Ask First! A Better Practices Guide for Indigenous Engagement

Sneak peak with context and description by Dixie Pauline:
This Better Practices Guide is a collaborative effort between event producers, community organizers, and Indigenous leaders. It’s still in DRAFT form and only a portion of it is presented here so be sure to keep an eye out for the document in full released this December.
Gatherings * Festivals * Conferences * Action Camps * Ancestral Arts * Protests * Ceremony * Water & Land Protection/Defense * Climate & Environmental Justice * Antiracism * Human Rights * Sacred Sites * Permaculture
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are always in relationship with Indigenous peoples by living in and producing events on their ancestral homelands. Regardless if tribes have recognition status, or if particular sites fall under tribal jurisdiction or band council, the entirety of North America (Turtle Island) is made up of distinct and overlapping Indigenous territories. There are hundreds of tribes working to reaffirm their sovereignty and protect their cultural practices, traditional lands, waters, and natural resources.… Read more

Action and support opportunities this week!

WNC Community,

Please see below for several actions and support requests this coming week:
1) Monday, June 19 at 6 pm – TURN OUT to Oakland’s City Council Meeting to support the #DefundOPD Campaign.
2) Support Black Land Liberation on Juneteenth (Monday)
3) Tuesday 6/20: All Out to Berkeley to Stop Urban Shield

 

MORE DETAILS:
1) From APTP: First off, thank you to EVERYONE for participating in the #DefundOPD Campaign. Your actions have clearly influenced the City’s decisionmaking process when it comes to allocating money to the Oakland Police Department. That fight is not over! City Council plans to announce and vote on its proposed budget, and we want to be there in full force to hold them accountable!

On Monday, June 19 at 6 pm, we need folks to TURN OUT to Oakland’s City Council Meeting. Please bring your DefundOPD signs, share this on social media, and participate in the #DefundOPD social media campaign (instructions below!):

1) Print your “Less cops, more _______” or “Menos policías, más _______” from www.defundopd.org or make your own
2) Use your imagination.
Read more

Racial and Gender Justice Halloween Action Toolkit!

Ah the beginning of fall. The air is a little colder, the colors a little more orange, and there is no shortage of pumpkin flavored products. Yet there is one sign of the turning seasons that is truly unwelcome…racist, sexist, heterosexist, and colonialist costumes — already in full force in stores around the country. Enter into any Spirit Halloween store and you will find the full gamut of costumes perpetuating cultural appropriation, racist stereotypes, Indigenous erasure and hetero-misogyny.

At a time when Black Lives Matter has become a resounding movement pressing for the safety, humanity and freedom of Black people, the corporate costume industry is supporting mass consumption of Black face and racialized prisoner outfits.

As indigenous people from across this land join together at Standing Rock to resist the continued desecration and destruction of homelands, culture and even their physical existence, this colonialist culture perpetuates indigenous erasure with images of “Indian headdresses” and “Warrior Princesses.”

After a year of watching rape cases on college campuses hit national headlines and heroic womyn speak truth to power in the face of continued slut shaming and objectification, the amount of “sexy” costumes on shelves remains dizzying.… Read more

Resources for Engaging and Ending Police Violence

end_police_brutality_six_sticker_sheet-rc672ec2ced08419bbe778cc03313c943_v9wth_8byvr_324In this time of mourning, rage and national reckoning with the legacies and realities of racist police violence – resources for connection, deeper engagement and different forms of action are flooding through the widening cracks of this broken system. Here is a partial compilation, from quick click actions to concrete alternatives to political education to visionary policy solutions. Please circulate and share with others.

We want an end to the war being waged on Black people, in all its forms.

A brief history reviewing the foundations of racism and classism built into policing the US, specifically focusing on the evolution of slave patrols and night watches. Part of the White Noise Collective Series – Exploring the Role of the “White Woman” within Systems of Violence and White Supremacy.

How, besides protesting, can we actually make sure no more black people are killed, beaten or tortured by the police?

Read more

Showing Up for Love, Justice & Dignity

Below is a statement from SURJ’s (Showing Up for Racial Justice) leadership in light of the 136 murders of Black people by police this year and the shooting in Dallas last night.

