Monday, March 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin... The face of us all

About a month ago and unarmed teen by the name of Trayvon Martin died at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman told police he shot the teen in self defense, but with little evidence to prove self-defense and enough proof to showcase racial discrimination and murder he still has not been charged. Why has justice not been served? Well in the video above Nancy Grace explains in the most obvious explanation in what way is the self-defense stand your ground clause applicable to such a case. I am mind boggled at the fact that a teen who was in a neighborhood in which he lived, had no useful force, and had no signs or use of a deadly weapon was shot dead and his family still have yet to see the killer imprisoned. There can be no self-defense for Zimmerman when he was the aggressor and enforcer of the threat.

Trayvon not only tried to get away from this man, but the dispatcher specifically told Zimmerman it is not his duty to follow the suspect. I raise the issue of this story because it amazes me how people can get away with murder right in front of the public eye. A woman smacks Kim Kardashian with a bag of flower and is arrested immediately and a man is walking free after shooting and killing an INNOCENT teen who was simply walking from the store in his own neighborhood.

The most disrespectful part of it all is that now the media is trying to convey a message that maybe Trayvon was a suspected deviant due to his recent suspension in school prior to the killing. Watch the video below on the parents reaction to this fatal incident.

The 17-year-old's death fueled calls for justice nationwide that continue to grow daily. Today Monday, March 26th rallies are planned from coast to coast to pay tribute to Martin or bring attention to the issue. I myself wore a hoodie, jeans and sneakers today to bring about awareness of the foolish, reckless act caused by this man who destroyed not only a family but many racial communities.

12:00 p.m. ET: Eatonville Townhall Location: Eatonville, Florida
Roland Martin will be hosting a town hall put on by the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, in conjunction with the family and representatives of Trayvon Martin.
The forum was held prior to the National March for Justice.

12:30 p.m. ET – 1:30 p.m.: Remembering Our Lost at Carnegie Mellon University
Location: Academic Mall at Carnegie Mellon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Details: A "Rally for Justice" that will be held at the Academic Mall, the main lawn on campus, to seek justice for Trayvon and all others who have been racially profiled or stereotyped, according to the student group organizing the rally.

3:00 p.m. ET: "Emergency Scream-out"
Location: Hall of Justice; 850 Bryant Street; San Francisco, California
This event is in solidarity with families and advocates in Florida who will be holding a rally for Trayvon Martin on the same day," according to a Facebook event page created by POOR Magazine and the Prensa POBRE & Idriss Stelly Foundation, which are sponsoring the event. The rally will take place at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco.

4:00 p.m. ET: Black Solidarity Rally
Location: U.S. Department of Justice; 1425 New York Ave. NW; Washington, D.C.
"Stand in Solidarity with forces around the country & let your voice be heard," organizers said. "Come out and put pressure on the U.S Dept. of Justice to prosecute George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin."

4:00p.m. ET: Texas Southern University rally
Location: Student Center at Texas Southern University; Houston, Texas
A rally at the school will be held to draw attention to Martin's case. TSU student G. Christopher Cutkelvin told CNN affiliate KTRK that the outrage around campus surrounds wanting to know the truth."You know it's the pursuit of justice," Cutkelvin said. "It's not about color, it's not about race. It's the simple fact that, you know a situation happened, and the truth hasn't been told."

5:00 p.m. ET: Sanford, Florida town hall meeting
Location: Fort Mellon Park; Sanford, Florida
The City of Sanford is asking for civility and calm during the City Commission/Town Hall Meeting for Trayvon Martin. Martin's family will address those assembled during the meeting.

