Ecohybridity – Love Song for NOLA

#‎Ecohybridity‬ ‪#‎NOLA‬ Mourning the missing and the lost, and the 100,000 Black folks displaced who haven't been able to make it home. This is the levee that was breached in 2005. Photo by Puck Lo

#‎Ecohybridity‬ ‪#‎NOLA‬ Mourning the missing and the lost, and the 100,000 Black folks displaced who haven’t been able to make it home. This is the levee that was breached in 2005. Photo by Puck Lo

New Orleans-based black feminist artists & organizers recently curatedEcohybridity – Love Song for NOLA,” a visual black opera set in various New Orleans neighborhoods.  The visual opera marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and looks at issues connected to disaster capitalism, spatial inequities, the prison industrial complex, and privatization from a Black feminist lens.

An article about the opera can be found on ColorLines. Excerpts are below.

Artist and Ecohybridity creator, Kai Barrow:

Opera was originally a people’s form that would go from community to community. It was a way to articulate what was going on through art. But somewhere along the line, it became an elitist form, and poor people of color were locked out of the medium. But our conditioning right now, how we’re managing to exist, is opera in its largest sense. It’s comedy, it’s tragedy, it’s all of these different parts.

S. Mandisa Moore-O’Neal, a New Orleans native and Echohybridity writer and performer:

Right now is such a tender time for so many of us in the Gulf who have roots and history in this place. As a local black feminist, rebuilding and resistance looks like rendering ourselves visible over these last 10 years and well before. [It means] telling the complex stories of black women and girls—trans and not-trans, of course—on our terms, in our voices.

More about EcoHybridity here:




Chicago, June 28: Freedom Beyond Occupation & Incarceration

Freedom Beyond Occupation & Incarceration
An Afternoon with Angela Davis & Rasmea Odeh

Sunday, June 28th, 2:30pm
University of Il. Chicago (UIC)
750 S. Halsted St, Student Center East
Illinois Room, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL


Organized by:
The Rasmea Defense Committee
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Black on Both Sides
Black Youth Project 100
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Coalition to Protect People’s Rights
Committe Against Political Repression
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Southside Together Organizing for Power/Fearless Leading by the Youth
U.S. Palestinian Community Network
We Charge Genocide


Facebook event page:


June 10: National Day of Action for Nan-Hui Jo

From #StandWithNanHui:

On Wednesday, June 10, join the National Day of Action for Nan-Hui and tell ICE: Release Nan-Hui so she can reunite with her daughter!

Now, more than ever, we need your support to demand that ICE release Nan-Hui immediately so she can reunite with her daughter. Despite the fact that Nan-Hui has multiple immigration applications pending, including a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) petition, ICE is still rushing to deport her. Recently, ICE filed a motion to cancel her immigration court hearing scheduled for August. Why is ICE so intent on deporting a mother away from her daughter?

Meanwhile, Nan-Hui continues to pass the weeks in a detention center that does not get any sunlight, where inmates are not even allowed outdoors to exercise.

Will you join us in taking action for Nan-Hui Jo and her six-year-old girl?

6/10/15 National Day of Action for Nan-Hui Jo

10am – 5pm PST, everywhere

Make calls, emails, and faxes to ICE!

Toolkit with scripts and resources coming soon.

Follow our Facebook event for more updates and details to come.

Organizations: Sign up here to get involved in the June 10th National Day of Action for Nan-Hui!

For questions, or to get involved, please contact


BWM521UPDATE: A regularly updated list of actions across the US can be found HERE. So far, actions are currently organized in Chicago, ILNew York, NYColumbus, OHOakland, CAMiami, FLNew Orleans, LALouisville, KYLexington, KYAnn Arbor, MIIndianapolis, INCharlotte, NCSeattle, WAAsheville, NCMinneapolis, MNAustin, TXNashville, TN

Black Youth Project 100, Ferguson Action, and #BlackLivesMatter have called a

National Day of Action to End State Violence Against Black Women and Girls:

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015

 JOIN in mourning the lives of Black women and girls lost to police violence, and in lifting up the voices, experiences and demands of Black women targeted by police!

