26 December 2011

evangeline moore lives in the dc area

Who is Evangeline Moore? She is the daughter of Harriette Moore & Harry Moore, two courageous individuals who fought for civil rights and justice in Florida in the 1940s and early 1950s. I first learned about the Moores in a beautiful and haunting song by Sweet Honey in the Rock.  Based on Langston Hughes' poem, "Ballad of Harry Moore." 

I continue to be enamored of and stunned by the love and commitment that the Moores displayed as leaders and activists.  In the face of very real terror.

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday about Evangeline Moore and how she continues to be haunted by the fact that the individual(s) who bombed her parents' home on Christmas night in 1951 was never found.  (Her father died on the way to the hospital and her mother 9 days later.) The case was recently closed by the Justice Department.  Read it here.

Evangeline Moore is 81 years old.  I hope that she is able to attain a sense of peace by learning, after  60 years, who murdered her parents. 

03 December 2011

transpositional pun contest redux

i know you are all still giddy from the transpositional pun contest i did back in march 2010. (just learned that when you google transpositional pun contest my posts are the 2nd, 3rd & 4th entries!)

well, i've returned to it because i saw a bumper sticker that was priceless:

a rind is a terrible thing to waste

not only because it's a play on the UNCF motto, but also because it dovetails so nicely with Kelly Quinn's winning entry.


23 November 2011

social justice & advice columns

Martin Luther King, Jr. (uploaded from TheRoot.com)
are there any other combinations that could be more incongruous?  yet, they are two of my favorite things!  i am committed to living ethically and fighting for social justice.  and i love advice columns.  (i feel like i should stand up as though at an advice column readers anonymous meeting.)

so you know that i was absolutely undone when i read that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an advice column for Ebony magazine from 1957-1958.  so this was post-Montgomery Bus Boycott, people. incredible!

the column was titled "Advice for Living," and from the few snippets i've read, it adheres to the advice column style that we know. people were writing in for advice about love, relationships, etc.  and King's answers range from spot-on, hilarious to unfortunate.

so, of course, my "big idea" wheels are churning and i'm wondering whether radical politics and advice-giving could be made congruous.

hmmm.  so what might that look like?

dear marya:  i'm part of the 99% and have been active in the occupy movement.  we have been getting donations from restaurants and most of the food isn't vegan.  yet, i am.  i don't know whether to fast, sneak out to cafe green and spend $20+ on a delicious meal or just be grateful for what's been given with love and eat it. signed hungry and vegan everyday

dear have:  first, i want to commend you for being part of the 99% and doing your part to bring forth a more equitable world.  i feel your (hunger) pain(s).  i have also thought about joining occupy dc for a weekend and i stop myself because of my concern about what the hell i would eat.  on the one hand, you want to stay true to your personal ethics and your commitment to ending factory farming in the u.s.  at the same time, you understand that sharing food is an important part of being communal and that there is serious disparity in food access and you don't want to contribute to a 1% food culture.  so what to do?  first, accept that there is no one right answer.  second, that whatever you decide is ok.  i would also talk to the food coordinator and reach out to local groups, including food not bombs, vsdc and cok for donations and suggestions.

what's your verdict?  congruous or incongruous?

11 October 2011

Howard University & Environmental Defense Fund

Howard University and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are partnering on an environmental leadership initiative.  The goals of the partnership are to "provide unprecedented educational and career opportunities for Howard University students, while providing diverse and premiere academic candidates to EDF and the greater environmental community."

A dedicated group of students, faculty and staff at Howard have been committed to making their university a sustainability standout.  This partnership should be an excellent step toward creating a strong sustainability infrastructure. 

Highlights of the partnership, which are still being worked out, include developing "green" curricula and creating internship and fellowship opportunities @EDF.  In addition, EDF will collaborate on a "practical energy efficiency investment plan for the university."

Read these press releases from Howard University and EDF.

17 August 2011

zimride expands

Zimride, a ride-sharing program for individuals who want to carpool with others, is now expanding.  Initially a network system for universities and corporations, it is now open to all.

