Grantee & Partner News

May 22, 2017

Who Should You Listen to on Abortion? People Who’ve Had Them

News from The New York Times:

Angie Wang

When I arrived at the clinic in Washington, I looked for the young woman I was waiting for. Her body was covered with tattoos of birds and stars. She hugged me with a warm smile and introduced me to her boyfriend. He didn’t look at me. In fact, he didn’t look me in the eye for the five hours we sat together in the waiting room.

I assumed it was out of shame until I noticed the white supremacist tattoos on his shaved head, neck, forearms and knuckles. As a black woman, I was scared of him. Yet I felt a bond. They had driven several hours from Virginia to avoid the numerous restrictions on abortions there. He was returning from jail. She already had a child and wasn’t ready for another. I knew the feeling well.

She asked for an abortion doula because she wanted unconditional support, no matter what she decided. She wanted me, a total stranger, to reinforce her trust in herself. After she went to the procedure room, her boyfriend and I went outside, me to make a call, him to smoke. In the elevator down, he finally spoke: “Thank you.”

When I had an abortion, I was 19 and alone. Though I was pretty sure my parents would have supported my decision, I didn’t want to take the risk. So I kept it a secret. My boyfriend at the time dropped me off at the clinic, unwilling to go inside. I walked through the bombproof door, and a kind Orthodox Jewish nurse took care of me. She held my hand as the sedation filled my veins, and offered me saltine crackers and Coca-Cola when I woke up in the recovery room.

These are the realities of abortion.

The need to terminate a pregnancy knows no political affiliation or religious faith. I’ve hugged, cried with and held the hands of hundreds of people who’ve had abortions, many of whom never thought they would. All were thankful that someone was there to provide care, sit with them when they were alone and hold their hair as the nausea took over. All felt the stigma and shame society thrusts on them.

The abortion debate rages on, but the voices of those who’ve actually had abortions are ignored. Few people try to understand our lives. And we are never asked the most simple but important question: Why did you do it?

That’s intentional. It’s easier to strip us of our rights when we’re not treated as humans, when political candidates say we deserve “some form of punishment,” when elected officials vote to define abortion as “murder,”when people call us killers. Language matters and it leads to violence. Abortion providers, and people who share their stories, including me, have received thousands of threats.

But nearly one-third of American women are estimated to have an abortion by 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. Sixty-two percent of us are people of color. A majority are religious. We’re trying to make ends meet and can’t afford to expand our family at that particular time.

Continue reading the main story

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May 17, 2017

CITIZEN ARTIST SALON: POLICY ON BELONGING

Grantee News From U.S. Department of Arts and Culture:

WHAT IF Planning Departments had to make that rezoning decisions didn’t impinge on on the #RightToBelong?

WHAT IF your School Board could resist a campaign to end bilingual education because a Policy on Belonging obliged them to ensure that all students felt equally welcome.

WHAT IF church leaders  stood in solidarity with Jewish and Muslim neighbors whose houses of worship has been vandalized, adopting a Policy on Belonging and helping to, spread the #RightToBelong far and wide? Learn about the tools to make these possibilities fully real!

You can make the #RightToBelong official policy by following the easy steps laid out in our free, downloadable Toolkit and joining in on this Citizen Artist Salon featuring:

  • Roberto Bedoya, Secretary of Belonging on USDAC National Cabinet and Oakland Cultural Affairs Manager
  • Andrew Grant-Thomas, cofounder of EmbraceRace and editor of the Othering & Belonging journal
  • Arlene Goldbard, USDAC Chief Policy Wonk and author of The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future

Citizen Artist Salon: Policy on Belonging

Start: May 17, 2017 6:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (GMT-05:00)

End: May 17, 2017 7:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (GMT-05:00)

Host Contact Info: hello@usdac.us

Attend this event

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May 4, 2017

The Little-Known Nonprofit Helping Your Favorite Bands Give Back

Grantee News From Revolutions Per Minute:

 

The Pitch

“I want to help you but I don’t know how,” Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra sang on her Trayvon Martin tribute “Everybody Knows” back in 2014. Fortuitously, the song led her to Revolutions Per Minute, a nonprofit that quietly has helped musicians turn their good intentions into effective advocacy since 2005, when it was known as Air Traffic Control. Last year, selling “Women Are Powerful and Dangerous” T-shirts with help from RPM, the band raised more than $7,000 in just one week for Third Wave Fund, which benefits LGBTQ youth in need, and Oakland-based girls’ group Radical Monarchs. “RPM really eliminates that hopelessness you can feel sometimes when you’re like, ‘I care, but I don’t know what to do,’” Segarra tells me.