Black women – queer and not queer, transgender and not transgender – are killed, beaten, profiled, and harassed by police across the country in many of the same ways as Black men, whether it’s “broken windows policing,” “driving while Black,” or the “war on drugs.” For example:

  • Racial profiling studies analyzing the experiences of Black women separately from those of men of color conclude “for both men and women there is an identical pattern of stops by race/ethnicity.”
  • In New York City, racial disparities in stops are the same for Black women as they are for Black men: over the past 5 years, over 50% of stops of women were of Black women, and 55% of stops of men were of Black men. According to the 2010 Census, only 27% of New York City’s population is Black.
  • Data recently released by the Missouri Attorney General’s office shows that in Ferguson, MO, more Black women drivers are stopped than any other group.

Black women also experience gender and sexuality specific forms of profiling and police violence – including sexual violence and assault by police, profiling for prostitution-related offenses, and police violence against pregnant Black women and mothers. For example:

  • One study found that sexual assault by police is the second most commonly reported form of police misconduct.
  • Another found that the majority (76%) of victims of on-duty police sexual misconduct are adults, but almost a quarter (24%) of reported cases of on-duty sexual misconduct involved minors.
  • According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 38% of Black transgender people who had interactions with police reported harassment, 14% reported physical assault, and 6% reported sexual assault.
  • A New York City study found that found that up to 2 in 5 young women reported sexual harassment by law enforcement.

It’s time to break the silence around Black women and police violence – because #BlackWomensLivesMatter!

Join the National Day of Action!

Here are 5 things you can do in your area:

  • Talk to 5 friends or host a kitchen table conversation about Black women and policing – for ideas, check out this workshop:
  • Hold a vigil or a gathering focused on Black women in your community who have been killed or harmed by police
  • Conduct a “know your rights” training for Black women using this brochure:
  • Call your Congressperson and Senator and ask them to sponsor and pass the End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1933/ S. 1056), which for the first time would ban profiling based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in addition to race, national origin and religion!
  • Call or go to your local police department or City Council and give them a list of demands on behalf of Black women – check out the demands below!

Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtags #SayHerName #BlackWomensLivesmatter #BlackWomenMatter #AllBlackLivesMatter

Some things you can push for your local police department to do to prevent police abuse of Black women:

  1. End “broken windows” policing practices, including laws used to criminalize homelessness and poverty
  2. Enact and enforce a “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual harassment and assault of members of the public by police officers;
  3. Stop profiling us! Adopt and enforce a ban on officers confiscating or using mere possession or presence of condoms as evidence of any prostitution-related offense;
  4. Adopt and enforce a policy requiring officers to respect Black women’s gender identity and expression in all police interactions, searches, and police detention and explicitly banning officers from profiling people based on gender identity or expression or searching people to assign gender;
  5. Ensure that use of force policies clearly prohibit use of TASERs and excessive force on pregnant women or children;
  6. Enact and enforce policies requiring police to make every effort to identify kinship care for children of parents taken into custody before contacting child protective services.

For more organizing ideas, check out INCITE!’s Organizer’s Toolkit on Law Enforcement Violence Against Women of Color and Trans People of Color:
Palmcards and brochures available here: and here:

Questions? Looking for more resources?

Contact Andrea Ritchie, Soros Justice Fellow at:


Support Our National Convening!!!!

Dear INCITE! Network:

We have lots of movement building to celebrate and honor this year! Thank you all for your brilliance, passion, and determination in holding it down in your respective locales and communities, ya’ll are the heart and soul of the INCITE! Network! Together, we have come such a long way over the last decade, and we are looking forward to paving the way for even greater vision building and liberatory actions for as long as it takes to build the world we want to live in.

 National Convening

Your resources and energy are critical in lifting up a National Convening, on November 15-17, 2013 in New Orleans. We want as many people and voices to contribute in building the future vision of our network, sharing strategies and resources, honoring the work that has preceded us in the last decade, and building infrastructure and regional networks. For folks within the network, y’all have already received many call outs to join the organizing committee. If you have the time, link on up with us! Also, if you or allies have the resources to donate, please do so. We are so appreciative of any and all seed money folks can send to help us keep moving this work. Our goal is to raise $30,000, by October 2013, which would go towards offsetting travel, transportation, housing, venue and other basic logistical costs. We are looking forward to planning an event that not only builds relationships across our network, but also supports and strengthens our relationships with the bad ass organizers and local community of New Orleans.

