This bridge called my back in this new civil rights movement moment

Navigating “not Black or White” and “Nonviolent but not non-violent” as an ally and activist I suspect every woman of color in America has at multiple points felt that Donna Kate Rushin wrote the Bridge poem for her. As I wonder whether the bonds of friendship with my radical anarchist friends of color will hold andContinue reading “This bridge called my back in this new civil rights movement moment”

“Things taken: Finding Healing on foreign soil this Thanksgiving”

18th annual Berkeley Multifaith Thanksgiving Service Northbrae Community Church, host Message by Sandhya Jha, Director of the Oakland Peace Center and Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations   It is a real honor to be here this evening. I have worked with a number of you on affordable housing issues in Berkeley,Continue reading ““Things taken: Finding Healing on foreign soil this Thanksgiving””

A pastor’s lament: 60 years later, and we still don’t give a s*** about each other

Last night as we waited for the Darren Wilson verdict to return, I went to the right place: I went downtown, where faith leaders and anarchists and socialists and nonviolent youth movement leaders and queer activists of all races had convened because we needed to be a public witness but more than that, we neededContinue reading “A pastor’s lament: 60 years later, and we still don’t give a s*** about each other”

Two White moms and a mixed race baby — one Hapa’s perspective (STOP MAKING IT NOT COMPLEX)

Several years ago, my friend Rita saw a play written by Asian adoptees raised in America. She told me about one vignette in particular that started out with this statement: “It takes exceptional parents to raise a child of a different race. [beat] My parents were not exceptional.” I keep thinking about that statement asContinue reading “Two White moms and a mixed race baby — one Hapa’s perspective (STOP MAKING IT NOT COMPLEX)”

When focusing on the “racist” upholds a broken system

or: When are we going to get real about poor people of color wanting to be safe and the underpinnings of the police force undermining the efforts of good police?   I just came across this article about an Oakland firefighter filing a discrimination case because he and his young sons were held at gunpointContinue reading “When focusing on the “racist” upholds a broken system”

The heart (not just the head) of anti-racism

I was reminded today about why I do anti-racism work. By way of background, I am in the redwoods, at an AMAZING retreat with twenty other “young” changemakers. (The age range is 20-40ish.) It has been a phenomenal week grounded in how we can support each other to strengthen our work and how we canContinue reading “The heart (not just the head) of anti-racism”

Indian Independence, a wandering Aramean and what makes up identity

“Jai Hind!” I greeted my Sikh neighbors in the elevator this morning. “Jai Hind!” the husband laughed in response. “I told my co-workers yesterday that I should get today off because it’s my July 4th!” I didn’t grow up celebrating Indian Independence. I knew when St. Andrew’s Day was when I was in Kindergarten, because myContinue reading “Indian Independence, a wandering Aramean and what makes up identity”

Michael Brown, Worship this Sunday, and Confusing Unity with Comfort

I am tired of my church breaking my family’s heart. I wasn’t going to write about Michael Brown. Many others have already done so, reflectively and powerfully, including writing about the role of the White church in the midst of this moment of pain. I wasn’t going to write about it because I’ve written on itContinue reading “Michael Brown, Worship this Sunday, and Confusing Unity with Comfort”

The Myth of Street Smarts versus Book Smarts

Delivered June 13, 2014, at Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago annual Convocation. I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation andContinue reading “The Myth of Street Smarts versus Book Smarts”

“That’s why I don’t watch the news,” #notallmen and the global protection of rape culture

He was for real the sweetest guy I’ve ever met. I had opened up my home to a couple of people coming to Oakland for a conference for activists. We totally bonded over finding a space to create our own identities rather than the identities the world tried to impose on us. He told meContinue reading ““That’s why I don’t watch the news,” #notallmen and the global protection of rape culture”