Look y’all. LOOK! 2018 is here, and I’m glad to say that my body is still intact, the zombie apocalypse didn’t happen, and we avoided WWIII... for now. After the Rapture of 2016 when everyone and their mama was beamed up into the ether, we were left wondering what foolishness 2017 had in store for us. Did it pack a wallop or what?! I uninstalled my news and social media apps so many times to avoid having to hear another doomsday headline or read another think piece I almost forgot my passwords. From mass shooting to mass shooting to mass shooting to marches to nazis to Sean Spicer’s mismatched shoes to meltdowns to bans to dreams deferred to investigations to more nazis to protests to confederate statues to the toppling of sexual abusers to black women snatching political wigs, it was almost like Quentin Tarantino directed our entire year. We’ve been through some shit. We’ve weathered plenty of storms on every end — politically, socially, historically, literally, mentally, and financially to the point where we’re pretty much over it. But I didn’t want to write about the complete suckage of the past 365 days. Let’s look at our year with fresh eyes, shall we?Read More
I started considering how I could give back to the community with my art. During the summer of 2016, I had this idea to take candid family photos of black fathers with their children, in an effort to change the negative media narrative that black fathers are all "deadbeat dads" and "criminals." I am proud to live in a very racially integrated area, and I realized that the amazing black fathers that I know just don't fit that narrative. I wanted to give them a voice—to offer a platform for them to tell their stories. And then of course, after the presidential election last year I felt an even stronger sense of urgency to get this message out. That's when my project "100 Black Dads" was officially launched.Read More
I recently released a personal essay on my experiences being within American leftist activist culture that went viral, reaching over half a million people worldwide. In it, I expanded upon the ways in which social justice culture, with its rich and enduring legacy of resistance to oppression, has largely devolved into operating on dogmatic terms. After I wrote it, I almost did not publish it or share it within my circles. I felt preemptively queasy when considering the backlash that inevitably comes after voicing an unpopular view or pushing back on the status quo in leftist spaces. How could I disrupt knee-jerk hypercriticality by placing myself squarely in front of its firing squad? Wouldn’t that be a social suicide mission? But based on the overwhelming, emotional responses from readers about the essay’s resonance, this internal struggle appears to be a widespread issue in leftist and progressive communities that desperately needs be addressed.Read More
As I currently watch my city of Portland engulfed in smoke and ash from the Eagle Creek Fires and observe the Harvey death toll rise, I am reminded that we still have the most menacing man in office, as he declares an end to a program dedicated for children of immigrants. He truly just wants to watch the world burn. He throws DACA into the mix like gasoline, and we are left to figure out the rest.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program initiated by the Obama administration, which started in 2012. It grants a renewable two year protection from deportation and gives a work permit to anyone who entered the U.S. as a minor (called Dreamers.) Usually we hear some alt-facts, some fear tactics, and a weird justification thrown into the mix for one of Trump's usual antics, but this time, it's almost as if they have nothing to say.Read More
In Richmond, we are painting a series of mini-murals of individual ladies all around town, to build momentum for taking this show on the road!
Leaving July 15th, we'll set out in the HerrSuite mobile studio to drive up the east coast, painting as many more walls as we can along the way. Know a wall between VA and VT that needs a G!G!G! mural? Get in touch!
In Burlington, we will paint a second iteration of the first G!G!G! mural on Battery Street Jeans, a thrift shop catering to diverse body shapes and genders. This mural will featuring many women all together, all people who live in the area.Read More
There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our commitments are manifested. Beliefs and actions are too often conflated with each other, yet questioning the latter does not renege the former. As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in the ways that culture does the work of power. What then, is the culture of activism, and in what ways are activists restrained by it? To be clear, I’m only one person who doesn’t know everything, and I’m open to revisions and learning. But as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a forced conversion to evangelical Christianity, I’m seeing a disturbing parallel between religion and activism in the presence of dogma:Read More
Going to a protest as a first date was fitting for these two Chicago land activists who are planting seeds of change all around their community. Bianca and Christina are passionate about making this world we live in a better and equal place for all. Love just happened naturally and sprouted fast for these two. They may even admit that it was L-O-V-E at first sight for the both of them. As they approach two years of being together, it still feels like fireworks and butterflies to them.Read More
If you find yourself questioning something that feels inappropriate or abusive, then it probably is. Do not "use" an interracial couple in a shoot just to make your portfolio more diverse so you can start seeming more inclusive to the industry. Start first with yourself. Take a step back, and look at the inner circle of people you see every month. Who are they? What do you all talk about? Are you discussing issues related to populations you have no experience with? Do you participate in tokenizing? Overall, if you share these values and want to start out in the industry, double and then triple-check yourself and your own life. Because if you're still participating in social practices that are damaging or harmful toward marginalized groups in this country, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, then frankly you haven't done the work.Read More
Tomayia Colvin, a portrait photographer and educator in Houston, is a well-known leader and activist in our community. She is a children's book author, a doctoral student in the field of educational leadership, and she works with conferences to connect them with talented and diverse speakers and educators.Read More
Amy of Modern Rebel & Co. is an alternative event planning company that gives back to local New York City non-profits that serve survivors of domestic violence, provide homes for the homeless, prevent suicide, and bridge education and art. She recently planned an immersive theater experience in a cemetery. She also happens to be a delightful person, and her website is the bomb.com.Read More