With the rise in law enforcement violence against communities of color and natural disasters that further marginalize our communities, as well as a continuing failing economy, our collective work has become even more timely and critical. This National Convening will be a historic gathering for chapters, affiliates and individual members to lay out crucial infrastructure for regional and local emergency response systems, in these times of heightened state aggression and fear mongering in the media, we need each other more than ever. The issues highlighted in mainstream news outlets revolve around the patriarchal and misogynistic debates surrounding the extension of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 and public debates of gang rape and apologies for young male violence. And in other news, over twenty individuals including women and children were shot while marching in and enjoying a Mother’s Day second line parade in New Orleans-marking one of the most horrific and saddening incidents this year; drone strikes have increased under Obama’s second administration; Texas, Louisiana, and Florida proposed legislation to drug test welfare recipients; a Florida mother of three, Marissa Alexander is awaiting justice for ‘standing her ground’ against an abusive partner; and black revolutionary Assata Shakur  is the first woman to be placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list. These are but a few of the issues of violence that directly impact our network.

And in the face of all of this madness, there is such radical defiance and resilience. Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence and four radical First Nations women (Nine Wilson, Jessica Gordon, Sheelah McLean, and Sylvia McAdam) spurred a global movement for indigenous rights with their Idle No More campaign. A Mobile Homecoming and Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind have organized a Combahee River Pilgrimage to honor the 150th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s uprising and the writings of the Combahee River Collective.  The intervention of your voices, analysis, and strategies will transform and ensure our collective safety and survival. There is so much work to be done and we need y’alls help and support! This is a call to action.

Members, please join us at the INCITE! National Convening this coming November, so we can celebrate the work that came before and that’s ahead of us still! Join the National Convening Working Group and let’s collectively prioritize and make space for these important dialogues and strategies sessions! And, please, send this call out for financial and resource support to comrades and allies!

In love and solidarity,

The National Collective: Karla, Kiri, Saira, Kellee, Kymberlie, Mayaba, Mandisa, and Ujju

Join the National Convening Working Group:

 Please send an email to to be added to the organizing listserv.

Donate to the INCITE! National Convening:

 Check out and subscribe to our fundraising site:

INCITE! @ Nation Builder

 Donations via Paypal

Please donate here:

 Donations via Mail

Please make checks or money orders payable to INCITE! and send them to the address below:

INCITE!/co Karla Mejia

2416 W Victory Blvd

Burbank, CA 91506


Mamas of Color Rising: Urgent Public Hearing in Austin, Aug 28th!

Mamas of Color Rising

A message from Mamas of Color Rising:

Mamas want You!

After two years of pushing for change in Texas Medicaid, Mamas of Color Rising (MOCR) in collaboration with others, is on the verge of winning a major victory for Women of Color and poor women in Texas. If we are successful, pregnant women on Medicaid will now have the option to choose a Midwife and deliver at a birth center as opposed to the OB/GYN and the hospital as their only choice. This choice allows women to receive more personalized and holistic care, longer and more comprehensive appointments, as well as shorter waiting times prior to appointments. This is in contrast to the more prevalent 5 minute prenatal checks and three hour waiting times in clinic lobbies and waiting rooms. These more “healthy” and ideal scenarios are choices  that the wealthy  and privately insured are currently demanding.

For women of color, this victory will represent much more than a “healthy” choice. According to Amnesty International, in the U.S. African American women are four times more likely to die of pregnancy related complications than white women, and Latina women are 2.5 times as likely as white women to receive late or no prenatal care. The outcomes in Texas are actually worse than these national averages. Research shows that access to the midwifery model of care can tangibly improve these outcomes.

MOCR has never asked broader friends, supporters and allies to come out for an action before. As busy mothers ourselves, we only ask when its absolutely needed. BUT today we are asking!

Come out next Tuesday August 28th to the public hearing at the Health and Human Services Braker Center,  located at 11209 Metric Boulevard, Building H, Austin, Texas. The hearing will be held in the Lone Star Conference Room from 9am-11am.

Wear one of our stickers and represent the fight for equal access to healthier birth choices for ALL women!
Support our mamas members testimonies!

Call or text 254-421-4059, if u have any logistical questions the day of.
If you are interested in providing a testimony as well please feel free to email us at


Not a mama? Don’t have kids? Don’t even want kids?

This issue affects us ALL. For all folks committed to racial and economic justice, next Tuesday’s Medicaid ruling is critical!

