Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Poetry by the People-A Community Writing Intensive

Community Writing Intensive
Durham, NC
May 8-10, 2007

Dear Lovers of the Word,
You are cordially invited to write and discuss poetry in and with the
Durham community. You will be surrounded by people who love poetry
and believe in its transformative power. Here's what you can

Daily Schedule
1:00 ~ 3:00 Silent Writing/ Manuscript Conferences
3:00 ~ 4:00 Late Lunch/ Early Dinner
4:15 ~ 5:15 Community Sharing/ Open Mic
5:30 ~ 6:30 Poetry Exercises
6:30 ~ 8:30 Workshop/ Critique
8:30 ~ 9:00 Wrap - Up

This year betty's daughter arts collaborative, broken beautiful press,
and SpiritHouse-NC have graciously decided to sponsor Poetry By the
People, so you don't have to. There is no charge for attendance, just
come with poems, an open heart, and a love for community art.

For poets who are not in the Durham-Raleigh-Chapel-Hill area, two very
modest travel scholarships are available.
1. The Betty Ann Sims, Ed.D. Artist/Scholar Travel Scholarship is
available to any poet who can demonstrate how expressive art will
impact future or current scholarly projects.
2. The Talya Pierce Travel Scholarship for Emerging Poets is awarded
to a woman of color who is beginning to explore the field of poetry.
The recipient of this award must not hold any publications or academic
degrees in creative writing.

Please submit a five-page manuscript, a cover letter that explains the
role of poetry in creating community, and your contact information to
inthepeopleshands@gmail.com by May 6.

Contact Person
Ebony Noelle Golden, MFA
Director of betty's daughter arts collaborative

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Coup Two

Loved ones!
Check out the second issue of The Coup Magazine, an online soon-to-be-print publication exploring the power of black diasporic women (that I have the honor of serving as an advisory board member for...along with Asha Bandele and others). The founders Wayetu Moore and Ashleigh Rae Staton are brilliant, motivated young women (just broke 20 and making big moves as editor-in-chief and creative director of this venture!). Allow yourself to be blessed!

Read the current issue here!

Here is the description of the current issue from the editors:

Dear Reader,

The Coup Magazine has evolved from mere thoughts into a vehicle to which we'd never imagined we'd be holding the reigns. We praise you! Thank you for your support and your fellowship. Where We're Coming From is our first issue of seven online 2007 issues. We hope you enjoy these chronicles, as all of them mean something very special to us.

For our feature article, Builders. A Conversation with Majora Carter, we received an opportunity to interview revolutionary environmentalist, Majora Carter, who is making an international name for herself working in the ecological restoration of the South Bronx. We hear from Miss Black New York, Shade Ogunleye, on the discovery and embrace of her identity in Nigerian Independence Day Parade. Shade has a stunning beauty, inside and out, and we are overjoyed at her success and spirit. We were also pleased to receive work from Imani Bazell, a provocative voice, and extremely talented writer. Her story, entitled Distant Memories, chronicles her childhood experiences as her family travelled through black America’s various socio-economic circles. Screenwriter Onyinyechi Okoronkwo expounds on the Ugandan conflict and turmoil. Onyinyechi’s intimate voice and innovative prose in Bedtime Stories, give light to a struggle overlooked by the international community for decades. Also, we were graced with a special health piece from one of our dearest advisors, Mwansa Mandela, in Why Black Women Should Practice Yoga. Last but not least, we welcome Wendi Muse, the newest addition to our family as an Associate Editor. Wendi’s work, entitled Black Immigrants: The New Model Minority, is a commentary and exploration of recent statistics hailing the educational progression of black immigrants as grounds for the proclamation of a new model minority. We welcome Wendi’s wit, her graceful intelligence, and voice.

In columns, we celebrate the photography of Brazilian artist Raquel Rocha. The Male Perspective, Teachers, is composed by a friend of The Coup, Ryan Duffy. The Line Up explores an alphabetical organization of the world’s republic polities.

Also, visit our blog at www.thecoupmagazine.blogspot.com to share your input and commentary. Thank you again for your support. Keep reading. We’ve only just begun.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Featured Brilliant Initiative by and for Women of Color

Yet another brilliant and worthwile project of Katrice Williams...brilliant, radical, troublemaking alum of the Durham Public School System...now Stanford's brightest star. Please make a donation if you can!

