Northern Syria's Experiment

Northern Syria’s Experiment

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons In northern Syria, there is a self-declared autonomous state known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, also known as Rojava, which I will refer to it as for the remainder of this article. Rojava is a group which subscribes to the ideology of libertarian socialism, the idea of a small and non-tyrannical government and letting the workers have control over the means of production, meaning the workers control the businesses.

The military of Rojava is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is a conglomeration of Arab and Kurdish militias, with the largest being the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units). The SDF and Rojava have captured the vast majority of Islamic State controlled territory and have most recently liberated the last piece of ISIS controlled territory, the scrapyard town of Al Baghouz Fawqani.

Unlike most Kurdish groups, Rojava is not a separatist group. Roja…

Why I Identify as an Intersectional Womanist

I had the opportunity to be on the organizing committee of the Women’s March and Expo in Richmond, VA. I stood there today because at age 13, people would rather comment on my body than my intellect, which is why I became a Womanist, a term coined by Alice Walker in 1979 that describes a Black feminist who analyzes the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. According to Linda Napikoski of states that a Womanist identifies and criticizes sexism in the Black empowerment movement and racism in the feminist movement. I identify as a womanist solely based on my encounters with White feminism, which has a focus on the issues that primarily affect White women, as opposed to all women.  “Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.”  – Alice Walker As a result, the concept of Intersectional Feminism was introduced which acknowledges how race, gender, sexuality, class, ability etc. are interconnected. The term “intersectional feminist” is being thrown around so much by…

The Power of the Simplest of Actions

It was absolutely essential that people would show up at this event, to participate, to engage, to learn. Despite my obvious suburban-whiteness, I was one of those people, and it mattered. Everyone who came made a difference at the event in one way or another.

Yesterday I attended Art 180's, Performing Statistics', and RISE for Youth's joint event, the Juvenile Justice Parade. It was organized by black and brown youth, all of which have faced personal discrimination and many of which who have been personally sent through the school-to-prison-pipeline. The chants spanned from "Fund education, not incarceration, invest in us, invest in us," to as simple as, "Prisons don't work!" We each were holding at least one piece of artwork from formerly incarcerated youth, organized by Art 180, and we took their art to the streets with a moving march, literally and figuratively.

We started at a community center and ended at a park, marching through backstreets a…