Want to Be an Activist in Residence? A Scholar and an Activist Explain How
There are scholars and there are activists. For the most part, the two have remained in their own kingdoms, separated by university doors. The activists stayed in the streets, responding to the injustices of the world, connecting people to reach their goals. The scholars stayed in universities, writing, thinking, teaching.
When Deva Woodly, an associate professor of politics at the New School, was working on a book about Black Lives Matter and other movements, she wanted to learn more from activists in the field. In her research, the divide between activists and scholars was obvious.
So she lobbied administrators to let her bring an activist, Shanelle Matthews, former director of communications for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, into her world. With a new, yearlong, activist-in-residence position, Woodly created a link between the two groups, with an eye toward teaching more academics to solve real-world problems.
The Case for Curiosity in the Fight Against Anti-Blackness: Why We Need a Beginner’s Mind
Anti-Blackness is bad for everyone because anti-Blackness exists to reject people. When any person is viewed as disposable, the whole system suffers morally and no one is safe. Curiosity about the people who are most disadvantaged by systems, social practices, and behaviors that shape all our lived experiences flies in the face of the rejecting hegemony of anti-Blackness, and says that trans and genderqueer folks, the disabled, poor people, and Black women matter. Curiosity requires a radical imagination, because in the United States we’ve never been exposed to a world outside of anti-Blackness. Read more
We say black lives matter. The FBI says that makes us a security threat.
That technique was used against the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers — against every major advocate for the rights of black people in the nation’s history. Those of us in existing resistance movements saw it coming, and we are warning the rest of you before it goes too far.
Inaugural Activist-in-Residence Shanelle Matthews Engages at The New School this Fall
Shanelle Matthews joined the Black Lives Matter Global Network in January 2016, having spent seven years in journalism and public interest communications. As the network’s Director of Communications, she crafts messages for the organization that she called, “a co-creator of the 21st-century Black Freedom Movement.”
[OPINION] Why the Movement for Black Lives Is Using the Media to Build Empathy
Colorlines, Aug 2017. "Through real media representation and healthy debate, this movement led by Black, queer and gender nonconforming people is bringing democracy within reach...."
What Black Lives Matter Organizers Are Doing To Fight White Supremacy At Every Level
Bustle, Aug 2017. Last year’s presidential campaign trail banter was not unlike that of election year's past, in that it was full of nasty, backhanded, gender-based undercuts aimed at delegitimizing opponents and drawing out emotional responses at the ballot box. Noticeably different from previous year’s strategies, however, was the Trump campaign’s deliberate courting one of America’s oldest and biggest threats to a civil and just world: white supremacists...
The Communications Goals and Strategies of Black Lives Matter
PR Week, Feb 2016. "What is the mission of the organization? Black Lives Matter is an international network of more than 30 chapters working to rebuild the black liberation movement and affirm the lives of all black people - specifically black women, queer and trans people, people who are differently abled, and those who are undocumented and formerly incarcerated..."
Black Women Stand to Lose the Most Under the GOP Health Plan
Rewire, May 2017. "After accounting for amendments to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, the latest estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the GOP’s plan still would increase the number of uninsured people in the country to 24 million by 2026..."
Enough Is Enough: Poor Women Are Not Having Babies for Money
Rewire. May 2014. "California's Maximum Family Grant rule denies financial support to babies born while their families are receiving grants from the state's welfare program. An effort is underway to repeal the rule and to deconstruct the narrative that poor women have babies for money..."
HuffPost. Feb 2017. "Of the many things we’re compelled and encouraged to do first in the face of Trump’s attacks on our basic rights and humanity, dreaming isn’t necessarily one of them. But in the face of unimaginable assaults on our futures, we absolutely cannot cede our ability to imagine for ourselves..."
Unsuck your stomach — and other ways to stop giving a fuck
Medium, Jul 2017. "I talk a lot about bodily autonomy — the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies — in the work I do: right to have an abortion, parent your kids absent criminalization, borders, and cages, have sex for money if you choose because that’s your damn business, etc...."
Lynching law created to protect blacks used against protester: Column
USA Today, Jun 2016. "California Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine “Abdullah” Richards became the first black person in the United States Tuesday to be sentenced for what, until last year, was considered attempted felony lynching...."