A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Posts Tagged ‘activism

Beth Ditto Fan Art!

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This is a drawing I finished up today as part of the roadmap zine I’m making for the campers of Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls.

bethditto

In the zine, it will be black instead of yellow, but I drew it in yellow because it just felt right. Now I am debating which quote from her to use to pair with the drawing.

I am wrapping up laying out the roadmap, debating banging out one more coloring page of a rad musician. I can’t wait to try to put together a coloring book of more drawing one day (in the NEAR future) for rock camp.

We’re going to be binding the zine for the campers of the first session at my house on Saturday (the first session begind next week). We’re going to just be hole-punching and tying with colored twine (kind of like thishttp://www.pebblesandbuttons.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tie-a-knot-or-a-bow.jpg), so it’s very easy work. There will just be about 70 of them to do, so many hands will make the work quick!

If you’ve been looking for someway to help rock camp, this would be a great start! In addition to having a chance to help out rock camp, you can have a chance to meet other rad volunteers. Plus, you can check out the road map I made for campers, which will be including some rad art of musicians.

If you have something you’d like to donate to rock camp, gift cards, services, art, whatever, this would be a great time to drop a donation off. Remember, RNRC4G is a nonprofit and you will get a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. So, for example, if you’re an artist, you get to set the value of what you’ve donated. Also, what’s more awesome than giving your comics or your band’s cd to young people?

We’re also going to watch The Punk Singer (probably starting it at 3:00), because I have been wanting to see it and showing it during working on this seemed appropriate. ♥

Blue will provide some tasty snacks and beverages for this work part, but you’re welcome to bring some too! If you want to come and you don’t know where I live, you can message me for the address. Feel free to invite your rad friends!

Tell me about youth resources you know and love!

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Hey everybody,

Do you know of an awesome organization or program that directly services youth?

I am working on a comprehensive guide/zine of youth resources for youth to be distributed within Youth Empowerment and Solidarity  (YES!), the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Program I work for, and in the newly revised roadmap we’re making for Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls. I want to make sure this guide really helps youth get connected with what they need for both their emotional and physical well-being, it would help especially to hear about any resources in the Mall 205 area for my YES/SUN students, but I want to hear about anything in the Portland and greater Portland areas. I am also especially interested in youth-led recources and groups like the Multnomah Youth Commission because I think that youth working with each other in solidarity is important.

If you can provide a small description, that would help my process if I am unfamiliar with the organization or program because I am including brief descriptions in the guide. Please also help signal boost this and share it far and wide! Thanks in advance! You can email me the suggestions if you’d like. lovemotionstory at gmail of course.

<3

Blue

Turning 30, Living My Dreams!

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For a couple years, I have been planning and brainstorming as to how I can support queer students in the after school program that I work for, waiting until I felt more secure of my position and my relationship with the director, before I straight up asked to facilitate a queer support group. I was thinking of facilitating something like a Gay Straight Alliance, but more spectrum inclusive, but then I learned the after school program had lost their Black Student Union teacher and therefore BSU, leaving a greater need within the after school program for support of marginalized students facing various kinds of discrimination and challenges. The idea I’ve come up with is a club called Youth Empowerment and Solidarity, or YES!

My plan for YES! is to do activities centered on strengthening student bonds and relationships,  talk about constructive communication (especially non violent communication), talk about conflict resolution with peers and authority figures,  discuss key vocabulary that will turn students on to verbalizing their struggles (ageism, homophobia, empowerment, solidarity, autonomy, consent, oppression, marginalization, racism, sexism, etc.), talk about media messages and the importance of dismantling them, talk about the importance of caring for yourself (physical and emotional) and how to care about others, have guests whose experiences will add to the conversations we’ll be having in class (different community leaders and activists), talk to the students about local youth resources (Multnomah County Youth Commission, SMYRC, Portland Youth Summit, Youth Empowered Action, Rock ‘N’ Roll Camp for Girls, etc.), read/discuss parts of Stay Solid!, and address/talk about whatever else the students want or need to talk about. This is the poster I made for YES! to promote it within the school…

