New Jersey Coast Line

July 20, 2010

There is always something about a train ride that provokes relaxation, solace, and deeply profound thought. It may be the rocking motion that tosses its citizens horizontally, or possibly it may be the rapidly transforming cityscapes into landscapes into industry-scapes into ghettos into gated spaces of money and secrets. I have no idea who are my neighbours in this train community, but we all share a moving space that leads us into wonderous directions. But we are sheltered residents of this train, we are not forced to bear the elements of a globally warming summer that screams calls of distress from Gaia, the mother we step and spit upon while she continues to foster the breath of our lives. The ones living in Gaia’s glory are those children playing in their Walmart manufactued DIY swimming pools filled with oxygenated urine and hydrogen-laced bodies of expired leaves and insects. I wonder if the children believe the waves in their water are from the sea, or have they lost their innocence to realize that it was the train disrupting that once flat transparency. In the midst of thought, I become lost, and at a moment stationed in reality: why is the IKEA next to the Airport?


New Directions: Home

May 24, 2010

It has been a year since I finished graduate school at Sarah Lawrence, and earned a degree that leaves me with intellectual satisfaction and a barrage of questions during unsuccessful job interviews.

Women’s History…why? :::brown suit asks with unfocused neurotic eyes:::

Maybe I’m not sure any more. I’m just sure that I need something to shift, and quickly.

I work two jobs as a College Advisor by day, and College Professor by night; Sounds like some super-hero script…and I love it and detest it all at once. I feel phantasmic and somnambulistic and I think I am developing an ulcer, but its probably something psychosomatic.

I am plagued by money and poverty, and a social class status in perpetual limbo transfixed between an elite-educated class and a poor boy from the Bronx on food stamps. Yes, I buy my lunch at Whole Foods sometimes with my Benefit card.

Whilst I sit transfixed between these borders, I turn to Gloria to get me through. She lets me know it will be okay…and tells me that I have a space.
But I do want to tell her that what I am really searching for is a home. Gloria said “homophobia is a fear of going home after a residency.” Well, where do we locate ourselves during a residency?
My home has been The Bronx for so long…but my dear friend, I think we’re headed for a divorce.

Last December, I spent countless dollars on applications to graduate programs in San Francisco, Toronto, and Montréal. I need(ed) to escape. Despite being accepted by a PhD program in San Francisco (I’m still awaiting to hear back from MTL almost 6 months later, but I doubt I would be able to secure a visa in time should I be offered acceptance), I decided that it was not my time to leave. I’m going to work out something with this city, I am going to find a space that doesn’t leave me jarred and marginalized on a daily basis.

Let’s see what happens.


Junker Flirt

March 4, 2009

The plywood sign stated:
There is no cure for writer’s block
There is no land of tolerance.

I captured the message’s essence in my lens
Sitting atop of my dirty used bicycle seat with the flat tire named junker flirt
She was my axiom for freedom

Hours later, substance lead me to a site downed in illusions of brown and white sullen hills.
The candle burned the lens
The image remained.

I remain.

Writer’s block is not the danger, somnambulist states colonizing our sexual liberations and libations is what I fear.

A precarious being of love and my grandmother’s stories.

I have joined the queer migration—the pervert infitatda.

I share my apologies with you for my absence. These lapses are familiar, but they serve as time of anti-capitalist production.

I am in the last moments of graduate school and I often fear what the future has in store for my mind-body-soul.

I have returned to a similar defense: running away.

Philadelphia is not far—two hours detached from what I call my home, but it’s a respite for the moment.

For the next few days, I will try to find myself once again in a space where I feel safe: the academy.

Roberto told me in Montréal that understands why I love to learn, why I live in the academy.
Tonight’s speech by Gayle Rubin will be my sermon, and she my leather-daddy preacher.
I hope to be able to internalize some trace of her presence. I am in search for inspiration and courage.

