So there's this conference. It's not just any conference, folks, it's Teaching Respect for All 2004 [TRA 2004], which is GLSEN's [Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network] national conference. This year it will be taking place in Washington, DC on the lovely American University campus from July 16th-18th, with an optional day of action on Monday July 19th. This conference is for people of all ages and all everything elses- it's for anyone who wants to learn how to make schools safer for all in a variety of ways. There are four paths, which we at GLSEN are calling tracks, for people who attend to participate in. The first is Teacher Training, which will teach particpants how to better educate teacher and school staff on LGBT issues. Another is Chapter Organizing 101 for people wishing to start a new GLSEN chapter in their area or for people who are going to take on a new leadership position within a pre-existing one. Another is Issue Campaigns, for people who want to learn more about how to influence safe schools legislation and policies. The final track is the Student Organizing/Jumpstart Leadership Team track, which is for high school students [the other 3 are intergenerational] who are accepted to be on GLSEN's Jumpstart Leadership Team. The Jumpstart Team is a student team on which the members assist student organizers around the country and work toward te creation and maintenance of gay-atraight alliances and related student clubs in their areas. A seperate application is required to be on Jumpstart. Would you like to apply for this excellent conference? Of course you would! Click here for that!. If that doesn't come out right, here's that web address again http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/1613.html . Also, if you're concerned about the price, financial aid is availible for those who need it, so don't let that stop you from applying. I hope to see you there!!
i don't know, but it's making me want to shake my booty
Okay kids! It’s almost Earth Day and in honor of such a good idea (gone horribly wrong and commercialized, mind you) I’m beginning to think about what I’m going to be doing activism-wise in the last months of spring.
To start with, Action for Animals has organized a day of leafletting (as I am sure many groups have) and I am participating by handing out AFAs wonderful Rape of Mother Earth flyers at a local college and then downtown as well if I have enough left. That's the only AR event going on here then, but much to my enjoyment there are tons of other actions taking place. Get ahold of a local AR/enviro/etc group in your area, they most likely have something planned and I'm betting could definitely use more help.
Unfortunately, it is probably too late to order materials from most places in time for April 22nd, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order some for all the days thereafter! And if you have access to a decent printer, you can print your own literature, nearly every group I've worked with has .pdf's of their literature available online. I can't recall any links off the top of my head but if anyone wants, let me know and I'll hunt them all down so you can get printing.
Another activity I am partaking in soon is Vegan Outreach’s "Adopt a College" campaign. I will hopefully be in charge of the leafleting at six colleges this summer, which is six more than I have been before! :) I know a lot of ARAs already hand out literature almost everywhere they go, so this may seem a bit obvious. But it’s basically a more organized version of what we’re already doing. VO keeps track of how much literature is ordered and what activists leaflet what schools and when, and the site includes the contact info of each activist. Click here for more info. I think it’s worth at least checking out, especially if you live in a conservative area like mine. For as I’ve learned time and time again, PETA is pretty much the devil reincarnate to people here and associating with them usually hurts the cause more than helps it. At least with Vegan Outreach, their name isn’t as easily recognizable and people are more prone to listen if they don’t see the PETA logo anywhere (sadly).
And for those of you who don’t already table/etc on a regular basis... what are you waiting for?! Get moving! Go go go! There are many, many, many organizations all over who will send you FREE literature/other materials if you so request it and if anyone ever has questions about literally anything Animal Rights Activism-related, don’t hesitate to email/IM me. (Or for any other issue I’m involved in for that matter). I think I spend more time helping other activists get going than I do anything else, so it’s doubtful I won’t be able to help you or find you someone who can. Education is key, but inaction is still a big problem with activists, some of us seem to have the knowledge but have yet to act on it very much. It doesn’t do a damned good for us to know of injustice if we aren’t helping enlighten others about it! (and of course that is a huge part of the greater goal: working to END the injustice).
Even if you could only participate in one event (tabling, leafleting, demos, etc, etc, etc) a week, it would make a dramatic difference. Hell, even one a month for that matter. Something is always better than nothing.
As I’m not sure who all reads this community’s entries anymore, I’ll end at that. My IM/email contact info is in my livejournal user info. And oh, I’m also good for phoning people and yelling at them to get off their bums and get active, so if you need I can provide that as well.
Take care and as always, be safe, Mari
EDIT: By the way, another way to help if you can't always be as physically active as you'd like is by donating money. Sadly I'm a poor being so my monetary donations are few and far between, but for those of you who do have cash to spare, the Primate Freedom Project'sPrimate Freedom Tour 2005 still desperately needs donations. I cannot emphasize the desperately aspect of it enough. The 2005 tour is being organized by my friend Jerm and if you have any questions you can email him at jerm (at) primatefreedom (dot) org. Living in a capitalist society as we do, money holds a lot of power and can make a huge difference. So keep that in mind next time you're wondering what to buy with your spending money.
I need to purchase wood for a class project, but i didn't want to contribute to the greed of the lumber industry... so i started looking for places that sold reclaimed or used lumber. Of the companies and stores i reached, TWO sell it... but one of them (Smith & Hawkin) sells flooring and decking purchased from TerraMai, an entire company devoted to reclaiming, processing, and selling used lumber. They obtain salvage rights to wood buildings slated for demolition, and go in and deconstruct it... then mill everything down to a useable state, removing metal bits, rotted portions, etc.
If i ever have a house built, i want this company to supply the wood.
So last night I got stoned bored and decided to try my hand at making art trading cards.
The concept is pretty simple. They are the size and shape of ordinary trading cards (3x5 inches) but people make them themselves as little pieces of art. On the back of the card you sign your name and write down any other relevent information (such as the name of the series and what number card it is, etc)
I was lacking good art supplies (such as paint, inks, etc) so I ended up doing the last resort thing and utilized...
They were the cheesiest stickers, too. Like, little spaceships and planets with smiley faces on them. I made a set of three art cards with witty captions for my friend Brenda and called them the "Kayleen is having too much fun with these space stickers" series.
So yeah, some time today or tomorrow I intend to mail these to Brennie, and I hope I get three back from her. I was wondering if anyone else here did any sort of mail art? I'm hoping to slowly get back into trading-stuff again....art cards, slambooks, deco books, collages, comic strips, drawings, hand-made postcards...i love it all.
I have an envie of friendship books if anyone would like to sign them and pass them along, too.