"One of the results of prolonged oppression is that our vision becomes polarized into the two possibilities of the abused and the abuser, so that sometimes the only picture of liberation we can form is to sit on the same throne we have been forced to kneel before, to take possession of the castle without stopping to examine whether it is in fact fit for human habitation."

Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity (via boyprincessdiaries)

(Source: maxitron3000, via navigatethestream)

"Capitalism can neither be reduced to the “predatory practices of Wall Street banks” nor is it something which “intersects” with race, gender, and sexual oppression. Capitalism is a system based on a gendered and racialized division of labor, resources, and suffering. Violence and deprivation, premature death, and rape, are structural aspects of an economic system which requires that some work and some do not, some receive care and some do not, some survive, and some die. To say that poor people of color, queers, or immigrants are not interested or not profoundly impacted by the economy, and instead interested only in reaffirming their identities within existing hierarchies of power, is to work within a rigged zero-sum game for the liberation of a particular oppressed identity at the expense of all the others. In the US in particular, the celebration of cultural diversity, the recognition of cultural difference, the applauding of women and queers entering the workplace, and the relative decline of overtly racist or sexist beliefs among younger generations, has not improved but instead masked a dramatic deterioration of the material circumstances of racialized populations. Massive accumulation through dispossession of native lands; racialized enslavement, murder, and incarceration; constant, intimate, and intensive exploitation of women’s unpaid labor, both in the home and as indentured domestic work, and always violently stratified according to race — all of these form the naturalized and invisibilized underbelly of capital’s waged exploitation of workers. The cumulative economic impact of centuries of enslavement, genocide, colonialism, patriarchy, and racial segregation is not simply peripheral but integral and fundamental to the nature of the global capitalist economy."

Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation (via medhanena)

(Source: rs620, via nemesissy)

Loss and Effects Associated With Migration Trauma


  • Witnessing combat atrocities, including bombing and other means of mass killings
  • Loss of family members to imprisonment, murder, or forced 
  • separation
  • Loss of homes and possessions
  • Loss of home country, language, culture, and traditions
  • Loss of position (e.g. village elders)
  • Loss of social roles that are not transferable (e.g. doctor whose license is not valid in the country of asylum, judge, midwife, army officer, etc.)
  • Shift in status from ethnic majority to minority
  • Traumatic flight experiences
  • Uncertainty about the fate of loved ones
  • Primitive and difficult conditions in refugee camps
  • Lost or interrupted education

Effects of Trauma

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, irritability, outbursts of anger, and intense feelings of guilt. 
  • Increased risk of depression and other anxiety disorders
  • Increased risk of alcohol or substance abuse
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Lasting physical effects of torture, war injuries, or malnutrition and disease
  • Psychosomatic illness.  Mental and emotional health is inextricably entwined with physical health.  Emotional trauma may have long-lasting physical effects, including headaches, complaints, immune system problems, dizziness, chest pain, or generalized pain.
  • Chronic unresolved grief
  • Paranoia or suspiciousness
  • Guilt over family members and friends who were left behind or who did not survive
  • Acculturation failure.  Traumatized individuals may have a reduced ability to cope. For example, a traumatized child may be unable to learn English. An adult refugee may be unable to learn to use public transportation. 
  • Malnutrition may cause memory or learning problems.

Help me bring more liberation education to our movements



Help me bring more liberation education to our movements

Help Me Attend Freire Institute Formation Program

For years, I have been studying liberation education and the work of Paulo Freire. What I have learned has brought so much value to me and, I honestly believe, to the organizations and movements I work in.
This weekend, I discovered the amazing Freire Institute.  I just completed the free summer school program. I can get a 25% discount on the intensive online Formation Program, if I register by the end of today (London time). They don’t have scholarships, but would let me pay in three installment. I recently started a new job, but I haven’t got paid yet, so I don’t have any money or credit right now.
I am so excited and inspired by the work of Freire Institute. This program would help me grow so much as an organizer, and I’d love to bring what I learn to organizations and communities that I work with. If I can raise the 137.00 dollars for the program, I commit to doing workshops for anyone who is interested. I set the campaign amount at $500 because that is the lowest amount allowed by Indiegogo.

Thank  you for helping me fulfill this dream!

I need to raise $151, $52 of that by the end of today

This is what I need to start the program on September 15:

  • I need to raise $52 by the end of the day today August 31 (London time)
  • I need to raise $151 for the sixth month program which includes six modules of ten lessons each. 
  • If I raise more than $151, I will put it into a fund for bringing Freire workshops to interested communities. 