The song that first brought Segarra to RPM now finds a home on the organization’s most visible project to date: Our First 100 Days. Launched on Inauguration Day by Secretly Group’s family of labels and the folks behind last year’s 30 Days, 30 Songs, the subscription compilation benefits groups fighting President Trump’s aggressively regressive policy threats. It consists of a new song per day, through April 29, from a host of indie favorites including Angel Olsen, Will Oldham, Mitski, Toro Y Moi, Jens Lekman, and Waxahatchee, raising almost $100,000 to date from $30 subscriptions as well as charity merch from Courtney Barnett, David Byrne, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Guided by RPM, the team behind Our First 100 Days chose a wide range of beneficiaries that “really speak to the core of what is so totally fucked about the Trump administration,” says Secretly partner Phil Waldorf: pro-choice advocates All Above All, immigrant rights supporters Cosecha, and environmental activists People’s Climate Movement, plus regionally focused political organizers Southerners on New Ground and Hoosier Action. More>

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April 25, 2017

Poetry in a Time of Climate Crisis: A Generative Writing Workshop

Grantee News From Split This Rock:

Sunday, April 30, 1 – 4 pm

1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC

Cost: $25

Space is limited. Register by Friday, April 29.

Image of Melissa Tuckey. wearing a long sleeve purple shirt. She has a serious yet kind expression_ wears her gray hair tucked behind her ears.

ABOUT THE WRITING WORKSHOP
During the second world war German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote, “One cannot write poems about trees when the forest is full of police.” Here we are now, in the age of environmental crisis, when our woods are filled with police, and our very air, water, soil, and climate are under attack. How do we respond to this challenge in our poems?
 
In this generative workshop, we’ll look to poems that hold both environmental consciousness and acknowledgement of who is most at risk. We’ll write furiously and with a lot of love towards what sustains us. We’ll recognize interconnections. We’ll witness, grieve, and rage, and our work together will ultimately bend toward hope. Bring your “witness eye” and favorite writing implements.
The workshop is open to all writing levels and to writers of poetry and prose.
 

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP FACILITATOR
Melissa Tuckey is a co-founder and former board member of Split This Rock who serves as the Coordinator of Split This Rock’s Eco-Justice Poetry Project, editing Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, forthcoming from University of Georgia Press. Tuckey is author of Tenuous Chapel (May 2013), selected by Charles Simic for the First Book Award at ABZ Press, and Rope as Witness (chapbook: Pudding House Press, 2007). She’s a fellow at Black Earth Institute. Other honors include a Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown Winter Fellowship and artist awards from Ohio Arts Council and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Missouri Poetry Review, Ecopoetry Anthology, DC Poets Against the War Anthology, and Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing, among other places. Tuckey has a background in community organizing and non-profit development, and holds an MFA from George Mason University. She currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where she teaches writing and works as an editor and writing coach. More information can be found on Melissa’s website at http://www.melissatuckey.net

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP LOCATION
The nearest metro station is DuPont Circle. The building is wheelchair accessible. A volunteer will be available at the door as the building locks on weekends. Participants are encouraged to arrive on time. Those who arrive late may need to text or call 202-445-0536 to be let in.

MORE INFORMATION
Contact us at ecojustice@splitthisrock.org or 202-787-5210 should you have any questions.

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Peoples Climate March

Grantee News From Peoples Climate Movement:

Trump’s game plan has been to relentlessly attack our communities and shock us into despair.

It hasn’t worked because our people-powered movement is stronger than he is— together, the resistance stopped his attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act and stymied his despicable Muslim ban. Together, we are going to do the same thing to his attacks on our climate, our air, and our water. 

Let’s get ready to march!

April 29th 2017

Washington DC

March for climate, jobs, and justice

Join the March

MARCH SCHEDULE

Visit our Week of Action page to see a list of other events the day of the march, including the Sunrise Water Ceremony, Labor Rally, and an After Party. More>

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March 16, 2017

TRUMP’S STARVATION AND INSECURITY BUDGET

February 22, 2017

Extremism’s Earliest Critics

Carbon Bubble Is Bursting as Divestment Takes Hold

February 2, 2017

Do women matter to national security? The men who lead U.S. foreign policy don’t think so.

January 27, 2017

2017 People’s State of the Union Kicks Off Tomorrow!