In my work, I’m regularly asked, “What can I do? I know that injustice exists, but I feel so powerless. I want to help!” Many folks of privilege struggle to figure out how to act for justice. More often than not, those who are denied access, voice, privilege, and justice in dominant culture know exactly what they need to do. So to that point, my answer to their question is always the same: “Listen.”
Race & Ethnicity
I have gone from being a big, strong looking Black woman to being a young, lanky Black man. I have always carried with me both masculine and feminine energies, but I have often been forced to choose one over the other depending upon the space around me. The gender binary affects us all in detrimental ways. And while masculinity may seem to offer more room, it also has its limitations. We must make room for all genders to grow and move freely.
Our social movements have failed to reach a transformational level of change. In part, this is due to how we don’t address our own privilege or prioritize supporting and lifting up marginalized voices to the social change table. And until we do, our work will not achieve lasting structural changes – where those being impacted are leading the fight for their own communities, supported by allies.
I am a 28-year-old Latina feminist who lives with her formerly abusive dad. I can afford to move out but I don’t because I feel an obligation to look after my father. Everything I do is with the hope of making him proud, making him feel loved, and trying to repair whatever is broken inside of him that causes him to be abusive. I want to break so many chains and unlearn so many generations of abuse.
As I board the subway, my heart races a little as I silently assess whom I feel safe commuting beside. I take a seat and am confronted by a disturbing and embarrassing inner realization that I am filled with fear in the midst of African American men. The subtle racism that continues to permeate our society, blurs our perceptions and further deepens our expectations of who is violent.
Homophobia and transphobia can combine to make queer and trans* immigrants bear the brunt of the U.S.’s already racist and xenophobic immigration laws. Learn how US immigration law impacts the most vulnerable members of our community and how queer and trans* rights activists can be involved in coalition building with immigrant rights’ groups to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
My mother would never call herself a feminist, even though she is the embodiment of a feminist. As a Hispanic woman, she did not believe that the traditional, Western, view of feminism related to her. But from her, I learned that valuing your heritage doesn’t take away from being a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman or stop you from addressing gender issues in your community.
With Obama’s proposals only a hazy shade more inclusive than the Senate’s plan is there any room for everyday people who aren’t lobbyists and professional activists to insert themselves? Is there political space for the policy framework that’s been proposed to be improved upon? Does your lone voice matter? The answer is yes, yes, yes! Read on to find out just how you can help as an average citizen.
As a group that regularly battles prejudice, violence, and ignorance, queers know what it’s like to be discriminated against. Unfortunately, the queer community is not devoid of casual racism and certain forms of racism in the queer community have become so normalized that they get brushed off as minor. So here are some steps to support queer people of color and be more racially aware.
Exposure to toxic chemicals has contributed to reproductive health decline in the US. Almost everyone has some level of toxic chemicals in their bodies, but the impact and burden is certainly not shared equally. Low-income women, who are disproportionately women of color, shoulder far more than their fair share. The reality is that we need chemical policy reform to protect all people.