These are just some of the causes taking place to not only raise awareness but bring a change to what we accept in this country and let people get away with. On Friday, April 22nd, Join as many schools of the surrounding areas come together and wear hoodies and jeans to make a statement and birng together a community of people who wish for change. I will be geting involved will you. You can find out more at:

Monday, February 20, 2012

11 year old FED UP with the N word

Last year in February 11 year old McCoy came up with the idea, when at a loss for words, to write about the n word for a an oratorical competition at his church, and he won first place. This moving speech has gained national focus for his desire to abolish one of the most controversial racial slurs in America. This controversial term is debated by those who claim to be taking it back by saying this term to their friends or by those who just find it racist and distasteful. This young boy announced that the word was never a term of endearment or something capable of being reclaimed. It was a term to claim black people economically, politically and socially disenfranchised. Why as a people, whether you are colored or not, would we describe or refer to each other in such a word? It is not cool, hip, or reclaiming; rather, it is historically discriminatory and hindering to the growth of diversity.

We need to stand not only within the African-American community but as well as a nation in general to not let this odious term surpass and continue to cage us.

You can also see Jonathan McCoy on CBS news interviewed by Byron Pitts reports from Atlanta referring to his reasoning to creating this speech and why he has used it as a fuel to send a message nationwide. Click here to watch the video!

If you are AGAINST the N word SIGN THE PETITION here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A loving husband kills his wife for having a baby girl and his mother, the wife's mother in law, assisted in this horrific act. In the country of Afghanistan being a woman is one of the hardest and most disgraceful things. According to Zainab Salbi, Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, since the Taliban times of violence women have gained rights against such acts and have gained a sense of identity, but because they are "women" according to some people's cultures women are the inferior gender and due to this belief practices are conducted against women degrading, assaulting and abusing them. What was the point of the rights and laws enacted for them? Who is responsible for not taking charge? What can they do to increase the likelihood of a CHANGE happening? What would be classified as formal equality in this situation? What would we consider the baseline of equality as in the baseline for women in Afghanistan?

Women and girls have no one to turn to because although rights have been implemented men in the country are still superior and believed over women. The government has played no real role in authorizing that women are treated with respect or alone as human beings. Moral equality has no relevance in this country, human rights are not of importance unless it pertains to the men. Women's rights are human rights, these traditions should not be seen as only a crime against women but as a flaw of the country as a whole. I believe not only as women should they have the right to safety, security, and life but they shouldn't fear that they are always at risk of harm. Having a society full of men would be useless in a sense of procreation and pointless in a sense of the household life, which is believed to be taken care of by women. It is contradictory for them to believe men are superior and that when their wives have girls it is a doom to their family, but then they need women to create more lives and form a stable home. How in any situation could a women control the sex of her child, as well how does this constitute as a reasoning to be murdered? Who places the pricing of a male-identified baby having a more successful or productive life than a female? This is absolutely unacceptable and an extreme call for justice and speaking out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creating Change: Day One #CC12

If you follow us on twitter than you know  we've been experiencing tons of fun and growth here at Creating Change. The goal of live-blogging, at least in my opinion, is to get resources and tools to folks who are unable to attend. If you're all up in our twitter, you also know that we attended the racial justice institutes. 

And we have some questions to pose to you all:

1. How do you show up in spaces? 
2. Have you thought about your race story? 
3. How do you process your own racial privilege/marginalization?
4. Do you assume peoples' ethnicity and culture based on the color of their skin?
5. Have you thought about the racial make-up of your close friends? 
6. Who do you date? What are some of the reasons, outside of sexual orientation, that your family not approve of someone your dating?
7. How do you understand the concept of intersectionality?
8. What does it mean to be your whole self?

We're going to leave you with questions as opposed to answers because finding out the answers for yourself is half the fun. By asking these questions of yourself and those around you, you will learn so much more than if we gave you our understanding of these experiences. Ask yourself these questions, and let us know if the answers surprise you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Your Average Feminist & Creating Change 2012 #CC12

The 24th annual Creating Change is happening this week and I will be there keeping you updated on all of the amazingness!

"What’s Creating Change? Only the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies.

The conference is run by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and attracts more than 2,500 people from all over the country every year. Presenters and participants come from all walks of life and include members of the business community, elected officials, students, faith leaders and staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations.