Saturday I climb on top of that tower and wave my bandera, like the boricua nationalistas.
I will be a panelists at a conference sharing my research into Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the woman who marked my life years ago.

I never met Ayaan, and may never will, but I will be offering an intervention into her position in Dutch politics in relation to Gender, Islam, and Multiculturalism in the Netherlands.

I don’t have the answer to writer’s block…the story has already been written.
I have been taken over by the fear: the prospect: no land of tolerance.

I share with you all my consciousness in motion, in transport to a place where I hope to begin to resist the orientalism of sexuality.

I’m going to rethink sex.


August 5, 2008

It has been almost two months since my last posting! I intended on posting while in Canada and France, but I never really found the time to do so. While not much has changed since June…except for one thing: Roberto and I made it official on 18 July 2008 and registered as domestic partners! We did not make a big deal of it, and we don’t really intend on having any ceremony or stuff like that, but we have certainly enjoyed the shift in reception we get from friends and family…its like taking 20 minutes out of our life to fill out some papers and pay $40.00US suddenly further legitimized our relationship. But, hey I am not complaining 🙂 We didn’t do it for anyone else…we did it for security.

After we made the step to solidify our present, I am preparing to look forward and currently in the midst of  preparing for a huge change come September: my second-year of graduate school 🙂 This has been one of the first relaxing summers in a long time, and I will be sad to see it go. But its time to return. I have a task to complete…now the issue here is: what form the product take?

As I discussed with you all a few months ago, my intentions for the next year of study were to return (volver) to my roots: Cuba. I proposed a thesis project on Queer Cuban Nationalism, and while the proposal passed…the project no longer seems feasible 😦 I have not had any luck securing access to university libraries and state archives. Considering that my project will be based in historiographical research, it is imperative that I employ primary sources. I KNOW they exist…but I have to accept that I will not have enough time to locate and analyze the sources.

This is where the shift…the change begins to come into focus…(or somewhat)

In Montreal, I visited the Gay Archives of Quebec and attended the Symposium on Queer Feminisms. These experiences provoked me to look north…and in a way return to a topic that I have been interested on studying for the past decade: Sexuality and Quebecois Nationalism. It is a perfect fit 🙂 I fear speaking at length on the possible topic, as I don’t want to jinx this possibly.

but I will share with you another research project that I intend on pursuing independent of my work @ Sarah Lawrence. As most of you know, I am a native of the Bronx. I have lived elsewhere, but the Bronx (and specifically Parkchester) has always been my home. And in the past 10 years since I’ve “come out,” Parkchester and many parts of the Bronx have exploded with queer visibility. The Bronx now has Bronx Pride, a Gay and Lesbian Center, two HIV/AIDS organizations, a feminist/queer arts space, various queer nites at bars/clubs and damn, Roberto and I even registered our domestic partnership in the Bronx! Yet, in light of all these positive changes, a dense air of homo and transphobia continues to linger in this borough. I want to document queer lives in this borough…I want to engage with a history and enthnography of the queer Bronx. So if any of you have any resources, or directions for this project…please let me know.:-)

Un été à Paris

May 20, 2008

Because that is exactly what I will be doing–or rather, where I will be!

My first year of graduate school has officially ended, thereby my summer has finally begun!

I have not been able to go on vacation for some time, due to various financial and personal circumstances, but this school year certainly warrants a brief departure from the monotony of new york city. so, i’m escaping new york city for the entire month of june 🙂 I may seem gloat-y, but, fuck it, I deserve it. I need a break 🙂 For now, my homework is practicing French, Dutch, Spanish and learning some Catalan, since I will not be speaking much English for over a month! Here’s my (tentative) schedule:

27 to 30 Mai: Delaware and Washington D.C.–I will be attending one day of the NAFSA conference to network, find Ph.D information, etc.

