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"Silence Kills People"

I have been sitting on a blog post about the Trayvon Martin verdict since Sunday. Then I decided that I wouldn't write anything, because many people are saying many things, much better than I can. For example, this blog post. It is perfect. Read it. 

But, as Prout so eloquently says, "Silence kills people. Ideas kill people." So. Here I am.


I went to a rally on Sunday, because updating a Facebook status or tweeting felt insufficient. There, a teenage boy told those gathered, "I don't know if it makes me more sad or mad, to people, I just don't matter." That is the message this verdict sends. A man can kill a child (and yes, at 17, you are still a child. You may be legal for some things at 18, but think about exactly how mature you were at 18) and go home. 

I have work to do. On myself. On my own reactions. I can be better. And happily, there are ways to get involved in Louisville.  

1.  Anti-Racist Actions for Trayvon Martin (Louisville) - this is currently the Facebook event that was Sunday's rally, and is being updated with more events. There be trolls there. 

2. Louisville SURJ   (Showing Up for Racial Justice) - "Louisville SURJ is a local effort to organize white people for racial justice." That would be me. 

3. Louisville Celebrates 'Collective Liberation' - on July 28th, from 3-5 p.m., this event celebrates what would have been Anne Braden's 89th birthday and the release of "Toward Collective Liberation: Anti-racist organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building," by Chris Crass. The book includes a chapter by Louisville's Carla Wallace (who founded #2, and co-founded Louisville's Fairness Campaign). There will be cake and punch, and surely some interesting conversation. 

If you know of other, similar, local groups or events, please leave it in the comments. 


Roe v. Wade Week

January 22nd marks the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. This year, a number of local organizations collaborated to plan a week of educational discussion and activities focused on abortion access. Because of the sensitivity and surprise factor (flash mobs) of some of the activities, it was better not to advertise the full week’s schedule, but there are still some events happening this week, should you be interested.

On Friday, January 21st at 2:00 PM, “Queering Reproductive Justice: A Community Conversation” takes place on the U of L campus. The discussion will examine where the queer and reproductive justice movements meet.

At 6:00 PM Friday, see the documentary Silent Choices, shown at the Planned Parenthood office. Silent Choices, directed by Faith Pennick, examines abortion and birth control from the African American perspective. You can read more about the film and watch clips from it here. Donations of items for infants (diapers, etc) will be accepted for Women in Transition.

On Saturday night, stop by the BBC Taproom at 636 E. Main Street for the “We Got This: Trust Women” benefit for women’s rights. The shindig starts at 7:00 PM with music from local musicians Silo, Bunny Day and the Mercy Buckets, Banda Copas, Meredith Pass and, according to this ‘zine that I’m getting my information from, more. There is a suggested donation of $10, which will go to the A Fund and the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. Silent auction and raffle proceeds will benefit the Louisville Clinic Escort Legal Defense Fund.

Finally, on Sunday, there will be a candlelight vigil to commemorate Roe v Wade between 5 and 7 at Fourth Avenue Methodist Church. Local faith leaders speak about the impact of denying women reproductive freedom. I went to this last year and found it refreshing to hear support from the religious community, since I usually see the opposite on the clinic sidewalk.

Big thanks to the many people and organizations who worked to put this week together: Feminist Alliance of U of LKentucky Health Justice NetworkKRCRCLouisville NOWPlanned Parenthood of KentuckySister SongWENCHWomen in Transition and the Clinic Escorts.