I definitely support the current Twitter hashtag #GiveYourMoneyToWomen because of the way in which women (particularly women of color) aren’t justly compensated for so much of their labor. There are many tweets about why giving money to women is important and I recommend reading through the hashtag to understand more!
But I thought I would create a list of great people and organizations to donate to in support of this idea:
Fernanda “Nani” Meier’s fundraiser to get to #BlogHer15
Black Girl Dangerous
Cherrell Brown (fundraising for going to grad school in London)
the bad dominicana
All these are just some of the amazing women and organizations that definitely deserve financial support.
Yesterday, I found two videos from Sustainable Human about the importance of wolves and whales on the environment around them. One video talks about the reemergence of the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park and how the reintroduction of packs in 1995 helped to indirectly impact the course of the rivers in the park. The other video talks about the impact of whales on the climate, which is definitely something I never even thought about.
*Both videos do have close captioning for the narration.
For more information about wolves in Yellowstone National Park:
National Park Service information about the wolves
Wolves in Yellowstone National Park
Gray Wolves Have Created a Balance between Predator and Prey
Why whale poo could be the secret to reversing the effects of climate change
The thing that I really love about the videos is that they both highlight the fact that life and survival on Earth is all interconnected and an impact on one thing will usually have a domino effect on the surrounding species and environment.
Over the past few days and weeks, protesters in and around Seattle and the Puget Sound have been protesting the Shell oil rig that will be sent up to the Arctic for drilling. Some of the protests have been on land but other parts of the protests have included activists chaining themselves to the rig and hundreds of self proclaimed ‘kayaktivists’, who have all taken to several different bays around the Puget Sound to protest the oil rig’s existence.
Some articles about the protests include:
Second Shell protester leaves Arctic oil exploration ship in Washington State
Protests surrounding police brutality, the extrajudicial killings of black people around the US, and violent white supremacy have made dramatic waves over the past several months. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has been a calling cry since the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and has been a rallying cry for some protests. #HandsUpDontShoot and #ICantBreathe have also been other rallying cries, in reference to the deaths of Micheal Brown and Eric Garner respectively.
[Image of several black women demonstrating topless in San Francisco on May 21st.]
#SayHerName became a hashtag and protest call to bring attention to the violence faced by black women around the country. The poet Aja Monet wrote and preformed a poem under the same name and called out the names of the black women and girls who have been murdered by police.
There have also been numerous demonstrations around the country in response to a call to action from the Black Youth Project. Some articles about the demonstrations are below, including the fact that several incredible women went topless in protest and shut down the Financial District in San Francisco:
They Love Our Bodies but Not Us: Powerful Images from #SayHerName Demonstrations
Women Go Topless to Protest Killings of Unarmed Black Women by Police
Why These Women Protested Police Brutality Topless
[Image reading: black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to be targeted by police and incarcerated than white women.]
The African American Policy Forum has a long list of resources, statistics, and general information about the police brutality against black women if you are looking for more information.
I think that being able to support and amplify the voices and work done by the activists fighting against the white supremacy so built into the fabric of US society is incredibly important. (Especially supporting and amplifying black women. And not forgetting about the intersectionality of gender, class, race, sexuality, etc.) Supporting platforms like Black Girl Dangerous, #BlackLivesMatter, and Operation Help or Hush is always important. There is also a Black Girls Lead conference, an opportunity for black girls between the ages of 13-17 years old this upcoming summer and is an offshoot of BlackGirlsRock.
I’m very much a hands on learner – the times we did labs in different science classes were some of my favorite parts of school. (Science wasn’t a huge strength but being able to actually do and see what we were learning was really fun and helped a lot with my understanding of the concepts.)
That’s why I absolutely love places like the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and Mind Port Exhibits in Bellingham. Both places offer interactive exhibits and are so much fun to go through. I just really love being able to actually see how different concepts play out in real life – like how locks actually work, how tornadoes spin, the impact of climate change on Arctic Ice, among so many other things.
I know not everyone learns the same way but for me, the hands on approach definitely makes everything more interesting and easier to understand conceptually. I think the way the current mainstream education system is set up (at no fault of individual teachers) is inherently flawed in many ways, especially the intense focus on standardized testing. Not every student learns or tests the same – one student might excel at tests while another excels at the hands on labs not offered during many standardized tests.
Plus, there is an entire other level of classism and poverty to consider around education – not every student will have the same resources to excel. Fancy projects with flashy posters or graphics aren’t accessible to every single student and not everyone has access to a thriving and helpful support system.
