Select Page

Author: YES!

Suffering that sells: When society would rather pay to bury us than support a life in which we are thriving

They say that sex sells, but more and more, it seems like trauma has taken its place. As a Black femme, I was taught from an early age that I shouldn’t ask for help until I absolutely, positively had no other choice. Being a child of immigrants from Haiti only reinforced this belief. If I expressed any mild discomfort, I was immediately reminded that no one had to or would help me, but more importantly, they shouldn’t. Someone is worse off than you. You’ve had harder times than this and never asked for help, so how dare you do...

Read More

Avoiding Politi-Speak: How activist jargon obscures more than it clarifies

If you had asked me six years ago to write a call to action to inspire people to participate in my social justice group, it would have gone something like this: “The United States of Amerikkka has always been and will always be an ecocidal White supremacist settler-colonialist police state. Join our never-ending intersectional struggle to dismantle the hegemonic forces of racial capitalism, imperialism and cis-hetero-patriarchy.” I am exaggerating, but only a little. (I would have used only one “k” in Amerika). Will you join my group? Wonderful, now we are a coalition of two. Recent life changes landed me...

Read More

From chattel slavery to Jim Crow: Juneteenth is now an unavoidable reminder that reparations are due

Weeks after the last cannon sounded and the gun smoke cleared in April 1865, slavery in most of the United States had come to an end, unless you were an enslaved person in Texas. It was not until June 19, 1865, a full 71 days after the surrender at Appomattox and 37 days after the Battle of Palmito Ranch, that 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, to announce that the Civil War was indeed over; and that all enslaved people were now free. In Texas, this was known as “Juneteenth,” and it marks not only the day...

Read More

The full scope of MLK’s dream took on the issues of poverty and war along with systemic racism

When Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, he did something extraordinary for a speaker mounting a challenge to the existing order: he positioned those in his movement not as outsiders and dissidents, but rather as inheritors, indeed as the true inheritors, of the American Constitutional tradition. He laid hold of the “mystic cords of memory” that connect each generation of Americans. King—who had disobeyed the ordinances of many localities, defied the laws of many states, and written from the cell of a city jail—enveloped his cause and his message in the mantle of mainstream...

Read More

Measuring Equity with Urban Forests: How planting trees helps build prosperous and healthy communities

The term “urban forest” may sound like an oxymoron. When most of us think about forests, we may picture vast expanses of tall trunks and dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves, far from the busyness of the city. But the trees that line city streets and surround apartment complexes across the U.S. hold great value, in part because of their proximity to people. “Per tree, you’re getting way more value for an urban tree than a tree out in the wild,” said Mark McPherson, founder and director of a Seattle nonprofit called City Forest Credits. In an increasingly urbanizing...

Read More

Seeking Justice: History shows that civility is an ineffective tool to end racism

During his inauguration address on Jan. 21, 2021, Joe Biden pledged to end the country’s “uncivil war,” which had been raging during the four years of Trump’s presidency. Especially when it came to race, the theme of Biden’s winning campaign, “Redeem the Soul of the Nation,” as well as his appeal to many White voters, was that he could bring a sense of decency, unity, politeness, and reconciliation — in other words, civility — to a nation that was deeply polarized. Biden claimed he was motivated to run for president in the first place after being horrified by the...

Read More