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The Relationship Between Colonization and Sexual Violence Part 1: Dissociation & Rematriation

When people ask how I came to engage in Indigenous solidarity work or why rematriation of Indigenous life and land is important to me, my historical answer has been: It’s just the thing I’ve always paid attention to. Some people can’t ignore anti-Black racism, some people can’t ignore climate change, I can’t ignore Indigenous sovereignty issues. This still begs the question though: Why? Why does this arena of solidarity hold my heart…

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What is settler colonialism and who is a settler?

“Our nation was born in genocide, when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society… From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial superiority. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its…

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The Paradox of Displacement: A Personal Quandary (or Jewish Indigeneity Part II)

Paradox #1: How do I hold being both an earth-based Jew and a displaced Jew – a social location that inevitably leaves me as an occupier somewhere, in someone’s mind and embodied experience? When I entered the field of environmental education in my late teens/early 20s, a set of implicit lessons were presented to me, some of which I unquestioningly accepted and some of which I tacitly endorsed while feeling there was…

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Are Climate Disasters Earth’s Responses To Trauma?

What is trauma? From the perspective of many Western trauma theorists and somatic therapists such as Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk, trauma is energy that gets trapped in the body during and/or after a traumagenic experience. “Traumagenic” refers to anything that could cause trauma depending on a variety of individual factors such as one’s previous trauma, target identities, resilience tools, support systems, age, physical condition, etc. You and I might…

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Tracking My Pulse

I recently attended a rhythm workshop for non-musical educators. I’m personally a musical educator, but there were many in the workshop who were not and for whom the mere idea of spending an hour moving to a drum evoked fear and anxiety. Damien Bassman, a New York City musician and music educator, taught the workshop. “What are some words you would use to describe textiles?” he asked us. We responded shyly: “Silky.”…

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The Leaf Charmer

Today marked my father’s yahrzeit (death anniversary). I am so grateful for the amazing dad he was to me growing up. I am also grateful for the ongoing relationship I have with him, and for how he still communicates and shows up for me when I need him. In an earlier post, I wrote: In terms of how I primarily identify, Jewish is tied with Woman at #1. Euro-American comes next. In the demographics…

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