Ultimately though, I really really think that the education system is inherently flawed because of budget cuts and national uniform policies. Everyone learns differently and with large class sizes, it can be easy for some to fall through the cracks. I love places like the Pacific Science Center that offer fun hands on learning opportunities outside of classrooms (but going can be rather expensive).
I’m not going to lie – I’m a huge nerd for all things zombies and according to the Zombie Research Society, May is Zombie Awareness Month! So for today, I thought I’d write about my favorite zombie related things!
Zombies, Run!(App, Running)
There is so much that I just absolutely love about this game – the stories, the characters, the radio show. Basically, the setting is a post apocalyptic England where the zombie plague has taken over. You are a runner for Abel Township and each run/jog/walk is a mission with a story for the base.
There are missions, radio shows, interval training, and supply runs – all with supportive characters and music cheering you on the entire time no matter what speed you are going. The characters are so amazing and the stories are extremely well written.
Also I think one of my favorite things about this was this random review left on iTunes for the app that complained about “too much homosexuality”:
Zombies, Run! 5K(App, Running)
Similar to the Zombies, Run! app but is a couch to 5k training up that helps you slowly build up to running a full 5k! Same characters, similar stories but instead of just straight walking/jogging/running, there are different trainings to build up strength and endurance.
World War Z – by Max Brooks (Audio book)
I just started listening to this book by Max Brooks while I’m out walking and while I haven’t gotten particularly far in the book, I really love what I’ve heard.
The book is an (obviously fictional) oral history of the zombie war and highlights the stories of the survivors. In the audio book, the different characters are voiced by different people and the stories paint a picture of the mass panic that might occur in the event of a zombie related apocalypse.
World War Z(2013, Film)
**Contains intense, frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.
This was a movie based on Max Brooks’ book of the same name – although the format of the movie was significantly different than the book. The book follows an interview format, of a single person telling their story of survival during the zombie apocalypse. The movie on the other hand? It is set during the outbreak and worldwide panic and follows around Brad Pitt’s character (Gerry Lane) searching for a cure or a solution. I originally saw the movie in theaters when it first came out so it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. But overall, it was an average movie. It wasn’t particularly impressive and there were some weird parts; but the movie wasn’t totally awful. I particularly like the review from Matt Zoller Seitz, who wrote:
Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations field agent who retired to spend time with his wife Karin (Mirelle Enos) and their charming daughters. He’s every other character played by Robert Redford in the 1970s and ’80s: noble, brave, calm in a crisis, endlessly resourceful, kind to his spouse and children, respectful of authority but not slavishly so, independent-minded by not arrogant; a snooze… The rest of the picture is a globetrotting medical mystery that just happens to feature zombies, with Lane and various helpers, some military and others scientific, trying to figure out what sparked the disease and counter it before the undead overrun everything. It’s “Contagion” or “The Andromeda Strain,” but with zombies, and without much panache.
I recently found a bunch of old photos from late high school and early college and realized how much has changed over the past few years. It’s really weird to see these two photos side by side because I just haven’t really though about how much I’ve changed. The one on the left is from a few years ago and the one on the right is from last week.
But the changes between now and a few years ago aren’t just physical. I’ve definitely become a hell of a lot more radical/revolutionary in not only my politics but also in my activism and feminism. (Although, I do stay away from radical feminism. Definitely more interested in revolutionary feminism for many reasons that I won’t go into now.) I’ve become more aware of social issues and the historical context behind them – like race/racism, colonialism, sexism/misogyny, heterosexism/cissexism, etc – and my perspective on the world is significantly different from a few years ago.
And up until I was 20 years old (ish) (and when that photo on the left was taken), I was extremely involved in health care related things. I have had several jobs and extracurricular classes/activities related to health care and had planned to eventually become a nurse practitioner for most of high school. I originally went to university to get my BSN and become a Registered Nurse but that’s really didn’t pan out.
Now though? I have a BA in Sociology and currently informally work as a dog walker and pet sitter. For the first time in a really long time, I have no idea what the future holds for me or even a general idea of where to go. And honestly, I’m kind of okay with that. I love my current job and I love having the ability to write when I want to. A few years ago, not having something to do every single moment of every day would have been weirdly stressful but now, it’s been really nice to have the ability to take a bit of a pause in life and decide what exactly I want to do instead of rushing into something.
Ultimately, I’m really glad for the transformation I’ve gone through already and I’m excited to see how I continue to transform and grow in the future.