Let’s Rise, Lead & Protect the Young

The most important and revolutionary work in this world is building, repairing and caring for our relationships – caring for the young, old, healthy & sick. The kind of work that has been primarily women’s work, and because of capitalism and male domination, it’s been undervalued, undermined and made invisible. It’s becoming more and more clear that caring for the planet and healing racial and class injustice in our communities depends on the hundreds of small things we do as parents, friends, coworkers and neighbors.” – Kathryn Gardner,  RSMT,  re-evaluation counselor.

Here’s a timely poem by the esteemed novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist, Alice Walker.

Calling All Grandmothers

We have to live

or we
will die
in the same

old ways.

I call on all Grand Mothers
on the planet
to rise
and take your place
in the leadership
of the world

Come out
of the kitchen
out of the
out of the
beauty parlors
out of the

Step forward
& assume
the role
for which
you were
To lead humanity
to health, happiness
& sanity.

I call on
all the
Grand Mothers
of Earth
& every person
who possesses
the Grand Mother
of respect for
protection of
the young
to rise
& lead.
The life of
our species
on it.

& I call on all men
of Earth
to gracefully

stand aside
& let them
(let us)
do so.

Activities to Beat the Stir-Crazies During Smokey Skies

Does the poor air quality due to fires have you feeling down and cooped up?  Here are three simple activities to infuse playfulness into your home:

1. What’s Missing? Memory Game (2 or more players)

  • Find things in your house that are easy to carry. (Ie slotted spoon, toy car, key chain, crayon, small stuffed animal)
  • Put them on a table or floor space.
  • Look at each item and agree on what to call it.
  • Cover items with a piece of large fabric.
  • One player reaches under the fabric and sneakily removes one item without revealing what they moved.
  • Uncover the remaining items and guess which item is missing.
  • If the guesser has no idea what is missing, offer hints.

*Variation: Gather items of the same color or items that all start with the same letter.

2. Mystery Message Scavenger Hunt (2 or more players)

  • Write a single sentence message on a piece of paper.
  • Cut the paper so that each word is on a a separate piece.
  • Hide those pieces of paper around a room or your entire living space.
  • Find the papers and assemble the message.

3. Hideout

  • Get out some sheets and pillows.
  • Take apart your couch.
  • Hang sheets over the arms of the couch or nearby chairs/tables.

It’s amazing how simply having a cozy/underneath hideaway space delights young ones.
Familiar activities suddenly take on a new thrill: books, puzzles,  and drawing can be more fun when inside the mysterious nook.

Here’s to finding playful ways to connect regardless of the air quality.

Photo credit

Bottom photo: David B. Gleason, license info here

Children’s Books Come to Life! Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

As the pandemic and/or poor air quality has many parents relying on screentime, it’s increasingly important to share high quality programming and consider who is reflected in the shows our children view. That’s why I’m pleased to share this new series from Netflix:

Stories shape how our children see themselves, and offer them a window into the world beyond their own. Stories show us the power our voices can have, to make a difference, and to incite change.Many of us have turned to books to navigate hard conversations around topics like race, representation and self-love with our kids. And that was the inspiration for our new live-action preschool series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices, bringing children’s stories from prolific Black creators centering around themes of identity, respect, justice and action to the screen.

We Must Face Fascist Federal Attacks On Our City

Former HFP Board Member, Dana Buhl, is now the Social Justice Director at The First Unitarian Church of Portland.”Dana has been out on the streets, in the coalition meetings, and organizing her congregation. She says, ‘What’s happening in Portland is a flashpoint that demonstrates where we are locally and as a nation. We’re at a crossroads. Are we going to increase the violent militarized police state, and consolidate authoritarianism and fascism in this country, or are we going to dismantle these systems of white supremacy? Are we going to continue locking up and locking out millions of people, or are we going to decolonize our culture and transform our economy to meet people’s needs, create racial equity, and stop the devastation of our planet?’ ”

Read entire article here: We Must Face Fascist Federal Attacks On Our City


We Need Both Peaceful and Non-Violent Protesters

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”– Former U.S. Representative and civil rights leader, John Lewis (tweet June, 2018).

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 19: Congressman/Civil Rights Icon John Lewis views for the first time images and his arrest record for leading a nonviolent sit-in at Nashville’s segregated lunch counters, March 5, 1963. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Thousands of Portlanders are showing up in support of Black Lives, against police brutality and more recently, against the involvement of the militarized Feds in our city.  There is a current dispute about which strategies are effective. I find this recent Facebook post from Portland resident Scott Swigart “So you support peaceful protests?” to be a helpful perspective.

“Peaceful: People chanting, holding signs, marching, singing, getting a permit for the march, complying with directions from authorities.

Violent: Throwing Molotov cocktails, bricks, etc.

Non-violent: Non-compliance with directions from authorities, civil disobedience, trespassing, graffiti, property damage, harmless fires, pop-up ribs restaurant in the park to feed protesters without a permit, throwing empty plastic water bottles.

Here’s the thing. While peaceful protesters are critical, no successful protest movement has ever been entirely peaceful. And here’s why.

Leaders can ignore peaceful protests. There’s no reason to crack down on them. They’re no threat to anything. They lose steam over time. They don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Non-violent protesters provoke a state response. Sit-ins, starting a fire on the concrete sidewalk near the concrete justice center. Taking the fence down around the justice center. These are things the state can’t simply ignore.

When non-violent protesters act, the state, and here’s the important part, indiscriminately overreacts, and inflicts violence on the whole group of protesters. The 95% peaceful ones, and the agitators.

And that makes persuasive photos and video.

‘Feds Gas Portland Mayor’ only made worldwide headlines because some anonymous kids started a small fire on the sidewalk 100 feet away. And the feds (a) didn’t put the fire out, and (b) gassed everyone, including (c) the mayor, which (d) lead to national publicity, which (e) increases support for the protest movement and forces the state to change.

Peaceful protesters are critical. But their biggest impact is being photographed and filmed while being attacked by an overzealous state that was provoked by non-violent protesters.

Be a peaceful protester, but let the kids tearing down the fence do their thing. Because together, you change the world.”