You can offer a ride and request a ride.  It seems to be primarily based on the west coast.  Hopefully, with the expansion, it will be available throughout the U.S. soon.

check out Zimride here.

22 July 2011

bike repair vending machine

Bike fixtation is a mini service station for your bicycle.  i love it!

You can buy parts from the vending machine (& snacks!) and then use the bike mount and tools to fix your bike. 

 It's only available in Minnesota now.  Whose ready to partner with me to buy one for DC?

10 July 2011

5 cyclists project in the news!

Check out the Washington Post article on black women & cycling!  It features the 5 cyclists project and Black Women Bike: DC.

Share widely, encourage friends/colleagues to LIKE the 5 cyclists project facebook page and comment @washpost article.

 Here's the link!

05 July 2011

nyt reports on women, cycing & safety in new york

According to the New York Times, women don't feel as safe riding bikes in New York City. 


I am always skeptical of articles that use gender (& race) solely to make an argument.  It's usually much more complicated.

I will admit, however, that I had been hesitant to ride a bike because I was a parent.  I didn't want to chance something happening to me and having my daughter be left "all alone." But then I decided that the benefits far exceeded the risks. 

What about you?  Any thoughts about this article?  Have you decided not to ride because of safety concerns?

check out article here. 


06 June 2011

world's biggest/baddest bikeshare is @hangzhou, china

Check out this great video below on hangzhou's bike share program.  Why do I love it?

2 main reasons:

1.  Some of the bikes have built-in seats for children!
2.  There is a multi-modal connection btw the bikes and buses--if you ride the bus first you get 90 minutes of free biking!  (I love multi-modalities.  It would be so great if there was synergy btw buses/subway, zipcar and capital bikeshare in DC--the same card for all and/or discounts to encourage use!)

check it out!

01 May 2011

my 1st bike crash!

I had my first real bike crash yesterday.  I was on my way back from a glorious afternoon @Benning Library in DC.  Why was it glorious?  Because it was a clear warm sunny day.  And because I taught 2 adults how to ride a bike!  WABA has a special initiative in Wards 7 & 8 to teach cycling, and to do free bike repair in partnership with Bike House.

I biked 5 miles from my house to Benning Library.  it was great!  On the way back, though, I didn't fully take a lane & a car got too close and I fell off my bike & hit my mouth pretty hard.  I'm ok.  (& several people stopped to make sure i was ok.) 

I was a little shaken and walked from Florida Avenue & Benning Road to the New York Avenue metro stop.  And then biked home from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth metro stop. 

21 April 2011

5 cyclists project officially launched!

I have officially launched the 5 cyclists project with a Facebook page.  Check it out, "like" it and share it with your friends.  One of my goals for Earth Day is to get 25 likes so that I can get a schnazzy url.

 What's the 5 cyclists project?  

1.  A collaborative, web-based research project about the 3-day NY 2 DC road trip that the above 5 cyclists completed in 1928

2.  A 2012 challenge ride that I and four others will complete in honor of the 84th anniversary of the 5 cyclists' ride.

3.  A media project that illumines and reminds us that just because we don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

And stay tuned for the 5 cyclists project website. 

photo from the Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.  SI owns the copyright.

12 April 2011

# of mobilities in 1 day?

let the contest begin!  How many modes of transportation have you taken  in one day?  Mara & I did six today:

riding the bus
riding the subway

do i hear seven?

07 April 2011

tiny house @dc--new photos!

Ripley shares:
Although not all the posts and beams are up, they are all built and stored in the garage. In this picture, we have started working on the floor of the loft. The loft floor will be over the kitchen, bathroom and mini hallway and will stop at the living room area, accessed by a wooden ladder. The living room will have a 13.5 foot ceiling and will make the room appear spacious.
Here's another view:

For earlier posts about the tiny house click here & click here.

04 April 2011

4 April 1968

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., would have been 82 today. 

Click here for an earlier post I wrote about trying NOT to explain how King died to Mara.