SURJ condemns loss of life, no matter who is dead. As an organization committed to organizing white people to dismantle a criminal justice system brutalizing communities of color across the nation, SURJ condemns violence against the police and mourns the injuries and deaths of police officers killed in Dallas.

A system that brutalizes people of color communities and destroys the lives even of those who are enforcing it, is not a sustainable system, a moral system, nor a system that can serve the kind of world in which ALL people are valued and cherished.

Across this country, Black communities live in terror that someone among them, a father, a sister, a child, could be next in the rising death toll of their lives.… Read more

The Future of Solidarity: How White People Can Support the Movement for Black Lives

-1This is to express our gratitude to everyone who showed up at The Future of Solidarity, organized livestream viewings across the country, helped share the event, and made the evening so powerful through your deep presence, open hearts and warm connections. With over 600 people gathered, it was the most amazing turnout we could have hoped for!

We also want to say a huge thank you to the 35 person volunteer team that donated time, energy and great care to making the venue more accessible, and the entire evening run smoothly.

Here is a video of the panel. The transcript is being edited and will be posted to the Facebook event page soon. We encourage sharing and re-watching/listening to the speakers, who presented so much critical food for ongoing thought.

If you are so inspired, this video could be shown for a group to spark discussion on Black liberation and white anti-racism.… Read more

2 Mini-zines for MLK Weekend

Two mini-zines made by White Noise and friends for a Black Lives Matter march and the Reclaiming Dr. King’s Radical Legacy march last year are available to download and print – a small way to contribute to the waves of organized actions this weekend.

Please take and share these tiny folded pieces packed with quotes and food for thought for white allies:

Reclaiming King's Legacy

This weekend will be the 2nd annual Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy – 96 hours of disrupting the status quo and building resilient and resistant communities. It’s been called for by the Anti-Police Terror Project and supported by a coalition of other organizations.
Many of you may be interested in finding ways to plug into some of the actions and events happening this weekend, so we thought it might be useful to compile as many of the public events together as we could.… Read more

Liberate Halloween Action Kit!

They’re ba-ack! (shudder)

With Halloween quickly approaching, and costume shops like Spirit Halloween opening their doors, many of us are cringing at the thought of another Halloween full of racism, sexism, heterosexism and the full range of offensive apparel we annually witness.

In response, we offer up a toolkit to those who wish to be a part of resisting the dominant paradigms that plague this season. Let’s make this be a season to reclaim and expand our expressive imaginations from being steered into narrow, tired, offensive and uncreative marketing channels.

Not sure what exactly is so offensive about certain Halloween costumes? 

The Issue of Objectifying Other Cultures

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“There are many good reasons not to wear a costume that relies on racist stereotypes or caricatures. Costumes like these communicate negative ideas and assumptions about people of that race or ethnicity, and as this year’s posters say, that stigma stays with people of color long after you take the costume off.… Read more

Showing up and Honoring the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is expanding and deepening across the nation, and spreading around the globe.  This sign, hashtag and rallying cry are filling streets, newsfeeds, imaginations and institutions.  And white-identified folks eager to engage, enraged by injustice, and inspired by the movement are showing up in large numbers and in different ways. As white allies act, and reflect on action, it is key to understand what is being asked for by Black leadership, what is useful, powerful, and what is detrimental. Many brilliant Black organizers have commented on the ways white folks have co-opted or redirected movement energy from #BlackLivesMatter, or distracted from the movement by generating overwhelming media coverage on the “violence” of property destruction.