2-10 Juin: Montréal, QUÉBEC–this is my second home: I will be conducting some light research at queer and feminist archives, and (hopefully) sitting in on the Queer Feminisms Symposium at McGill University. But, it will not be all work 🙂 my Dutch roomie will be meeting us in Montréal from 6 – 8 June!

11-30 Juin: L’EUROPE!

Paris, FRANCE will be my home base, but I will be making day and weekend short trips to:

Barcelona, ESPAÑA

Provence-Marseille, FRANCE

Fez or Marrakesh, MOROCCO

Amsterdam, NEDERLAND

30 Juin: Arrive back to Montréal, QUÉBEC

1 Juillet: La fête nationale du Canada!

2 Juillet : Return to NYC

3 to 6 Juillet: Independence Day in Dover, DELAWARE

and for the rest of the summer…who knows?

If any of you are in these cities, please send me a note. I’ve been to most of these places, but it is always nice consulting with a local or expat about must-sees’ 🙂

I am so looking forward to it! 🙂

and, btw, I will definitely be photo-blogging this séjour au QUÉBEC et L’EUROPE!

a bientôt!


I wanted to share my preliminary thesis prospectus to show you what I have been working on for the past few weeks. This topic may change over the summer when I visit Montreal and Paris, but we’ll see what happens.

btw, I strongly believe in intellectual property and collective knowledge–I think you get the point I am trying to make.


Countermemorias: Queering Nationalism, Sexuality and Gender Performance in Revolutionary Cuba

It was rolling sounds of song and dance, cries of liberation, “¡Viva Cuba Libre!” that provoked Cubans to rise from their beds and toss off their rough American-made sheets to fill their balconies with the bodies of a new citizenry. January 1, 1959 marked a new year for Cubans all over the nation, but also marked an entrance to a new world: a liberated nation. The dream of José Martí was finally realized, a united Cuban nation under her own self-determination. Yet, as the citizens of Cuba were awoken from their dreams on that morning and arose to enter a half-century old dream, whose beds were they leaving? Whose bodies shared these citizens’ beds as nationalism broke through their windows? In order to work against the modern binaries of public and private, we must first begin to engage with “‘clandestine countermemories’ that bring into the present those pasts that are deliberately forgotten within conventional nationalists or diasporic scripts.”
Nationalisms in Cuba have produced some of the most salient social and political movements in our contemporary history. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 serves as the most documented example of contemporary social and political nationalist movements in Cuba; however, this is not to say that movements have to take on such grandiose forms. Movements in Cuba (and throughout the world) have often occurred underground, yet within a Cuban context, discourses on nationalisms have been quite influential. In a quest for social and political autonomy from various ‘outside’ influences, nationalist discourse has served as an ideological basis for various movements that call us to reconsider the past in constructing a foundation for the future. Nationalism can be understood as a project simultaneously involving construction(s) of memory, history, and identity. But how is this manifested upon the body? This project intends to consider the question of the body, but more directly on queer  bodies within the context of nationalism in Cuba.
This thesis will be an attempt in the direction of scholars like Joan Scott who call us to rethink the way that we consider the past. I will investigate a history of nationalism as parallel to a history of gender and sexuality in Cuba. In this manner, I work to excavate the ways that sexuality, gender, and nationalism are collectively part and parcel of Cuban history. In addition, I seek to not just write queer women and trans people into the Cuban historical record, but elucidate how they were and continue to be social actors in Cuban sexual discourse.  This thesis seeks to consider how nationalist struggles are also linked through paradigm shifts in sexuality and gender performance resulting in queer and feminist social movements from 1959 to 2000 .

