PDX Event: Women’s March on Portland

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I’ve been quiet for a little bit into this new year because of some hard personal losses and a need to recharge, but I’ll be back here next week. I’ll be back to doing what I do with some additional work here because I cannot be back to “business as usual”. I just wanted to pop in to make it clear that I will be part of the resistance and a voice that hopes to lift and empower and include. I also wanted to just give the details and support for the Women’s March on Washington: Portland for everyone to consider joining in.

WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON: PORTLAND
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Time: 12PM to 4PM PST
Place: Tom McCall Waterfront Park
in SW downtown Portland, Oregon
Pre-Rally for Children & Families:
11AM to 11:45AM PST — more HERE.
SEE MARCH ROUTE BELOW

PLEASE NOTE: This is a fully inclusive event. All members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend. This is a peaceful march where you can come as you are, bring signs, chant, and unify. Bring your intersectional feminism, voice of dissent, belief in ethics and the Constitution, and your hopes for our civil rights, for our civil liberties, and hopes for country and the world. Dress comfortably. Wear shoes you can walk for miles in. Bring water. Bring a snack. Be alert. Have a plan to and from. Hear the wonderful speakers at the rally and thank the march organizers! ♥ ♥ ♥

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BEAUTIFUL POSTER ABOVE: Poster by Liza Donovan, modified with permission by Lydia Hess. There is a high resolution download of this poster available HERE.

Love and Amplification

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I went to bed when North Carolina was called. I just couldn’t keep watching. I couldn’t keep seeing red. This can’t be happening. In the pit of my stomach, for whatever reason, that is when I knew. My husband kept watching, was still hopeful, and he didn’t understand why I quietly went upstairs to bed so early in the evening. Now I realize it is because I had already started mourning.

Yesterday morning I woke up sobbing. For everyone in the country and outside it. That deep pain coming out with guttural cries of disbelief. Awake in a nightmare. In a haze. Work? No. Blog something? No. No words. All the words at once. I love everyone so much. I love this country and this amazing woman who has devoted her entire life to its people. He has never changed a diaper. He has never in his life not had millions of dollars. He has never held a public office. He has never been selfless. He is not qualified for the job. Hundreds of thousands more people in this country voted for her and millions more around the globe supported her, but she didn’t win. Gutted. More tears. Devastated.

As I was getting ready to meet my friend for a breakfast date that we’d planned long in advance, I had to walk myself through each routine motion and I had quiet realizations that felt validating and empowering. Put on my shirt. This was made by a woman. Put on my pants. These were designed by a woman. Put on my fragrance. Made by a woman. Put on my earrings. Made by a woman. Necklace. Woman. Put on my coat. Made by a woman. Put on my scarf. Designed by two women. Put on my sunglasses. Designed by a woman. Grab my handbag. Made by a woman. Slip on my shoes. Designed by a woman. Moisturizer. Made by women. Swollen eyes — add a little makeup. Made by women. Dab on lip tint. Made by a woman. Women. I need to keep talking about amazing women. Remember that, self. Don’t disregard this thing you have been passionate about doing. HOLD THEM UP HIGH.

When I got to the restaurant, I still felt in a fog. It’s good to be out and about. Maybe. Early to meet Katy. Everyone looks so uncomfortable. Still feel like this is a bad dream. Looking into the eyes of everyone I walk past as the waitress takes me to an empty table. We all feel the same disbelief and heartbreak. It’s palpable. I sit down. The waitress awkwardly pours some water and looks at me and says, “Hi. How are you today?” I just look at her and tears start pouring out uncontrollably and I whisper, so I don’t scream, “Not OK.” Then she starts crying hard too, so I stand up to hug her for a few minutes. “This isn’t OK. This isn’t OK.” A stranger, but not a stranger. A reflection. A woman who, with her whole heart, wanted better for everyone and still does.

As I talked with and cried with my friend over breakfast, I told her that it was hard to know where to start picking up the pieces after being shattered. Which piece of the puzzle do you even start with? For me, it’s a corner. What I keep coming back to is AMPLIFICATION. Remember that article about Barack Obama’s women White House staffers who use a simple, powerful strategy called “amplification” to make sure their individual voices are heard, repeated, validated, and underscored during important staff meetings and important decisions? If not, read it here.

“When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”

I’d like to see Amplification adopted in a bigger way to not only empower women and keep us at the table on all the issues that we’re going to need to fight for, but to really amplify the voices of people of color, the LGBTQ community, non-binary folks, immigrants, Muslims, the disabled, and children. We have to hold each other up. Especially those of us who sit at the table (or have a seat closer to the table) because we are heterosexual and white. As a person with second tier white privilege in this country, I need to be holding the door open, literally and figuratively, for all a lot of people. Hetero white men who wanted a different election outcome especially need to check themselves and their privilege when they wake up every morning. Then they need to make it a priority every day to amplify and credit these voices too. I don’t mean speaking FOR other people (unless you’re expressly asked to) — I mean validating the words and feelings of our most marginalized people and helping to make sure they get a platform and a firm seat at the table. And EVERYONE needs to be talking about the misogyny and racism blatantly and subtly woven into the very fabric of this country.

