Hushidar Mortezaie artwork
Hushidar Mortezaie artwork
Hushidar Mortezaie artwork
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Bailey Mead
Managing Editor
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
bailey.mead@kzoo.edu
269-337-7398

Naming Gendered and Sexual Identities within Blackness

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

An excerpt from As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation, AK Press, released June 5, 2018

By William C. Anderson and Zoe Samudzi

Any truly liberatory politics must speak to the unique needs and vulnerability of Black women and girls, particularly Black queer and transgender women and girls. There are ongoing murders of Black trans women across the country (and trans women around the world) because women’s safety is a non-priority of the state and because patriarchal gender structures are ultimately grounded in transmisogyny. Black women are also being hunted, but this hunting season (unlike the open season on Black men) is grossly under-addressed because of the frequent de-gendering of antiracist politics, the invisibilization of Black women through diversity language like “women and people of color” that overlooks the intersections of race and gender, the erasure of Black women within “women of color,” and understandings of how state violence against Black people focuses on the humiliation and emasculation and almost sole targeting of cisgender black men. A politics of self-defense cannot ignore the intersections of white supremacist state violence and its manifestations of intra-communal violence against Black women (trans and cis), as well as multiply marginalized members of Black communities more widely. Continue reading →

Biopolitics in Palestine: Community Health, Political Violence, and Daily Resistance 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

By Bram Wispelwey     

On June 1, 21-year-old volunteer medic Razan Al Najjar was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza as she was attempting to provide first aid to an injured protester. As the Palestinian Medical Relief Society points out, “Shooting at medical personnel is a war crime under the Geneva conventions, as is shooting at children, journalists and unarmed civilians.” As we mourn the death of Najjar, Bram Wispelwey, a doctor working in the Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank, shares his account of the political violence and resistance taking place in Palestine.

Continue reading →

Queer and Trans Youth and the Transformative Power of the Arts

Thursday, May 31, 2018

By Sojn Boothroyd

“Making art is the place I felt most connected to myself and to the mystery of creation. I felt powerful, like a superhero—like no one could touch me or hurt me in any way.”—Jayden

Jayden was a participant in Queer Teen Identity Formation and the Arts, a qualitative research study I conducted as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009. Eight individuals living in different geographical locations who engaged in the arts as teens and identified as trans, queer, pansexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning participated in the study. During the interviews, they talked about their experience identifying as queer and trans teens, what that entailed, and how engaging in the arts affected their lives at that time. The participants responded in writing to an email questionnaire and chose pseudonyms, used here, to keep their names confidential for the study. Continue reading →

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