Actions for Everyone
Happy Black History Month and also holy snow batman!
In Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan, I’ve been shoveling a LOT of snow. Imbolc was this week, which marks halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It feels great to be past the halfway point of all this shoveling. Now, excuse me while I find some yoga for shovelers and try to feel better.
Celebrate Black History Month: Black History begins January 1 and ends Dec 31 every year, but February is an annual month of recognition of Black History, aka American History. What are you doing this month?
If you don’t already have a practice of decolonizing your bookshelves, let this month inspire you to buy Black authors’ work from your local bookstores, or make sure your library card is active and check out Black authors’ work from your library. If you’re used to reading non-fiction, I challenge you to also find fiction, poetry, sci-fi, and check out your library’s film selection. I bought Sister Outsider on a strong recommendation by Cree Myles, who is someone you should follow on all the things. For that matter, if you don’t already go ahead and decolonize your podcasts, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
On February 1st, I starting Black History Month by tuning into America’s Black Holocaust Museum programming. If you haven’t already been to their website, check out all their digital content, donate, and know that someday soon, when it’s safe and right, they’ll open up their physical space, so get ready for a field trip. Feel free to write in with your Black History Month plans at firstname.lastname@example.org
End Pipelines: I remember hearing an NPR interview a few weeks back explaining why the Keystone XL pipeline was a more environmentally friendly choice because Americans need oil and the KXL project would at least be carbon neutral. To me, that reasoning says “Sure, we’re content with the crumbs,” when really we want the whole, damn meal. Or deal, in the case of the Green New Deal.
The executive order signed on the first day of the Biden administration showed us a strong stance against the ancient art of resource depletion, however there’s still a big pipeline project underway we need to get involved in.
Line 3, a pipeline expansion to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. A local resistance has been active since 2014, but they need our help! Take a look at their Take Action page to learn about ways that you can get involved – including divesting from allll the banks that fund this project and many others.
Believe Survivors (CW Sexual Assault): Did you all catch that 90 min IG live that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made this week? Maybe you did because it got 5.6 million views. I’m blown away that in today’s day and age, there is a politician out there that can keep my focused attention for 90 whole minutes, but AOC does. I watched every minute of it. She shared her own account of January 6th with us, and made mention several times that her story is not the central story of what Jan 6th means to our country, but is her story which is important to remember so we don’t forget it, and so we don’t let the Republicans who are claiming it’s time to move on forget it.
Early on in the video, she shares that part of why what happened on Jan 6th was traumatic for her was that she is a survivor of sexual assault, and trauma often compounds on itself. She goes on to say that she hasn’t told many people because she’s been afraid of not being believed. I’d like to reiterate, specifically because AOC did several times, that her story is not the central story to what an insurrection against our democracy means, but I also want to highlight that whether people want to fact check her video or not, we know that every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, so I believe survivors.
I want to share resources that we’ve written about in the past, but are as important and relevant as ever. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center and RAINN have help lines, statistics, ways to get involved, and are important resources to know about whether you are a survivor or not.