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What We're Reading: June 2020

What We're Reading

As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!


Actions for Solidarity: #BlackTransLivesMatter

"Black trans women experience critical levels of intersectional oppression. Even in movements committed to women, Black lives and Trans lives, they are often rendered invisible—even as they havebeen central to the leadership of all three. And yet, somehow neither movement adequately centers or prioritizes Black trans women, thus leaving them to slip through the cracks. This is a form of violence in and of itself."

Yellow square graphic with a drawing of five black women seated and standing with their arms around one another in the center. Text reads "ActForBlackTransLives.org"

A resource document outlining some of the problems that Black trans people are faced with in our society, as well as actions you can take to help make a difference.


3Views on Theater: Reflections

"We are responding to the moment by sharing excerpts from pieces by Black artists whose work already communicates what so many of us are feeling. May these writers, their literary ancestors, and their contemporaries, help provide understanding in our fractured world."

3Views and The Lillys shares these excerpts as a show of solidarity with protestors demanding justice in Minneapolis and around the country. Excerpts include work by Jonathan Payne, Charly Evon Simpson, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Jeff Augustin, and more.


Nonprofit AF

"Our communities cannot afford for us to doubt ourselves, be too deferential, or always default to philosophies and processes that we were trained in...by centering the comfort of donors, most of whom are white, we perpetuate white saviorism, poverty tourism, and inequity while allowing our donors to avoid confronting difficult realizations like the fact that wealth is built on colonization, slavery, and other forms of injustice."

A particularly good read this week from a What We're Reading standby! Vu Lee's latest post is entitled, "It's time we fundraise in a way that doesn’t uphold white moderation and white supremacy."


#8toAbolition

"Campaign Zero released its 8 Can’t Wait campaign, offering a set of eight reforms they claim would reduce police killings by 72%. As police and prison abolitionists, we believe that this campaign is dangerous and irresponsible, offering a slate of reforms that have already been tried and failed, that mislead a public newly invigorated to the possibilities of police and prison abolition, and that do not reflect the needs of criminalized communities."

A campaign of eight actions to lead to police abolition, not just reform, and information on why this is the necessary path to take.


Where is the Vision? A Future Without Artistic Directors

by Regina Victor

"Artists live our entire lives being told we are not good enough, not smart enough, not educated enough to manage our own creations. I strongly believe this is a lie. A lie created by people who would use your insecurity to profit off of your talents. A lie created by people who need you to be looking elsewhere so they can exploit you. I was told artists couldn’t be critics and years later over a dozen of you have written for this outlet and several others because we offered that skill to folks for free. ANYONE CAN WRITE. ANYONE CAN LEARN TESSITURA. FIGHT ME."

An essay from rescripted.com (an artist-led commentary on the state of the arts) envisioning what the future of our field could look like if we invested in artists to lead our institutions.



My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

by Resmaa Menakem

“None of this is rational, and much of it is not even conscious. A great deal of it is outright false, rooted in racialized myth… But our bodies don’t care about logic, truth, or cognitive experience. They care about safety and survival. They care about responding to a perceived threat, even when that threat is not real. As a result, our bodies scare the hell out of each other.”

Author and therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

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