January 1, 1959 was the birth of a new nation for Cuba and the beginning of revolutionary Cuba.  Within the first few months after Fidel Castro’s July 26th Movement seized power from General Fulgencio Batista’s regime, significant shifts in political power instituted a contemporary manifestation of Cuban nationalism. Yet, nationalism in Cuba was certainly not a new development.
In the 1820s, when parts of Spain’s empire in Latin America were galvanized by Bolivar’s dream of a united and sovereign Latin America and rebelled to formed independent states, Cuba remained loyal to the Spanish crown. But, as John Charles Chasteen suggest in Born in Blood and Fire,  “Cuban resistance to colonialism begun to take over parts of the island, and leaders were influenced by similar Bolivarian movements throughout Latin America.”  The power of nationalist ideology broke the boundaries of Cuba, and influenced a number of movements including an armed resistance to Spanish colonial rule during the Ten-Years War (1868-1878). While the first national struggle was physically defeated in 1878, the struggle for national sovereignty remained in the dreams of many Cubans.   During this time, the man who would later serve to be the father of Cuban nationalism, José Martí published a serious of articles and essays in Cuba, Spain and the United States on the wrong doings of Spain in Cuba. In April 1895, while in exile in the United States, José Martí, declared a new war against Spain and proclaimed Cuba an independent republic.
In the midst of this struggle, Martí was assassinated and in 1898 the United States suspiciously entered the Cuban battle for liberation. The United States blamed Spain for the explosion that destroyed the U.S.S. Maine, the United States under the guise of solidarity entered for war for Cuban nationalist struggle.  After a peace treaty was signed between the United States and Spain later that year, the United States acquired a number of Spanish territories, including Cuba. For the next ten years, Cuba remained under U.S. governance. It was only in 1908 with the Platt Amendment did Cuba finally assume self-governance—but with a number of limitations in foreign and domestic policy that maintained the centrality of U.S. economic interests on the island.  Yet, as Louis A. Pérez, Jr. suggests in  “Incurring a Debt of Gratitude: 1898 and the Moral Sources of United States Hegemony in Cuba”, for many nationalists in Cuba, the Platt Amendment represented a transfer in power from Spain to the United States and did not sufficiently allow Cuba to live up the dream of a sovereign Cuba. “The Cuban Revolution in 1959 finally cancelled the debt of gratitude to [the United States]”  for their involvement in freeing the nation from colonial rule, and rendered Cuba an independent nation—but were all citizens of the new Cuban nation free?