Here are some words from Katrice about this project:

FORGE, IS A NON-PROFIT 501 (c)(3) organization. I was invited to be apart of the organization in November of last year. FORGE was started in 2003 by Kjerstin Erickson who is a current Stanford student. She has been running the program for four years now, by taking students from Stanford, Northeastern, Harvard, Georgetown and UCLA to work in Mwange, Meheba and Kala Refugee camps. The purpose of FORGE is to educate and provide opportunities for refugees by linking them with the western world's leaders and resources. Selected students work in one of the three camps for the duration of two months. I will be working in Mwange Refugee Camp from June 24th to August 28th. So far, many refugees have an inadequate education and limited resources. FORGE is an official partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR currently have limited funds to provide food, education and other resources. In Mwange, refugees are only allowed to leave the camp grounds for limited reasons and even if they are able to find work in Zambia they first must pay a $200 payment for a working visa. With these challenges, as well as the sexually and gender-based violence that faces women, I will be working with the Congolese women in Mwange to educate, provide information and exchange resources by teaching women to empower themselves on women's rights and empowerment issues. My objectives over the summer are to: 1) Provide business and public speaking skills, which include but are not limited to, information on letter and resume writing, information on micro-credit schemes, applicable economics information and speaking skills to engage audiences in political dialogue.

2) Another objective is to dedicate a period of time to educating women about political opportunities on repatriation boards and in political positions that focus on the needs of women during periods of transition. Also to engage the women in ventures to seek power-holding positions to better represent their communities and their interests.

3) Create an open forum to discuss the inherited scars of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of women in the past and present turmoil in the Eastern DRC.

4) Engage in a collective dialogue between men and women that is sensitive to their religious backgrounds and cultural norms, but aims at both genders communicating on the power imbalance and offering constructive steps forward in women’s rights and empowerment.

5) And finally, teach women their basic rights as stated in the Congo and International Law.

She is currently seeking donations for her work this summer. She will be working Mwange Refugee Camp for two months implementing the objectives of her project, as well as working on Women's Rights, Empowerment and Gender Equality. If you would like more information please visit www.FORGEnow.org or contact kwilliams624@hotmail.com. You are also welcome to phone (919) 308-1473 for more information.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Spelling Lesson

for this and every survivor

is a four-letter word
an instruction after catching fire
a movement behind stop
a command we must memorize
and tell ourselves
if we would be safe

is what we do to the kids
at school, at practice, at auntie's
training for a next that will keep them (running)
warning that they will not be at home anywhere
treason required by our other jobs

is what the dj plays
what the hypeman says
the entrance of the beat(ing)
stretching our skin like a place to call
drowning our knees like a new heartbeat

and today
is what my stomach does
is a frame for the rain
is the shape of the blood
that would seek to be the last word
as if we weren't students as well

but we know how to spell

so when i see D-R-O-P
dropped open in front of me
like it was new(s)
all i do is add you
all of bright breaking you
all of impossibly speaking
light leaking

and the next word is yours


love always,

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Inspiration (Towards Rebirth)

South Asian women rally in Vancouver against violence

The Canadian Press

Friday, April 06, 2007

VANCOUVER -- Murders and assaults of South Asian women are a backlash against the progress they've made in society, activists said Thursday as they rallied in Vancouver.

Elders in traditional Indian saris and teenagers in jeans congregated in the heart of Vancouver's Punjabi Market to put a public face on domestic violence within the Indo-Canadian community.

Three Lower Mainland women have been murdered in the last six months and another was shot in the head, but survived.

"A message is being sent to us [that] violent attacks against women are a backlash to our gains," said Raveen Mandair, a member of the group South Asian Women Against Male Violence, which organized the rally.

"They serve to remind us that we should not become too educated, not pursue successful careers, not try to live autonomous lives and definitely not have the power to leave the men who abuse us," Mandair said.

About 70 people clustered on a street corner in the mostly Indo-Canadian community.

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, a former B.C. attorney general, also attended the rally.

"Women need to lead this fight," Dosanjh said after the rally.

"They know where it hurts."

If you live in the North Carolina Research Triangle Area please remember to attend:

The Orange County Rape Crisis Center has invited noted South Asian women's activist, author and scholar, Dr.Margaret Abraham, to speak on violence against women in the South Asian community on April 19. Please join us as Dr. Abraham lifts the shroud of silence over the issue.
When: Thursday, April 19th 7:00pm

Where: UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapman Hall room 201 (behind Carroll Hall)