Posts

Mic Check!

Ale, a dear friend and former classmate of mine, and I decided to get together to have awesome conversations about our goals, accomplishments, and deconstruct the oppressions and nonsense all around us.

Please join us in our mock podcast rehearsal, a pilot of sort, if you will, in which Ale and I share things we're proud we did recently, discuss the film The Intern, and make goals for ourselves.


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Collective Solidarity vs. Individual Comfort

A few weeks ago in my seminar, we read a piece by Andrea Smith called "The Problem with 'Privilege". Directed at activists and people who are engaged in grassroots work, Smith calls for more focus on collective action to actually dismantle oppressions as opposed to individual "confessing" of privileges in so-called safe spaces. What Smith meant by this is that activists claim and try to create their spaces as safe spaces so that people feel comfortable being there, but no space is ever really free of oppressions. Instead, Smith argues that it serves all of us better if we acknowledge that every space already has people who can oppress and work to dismantle those systems. Moreover, in these safe spaces there are people who confess their privileges and then people who either have zero or few privileges to confess. Privileged people, once again, get to take up space by talking about acknowledging their privileges. Furthermore, this act individualizes oppression by…

Systemic Violence

The Rice Hillel held an event recently where they brought in several IDF soldiers to talk about their diverse experiences and backgrounds. In response, the Rice Left walked out in the middle of their event. I wasn't sure how I felt about the event itself when I first read about it in my college's announcements email. I thought it was weird to have soldiers talk to us all the way in the U.S., and it seemed fishy as a political and politicized event, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly what is so wrong with it.

After reading the Rice Thresher article about the event and walkout, I reflected on the issue of systemic violence and realized what the problem is: individual IDF soldiers' experiences and stories cannot account for state-sanctioned systemic violence.

Recall all the Black lives we lost and continue to lose due to state brutality in the U.S., for example in cases where police officers are the killers. Would it suffice for communities to meet and greet several police o…

#BlackLivesMatter

My suite mates, friends, and I are sitting in our common room doing work and hanging out when we started talking about the grand jury's decision in Ferguson. We all frantically started looking up the decision, the responses, and to see what's next. We anxiously plugged a laptop in to replay President Obama's statement about the decision. We were at least mildly disappointed with the statement, but ultimately we understood why he had the pressure on him to give a speech as neutral as he did. Nevertheless, I followed twitter, I checked a live report scanner on Reddit, and I read news articles with live updates. Chaos ensued, and it felt like the world is watching. It felt so unfair, so crazy. Did we expect this was going to happen though? It didn't make the pain feel less urgent, it didn't make it go away.

Then someone we knew contacted us. All she wrote to me was, "hey girl you up for a protest," and I was ready to help. Over the next few hours, plans unfo…

Planting Seeds

One of the things I learned when I went to church throughout high school was that the best we can do with our activism is to plant seeds. We can't demand that people come around and become super devout and passionate about what we care about as soon as we tell them. We can't expect to change people's lives by spending a week with them.

I've kept that in mind over the years at Rice. When I site-led an Alternative Spring Break my sophomore year, I didn't want my group members to think we were going to save the students we meet and somehow dramatically raise their grades and lift them out of poverty and dangerous neighborhoods. We were there really to learn and to plant seeds. To plant seeds of these inklings of ideas that people out there care about low-income inner-city children who deserve a safe and good education from loving educators. To plant seeds that college and success are possible. To plant seeds that hard work can pay off, although not always as likely if…

"Hi, I'm KC and I'm a member of AYA..."

Last week, I worked with Anj to develop and practice for an outreach training for the youth of AYA. Since the art exhibit is coming up, it's time to learn more skills and get the community involved and interested in what our exhibit has to offer.
Unfortunately, police violence continues across the country and fuels the media. Names like Eric Garner and Mike Brown are our buzz words when we talk to strangers about violence against women, lgbtq folks and people of color. 
I was most nervous about the role play because I wanted to model all parts of the outreach script so that the youth can understand how to approach people. One of the youth helped me practice role play and he was super helpful and enthusiastic. I practiced my clipboard flip to get people to hold the clipboard and see the flyer and stay a while for the conversation. 
When the time came on Saturday, we had an extensive workshop on exploring our personal stakes in the issue of police violence, and how we can engage the pu…

Fun in the Sun

Things have been switching up a little at the internship. On Friday, the youth do not meet, but two youths came into the office to help with transcribing the interviews we got with the public about police violence and violence against women and LGBTQ communities.
The pictures look great, and the quotes are awesome. I really enjoyed Friday because the rest of the staff weren't in, so it was just me doing work quietly, which I prefer, and hanging out with the two girls. They are great fun to talk to and very diligent, I had a lot of fun learning more about them, since most of the time when AYA meets it is a huge group and there's a lot going on and I'm usually busy making sure things go smoothly. 
On Saturday it was a really different experience. AYA went out to the Bronx to help some groups do a mural on police reform and community safety. The mural is really elaborate and really neat, featuring a lot of symbolism and working together between communities and law enforcement…