Community Activism Category

There is a French term I love: esprit de l'escalier. It translates literally as "wit of the stairs," and means roughly "the concise and clever retort that occurs to you too late, as you are on the stairs and leaving the scene." I was sad to hear it is rarely used any more in French, […]

Some years ago I had a friend with whom I lunched on a weekly basis. At that time he was on a job team that had something particularly difficult and complex to accomplish. This wouldn't have been such a big deal except that, frankly speaking, the manager was terrible. He wished to hear only that […]

Because of the field of study I'm in, the definition of the word feminism is of powerful personal importance. I'm always faintly surprised at the astonishingly ridiculous I sometimes hear regarding feminism, too: things like the movement is full of sexually frustrated lesbians, or it's embarrassing to be associated with such a (supposedly) retrograde social […]

Most of my journaling for this class has already been posted here, in Collie's Bestiary. However, in perusing the syllabus for this class, I re-read that the journal is supposed to consist, amongst other things, of "any other personal observations or revelations which may occur. Entries might include observations about the community work and her […]

In a fascinating storytelling style, Medicine Story shares the startlingly successful program he and various other Native American elders created to assist incarcerated men. Initially it was just for Native Americans, and included women's circles, but over the years (due to a wide variety of reasons) the men's circles were the only ones that continued, […]

Ending Violent Crime Cheaply & Permanently: A Vision of A Society Free of Violence by Manitonquat (Medicine Story) is an astonishing little book — one I might have had trouble believing if I hadn't already stumbled elsewhere across some of the statistics mentioned. It is self-published as well: surprisingly short but very concise and readable. […]

After reading The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs & Scott Kurashige, I confess my primary reaction was a frustrated, "Why is this not being better shared? Why must we keep re-inventing the wheel?" Upon reflection, I'd guess there must be some serious corporate (or socio-cultural?) interests involved, that […]

Being a child of the US, I've only seen online, rather than face-to-face, the types of deeply vicious and misogynistic attacks which Maathai describes: [C]ertain people were jealous and wanted me to be taught a lesson and put in my place. They took pleasure in what they perceived as my comeuppance. The message was clear: […]

There is a phrase that's apparently become popular on Twitter conversations where someone wishes to point out unconscious privilege: they state that the issue under discussion is an FWP, or "First World Problem." Reading Wangari Maathai's Unbowed: A Memoir, I found myself often reflecting with bleak amusement that all the issues I've ever faced — […]

Bestiaries depict mythical, moralizing animals, but are also potential allegorical sparks that can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires. My bestiary is this mythologizing animal's fascinated exploration of beauty & meaning in the wonder of existence -- in the hopes of inspiring yet more joyous flares of intellectual passion.



Collie’s Bestiary