Click here for an earlier post I wrote about black history month & assassinations.

03 April 2011

bike valeting & cherry blossom madness

Mara & I volunteered at WABA's bike valet parking at the Cherry Blossom Festival for a couple of hours this afternoon.  It was a far cry from the stillness in the photo above.  We had BIG fun checking bikes in/out.  People were genuinely appreciative of this free valet service.  And Mara had her bike with her, so she got to ride around alot, too.

But getting to and leaving the Jefferson Memorial was pure-d April madness.  It took us 30 minutes to walk from the Smithsonian Metro station to the Jefferson Memorial.  And on the way back, we were told that the Smithsonian station was only open to exiting passengers.  Everyone was instructed to walk a block to the Department of Agriculture stop.  Well, that line was a block long.  So Mara and I hiked over to 7th Street, caught a Circulator to 9th & O, NW and then hopped in a cab.  What should have taken 45 minutes took 2 hours!

Note to self:  volunteer to bike valet @smaller event & marvel @cherry blossoms on a weekday.


01 April 2011

women & cycling @dc

Curious about the gender ratios of cyclists in DC & throughout the US?  Check out post @greatergreaterwashington blog

main points:
1.  DC has one of the highest percentages of female cyclists in the country.
2.  Car drivers tend to be more courteous to female cyclists who take on look & posture of Mary Poppins:  riding upright with a dress/skirt.

Have you noticed a difference in how car drivers treat you? 

tiny house @dc

Ripley is progressing well with the building of her tiny house.  She sent me this image a few days ago. 

how exciting!

This is how the house looked last October.

 Click here for earlier post re the building of the tiny house.

14 March 2011

conference: why the animal?

On 12 April, @UC Berkeley's Science, Technology & Society Center, there will be a conference titled:

Why the Animal?: Queer Animalities, Indigenous Naturecultures, & Critical Race Approaches to Animal Studies

Conference description:

This symposium brings together scholars within animal studies who focus on queer and critical race approaches with scholars working within longer-lived strands of study—indigenous approaches to knowing “nonhumans” focused on critiquing settler colonialism and its management of nonhuman others. Some of the scholars also consider human relations with beings classed in dominant frameworks as “nonliving.” Our hope is that their conversation, together with ample opportunity for audience responses and provocations, will generate fruitful intellectual cross-fertilizations.

I so wish that I could attend to hear the papers & discussions about critical race studies, queer studies & animal studies.  I hope that it's videotaped and uploaded on their website.
Conference details here.

09 March 2011

vegaphobia in the uk!

What's vegaphobia you ask?  It's a derogatory portrayal of vegans and veganism.

It's a term coined (?) by two UK researchers, Matthew Cole & Karen Morgan, for an academic article titled, "Vegaphobia: derogatory discourses of veganism and the reproduction of speciesism in UK national newspapers."  The article appears in the British Journal of Sociology, March 2011, pp. 134-153 and is available online here.

Their 3 main points:

1.  the newspapers empirically misrepresent the experience of veganism;
2.  the newspapers do a moral injury to omnivorous readers by not giving them accurate information;
3.  the newspapers exploit & reproduce violent relations between human and nonhuman animals.

24 February 2011

dead pile: play re factory farms @chicago

Dead Pile cast members;  Justin James Farmer (center) plays Jeremy, the investigator
photo by Michael Litchfield
Dead Pile, a play about factory farms, is currently running in Chicago @XIII Pocket at Stage 773. 

what it is:
Jeremy, played by Justin James Farmer, is an investigator "who goes undercover at factory farms to film the often-horrific abuses committed within. But when he’s sent to do an expose on a dairy farm in southern Indiana, he runs up against some difficult questions about his chosen line of work. A play that forces us to look at what we eat, and what we’re willing to sacrifice."

for how long:
You have four days left to see the play.  It ends on 27 February.  You can get tickets here.

what the writer & producer say:
Here's an interview with Laura Jacqmin & Megan Schuchman @vegansaurus. Here's another interview @Vegan Mainstream.

