Covid–What Can We Do?

…a sense of belonging is one of the most essential needs of humans. We also need to feel power over our lives, belief in our own abilities and a sense of generosity. Seems to me Covid has challenged our ability to satisfy all of those needs.

Be the Change–Voting Rights

Join us for our “Zoom Workshops” to support the belief that Black Lives Matter. We’ll study the issues, as well as routes to action. We’re starting with voting rights because we want to make sure we make our votes count in this critical election.

Educate for Change

We may not change the world overnight, but we can read and learn about White privilege, join marches and protests. Support the Black people at the heart of the movement, and step back to remember it’s not about us.

A Fresh Perspective

New resources for exploring fruits and veggies, along with some nuggets for appreciating the farmers, truckers, grocery clerks, parents, and all the others who bring them to our table.

Pandemic Journaling

Journaling works best with prompts and structure. Use the five activities in this post to reflect on how times are changing, feelings about those changes, and what you’re doing differently.

A Modern Ark

A photographer that inspires people to save endangered animals and their habitat. Watching him is fascinating. Look up species near you! Learn what you can do to help the earth!

Women’s Work

Pay and value are twined together very tightly together in today’s world. We need to VALUE domestic work; I think that’s what I’m learning from my adventures in keeping my own house clean and taking care of June. It’s simple but not easy.

Last Stop on Market Street

Use this award-winning picture book to help young kids talk about the serious issues we face in our communities. “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what is beautiful.”

Celebrate Juneteenth!

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the announcement of the end of slavery. It’s not a well known holiday for lots of reasons. One is that we don’t really like to talk about that part of our history. We don’t like to acknowledge the shadow side of our country and culture.

But “If you are serious about American culture and you are serious about Afro-American culture, you are in a lot of pain. You are not – you are not smiling about it.”–Wynton Marsalis

I was raised with prejudice; my mother justified slavery and the Confederacy without shame. I don’t think any one thing changed me, but a combination of events in my teens and early twenties. The book and movie, To Kill a Mockingbird made a huge impression on this little white girl.

2018 holds 50th anniversaries of so many seminal events in our racial history–the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Watts Riots that happened just a short distance from our Los Angeles County home. I graduated from high school in 1968–a watershed year by many definitions. That’s the way we become aware and sensitive to issues of race, culture and class–in bits and pieces.

Humility and openness are first steps to confronting shut minds and fearful attitudes that are often part of being White. We White people never ever have to face many many challenges; that’s the definition of White privilege.

Those circumstances are no secret these days, but it’s still possible to be blind to them. I continue to learn and grow in awareness; my latest effort involves joining a book club of Black women and White women to discuss how we can come to a better understanding.

Reading books like Root and Branch, Waking Up White and One Crazy Summer is providing a wealth of insight about the long fight for justice and the continuing injustices Black people face.

The point of Juneteenth is to bring attention to our history of slavery and to begin to right some of the wrongs committed over the last 400 years. Join in the celebration!

Ain’t I A Woman?

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.”–Sojourner Truth, 1851

As I understand it, when Sojourner Truth  spoke the words above at the Women’s Convention in Akron Ohio, there was a glimmer of hope that Black women and White women might work together for women’s rights and for the abolition of slavery.

Those hopes were dashed pretty quickly as a “cult of true womanhood” developed. It basically said a woman’s place is not only in the home, but also keeping the gate closed on sex and sexuality–that was the job of White women anyway.

That left sensuality to Black women, according to Paula Giddings, author of When and Where I Enter, the book we’re reading now. As a result the reputation of Black women suffered long after emancipation. It’s still suffering today I think. “Welfare Queen“–really, we are a mess!

At the first meeting of our book club, I asked what we can do to get White women and Black women working together? Billie Wade–“I think we’re doing it now.” Finding our way through uncomfortable conversations, hanging in there through misunderstandings–I think books can help us turn those conversations and misunderstandings into shared experiences. I hope so.

Even when a lightbulb goes on in your head, and you understand some of the things that shaped you, reading this stuff is hard. Talking about it is harder. But we really must summon the courage and humility and compassion to do it.

Sojourner Truth said, “Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter.” There’s a lot of racket right now about poor treatment of women, and certainly there is much that is out of kilter. But this time let’s bring all our sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers along as we rise. This time let’s don’t leave anyone behind.