Scholarship on Queer Cuba can be traced back to the early 1970s when women and men of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) began to think critically about the situation of queers both nationally and internationally. A number of the members of GLF were strongly influenced by Marxism and Marxist academic-activist praxis, and this ideological lens shaped the form of their queer political projects. In 1972, two activist-scholars and members of the GLF, Karla Jay and Allen Young published Out of the Closets: Voices of the Gay Liberation, in which they provide a glimpse at the individuals and ideologies of the nascent gay liberation movement. In a section titled, “Gay as the Sun,” Allen Young expands the scope of the anthology to include the voices of queer Cubans.
In the spirit of the third-world and women’s liberation movements, Young includes the voices of queer Cubans to expand the struggle for gay liberation to address intersections of gender, sexuality and nation. Also, Young sought to form an alliance between queers in both nations while exposing the “anti-homosexualism of the Cuban Revolution and their commitment to creating a society which would have no homosexuals.”  In “Letter from Cuban Gay People to the North American Gay Liberation Movement” (1970) and “Declaration by the First National Congress on Education and Culture” (1971) Young offers readers two invaluable primary sources of early queer Cuban responses to the revolution, but fails to offer any analysis of the documents. In light of this lack of analysis, these documents offer an ideal entrée into scholarly discourse on sexuality in Cuba. In turn, these will serve as foundational voices to this thesis project. Moreover, Young offers no analysis of these documents and I have not been able to come across any published book or article analyzing these documents as primary sources.
In 1982, through historical and sociological research , Allen Young published Gays Under the Cuban Revolution. In this text, Young expanded upon his chapter on queer Cubans in Out of the Closets: Voices of the Gay Liberation. Gays Under the Cuban Revolution to mention the various ways how gay American organizations assisted gay Cuban refugees.  Young directly addresses the plight of queer Cuban men, and the lengths to which the revolutionary government would attempt to stamp out “sexual deviance.” Not only were gay Cubans sent to concentration camps, but so were any person that did not behave according to the “average” man or woman. On the other hand, Young counters his argument about the Cuban government by stating that criminalizing homosexuality was purely a Soviet import. This argument is highly problematic, and does not adequately engage with a history of colonial sexual domination in Cuba.
Over five hundred years after the arrival Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors, a lasting impression remains on the social and political situations of Latin America. The most obvious lasting colonial characteristic is the Spanish and Portuguese language, but, the influence of the colonizers is not limited to linguistics. Much of Latin American society is structured according to colonial standards. This includes heavy influence from the Roman Catholic Church and traditional gender relations regulated by machismo and marianismo.  This system of gender relations has often led to the repression and persecution of queers in Cuba (and throughout Latin America) shortly after arrival Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors.
In 1994, Ian Lumsden, a Canadian political scientist engaged with the history of the treatment of male homosexuality under Castro in Machos,Maricones and Gays: Cuba and Homosexuality. Lumsden links the cultural history of queers in Cuba, which is often textually based , with a social-political history of the differences between “publicly” or “privately” gay in Cuba. Lumsden also addresses the shifts in women’s roles and gender politics, and effects these have on gay men in Cuba. Similar to the ways that Gay Liberation movements in the United States were heavily influenced by the discourse developed by the Women’s Liberation movement, Lumsden claims that gay men in Cuba have also been consciously influenced by shifts in women’s gender roles in the Revolution. While Lumsden’s text assumes that gender and sexual discourses are not static, he, however, does not directly speak about the dialectic between nationalism and sexuality or gender performance. Finally, his project focuses entirely upon men, again rendering queer women’s experience to the margins.
At the nexus of cultural history and literary studies, Emilio Bejel ’s Gay Cuban Nation offers a textual reading of the topic I am interested in pursuing for my thesis: nationalism and sexuality. Through close readings of writers such as José Martí, José Lezama Lima, Reinaldo Arenas and others, Bejel shows that the anxiety of homosexuality is always lurking in the shadows of nationalist discourse. Often this is communicated though a discussion on gender performances, but his key focus examines “the relationship between the definitions of homosexuality and Cuban nationalism”  Yet, Bejel’s text focuses is exclusively based on literature, and while he does offer historical context to each work he discusses, Gay Cuban Nation is certainly more of a literary analysis of discourses on sexuality in Cuba.

The key conversation lacking from this discussion is namely how nationalism and gender performance affected the lives of queer Cubans. Nationalism often produces gendered discourses of the “new” woman and man that call for people to adapt their gender performance to acclimate with the new nationalist gender discourse. Considering this causal relationship between discourse and performance, it is only when the people allow these gender discourses to govern their gender performance do they become citizens-subjects. What I attempt to convey is that when people transgress gender norms in nationalist and revolutionary contexts, they are labeled deviant and anti-social. This was certainly the case for queers in Cuba.
In this conversation on queers in Cuba, the voices that still remain on the margins are those of queer women and trans people. In making female and trans subjectivity central to a queer nationalist project, it begins to conceptualize nationalism in ways that do not invariably replicate heteronormative and patriarchal structures of sexuality and gender performance.
At this point, most of my sources deal directly with queer men in Cuba. Nina Menendez’s “Garzonas y Feministas in Cuban Women’s Writing of the 1920” in Sex and Sexuality in Latin America offers some example of how I could engage in a textual reading of the cultural history of queer women’s experience in Cuba. Menendez’s text, however, does not directly speak to the salience of nationalism in 1920s Cuba and the author does not offer any indication of the post-1959 situation of queer women in Cuba.
I have yet to find any primary sources that address queer women in Cuba, with the exception of one. In appendix C of Machos,Maricones and Gays: Cuba and Homosexuality, Ian Lumsden includes the “Manifesto of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Cuba” (July 28, 1994). Like Young’s inclusion of the “Letter from Cuban Gay People to the North American Gay Liberation Movement” and “Declaration by the First National Congress on Education and Culture,” Lumsden does not offer any analysis of this document, and I have been unable to locate any published scholarship that analytically addresses the manifesto in Lumsden’s text. These three primary sources represent a valuable entrée to this historiographical discourse on queer Cuba. I hope to expand my catalogue of primary sources through archival research in Cuba in October and at other libraries, archives and depositories at the universities with a history of scholarship focused on Cuba. I will also contact the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York to gain access to any archival documents they may have on sexuality in Cuba. Finally, I plan to visit the Gay Archives of Quebec in June to the hope of locating possible primary sources that may not be located in the United States.   The three primary sources I have mentioned, nonetheless, represent a site for me to contribute to this discussion in tracing how discourses on gender and nationalism have contributed to the knowledge production of queer Cubans .