I don’t know the best way to implement Amplification in a more broad sense, but I do think that the power of us committing to doing it in our own way each day is a good starting point. At your office (I work from home now, but can think of SO MANY situations where I could have spoken up and helped empower my co-workers in the past!), at your dinner table, at your church, in your circle of friends, in the classroom… there are endless situations where the White House staffers’ Amplification method could be implemented. Just think about how it can work for you.

Today I am still in mourning. Today I am going to spend the day with my 7 year old niece. I am going to talk to her about why Hillary is so important and special. I am going to talk to her about how her job right now is to keep learning in and out of the classroom. Today I’m going to talk to her about how important her voice is and how important her vote will be. I’m going to talk to her about some ways she can support the voices of other kids and respectfully use her voice when she feels like her thoughts, opinions, and feelings aren’t being heard. I’m going to talk to her about how her body is hers and hers alone. Today we are going to be making thank you cards to send to Hillary. Today we are eating pink donuts for breakfast and practicing self-care. Tomorrow I will introduce her to more of my friends who are amazing women who own their own small businesses. Today I commit to healing and finding ways to make a difference in my own way. Today I think about all of you and how much I love you and your big hearts. And I think about hugging more strangers. ♥

Hi. How are you today?

xoxo
Jen

P.S. Please sign this petition for the Electors to do what is right and please support the ACLU.

Enough.

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I had some wonderful design posts planned for this week, but I just couldn’t do it — not right now. Not while we’re waking up each day to more innocent people losing their lives. It’s heartbreaking, it’s infuriating, it’s chaotic, it’s disorienting, it’s terrifying, and it needs to stop. We already lost so many brave men and women who fought this fight for us. Why are we still here? Why are we going backwards? ENOUGH. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Yes, it feels ridiculous to even have to say it, because OF COURSE THEY DO, but we have to keep saying it. Loud and on repeat. Especially those of us who are white and living with an abundance of privileges we often take for granted while we’re comparing ourselves to people who have even more. Because of the color of our skin, we are born with some “privileges” that should be basic human rights for everyone. Hearing people chime in with “all lives matter” is repugnant, moronic, and disrespectful. Don’t dilute the issues at hand with your need to seem wholly inclusive. Of course all lives matter, but that’s not where we’re at when black men are losing their lives while being stopped by police for a broken headlight. Being privileged, we are also more likely to have the ear, or be closer to the ears, of the people who need to hear it most. Prejudice is learned and taught by example — babies aren’t born with it. Fear is learned and taught by example — babies aren’t born with it. Hate is learned and taught by example — babies aren’t born with it. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

The system is broken and there are broken people holding guns. People who have been taught prejudice, fear, and hate. If the police officers who shot Philando Castile and Alton Sterling felt justified in killing these two innocent black men, you can be certain that they aren’t the only broken people in their department and precinct and state who need to be educated and, most likely, shouldn’t be in law enforcement in the first place. If every single police station in every single city and small town in our country isn’t working on retraining, rethinking, and showing a no tolerance solidarity towards racism and all prejudice — we’re still going to have these senseless deaths of beautiful men and women just trying to live their lives. Those officers need to be held accountable and so do their chiefs. How are the Minneapolis police going to justify what they did to the faces of the 500+ children that loved Philando Castile at the school where he worked?? Their actions have a ripple effect and these little babes are victims of their actions. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

In the wake of the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the police officers and civilians in Dallas, the primarily LGBTQ and hispanic deaths in Orlando, and all the rest of lives lost to prejudice, hate, and fear, it can be difficult to know what to do. How to help. Where to look. How to make it stop. I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions and would love to hear from black community leaders and families affected by these horrific murders about how they think we can all come together and what role they would like people to take. Until then, we have to keep talking about it, keep questioning, keep pushing, keep watching, and keep holding people accountable. We also need to look out for our neighbors and show courtesy, kindness, and heart. We need to say NO to politicians who want to build walls and ride a wave of racism, hate and intolerance while moving our country backwards. They want to teach ANOTHER generation of young people to be filled with prejudice, fear, hate and intolerance — and they want to give them easy access to assault rifles. We have the privilege of saying NO to this right now. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

I love design and I love being able to offer a calm in the storm here for you and for myself. I’ll be back to posting regular content next week, but there is more I want to talk about with everything that is going on in our country and the world right now. I’d love to hear your thoughts. We all need each other to keep sane in a world that seems anything but. It’s so overwhelming and exhausting, but I know more good people than bad. It’s a time to stand up for what you believe in — even if it’s in the face of your own family where you might find the prejudice, fear and intolerance. It’s time to teach by example and loud voices. It’s time to take care of each other. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

♥ With So Much Love,
Jen

IMAGE: Coretta Scott King and daughter, Yolanda, in a car headed to the funeral for activist and civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Atlanta, Georgia on April 9, 1968. Photo by Santi Visalli.