Hello. It’s the third Wednesday in April.
One year ago today we were summoned to The Staff Meeting That Changed Everything. Except it didn’t change everything, you know? It uncovered things, it revealed things, it set changes into motion.
It pushed us to examine our relationships to our jobs, teams, space, and resources. (See also: Your Workplace Isn’t Your Family. And That’s OK!, NYT, August 2018.)
It forced us to directly acknowledge power and privilege.
It reminded us to trust people, not institutions. (See also: After Allegations Of Toxic Culture, Southern Poverty Law Center Tries To Move Forward, NPR this morning, via my friend Cara; In the latest sign things really are dire, BuzzFeed is laying off 15 percent of its staff, Neiman Lab, January 2019.)
I can almost be certain I would not be writing this email if it weren’t for last April.
I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad you’re here.
You didn’t cancel me!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read last week’s email, and especially to those who wrote back. I’m thinking about including some of the responses in next week’s edition — I thought about it today, but decided to let the topic breathe a little.
We hold these truths
If you know me personally, it’s likely you also know the legendary Kira Wisniewski (here she is on Instagram with her bunny Billie Jean), whom I first met more than a decade ago when she pulled a ragtag group of folks together to create 826DC.
Her latest project, Self Evident, is one I’ve mentioned here before, but I’m bumping it again because a) hey - I want my kid (and myself) to grow up nestled in a rich tapestry of stories by, for, and about Asian America, and b) tomorrow’s the deadline for their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
I know it might sound dubious to say “if you have $1, please give, no donation is too small!” But they really need to reach 1000+ backers for this campaign in order to help show funders and radio networks (think NPR, American Public Media, PRX) that audiences want to hear these stories on a national level. They’re at 802 backers right now with 28 hours left, so this is totally doable if we rally. Go here to donate. Thanks for considering this!
While your wallet’s out
Two other worthy places to direct funds, if you have them:
Read more here (The Daily Advertiser, via Kelly Hayes).
And Mari Copeny, aka Little Miss Flint, has one week left to reach her GoFundMe goal and provide water to her neighbors:
On April 6th 2018, Governor Rick Snyder announced the end of a free bottled water program in Flint, claiming the water quality has been restored. That is not the case, today thousands of Flint residents remain without clean water. Pipe replacement is still ongoing and should be "completed" by the end of the year but it will take longer for Flint residents to trust the water since we were lied to for almost 2 years.
For each dollar raised, we will be able to provide 11 bottles of water for Flint Residents.
This Coloring Without Borders book is a beautiful, unique gift to have on hand for occasions of all kinds: days celebrating parents, new unions, housewarmings…and all proceeds go to Families Belong Together. (Image above is via the book/the same website)
“Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about death won’t make you dead” - I haven’t listened to this Mashup Americans episode yet, but am looking forward to it: Alua Arthur on Demystifying Death (APM, but you can probably find it on your podcast app of choice)
Two more podcasts on my list: IL Informed’s latest episode features Daniel Biss and Glenance Green, and The Money Date, which I’m pretty sure I learned about via Ann Friedman’s newsletter. (Both on Anchor - are you using that app? Should I be?)
Wow wow wow: Rossana Rodríguez-Sánchez Ousts Ald. Deb Mell By Just 13 Votes As Final 33rd Ward Count Comes In (Block Club)
Last week I had the chance to reconnect with an old collaborator-friend, Natalia Oberti Noguera (@nakisnakis on Twitter). Natalia is perhaps the most principled person I have ever met. She lives her values in the most explicit, learning-in-public, calling-people-in way. This article about her was printed in Conscious Company last summer and it’s long but it shines light on her amazing startup and helps explain what I mean: Meet the New Face of Angel Investing.
Bonus: I sincerely admire the alcohol-free culture and policies that she and Pipeline Angels have had in place since 2017.
Ilhan Omar Tells Ava DuVernay About the (Good) Trouble She’s Making in Congress (Interview Magazine)
For one more bit of food for thought related to Notre Dame and sacred spaces, here’s a tweet from Tara Houska, an Ojibwe attorney and Director of Honor the Earth:It must be a beautiful feeling to have the option of rebuilding, the hope of restoration. When our sacred sites are destroyed by extractive industry and corporate greed, they are gone forever. I seek a world in which our history, values, and beliefs receive equal respect.
The New York Times@nytimesDays after a fire tore through Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron set the ambitious goal of rebuilding the Gothic landmark within 5 years https://t.co/06fyieIAbt
This newsletter is really lacking in Beyoncé content.
I haven’t watched it yet. I know.
A note to new readers: Hello! I’m writing an email every week for 35 weeks. After that, I’ll still post to this list occasionally, but probably not quite so often. If a friend forwarded you this email and you’d like to subscribe, sign up at julia.substack.com.