Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

by Christopher Bowers

As I have gotten deeper into anti-oppression work I find that I am discovering  more and more subtleties and complexities than I ever considered. Learning to be a good ally is not a linear education with some sort of graduation or certification at the end. It is a process full of experimentation, humility, confusion, challenge, and clarity. This list is by no means complete. It’s really just a few suggestions on how to turn your mind towards solidarity. (more…)


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by Ariel Joseph

“Return to Africa” they say. Proud of their heritage and sure of their connectedness to a continent and a peoples, an ocean and generations removed, they remain certain that they have a motherland, a place – perhaps the only place – on this lonely planet where they belong. (more…)

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by Anita Gill

When I was a little girl, I had a crush on a particular boy in my grade. I told my mom that I liked him because I felt I could tell her anything. She asked me, “Why do you like H—?”


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by Afro DZ ak

Just Cause I’m Mixed, that don’t mean that I’m mixed up

Inherently confused or I need to be fixed up

Just Cause I’m Mixed, that don’t mean I’m a mule

So don’t call me ‘mulatto,’ thinkin it’s cool

Just Cause I’m Mixed, that don’t mean I’m adopted

Yes, she’s white, and yes, she’s my biological mama

But whether or not I was adopted, you ain’t got the right

To stare or make comments cause my mother is white (more…)

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Please Check One

Census formby Anita Gill

I looked at the piece of paper. Written on it were blocks and letters along with the heading certifying that it was an official application paper for a university. By having this specific script on the page, the paper had importance; it would be my key to possible acceptance into the university and a new life.


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Magnifying glass by Jen Chau, originally published at The Time Is Always Right

This is – I think – our favorite game to play when it comes to race. Locate the racist, focus on the racist, blog and tweet the crap out of that racist, and shame that racist as much as possible. The racist shouldn’t be able to carry on life as he knew it. I too hope for change in the person who took a misstep, but I think we are missing the bigger picture. We use magnifying glasses to focus on individual events rather than seeing the connections and the patterns that point to larger societal problems.


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fistWe’ve been running an experiment. What happens when you put five people in a room to read, learn, debate and struggle with how to translate our multiracial community into a catalyst for action? (I know what you’re thinking, and no, arm-wrestling was not involved). Five brave SwirlNYC members gave four afternoons of their lives (and then some) to collectively developing an analysis on race, justice, and what it means to do something about it. Led by Jen Chau (Founder and Executive Director of Swirl) and Lynda Turet (former Managing Director of Swirl), we piloted a semester of learning called “SwirlCamp,” meant to serve as a boot camp for Swirl members ready to take their involvement to the next level. Our sessions ran the gamut of exploring structural racism to discussing the impact (or lack thereof) of having a black and multiracial president. We also sharpened our leadership skills through self-reflection and skill-building. Our purpose was simple: how do we make our collective need for community into a tool to change what has impacted us all–racism? (more…)

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