Movement-Building


I thoroughly enjoyed this interview with award-winning composer, Omar Thomas, about his new album, ‘We Will Know’, a monumental work of art that breathes new life into the word “movement”. Inspired by the popular civil rights protest song, “We Shall Overcome”, Omar has just gifted the (U.S.) LGBT civil rights movement with their very own soundtrack, one which is sure to spark powerful conversations about what it means to exist at the intersection of struggle, triumph, and history, as both black and gay.

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I was invited by a Caribbean feminist collective to participate as a virtual guest in their Audre Lorde appreciation event this past weekend. After weeks of fighting a winter slump, I ended my Skype session feeling nourished and optimistic, which has prompted some reflecting on the power of sister circles, even when they’re only experienced virtually.

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Based on how often marginalized people talk about the power of “community”, especially within the realm of grassroots activism, one would imagine the non-profit industry would have evolved into a flourishing ecosystem of recyclable free-flowing skills, services, and progressive ideas by now. Yeah, that’s not happening. Welcome to the first part of my “Finding Common Ground” series, which aims to explore and map out strategies for effective collaboration.

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I have witnessed the daily grind of empowerment of black South African lesbians, watched them sink and wade through the cultural stigma that surrounds them like a mist, clouding the world’s perception of their lives as ordinarily human. Thus, I have come to re-affirm my belief that we must also celebrate our proud perseverance, our steady survival, just as fervently as we do our big, bold acts of bravery.

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I’m sharing the remarks I gave at the MA Women United Against the War on Women rally in Boston (in poem-ish form). I found myself thinking about the concept of “unity,” and the fact that so many women of color, immigrants, transgender women etc are often left out of mainstream women’s movements. There isn’t just a war on women, but a war amongst women slowing our progress. Until we end that, we are not united.

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