yesposter

Since I was a preteen/teen living in poverty with an abusive and neglectful parent, struggling to get out of that environment and better my life, it’s been a dream of mine to become a teacher and to have a positive impact on youth, but also to advocate for youth rights. I vowed I would grow up to be an adult that made a difference in the lives of young people. Back then, I thought I would become a biology teacher and just be present for my students. Over the years, I have switched gears a bit. I began to loath the structure of the public education system (as I watched it fail many of my peers and realized its oppressive and inherent flaws) and I fell away from wanting to study biology to become an educator, deciding to pursue my own creativity through comics and zines and wanting to teach kids those skills and more around independent publishing, seeking involvement and belonging in those communities… Which was a struggle, especially coming into the comics “community” in Portland in my early twenties, as the community was riddled with oppressive, power-hungry dudes that were incredibly misogynist (that special brand of nerdy misogyny with a lot of gate-keeping). But, I started doing indie comics workshops for kids and broadened to teaching general zine workshops for kids. As I had quickly become disillusioned by the comics community, I turned more towards zines, becoming a PZS organizer because that community felt safer, being facilitated by more women and having a Safer Spaces Policy (safer, but certainly not without it’s own problems and crappy people, as I also learned over the years). Along the way, I made a lot of friends, zines, anthologies, and memories. Becoming well known as a zinester by volunteering in that community on so many levels and working with youth int hose communties lead me to be invited into schools to teach.  Working with kids to make zines felt so right. Zines encourage literacy in a very engaging way and making their own media is very empowering to young folks. It also opens a dialog with youth as to how mainstream media fails them. Now, my path as a zine educator has helped me fulfill my goal of working with and empowering youth not only with teaching zines, but with other interests, like debate, games class, and social justice activism (my new group, YES!). After I do a couple terms of YES! where I currently teach, I’m hoping to bring it into other schools.

In case you don’t know, I am about to turn 30 this month, so I have been doing a lot of reflecting as to where I am at and feeling really happy with my life and excited for everything in front of me (hence this post). I find myself accomplishing quite a few of some of my oldest goals and feeling like my heart and mind are going to explode.

Especially my heart. This year, for my annual Friendsgiving, I was hosting in my shared home with two amazing life partners. I have been living with my partners Matt and Marco since May and it’s been a very transformative experience. There have been bumps (mainly Marco and myself have wrestled with some baggage from past bad relationships and our childhoods clashing a little bit), as with any relationship transition into deeper intimacy (the deeper intimacy brings out deeper demons), but I have honestly been amazed with Matt, Marco, and myself. We garden together, we’re building a couch together,  we laugh together, we cry together, we’re planning comics together, we celebrate together, we chill out together. We also have separate spaces and times, we schedule date nights and alone nights, balancing our desires to be together with time for ourselves. They each have there own rooms that they share with me, but I’m also working on having  my own (I’m lagging because I also have the smallest room and I just need to get rid of a lot of stuff before it’s a functional space). When I kicked an abusive partner out of my house a few years ago, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t live with anyone again unless it was multiple partners, thinking that, if more than one partner wanted to cohabitate with me, we’d probably all be having pretty awesome relationships and they would probably be awesome people whose goals in life were compatible with mine. Both Matt and Marco are incredibly sweet, supportive, accountable, and motivated people. I find myself continually inspired by them both and feeling thankful for them both.

I have wanted to have deeper loves in my life for a long time, trying to have healthy relationships and practicing non monogamy (bent more towards polyamory) over the years with a lot of trial and error, but I finally feel I am sharing my life in meaningful way with not just one amazing partner, but two. We have shared space, shared goals, shared projects. It all has me feeling incredibly fulfilled and happy, my home is feeling like one of the safest and most wonderful places… It really feels like a home and Matt and Marco are my family. All with room for more.

So, with all this, I am going into my thirties. Considering where I’ve been and where I’m at, I think this may be the most amazing decade of my life. It took a lot of work to get here, but it’s all been incredibly worthwhile.

Written by lovemotionstory

December 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

Happy May Day!

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I wanted to share a couple photos I captured during the May Day march I went to on May 1st. I don’t normally take photos at marches and I didn’t have a fancy camera with me, but commentary I had seen on various social networks from friends expressing their apathy toward marching or protesting caused me to want to share a bit more.

Here was the event description…

We find ourselves facing unprecedented cuts to public services, including education and Social Security, increased poverty, homelessness, and ongoing attacks on people of color, immigrants, working families, women, students and our right to organize.

Our response to this onslaught against humanity is to organize and FIGHT BACK!!

People Over Profit!!
No Human Is Illegal!

We want to encourage everyone to come out this May Day and stand united for human rights and social & economic justices and demand for an Immigration Reform that’s just and humane!!

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION WORKING FOR JUSTICE!!

When: Gather at 2:00 PM; Rally at 3:00 PM; March at 4:00 PM
Where: O’Bryant Square- 9th and Stark.

Sponsor organizations (partial list): VOZ Proyecto de Educacion de Derechos Laborales, American Friends Service Committee, International Socialist Organization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (former ONSM), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition – PIRC, Portland Jobs with Justice, Comite de Solidaridad de Apoyo Mutuo, Oregon AFL-CIO, The Black Working Group, SEIU Local 503, Portland IWW, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign OFTC, Labors483.