I want to share this work with you:

If you love Freire, or are curious about his work, I’d love to share this program with you. 
  • I will collect materials and take notes that I can share. 
  • After I complete the program I will share what I’ve learned through workshops and events
  • I’ll be blogging about the program as I take it, to help create space for conversation about these ideas. 
  • This is a situation where donating under $5 dollars would be an enormous help

The program is flexible and accessible

People value your transparency. Be open and stand out by providing insight into the risks and obstacles you may face on the way to achieving your goal.

  • The intensive Foundation Program is designed to be done in sixth month, but the deadlines are flexible and it can be done over the course of a year or more
  • It is an online program so no travel is involved

Spreading the word helps so much!

If you can’t donate, you can still help

  • Sharing this through email, and social media will help so much!
  • Use the Indiegogo share tools to help!
  • Check out http://www.freire.org/ and share the link to help spread the word about the work of The Freire Institute

Thank you for taking this journey with me!

Home and Hurt


I keep thinking about how getting ripped away from home and being forced to grow up here with all the responsibilities of adulthood but none of the rights has been so deeply painful. I don’t know if it is ever going to heal. I don’t think going back now is going to help me find home, a place that my parents left behind so long ago. As ethnic Indians who faced violence and prejudice in their own homeland, they must feel as angry and betrayed by Fiji as I felt over their decision to bring me here. Over time, home has become dispersed among many hearts. That’s the only way I can understand it now without hurting chronically for my parents, for myself and searching for a home I may never find again. Maybe I’m now forever meant to be a migrant.

"The only way to bear the overwhelming pain of oppression is by telling, in all its detail, in the presence of witnesses and in a context of resistance, how unbearable it is. If we attempt to craft resistance without understanding this task, we are collectively vulnerable to all the errors of judgement that unresolved trauma generates in individuals. It is part of our task as revolutionary people, people who want deep-rooted, radical change, to be as whole as it is possible for us to be. This can only be done if we face the reality of what oppression really means in our lives, not as abstract systems subject to analysis, but as an avalanche of traumas leaving a wake of devastation in the lives of real people who nevertheless remain human, unquenchable, complex and full of possibility."

— Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity (via dreamofwhatcanbe)

(Source: theoceanwithin, via navigatethestream)


Three YA protagonists with Tourette’s Syndrome

When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen

We have not yet featured reviews of these novels at Disability in Kidlit, so we’re eager to find out how accurately and respectfully these characters are portrayed. Have you read any of them? Does anyone have additions?

If you have Tourette’s yourself and would like to review one of these novels for us, we’d love to hear from you!

Want more Disability in Kidlit booklists?
Want to review one of these titles for us?


Here is my writing peeve of the day:

Stop telling people to stop using “said.” You see this advice all over the place. “Don’t use ‘said’! Use ‘muttered’ or ‘mumbled’ or ‘yelled’ or ‘shouted’ or ‘whispered’ or blah or blah or blah!”

OK, muttered and mumbled and yelled and shouted and whispered all have their places. They do. Sometimes that is what the character is doing, and you want to express that. Cool. But when every dialogue attribution is some new clever verb, it is VERY DISTRACTING. It pulls me out of the story. It reminds me, “oh yeah, I’m reading a story. The author is trying to be clever here.”

"Said" is an invisible verb. I sent the first couple of chapters of a new fanfic to a friend to look over the other day, and he said, "I love how descriptive you are. You don’t use boring words like ‘said’."

I used the word “said” 13 times in that excerpt. 13 times in only 2000 words. I feel like that’s actually kind of a lot. But he didn’t notice, because “said” is invisible. Your eye expects it, and so you skip right over it and you just notice the dialogue being spoken, instead of the dialogue attribution. 

I’m not a writing expert and I’m probably not even that great of a writer. But I’m a pretty good reader, and I can tell you that “said” is okay. Use “said.” Don’t be afraid of it. It will help you. It is your friend.

(via fogwithwheels)

"[TW: abuse tactics]
There’s a form of mental torture called “gaslighting,” its name taken from a play in which a man convinces his wife that the gas lights in their home she sees brightening and dimming are, in fact, maintaining a steady glow. His ultimate goal is to drive his her into a mental institution and take all her money, and soon the woman ends up in an argument with herself about whether she’s losing her mind. American race relations have a similar narrative: An entire set of minorities confident that the everyday slights they’re seeing are real and hurtful, and an entire set of other people assuring them that they’re wrong."

Kanye West Knows You Think He Sounded Nuts on Kimmel (via interweber)

(via tierracita)