Our five-day program features over 250 workshops and training sessions, four plenary sessions, and tons of networking opportunities.” –Creating Change Website

I will be cross-posting on another project I've been working on, Born Like This, and will be delivering you nightly recaps as well as live tweets throughout the day! If you are on twitter be sure to chat with us @NYAFeminist. Keep up on the trending topics with #CC12 and #LGBT. And if you aren’t following us on Twitter, what in the world are you waiting for?

And remember “Power is Sexy”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plan B still not eligible for ALL

In direct contradiction to all of the recent recommendtions from the FDA, Kathleen Sebelius the secretary of Health and Human Serives decided that the emergency contraception Plan B will not be allowed to be sold without a prescription to children under the age of 17.

A letter written by FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg states, "I reviewed and thoughtfully considered the data, clinical information, and analysis provided by CDER, and I agree with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research that there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential." The possibility for all women to have access to Plan B was one step away from being instituted and the secretary believed otherwise and due to FDA having to respond they sent the complete response letter to Teva today. Plan B One-Step will remain on the market and will remain available for all ages, but a prescription will continue to be required for females under the age of 17.

This misconception that having Plan B over the counter will somehow make young girls all of a sudden more interested in sex is a ignorant view on the issue at hand and seems to be the true motive in why the secrertary believes younger women shouldn't have the opportunity to the emergency contraceptive. The view of society to believe that just because someone young is requesting Plan B means this girl is promiscuous is not appropriate. You never understand why this person may have felt the need to select this type of contraception. It takes a lot of confidence and strength sometimes for men and woman to even buy these barrier methods and then to be judged when they build up this courage is not acceptable. When condoms are for sale for all ages why cant Plan B be? It is just as safe and effective as other barrier methods, additionally an important saftey net for when "Plan A" methods (like condoms or the pill) fail. Contrary to popular belief it is not our place to justify why someone should be denied access, whether we fear they may begin to abuse the pill or not.

Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, and Robitussin are all more dangerous than Plan B and yet they are on the market for all ages, over the counter. With this in mind, what is the point in denying access to Plan B? I am totally astonished by the act of denying this access without any legitimate reasoning. There is a clear double standard in place here: women have rights and limited access to reproductive health services but still are hindered by the misconception that young women shouldn't have access to these pills because being a sexually active young woman is still looked down upon. It saddens me that this still occurs but I write this post in hopes that things will change.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Los Angeles protesters are asking the courts to address the reason they are being deprived of public forum. On Monday, November 28th a complaint sent that protesters felt they were unconstitutionally being deprived and wanted their access granted.

According to CNN Wire Staff, the city police are forming an anti-camping provision for the protesters due to all the chaos the protest is causing. At the opening of Twilight there were so many people on the sidewalk camping out the street had to be closed. A city council member stated, "Each of these 'camping' events is highly publicized in the media, takes place in highly-trafficked areas and could not possibly be an unnoticed and unintentional exception to enforcement of the municipal code." With all the protesters outside of Occupy Wall Street getting their stories out why would the actions of these people against the system be denied the same right to get noticed. These protesters are not only demonstrating within their first amendment rights, but they feel they have been forced to do so. Authority telling these protesters they cannot perform such acts, or that they are being outrageous, is their opinion, and doesn't matter. They aren't taking into consideration the pain these people are going through and the detrimental effects this denial of access has been to them.

With all the other problems that L.A. has going on the only one they care about is the fact that people are being peacefully disobedient to unjust laws. They are portraying these actions for a response which authority is giving them. However they are attending to the issues that are not at hand as in how dirty the parks have become or how many people are in the way instead of thinking WOW that is a lot of people out there maybe we should do something. The primary concern is not about the people as it should be, but instead they are worried about just getting the people out of the way. They are not protesting so that you say let's move them but so that you say let's help them. With anybody being subject to getting arrested, the allegations of health and safety issues and the police rallying to get rid of these people soon cities will have to get further involved, what would you do to make history when they come for you? This movement is outstanding and for so many great reasons they deserve to get what they wish and if it ends we are all in danger injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere- Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's time to have a (feminist) house meeting y'all...