April 21, 2008

In January 2008, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Roberto Francisco Santiago, a junior-level scholar at Sarah Lawrence College. The subject of his study involved LGBT/Queer Latin@s, and I am extremely honored to be included as a voice among other brilliant herman@s in this important project. Below is the transcript of the interview. If you are interested in Roberto’s project, please feel free to contact me and I will connect you with him (he not only happens to be an amazing scholar, he is also my long-time partner).

Read the rest of this entry »

Ambitious Child

April 20, 2008

Ambitious Child

My grandmother kept two small birds in her kitchen. As a child, I remember being completely in awe of birds. I did not understand how or why they could fly…or rather why I couldn’t. I, unlike those other stupid children I knew did not attempt to fly. I knew it was impossible for a human being to achieve self driven flight. But…I suppose the real question is: how did I know this? Although I did not break my arms, legs, head, neck or any other part of my body in any foolish attempt to soar with the birds, I carefully observed everyone else who did.
I suppose the ambitious child really had a fear of flying…

Without Notice

April 14, 2008

I just read some speeches by Maurice Bishop, the former Prime Minister of Grenada assinated after the U.S. invasion in 1983. I was provoked to respond directly to Bishop and the United States. If you want to read up on Grenada, wiki it–i support democratizing knowledge.

Without Notice

I am the voice that remains lost in your revolution.
I  cannot be explained in objective or subjective terms: I exist beyond that limited understanding.

I am the wo/man who does not know
of my fellow sisters
of the struggle
of who I really am.

This voice remains absent from your revolution and
I am not cognizant of the possibility of  my own liberation.

Your ties beyond this space
Nicaragua, Cuba, Iraq
provoke to me wonder:
where do your interests lie
what is your revolution?

The revolution lies in my body
I gave birth to it
and there it should begin and end with me.
my body lies present with a voice
an open womb bleeding for your revolution.

disease, illiteracy and famine
do not mark the parameters of my struggle—it cannot be explained in a material vision of
your image of
remains colonized
and my voice does not have a space.
it is imbedded in
so sharp that the dogs howl in misery each fortnight.

On your second and third anniversaries
will you wish to hear my
as you blow out the fire?
Oh, dear Bishop,
you can only see a connection to your colonizers:
their sneeze
into your cold.
yet, Bishop, in your revolutionary position of authority and oversight,
cannot see that when you cough
I choke and suffocate while warm trade winds speed through my naked hair.

Your revolution has improved the condition of my being,
but has not addressed the substance.
I now live:
longer, healthier, richer.
but my voice continues
lost in your reforms.

The crisis you speak of truly affects us all
and yes, affects us like a leech—
but I no longer have any more blood
to feed its hunger for raw materials.

Your Revolution seeks to deepen
individual and collective
and you call us, your local congregation to move
forward ever, backward never!
I remain lost somewhere in between.
Your Revolution seeks to deepen
international consciousness
rendering me lost before I reach the ears of interpreters.
I know not of my sisters elsewhere, because I know not of my sisters here.