For Mamas of Color Rising the right for women on Medicaid to choose their type of birth provider directly addresses the larger social issues that we are working on such as:

* The current HEALTHCARE APARTHEID we are living in this country which particularly affects African-American and Latino immigrant communities.
* The WOMB TO PRISON PIPELINE- that according to MOCR begins earlier than school, since discrimination, policing and tracking actually begin in the womb.
* And finally, a JUST and LOVING world is one world where all mothers and babies receive attentive quality loving care.

It’s THAT simple.

We will see you at the hearing!

In Solidarity,
Mamas of Color Rising Collective Members

Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation

Black feminist anti-violence activist, professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and INCITE! co-founder, Beth E. Richie, released a powerful new book entitled Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation.

Girl Talk will host a discussion with Beth on Thursday, June 21st from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m at Depaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave, Room 324, Chicago, IL.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Beth at about  the relationship between dominant anti-domestic/sexual violence efforts and the “prison nation.”

You describe the U.S. as a “prison nation.” What do you mean by that?

The prison nation, which is a broader concept than the prison industrial complex, for me represents the combination of both incarceration in the literal sense – an influx of people into the criminal legal system in all of its apparatus: jails, prisons, detention centers, etc. … [It is an] increase in arrest and removal of people from their communities into facilities, but it also represents the ideological shift and policy changes that use criminalization and punishment as a response to a whole range of social problems. Not just crime, but also things like policing people who are on welfare, using the child protective services system to control families, the ways that schools have become militarized. So it’s a broad notion of using the arm of the law to control people, especially people who are disadvantaged and come from disadvantaged communities.

How does this affect violence against black women?

It’s kind of an interesting parallel and a convolution of things. Anti-violence work has been going on in this country for years and years, and many people see the early 1990s as the time when there were big shifts in public consciousness about the problem of violence against women, as well as changes in policies that really took the crime of violence against women – domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, etc. – more seriously. So there were new laws, there were more sanctions, police were trained, domestic violence courts were opened up – there were a lot of policy changes that made the problem of violence against women a crime. And a lot of that harsh sanctioning of violence against women really grew out of, not feminist organizing to end the problem of violence against women, but a parallel criminalization of everything. The Violence Against Women Act really lined up right against the other crime bills that were passed primarily in the mid-1990s. So on the one hand, this is good news for anti-violence activists, in terms of criminalizing violence against women. But on the other hand, these crimes disproportionately impacted black communities, and so it was kind of a mixed result for African-American people. It created a schism, especially for African-American women, but also I think for African-American families and communities more generally, because we were taking position against mass incarceration at the same time that mass incarceration was being used as a tool to respond to the crime of violence against women.

This is an interesting development given the “everywoman” emphasis of the ’60s feminist anti-violence movement — which argued that all women, regardless of race and class, were vulnerable to domestic violence. 

Yes. We began doing training to try to raise public consciousness and make public the private care of domestic and sexual violence, in particular, by saying: This is not an isolated problem, it can happen to any women; it’s not just an issue for poor families or families of color. So — regardless of your religion, your race or ethnicity, your income, what region of the country you live in, what age you were … it didn’t matter what you wore, it didn’t matter if you didn’t cook well – there was nothing demographically or behaviorally that would protect women from male violence. We used that as a kind of anchor to our analysis: It can happen to any woman. And I think we were successful, at least initially, in making sure that it wasn’t another stigmatizing problem that was associated with other social problems of poverty and racism, etc. And people heard us. There was an increase in general public consciousness, and in particular, there was an increase in attention to the problem of violence against women by power elites – by executive decision-makers at corporations, elected officials, presidents of universities.

And when power elites started paying attention to it, they took seriously what could happen to women in their social context and started designing services for and passing laws that would protect women in their social context. So it became ultimately paradoxically kind of a narrowing of an understanding of the problem. That white middle-class or wealthy heterosexual married women or women on elite college campuses were at risk of violence against women and the attention, the resources, the analysis, went toward protecting those women at the expense of women who didn’t fall into those more normative categories. So it became hard to understand how a prostitute could be raped, for example. Or how a woman who is a substance abuser could be battered in her household. It became a sense of victimization tied to a sympathetic image of who could be hurt and how terrible it was that those women were hurt, as opposed to the real everywoman that we were trying to argue for.

You can find the full interview here.