I apologize for not posting in such a long time but grad school is no joke friends. I want to do something a little different with this post. I want to have a very honest/raw/unfiltered/respectful conversation about this:

For those of you who don't know, this picture was taken during the NYC SlutWalk, although the person holding the sign was not the original creator of the sign.  Now  I could very easily write a whole analysis on this, but I think there are plenty of great ones already written out there. Check out this AMAZING post on Racialicious if you're in the mood for a breakdown of some key issues around this sign.

But I want to hear from you. What are your reactions to this? Let's have a real conversation about our feelings, our struggles with this, our reactions to all of the other dialogue out there about this, how we can begin to heal...All that jazz.

Ready? GO! Let's have the convo in the comments section.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cruelty in Syria

Zainab Alhusni was only 18 years old when she was brutally dismembered and mutilated by Syrian security forces. She had left her home early last month to buy groceries and her family never again saw her alive. She was whisked away to coax the surrender of her activist brother, and ended up beheaded and dismembered, a neighbor, activists and human rights groups say. As said by CNN, reporter Her older brother, Mohammed, became a well-known activist in the family's hometown of Homs in western Syria, often leading the demonstrations against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and treating the wounded. "Protesters would carry Mohammed on their shoulders so he could lead the chants," Fares said. "He was very loved by everyone. The protesters even had a chant they would say for him, using his nickname: 'Abu Ahmed, may Allah protect you!'"

Due to her bothers disobedient behavior in the eyes of the officials she was had the wrath taken out on her. In what way did she deserve such dehumanizing acts to occur to her. why was she the victim of a hate crime. They were demonstrating on her the things they hated about her brother and all who rose up against the government. Several days after Zainab disappeared, security forces called the family and offered to meet them in a pro-Assad neighborhood where they would trade Zainab for her activist brother. On September 10, the family says, Mohammed was wounded in a demonstration. He came back to his loved ones a corpse. The family believes he was tortured to death. The ferocious Syrian government crackdown against dissenters began in mid-March when anti-government protests unfolded. The number of people killed over the past six months has reached at least 2,700, according to the U.N. human rights office. Some activist groups put the toll at around 3,000.

Zainab dreamed of owning her own tailor shop, so she could support her impoverished family, he said. But she never had a chance to fulfill that dream. Authorities forced Zainab's mother to sign a document saying both her daughter and her son had been kidnapped and killed by an armed gang, Amnesty International said in an online statement. The acts being demonstrated to people of Syria is demonizing and barbaric and should not be tolerated, how could we sit back and watch as such horrid acts occur whether they be here or there it doesn't matter. I blog about instances as these because it infuriates me to know such evil is still acceptable. I understand somethings are apart of people traditions and who am I to say what they believe in but when you are removing the rights of the people and treating them as tools, and property to be treated as you wish I must not hold my tongue. As Waleed Fares, a neighbor and family friend of Zainab said, "The case of Zainab Alhusni is not just for our town, or province, or even for the country of Syria. It is a human rights issue that should bring the attention of the world."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To Slut Walk, or not to Slut Walk?...That is the question.

My answer? I have no freaking clue. This is going to be a really honest, not based on anything but emotion/instinct, blog post.

Look, I've seen all of the dialogue about where the SlutWalk began, what it's become, what they're accomplishing, and what they could be doing better. But to be frank, I still don't know if I am personally all that comfortable with it. I love that feminism is catching on again, but I sometimes feel like you've got to be hip to enter some feminists spaces today...and I'm just not all that hip.

Exhibit A:

"We can't fight the patriarchy if we're busy fighting each other." So true. And I am not one to constantly "police" the spaces that I'm in...but I'm also not one who has the energy to "insert myself" into feminist spaces because of the invisibility/silencing of my various social identities. There's something off about the SlutWalks to me, something feels disingenuous...I really can't put my finger on it.

How do you feel about SlutWalks?

The SlutWalk in NYC is happening on October 1st, and I encourage you all to check it out and decide for yourselves.