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Celebrating WRES and Elder Hayes

My October story for Buncombe County for the Urban News looks at cultural identity as expressed by the WRES Sweet 16 Banquet Honoring Elder Hayes and the 2017 RAICES Summer Camp. I am posting the WRES text this week, and will post an expanded version of the RAICES story next week. Too much goodness for…

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Positive Possibility

Positive Possibility. I know I used that phrase last week (and many times before), and I repeat it again today as it is a mantra for me. This week I experienced Positive Possibility watching the Asheville City Council primary results at the Edington Center. We celebrated my dear friends Sheneika Smith and Kim Roney making…

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Staying Open in October

The heaviness of things cannot be denied. A natural response is to close up and hide. And certainly making time for quiet introspection is healthy and necessary. At the same time, moving towards the light of love requires being open. This October I aim to be open to positive possibility. our visions are ropes The…

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When our babies use bullets

Young black men, some not even 20 years old, are involved with shootings and kilings in Asheville at an alarming rate. The heartbreak ripples out from each incident. This is a crisis, and I continually wonder why more people in our community are not truly treating it as such. We are complicit in it. “Asheville had seen…

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Breathing. Believing.

Friends, how do I deign to trouble you with my words in a world full of trouble? Trust me when I say I am sincerely here for service. I’ll trust those of you who have told me that these posts offer useful tools for the journey towards justice. And so I write and share again.…

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A Medley of Stories

My ROOTS Week experience included daily “Undoing Oppressions” workshops. You can find me in the picture below at one of those workshops during an exercise about intersectionality. The complexities are overwhelming, and essential to face. I’m still processing the insights and awakenings I gleaned that week. Related, this video was just posted by the Smithsonian…

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Made for These Times

“We are so lucky to be a alive at this moment in history!” my friend D exclaimed today. I was surprised by his statement. As a gay, multi-ethnic son of first generation immigrants, D certainly has reason to feel threatened by the hate spewing out of Charlottesville and across the country. Yet he is heartened.…

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End Money Bail

MYTH: Most people in jail have been found guilty of a crime. FACT: An average of 60% of people held in local jails have not been convicted of the crime they are accused of and are there because they are unable to pay bail. Black women suffer disproportionately from the trappings of bail. 72 percent…

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Want Diversity?

Because my network is diverse, white people often reach out to me asking me to connect them with people of color, because they want to diversify their organization, program, event, etc. While I am heartened by their desire for inclusivity, I hope to communicate that if they truly are sincere and want more than a…

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Keystone Voices

“In these challenging times we need black and brown female voices more than ever, so that our nation’s song of freedom is truly in tune with our moral consciousness, and that keystone voices keep us in rhythm with justice and collective freedom.” That is a quote from Sheneika Smith‘s guest column in the Asheville Citizen-Times,…

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