Your jewel, with its sheer brilliance
renders me silent.

I have no voice.
I have no elections.

I mourn for the 17
but from bereavement
I now have my voice:
or so I believe.

Hello All,

It has been a while since my last post. I have been really consumed by work these past few weeks, but I hope to get back as soon as possible–better to post quality work, then just copious amounts of trash, eh?

Please take a look at these upcoming events. I will be present at all of them. Please come out and support the work of these amazing activists, organizers, intellectuals and fabulous people.

In Solidarity,




In the upcoming election, “Change” has been thrown around as a bit of a buzzword among the Democrats. This “change” promises to restore hope in government and address the neglect of citizens of the United States by the current dictatorship. For generations, the right wing has used divide-and-conquer tactics to impede liberation for women, people of color, trans & queer people, immigrants, youth, poor and low-income people, and countless others. For too long, this imposed division has prevented our movements from recognizing the points at which we intersect. At organizing at the InterSEXtions, we hope to focus and build upon these points of intersection – for example: educational inequality, gentrification, legislation that diminishes both the rights of LGBTQ people and immigrants (ie. Marriage rights and the REAL ID act), HIV/Aids as a health, socio-economic and political epidemic, and the war on Iraq. The SEX in interSEXtions is a commentary to copulate the issues, to rub our activisms and identities against each other, to grind together, to flirt with other political discourses, and to make love to the movement!

InterSEXtions is on a mission to create a “state” where NYC activists, students, and movement leaders of tomorrow come together from their distinctive backgrounds, with their diverse perspectives and skills, to investigate social injustices at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, “citizenship” and ability and learn tools for grassroots organizing to develop a vision to further their activism. A central tenet to this conference is to build a network and solidarity among activists and students involved in intersectional social change. organizing at the InterSEXtions will be invigorating, critical, multilogical, and groundbreaking for movement building in NYC.

This conference will be held on April 19th and 20th, and will be a part of the larger “Building the Movement Weekend,” working in solidarity with ARKestra: Arts for Advocacy and Social Change and Zami, Like Me: Queer Womyn of Color CipHER.


8:30-10am: Registration: Conference Resource Center, Lang Cafeteria

9am: Breakfast, Invocation and Libation: Julia Rhee, Leadership Academy Fellow with Young People For (YP4), Jamila Thompson, ARKestra and Women of Color Organization, Educator and Healer in training.

10a – 12:30p: Session 1

a. “Everyday Sexism and Modes of Resistance.”, Jamila Thompson, Women of Color Organization, ARKestra, Arts for Advocacy and Social Change.

b. “The Unexamined Whiteness of Teaching: The Challenge to Social Justice Education”, Bree Picower, Assistant Professor/ Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Teaching & Learning, Steindhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development, NYU., Core Member, NYCoRE.

c. Afro-Asian Relations: Hip-Hop as a Platform*”, Julia Rhee, Leadership Academy Fellow with Young People For (YP4)

d. Uses of the Erotic: In Activism and Scholarship,” Aih Djehuti Herukhuti Khepera Ra Temu Seti Amen, Ph.D.

12:30-2 p:



Keynote: Kaila Story, Ph.D. The Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, Assistant Professor Women’s and Gender Studies and Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville


Reflection and Harmonization: Jenn Ghost Bear

2p-4:30p: Session 2

a. Learning & Media Pro(e)d(u)cation @ the Intersection of Literacies and Difference.”, 2008 Cohort, Educational Video Center.

b. “First, Class: Economic Justice and Class Issues in the LGBT Movement*.”, Kenyon Farrow, Board Co-Chair, Queers for Economic Justice, New York, NY

c. Moving from Prevention to Intervention: HIV/AIDS Activism among Changing Times“, Michael Roberson, Executive Director, People of Color in Crisis (POCC), Frank Leon Roberts, Doctoral Student, New York University & Research Fellow, P.O.C.C..

d. Local Anti-War Movement Building: Students for a Democratic Society

4:45-5:45pm: Organizing Mixer: A meet and greet, mocktail hour for conference attendees.

