Mutual Aid offers an alternative to unjust systems

Photo by Tim Dennell via Flickr

Marginalized communities have long survived by sharing skills, resources and creativity, but many of us are only now waking up to our collective responsibility. Those of us who identify as white, straight and/or cisgender have mostly enjoyed the illusion that the dominant systems will take care of us. And to a certain extent they have — at the cost of Black and Brown lives, labor and opportunity.

So what do we do? Sign another petition? Call our congressperson? Blackout our Facebook profile picture?

Mutual aid projects give us a way to help right now, while laying the foundation for a…

Lessons from Havana and Holyoke

The first time I celebrated May Day was in 2004. I was 23, drunk on experience and a few mojitos too many. I marched shoulder to shoulder with fellow international students from the University of Havana. We took turns holding a banner that said, in Spanish, “Yankee imperialism, until when?” — an extra surreal experience for those of us from the US. There were about fifty of us, most from the Butler University Institute for Study Abroad.

“¡Abajo Bush!” we shouted in unison “¡Viva Cuba! ¡Viva la revolución!” But when we got to Fidel, I fell silent after ¡Viva!

A Xennial coming of age story

1980: Reagan vs Carter

AMHERST, Massachusetts — I’m floating peacefully in a warm sea of amniotic fluid, when the voice of Ronald Reagan penetrates my subdural Shangri-La. It reverberates through the nodes and ventricles of my mother’s body like the voice of Darth Vader, causing me to somersault and burrow deeper into the womb. There I wait, weeks past my due date, growing ever plumper and more powerful off my host.

McGinty, Jo Craven, “Analysis of the Generations isn’t an Exact Science,” The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2016

On November 4th, my parents watch the election returns on our analog TV. I cringe away from the artificial light flickering across my flesh dome. Every few minutes, my father gets up to…

I’ve been listening to podcasts since there was still such thing as an ipod. They’ve kept me entertained through the most mundane of adulting activities, like scrubbing toilets and waiting for the subway. But with so many podcasts out there, it can be hard to find what’s worth listening to. This is especially true when it comes to the health and wellness space, which is oversaturated with quick fixes and instagram gurus. Here are my top five picks for no-BS advice and inspiration.

  1. Harder to Kill Radio with Steph Guadreau. Guadreau, a former high school science teacher and weight-lifting coach…

Massasoit statue overlooking the site of Plymouth Rock. Greg Kullberg /

Protect the Sovereignty of the Native Americans Who Welcomed the Pilgrims

When the English immigrants known as the Pilgrims arrived in North America in 1620, the local Wampanoag people, whose name translates as “People of the First Light,” treated them with dignity and respect.

Without the Wampanoag’s help, the Pilgrims may not have survived that first winter. The following year, after the English brought in their harvest, the Wampanoag participated in the celebratory feast later mythologized as the “First Thanksgiving.” …

Anna Laird Barto

Writer. Traveler. Yogini. Activist. Other.

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