness not for being white or born into a system I did not create, but for the moments of resistance and failure to see my white, masculine, able-bodied, and US born privilege.