Today, as millions across the country prepare for a weekend of marches and mobilizations nationwide, we wanted to cross-post this piece by Alicia Garza in The Feminist Wire, to learn from and listen to one of the founders of this movement.… Read more

Confronting Thanksgiving

“The killings became more and more frenzied with days of Thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.” (Susan Bates)

This is an updated repost from last year, to continue our commitment to raise awareness about the actual origins and impact of this holiday that many of us celebrate without a second thought and to confront the mythologies that encourage us to ignore the real history of Thanksgiving:

no-thanks-no-giving2

We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. While there is a documented meal shared at one point, and this is often what is referenced, the “National Holiday” was originally a marker of the celebrations of the massive genocide of Indigenous peoples across the Eastern coast of the US. … Read more

Halloween Action

This Halloween, the White Noise Collective conspired to take creative action to counteract the unquestioned, blatant, “it’s-just-a-joke-can’t-you-have-a-little-fun!?!” racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and cultural appropriation that parade as “costumes” in consumerist capitalist culture.  Drawing on our Liberate Halloween Action Kit from last year, this year we came up with a design-your-own creative costume station, with the intention of setting up in front of a local Spirit Halloween store (one of the most obvious corporations perpetuating oppressive stereotypes through the mass sale of highly offensive costumes).  We would invite people to our station, distribute literature about cultural appropriation and the harms of choosing an offensive or oppressive costume for Halloween, and provide an opportunity for people to tap into their own creativity and create their own alternative (free) costume!

The idea for this action emerged from our October Dialogue, which focused on “moving toward action” in the face of the anticipated “horrors of October” (“Columbus Day” and Halloween being the two most egregious examples).  … Read more

Police Brutality Action Kit (Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice – SURJ)

Police Brutality Action Kit, cross posted with permission from: showingupforracialjustice.org/archives/2016

Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Click here for a PDF version of this toolkit.

By Tes One Artwork used with permission.

By Tes One
Artwork used with permission.

Showing up for Racial Justice(SURJ) was formed in 2009 by white people from across the US to respond to the significant increase of targeting and violence against people of color in the aftermath of the election of  Barack Obama.  The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY; Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA; and John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio  are the latest in a long series of extrajudicial (outside the law) killings of people of color in the United States.  We mourn the loss of life, see the impact on communities of color and believe that white people must partner across race and other differences to create social change. SURJ is here to provide resources and support for white people to make this happen.Read more

We need to lock arms amidst all of this.

These are just a few of the insights put forth by  in a recent article on the Huffington Post, What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America:

“There are a lot of events vying to occupy the American mind these days such as Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, the immigration crisis, hate crimes against Sikhs, Ebola, and Robin Williams’ death. But in one way, the ability to switch among these traumas is a white person’s ‘luxury.’…

“Black Americans are rightfully outraged, but it will require all Americans to be mobilized before the racism that undergirds these killings will end and the deaths along with it. White Americans like me have to stop channel surfing all the outrageously bad news from around the world and focus on the death that is happening in our own cities to our fellow Americans…

“I also pressed Rev. Lee on what he would like to tell white Americans on how to show solidarity.… Read more

The Last Thursday in November

“The killings became more and more frenzied with days of Thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.” (Susan Bates)

no-thanks-no-giving2

We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. While there is a documented meal shared at one point, and this is often what is referenced, the “National Holiday” was originally a marker of the celebrations of the massive genocide of Indigenous peoples across the Eastern coast of the US. Judy Dow (Abenaki) and Beverly Slapin gives an amazing run down of many of these “origin story” myths we were taught about our country and some of the actual truths that they mask.… Read more

Liberate Halloween Action Kit!

They’re ba-ack! (shudder) With Halloween quickly approaching, and costume shops like Spirit Halloween opening their doors, many of us are cringing at the thought of another Halloween full of racism, sexism, heterosexism and the full range of offensive apparel we annually witness.

In response, we offer up a toolkit to those who wish to be a part of resisting the dominant paradigms that plague this season. Let’s make this be a season to reclaim and expand our expressive imaginations from being steered into narrow, tired, offensive and uncreative marketing channels.

Not sure what exactly is so offensive about certain Halloween costumes? 

The Sexy Debate

Screen-Shot-2012-10-08-at-3.09.26-PM

The “sexy” costume phenomenon is complex. On one hand, women ought to be empowered and have the freedom to dress as they wish without fear of the all-too-common repercussions – slut-shaming, violence and objectification. We ought to be able to dress as we wish without having to fear that we are reproducing tired, binary gender stereotypes.… Read more