If you’re not sure what some of those organizations are, I would totally encourage you to check them out!”

Anyways, here are the few photos I took…

maydayportland_1 maydayportland_2 maydayportland_3

 maydayportland_4 maydayportland_5 maydayportland_13

 maydayportland_6 maydayportland_7 maydayportland_8 maydayportland_9 maydayportland_10 maydayportland_11 maydayportland_12  maydayportland_14 maydayportland_15 maydayportland_16

One thing I love about events like this is seeing people come together, peacefully, to talk about how to make things better. People from all kinds of backgrounds and consisting of such a broad spectrum of ages. There were speaches and performances as the people gathered before the march, opening statements (in English and Spanish!) made, and then the march began! The march itself was peaceful and it was a beautiful day to be out on the streets, visibly being a presence for worker’s rights. The end of the march was where it began, O’Bryan Square, where organizers had some closing statements and then opened the mic for peaceful and respectful spoken word from the crowd.

Here’s some media coverage of the May Day march…

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Protesters-Police-gear-up-for-May-Day-events-205507081.html
http://www.kptv.com/story/22137231/police-no-arrests-at-portlands-may-day-rally-as-crowd-was-peaceful
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/county_budget_avoids_big_ax_ma.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/hundreds_bring_immigration_lab.html
http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2013/05/may_day_protesters_take_to_the.html

For me, marching this May Day had a lot of meaning to me. It was about supporting my own rights as a working American. It was about being in solidarity with other workers around the world. It was about being visible, because being visible helps represent what’s important to me and the communities I organize within. It was about being in solidarity with other people who care enough about something in their lives that they showed up to participate. It was about continuing my journey in learning throughout this life by being around people I both know and don’t know while they are organizing, speaking, or just being visible in a space that was trying to be safe for that and bring people together.

I believe we all have something to learn from each other, but I especially want to learn from people who care enough to show up and participate. People who care enough to try to help. People who care enough to act. people who care enough to organize. People are very diverse and can accomplish a lot individually, but they also have so much strength and growth when working together.

One thing that I still find beautiful in this world is that, if there is something that you identify with or find meaningful, you can find other people who will share that with you and, if you’re willing to work together, you can build a community and try to grow together. Sometimes people disagree about what a community’s priorities should be, sometimes people clash, sometimes people are hurtful of even predatory. But, if the people who care keep trying to put aside their egos and keep trying to help each other, a community can go really far and the people within it can grow. If people stick around and keep trying to support and learn from each other, the community can grow. That is why there are so many millions of communities, because people are very diverse, so communities get more specific. I think it’s still important to go to the broader events, however, to keep reaching out and keep visible. If there is something you care about, I would encourage you to go to marches, to conferences, to events. Find the people who will care with you and who will work to make community so that each of us, as individuals, can thrive.

Well, gosh, I just went on, but these kind of things make me gush. I have had so many heartbreaking and inspiring experiences that have come from being an active member of communities and being an organizer in communities. All while also being a well-meaning, sometimes-clever, but-still-flawed person entering into all of it in my early twenties. So, I have come to some pretty strong conclusions about how much I’ve grown from all of it because I am really, truly, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. All because of the time I’ve spent showing up , trying to step up to be there for others. It made me incredibly vulnerable, but it has made me work through so much. Anyways…

Speaking of community and labor issues, I should probably take this time to promote the next AmaZine Day! I am facilitating the readings during the next AmaZine Day, which is labor-themed, in honor of May Day. This is the poster, drawn by Matt and designed by me…

There are two FREE workshops and the readers will be Alex Wrekk (reading from some of her several writings about work experiences), Sarah Mirk (reading from “Rodeo City,” an article she wrote for Oregon Humanities). Aron Nels Steinke (reading from his comics extensively about working in teaching), and Sarah Curtis (reading from a new, original work).

One thing that is cool about this AmaZine Day is getting a chance, thanks to Sarah Mirk, to connect Oregon Humanities into the event. Oregon Humanities is a non profit that bring Oregonians together to share ideas, to listen, think, and grow. Oregon Humanities published and distributes a free, printed magazine, that pays contributors. Oregon Humanities recently awarded $87,870 in grants to 20 Oregon nonprofit organizations. We’ll have several copies on hand or attendees of AmaZine Day and we’re thrilled to highlight an article by AmaZine Day tabler and in such an awesome community project.

Check out the full info here… http://www.portlandzinesymposium.org/amazine-day/

If you want to sign up, the sign up was recently opened at IPRC and PBW.