Has anyone already seen Dead Pile?  I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

22 February 2011

♫ we're walking, we're walking, we're walking ♫

Mara and I are loudly singing Mary, Mary's, "I'm Walking," and we're walking!


Mara and I regularly walk the 8 blocks from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth metro station to our house.  And both of us do it without complaints now.

We were spoiled before.  We used to live a mere leap and skip from the subway.  So 8 blocks felt like another country.  I wrote about that transition here.  But now it feels like it's around the corner.

I realize, too, that it marks a milestone in Mara's mad march toward independence. 

i love it!

21 February 2011

black history month & assassinations

Malcolm X, 1964 (wiki)
On this day, 46 years ago, Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) was assassinated.  Though occurring during Black History Month, neither Malcolm X's death (nor life) is standard fare, particularly within early elementary education.  And, perhaps, you are thinking that he shouldn't be.

Martin & Malcolm waiting 4 press conference re Civil Rights Act of 1964 (wiki)
Yet, children annually learn about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  And I think that's a problem.  Read my dear martin letter re my conversation about King being a good neighbor prompting my 4 yr old to ask how he died.  A question I was not expecting and awkwardly dodged.

Why did I dodge it?  Because she is too young to understand the complexities of the answer.

Apparently, many educators disagree with me.  At one private school in DC, the head of the school matter-of-factly explained during an admissions visit (not prompted by a query from me) that K & 1st grade students learn about King and are told that he was assassinated "because he was black."

Aaaarrrggghhh!  Exit complexity and enter white privilege & the power of language. 

King's (self-identified, culturally imposed & legally sanctioned) blackness was NOT the cause or the problem.  He was assassinated because the white murderer(s), supported by an entrenched system of white power & privilege, was racist and afraid.

At another private school, 1st graders are shown photos of King laying in blood on a balcony @Lorraine Motel.  NO! NO! NO!  A friend's son had nightmares for weeks.  When she complained, she was told that most other children watch television and see blood regularly so it wasn't a big deal.  But the white administrator failed to understand what it means for a historically and primarily white school focused on divers#!% (yes, this is a 4-letter word for me) for whites (let's be honest) to so casually equate black history month with death for 5-7 year olds.

But, of course, this is part of the commercialized King package which has become standard educational fare.

So, I think that I'm happy that Malcolm X is absent from the divers#!% deluxe pack for Black History Month.  I would hate to see him revamped and disfigured for white consumption.

04 February 2011

zipcar tests plug-in hybrids

Zipcar has added eight Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) into its car fleet. The Prius PHVS are available in Boston, Portland and San Francisco.

For more on this story, click here.

28 January 2011

29 january is vegan pizza day!

I have very fond memories of eating pizza over the past 30+ years.

Shakey's was my first pizza love. The crust was thin, the grease was plentiful and the sauce was very tomatoey. We used to go to the one in Langley Park (Maryland) that was close to where we lived.

As a teenager, I stole money from my mother to buy Stouffer's pizza, an expensive french bread pizza.

I remember eating my last non-vegan pizza when I was in graduate school in Ann Arbor (Michigan) in the early 1990s.

fast forward 10+ years....

Mara and I eat pizza about two times a week. We buy a frozen corn pizza crust (by Vicolo) and add our own toppings. Or Mara will just eat the crust!

It is daiya, however, that has truly transformed the vegan pizza genre! It actually MELTS. And it has singularly convinced Mara that being vegan is life-longingly fabulous.

So, clearly, we are looking forward to celebrating Vegan Pizza Day tomorrow. We just have to decide where to go. In DC, we're lucky to have at least a dozen choices. See them here.

Where will you go tomorrow? Or will you make your own? If you do the latter, please send a recipe. Either way, send photos!

14 January 2011

hazel johnson & people for community recovery

Check out this video about Hazel Johnson, who recently died, and her work in Chicago re environmental justice.

Altgeld Gardens:Life in a Toxic Enviroment from Jennifer T. Lacey on Vimeo.