Archive for December, 2006

Welcome to two new bloggers from Deeee-troit! Greater Detroit and Rachel P are talented writers bringing important perspectives about organizing efforts and community issues relating to Detroit.

T. Zac, omnicrisis, and upsidedown house are also frequent bloggers from Detroit, and while MarciaVitae‘s blog is mostly about her current travels in Taiwan, we’ll still claim her.

I’m sure there are more Detroit Bloggers out there. I would love to visit your page, so please share them in the comment section below!

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I appreciated reading this article about the 1 million+ scholarships available for white ethnic groups, providing clear perspective of how much money exists to support white privilege. I am not necessarily advocating that these scholarships be eliminated because they do serve a purpose for some communities, and certainly there are many white folks living in poverty that could use this kind of monetary support (side note: I wonder how many people from those communities actually receive anything like this). However, there should be nothing wrong with scholarships made available for people of color, women, differently-abled, queer folks, single mothers, etc.

Here’s a highlight from the artlce:

To expose the glaring hypocrisy and double standards that the group is self-righteously engaging in I did a quick Internet search on various “white” ethnic scholarship search terms and got large number of hits. If Joe is so opposed to scholarships that have an ethnic focus, I would suggest he include in his noble crusade ethnic scholarships for students from the following ethnicities as well:

Number of returned results on Google for the following searches:
Polish-American scholarships ~ 57,100
Irish American scholarships ~ 131,000
Italian American scholarships ~ 223,000
Jewish scholarships ~ 808,000
German American scholarships ~ 142,000

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Sticking to it

To all my readers,

Please except my apologies for switching up my blog presentation 3-4 times within the past week. I think my schizo behavior is actually a projection of my frustrations with grad school applications. For those that have been through it, you know what a drag it is. Well, I’ve gotten back on track, I’m sticking to my original layout, and I’m going to pump out these personal essays like no other. Thanks for your patience.

All the best,
wsoft.heart

My friend shared this article/blog post about revolunationary childcare with me recently. It is an exciting initiative in NYC that has very similiar objectives and principles to the Dreamers Dream for Children group. Do folks know if there are other such groups in the country?

Below is the vision statement for the NYC group, called Regeneración:

In this city that never sleeps, in which we are constantly moving, running on concrete and breathing clogged air, squeezing into small spaces that are stacked on top of each other, involving kids into our organizing work is a struggle in itself.

Across the city, many women of color led projects recognize kids and families as integral to movement building. Inspired by these projects, a group of organizers pulled together Regeneración. We participate in child-raising as a form of resistance that builds radical communities and relationships. Continue Reading »

Below is an urgent message regarding a very important publication facing financial crisis. Critical Moment is an integral publication in Southeastern Michigan for progressive, socially-conscious news. They are run by an all-volunteer collective of extremely dedicated individuals. Critical Moment has covered many important events and news items on racial justice, queer issues, educational justice, international struggles and local organizations, that would have otherwise gone unreported. I have had the honor of publishing several articles on their pages, and it’s survival is crucial to movement building in Michigan and beyond.Help them raise $1000 by the end of the year. Any amount will go a long way!

Dear supporter of independent media,

Critical Moment needs your help. We need to raise $1000 in the next two weeks or we may not be able to print our 20th issue, due out the first week of January 2007. We have excellent articles on the fallout of Prop 2, radical Women of Color blogging, the Detroit Worker’s Center and much more.

If we don’t raise $1000 in the next two weeks, this issue may not come out!

To make a donation online go to www.criticalmoment.org and click the “Donate” button.
To mail in a donation, send a check to Critical Moment, P.O. Box 4253, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
Please contact us if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation.

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New layout

Just trying out new things (i.e. procrastinating on my applications).  Let me know what y’all think about the new layouts…

My green thumb

Okay, so I didn’t take this photo, but I do love growing vegetables and urban gardening! This photo is part of a fantastic photography collection of produce from NYC’s Grand Army Plaza weekly greenmarket.

Yes! Magazine featured some of these photos in a recent article on how greenmarkets and other farmers markets can promote fresh local produce, healthy food and support local economies.

Take a look at the rest of Ranjit Bhatnagar’s work on his Flickr site.

On December 14, the Detroit Board of Education voted unanimously to allow FAME (Finding Alternatives to Military Enlistment) equal time to military recruiters in Detroit Public Schools. Though the efforts to counter military recruiters in urban areas and communities of color is far from over, this recent announcement is small victory!

American Friends Service Committee has a good webpage all young people to take a look at when considering joining the military.

I thought that working on grad school applications would take away from blogging. Instead, blogging has been a wonderful distraction to help me get through the painful application process.

Lately the Detroit Asian Youth Project has been getting some great features in places like here and here! Being involved with this initiative has been a great learning experience, and it has come a long way since we launched it three years ago. In addition to the 6-week summer program, it now involves weekly after school sessions and monthly open-mics that are organized by the youth. A mix of Detroit residents and University of Michigan students serve as adult mentors. The most remarkable blessing is simply getting to know these youth and watching them articulate their stories. I have learned more about what it means to be Asian American through them, as they have also helped put into context my own experiences as a Taiwanese American growing up in a predominately white suburb. They are certainly more on point about the world than I was at their age. I look forward to seeing them grow and explore their full potentials in the years ahead.

Check out DAY Project on MySpace, too!

The intersection of spirituality in activist work continues to be a growing interest of mine. Mostly because I am exploring it in my personal journey, but I also believe that activists need to find out what role spirituality has (or doesn’t have) in their lives, in order to sustain and deepen our work. Below are portions of writing from a recent article I published in Critical Moment. I invite you to read the full article by following the links on my “Articles” page. I would love to hear any reactions, comments, or feedback.

Beloved Communities: Deepening Our Activism and Healing Our Communities

By the rivers of Babylon
Where we sat down
And there we wept
When we remembered Zion
-“Rivers of Babylon,” Black spiritual

As an activist, I’ve heard and sang plenty of “freedom songs” in marches and rallies. But the first time I actually felt a Black spiritual was last month at a Beloved Communities Initiative gathering…The feeling it produced was familiar to me, as a Chinese/Taiwanese Buddhist and my experiences in Sangha, the community of Buddhist practitioners. Both song and Sangha have an indescribable capacity to provide clarity, connection and renewal. The historical use of spirituals, however, is unique to the Black community and in its transcendent ability to bring together a community of people towards collective struggle and hope. For the gathering I was attending, it opened us to even deeper reflection on the state of our communities.

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