And the work and wonder continues.

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DeWayne Barton at the Burton Street Peace Gardnes. Photo by Adam McMillan.

This week’s Mountain Xpress has a great feature on Hood Tours, “(IN)Sightseeing: Hood Tours share the history and future of black Asheville.” (Click the title to read the whole story.)

Excerpt: “‘How do you create networks of connection and support?’ [DeWayne Barton] asks — something a tour attendee can’t help but begin to ponder. Hood Tours reveal that the diminishing presence of black Asheville and that community’s narrative in this city’s story is a devastating loss to the local community as a whole. ‘If we don’t know the history of what was done before, how are we going to correct that future and do it a way that will value community and place?’

Barton’s hope — even as his tour reveals disparity and deficit — remains infectious. ‘I see so much potential, so much opportunity,’ he says.”

Click here to find out more about Hood Tours and buy tickets.

First 100 Days Assembly

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Two of my favorite organizations, CPC and CIMA, are convening a “First 100 Days Coalition Assembly,” at First Congregational United Church of Christ. 20 Oak St, 5 pm – 8 pm. Organize. ¡Resistencia!

“Dear compañerxs, hermanxs, friends, and comrades,

In the first four days of his administration, Trump has already has begcimaun to carry out his threats against our communities. But for every lie and attack, we have our truth, our brilliance and our creativity. We invite you to join us for the first 100 Days Coalition assembly this Monday, January 30th.”

They also posted this: “Please donate to help us pay for interpretation, child care, and snacks for these assemblies! Help us raise $500 of our $2000 goal by the end of January! Donate and spread the word.” Click here to donate.

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A Night of Powerful Poetry & Truth
On Friday, February 3 at 6:30 pm at Firestorm Cafe & Books, located at 610 Haywood Road, will host a poetry reading featuring works by DeWayne “B-Love” Barton, Devin Jones, and more.

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YTL Sweethearts Supper
The YTL Training Program is one of the sweet things in Asheville, including their new program for teens living in Hillcrest Apartments. They have a fundraiser coming up: “The second annual YTL Sweethearts Supper Song and Silent auction will take place Saturday, February 11th [at 7 pm] at Stephens Lee Recreation Center. Musical performances by Jonathan Santos and the Soul Evolution and Lyric!” Get tickets or just make a donation to the program at ytltraining.org.

Asheville Places 2nd in the Country for Gentrification
Click here for an article about this depressing news. Hopefully you can read it. I was going to quote the story here, but the darn ACT paywall stopped me from re-visiting it. Anyway, the summary is: Asheville is out of whack. Let’s head in a new direction.

Traffic Stops Show Racial Disparities
The NAACP Criminal Justice Committee recently held a Lunch and Learn on Asheville Traffic Stop Data with Attorney Ian Lance from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. While I can’t put my hands on a write up from that meeting at the moment, Amy Cantrell of BeLoved House attended the meeting and shared this: “You can advocate for 3 no cost Policy Solutions: 1) Prohibit or formally de-prioritize regulatory and equipment based traffic stops known to disproportionately impact black motorists. 2) Mandate written consent to search for all consent-based searches. 3) Conduct routine audits of individual officer stop-and-search data. (This information can be acquired through the open policing tool). Write to City Council and our Police Chief and ask them to support these solutions. You can email all of Council at AshevilleCouncilNC@ashevillenc.gov.”

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Kim Roney for Asheville
Happily, I have a very inclusive and solution-oriented friend who is running for Asheville city council. Click here to find out more about Kim and her platform.

And Astrology
Astrologist Chani Nicolas writes about today’s new moon in Aquarius here. Excerpt: “We the people can come to understand that our point of privilege is also our point of entry. Our invitation into inquiry. It is the place from which we can get curious instead of frozen in shame. It is the point where we can volunteer ourselves to receive an education instead of becoming more defended in ignorance. It is the point at which we can reach deep down and liberate ourselves from the complacency that privilege produces so that we can access the energy that is available when we choose real freedom over a false sense of importance…”

new-moon

There is so much to process. And so much process to be about. Breathe. Act.