intersectionality in the diaspora

A blurry photo of an elementary school building at night, in a small town in central Texas. The darkness is illuminated with several sodium lights that cast an eerie but comforting glow to the street in front of it. A person is just barely visible in silhouette in the corner of the frame. This photo is at least 15 years old. Texas as a place comes with some complicated memories, but it still feels like home.

I recently listened to a podcast called Intersectionality in the Diaspora. It’s co-hosted by my friend Clara. The podcast feels like listening in on a conversation between two friends. Clara and her co-host Melo have been friends for several years. They describe themselves as Centro Americanxs raised in Los Angeles. From their first episode, I felt deep connection with the stories from their cultures.

The first episode is a conversation on mental health in and among BIPOC communities. In my own home growing up, we didn’t talk about mental wellbeing. Therapy was not something that was available to us: it carried with it the stigma of the nineties. People who went to therapy were punchlines, or they were too wealthy for real problems. I thought about this while listening to this episode. I appreciated the reflection on mental health as it pertains to our culture.

Nowadays, I go to therapy on a regular basis. I find it raises my awareness of things I “know” to be true that are not actually universal truths. I don’t go as often as I used to, but the practice has helped me become a more thoughtful person. I recommend giving this podcast a listen.

why would we write policies based on extremes?

An isolated palm tree practices physical distancing in silhouette across an artificially blue sky. A bird in flight is near the bottom of the frame, flapping somewhere else. The bird hasn’t been confined to its house for ten days now, I can tell you that much.

I recently listened to an episode of a podcast called Activist Class, where they interviewed one of my heroes, Nikkita Oliver. Nikkita talks about the new youth jail in Seattle. She points out that it was designed to be the nicest public building that kids of color might access. What if we invested in communities, rather than paying any price to “solve” their problems?

While I’m buried under COVID-19 response, I thought I would share. Here’s my favorite quote from her:

“Why not write our policies based on the world that we would want to see, as opposed to the world that we’re afraid of?”

Please check it out!