Contemporary Native Literature

On November 12th, I attended a webinar hosted by Lee & Low Books about contemporary Native American children’s literature and educational resources. The guest speakers were Traci Sorell, author of Indian No More, and Carla Messinger, author of When the Shadbush Blooms. For the first part of the webinar, Sorell and Messinger talked about the meaning behind their books. Sorell’s book Indian No More is based on a true story about a 10 year old Umpqua girl and her family being forced to relocate to a different reservation after their tribal rights are terminated in the 1950s. Messinger’s book When the Shadbush Blooms discusses the past and present lives of the Lenape people. When discussing the importance of her book, Messinger provided a shocking statistic showing how 40 percent of Americans think that Native Americans do not exist or are extinct. For this very reason, Sorell and Messinger believe it is important to read children’s books that highlight the present lives of Native people.

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Keep Awake: A Call for Preach Palestine

“Until the people in Palestine are free, none of us are free...The world must stand boldly...Do as Jesus did...He stood up and he was radical against the oppression of the Jewish and the Palestinian people. So I admonish you today to wake up, to wake up, to wake up.”

These are the words of Reverend Erica Williams, a preacher, activist, and community leader and 2016 graduate of The Howard University School of Divinity. She serves as one of the lead organizers for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

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OEP on Travel

OEP staff currently plans to not schedule any national or international travel for at least the first six months of 2021. 

It is clear at this point that the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a substantial presence through that time (unless the virus happens to mutate in such a way that it starts to fade on its own like SARS-CoV-1 did, which the science indicates to be an unlikely event).

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Preach Palestine Approaches

"For too long, churches have shied away from talking about Palestine from the pulpit, but we know that for our faith to be truly alive, we must preach good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Sunday, November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the first week of Advent, when Christians around the world focus on Bethlehem, Palestine. It is also International Day of Solidarity for the Palestinian People. 

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Trans Day of Remembrance (vs Trans Day of Visibility)

By Skylar Rella, OEP’s Gender Justice Organizer Intern

Photo Credit: https://www.joincake.com/blog/candlelight-vigil/

I’ve heard many ask, “Why are there two days for trans people? What’s the difference?”--and it isn’t just people outside the trans community who seem to have this confusion. There are lots of trans people, too, who regard TDOR (Trans Day of Remembrance) and TDOV (Trans Day of Visibility) as synonymous. I’ll admit as a young trans person, I used to think of the two days as basically the same thing. These days were two times to be extra vocal about my transness, and many young trans people I encounter believe this same thing. I’m not here to try to make some argument that either day should not be used to be more vocal about being trans. However, I’ve personally come to feel very strongly about the distinction between these annual observances. After losing trans people in my own life, having intimate ties to trans death has added extra weight to TDOR that I had not felt prior to these losses. 

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