“Estamos continuando una tradición que fue pasada a nosotros por medio del movimiento chicano. Usamos las mismas herramientas y centrados en la comunidad para abrir las conversaciones que nos permitan solucionar los problemas comunes que tenemos”.
Thank you Ricardo Ibarra for this interview for La Prensa Sonoma!
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Akonadi Foundation's commissioned me to create a poster they will distribute in recognition of the ongoing struggle against White Supremacy through their Racial Justice Poster Project.
If you would like a free poster visit http://akonadi.org/
This piece is called the Power to Heal Our Hearts.
My own experiences with racist structures started early on in my life when I was forced to assimilate into an English-only classroom even though I was a native Spanish speaker. Though I was only five years old, it wasn’t difficult to comprehend that there was little value placed on the language my parents taught me. As I got older, I continued to have experiences that made me internalize a hatred for who I was. I hated having brown skin and wished my mom would let me bleach my hair blonde. The harm I experienced was so deep that by the time I was seven, I had internalized the bigotry I experienced via my fellow schoolmates, teachers and the racist policies of the school system. It wasn’t until I attended college and I joined a campus organization that I started working on undoing internalized oppressions and started to feel affirmed in my identity and the collective experiences of my community.
Systems of oppression like White Supremacy are structured into laws and policies that are then reproduced by everyday people. The logic of these systems over time and practice gets embedded in our thinking and our actions and can result in people consciously and unconsciously inflicting harm and trauma in the community.
Today, several community organizers in my life talk about the need to work at the intersection of culturally rooted healing and community organizing. This approach resonates with my own experiences and inspired me to create this piece, which illustrates how I see organizing. For me, organizing is a process for individual and collective healing through building power to achieve large changes in society that value each of us as sacred beings with interconnected lives.
Join us for a party to celebrate the opening of "Take this Hammer: Art + Media Activism from the Bay Area" at YBCA this Friday!
We are super excited to be part of this exhibit that features recent work by artists, activists, and technologists addressing the most pressing issues of our time. We have an installation of over 80 Dignidad Rebelde posters spaning from 2007 to 2015 that address issues of gentrification, economic justice, indigenous people's rights, the environment, immigration and so much more.
The evening will include performances by the Los Angeles Poverty Department to spark our radical imagination and lift up the spirit of liberation.
DR. ANGELA Y. DAVIS is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Davis came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position at UCLA because of her activism and membership in the Communist Party, USA. In 1970 she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges. During her sixteen-month incarceration, a massive international "Free Angela Davis" campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972. Today Prof. Davis remains an advocate of prison abolition and has developed a powerful critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is the author of many books, including her most recent collection, The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues (City Lights Open Media).
FRED MOTEN is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Hughson’s Tavern, B. Jenkins, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney), The Feel Trio and The Little Edges. A new poetry collection, The Service Porch and a new collection of essays, consent not to be a single being are forthcoming. Moten lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Riverside.
A member of the Oakland-based arts collaboration, Dignidad Rebelde, MELANIE CERVANTES is a Xicana activist-artist whose work includes black and white illustrations, paintings, installations and paper stencils. She is best known, however, for her prolific political screen prints and posters which have been used by movements across the globe. Employing vibrant colors and hand-drawn illustrations, her work moves those viewed as marginal to the center -- featuring powerful youth, elders, women, and queer and indigenous peoples.
This week's Latina.com's Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday is Dignidad Rebelde's co-founder, Xicana artist and activist Melanie Cervantes.
"Given the problem of Imperialist White Supremacist Cis Hetero Capitalist Patriarchy, I have found it incumbent to center those of us who exist on the margins of the marginalized."
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