6p-9p: Zami Like Me: Queer Womyn of Color CipHER

*Tentative workshop title/subject to change


11a-12:30p: Roundtable Discussion: “Academic Justice: A conversation with folks who seek it and fight for it.” Aih Djehuti Herukhuti Khepera Ra Temu Seti Amen, Ph.D., Jan Clausen, Greg Tewksbury

12:30-2p: Lunch

1p-2p: “Love=Peace: Spirituality and Social Justice.”, Maya Hatch and Kumiko Endo, Love=Peace Project

2p-4:30p: Session 1

a. “We know what we’re “against” but what are we “for”? Defining our vision for a progressive future.“, Dennis Chin, Program Associate, Movement Vision Lab, Center for Community Change, New York, NY

b. “Using Independent Media to Support Grassroots Organizing: Eugene Lang and Beyond.“, Eleanor Whitney, Lang Alumni, co-founding editor of New School Press Press (formerly Inprint), co-editor of, museum educator and freelance journalist, Irene Villasenor, youth organizer with P.O.V./American Documentary, Vani Natarajan, young adult librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library and member of Radical Reference.

c. [Re]Visions of Public Schooling: Grassroots Organizing for Educational Equity.”, Amita Swadhin, Sunset Park Education In Action Community (SPEAC) Collective

d. “Queer Diaspora: How might the cartography of a queer diaspora offer alternative narratives of globalization and its effects on subjectivity, culture, and kinship?”, Sadat Iqbal, Queer Union, NYU

5p: Closing Ceremony, Julia Rhee, Jenn Ghost Bear, Jamila Thompson, Maya Hatch

6p-9p: Zami Like Me: Queer Womyn of Color CipHER

*Tentative workshop title/subject to change

questions? email us at

conference produced by Joaquin Sanchez Jr and Harper Keenan,

the women of color organization, New School’s OPEN, Lang Student Union, Lang Dept of Education Studies, Lang Office of Community Activism and Participatory Citizenship

illustrations: Martin J. Fitzpatrick

and for a breakdown of Zami Like Me: Queer Womyn of Color CipHER:

“Does our sexual or racial identity compel an activist intersection with such a horrifying status quo or not? Is it sexual or racial identity that will catapult each of us into creative agency for social change? I would say, I hope so.” – June Jordan

Put on by The CipHER Project and co-sponsored by the New School Women of Color Organization and OPEN, the gay/straight alliance at The New School, Zami Like Me is a social, political, activist, artistic, educational and entertainment two day event that will serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, non-conforming, and two-spirited women of color and allies in celebration of our multiple identities, works and talents. It will be a one to two day women’s cipHER, a sharing space of skill, wit, talent and gifts that will run full circle, 360 degrees, with love and support. In reaching out to the New School community as well as the outside community, I hope to bring in artists (in many forms) and academics, youth and elders, to join in this two-day event to educate and learn about the issues that are prevalent to these women. This event will be on Saturday, April 19th and Sunday, April 20th.

[Please join us Saturday April 19 from 5:30-9 pm and Sunday April 20 from 6-9pm.]



black.womyn.:conversations with lesbians of african descent by tiona.m.

I Look Up to the Sky Now, created by Barbara M. Bickart and 11 young queer activists.

Like a Boy, Like a Girl by Ash. S. Tai and Cleopatra N. LaMothe






$5 to $10 suggested donation will be requested at the door. All proceeds are going to the Audre Lorde Project and the Youth Enrichment Services (YES) at the LGBTQ Center. NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY BECAUSE OF MONEY. There will also be a raffle foe a gift bag of goodies!

Zami Like Me