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Here are some of the very cool things that have landed in my in-box in the past few days. Had to share!
- Reverend Billy Vs. Robobees: ‘This is a film by Stop Shopping Choir member and Ethiopian-American activist Theodros Tamirat. In it, Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir marched bee-pollinated food into the Micro Robotic Lab at Harvard University. The lead researcher in this project has received public accolades and money from Navy, Air Force and the notorious drone designers DARPA. His scientists are designing a HoneyBee robot that would artificially pollinate the factory farms of the future, while its possible military uses stop at the word “Surveillance.”‘ Help finance the Third HoneyBeeLujah RoboBee Exorcism here.
- Astraea Foundation is seeking donations. Help support their excellent work for queer folks here.
- Video: “Why Are We Stuck in Climate Denial?”
“This salon-style event was hosted by Gay Nicholson of Sustainable Tompkins. To begin the discussion, Nancy Menning (Philosophy and Religious Studies) of Ithaca College, and Dave Wolfe (Horticulture) and Lauren Chambliss (Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future) of Cornell University provided some insight into the complex and often subtle explanations for denial, and approaches for moving beyond denial to address important questions regarding solutions.” Other talks: May 8: Can business and technology save us? May 29: Will government intervene? June 19: Is it up to the citizenry? Click more info on the video for details on upcoming events.
- Queer Women Who Tech Summit New York JUNE 19-22 // NYU LAW SCHOOL // NEW YORK “The Lesbians Who Tech Summit is the only event focused on increasing visibility and tech participation in two historically underrepresented communities: women and LGBTQ. The Summit brings together hundreds of queer women in tech (and the people who love them), for the most unique technology conference ever. We’ll highlight incredible queer women who are the next generation of technical leaders, and the people who have paved the way.”
- Information Session: NY State of Health Marketplace: “Come and learn about how the Affordable Care Act affects you, your family and your community please come to this information session on Thursday, June 26 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at GIAC… Refreshments will be served.”
- The New Black is airing on PBS’ Independent Lens, and is up for an Audience Award. Click here to vote! “Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, this documentary takes viewers into the pews, the streets, and kitchen tables to look at how the African American community grapples with the gay rights issue.” Click here to view a TED Talk by the director, Yoruba Richen.
Hm, that was a lot of stuff! Sorry for the long post. Hope these sorts of posts are of interest to folks; let me know what you think!
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- “On April 18th the film 1971 directed by Johanna Hamilton, and produced by former Arts Engine team members, Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.”(More)
- “Sustainable Tompkins is launching The People’s Salon: Conversations that Matter to Your Future with a shared public inquiry into the climate dilemma. ‘The Climate, the Market, and the Commons’ will be the theme for a series of conversation salons held on Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm, on April 17, May 8, June 5, and June 19 at the Sustainability Center, 111 N. Albany St., Ithaca.” (More)
- “The moral agency of the Black church must never abandon its claim on an apology and reparations for the protracted crimes against African humanity, during and as a result of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.” (More)
From Astraea: “Watch our new video to find out how Astraea’s new global campaign Fueling the Frontlines will bolster grassroots movements for LGBTQI rights and justice. Astraea Executive Director J. Bob Alotta and grantee partner Jabulani C. Pereira, co-founder of Iranti-Org, will tell you about how we are working together towards a world that is safe for LGBTQI people around the globe.”
No meat at ‘Noah’ party (Page Six, NY Post):
Where’s the beef? That’s what the carnivores were wondering as they arrived at the Boathouse in Central Park for the “Noah” party.
The buffet tables were loaded with various forms of edible vegetable matter, but there was no meat, fish or cheese — because director Darren Aronofsky is vegan, as was the hero of his biblical epic, as played by Russell Crowe.
Fun fact: Carnivores are animals who can only survive by eating meat. This category does not include humans, who are omnivorous and perfectly capable (in most cases) of being vegan.
Another fun fact: “Edible vegetable matter” is also called, perhaps more appetizingly, “AWESOME VEGAN FOOD.”
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Anti-Semitism? Academic Freedom? Apartheid? Human Rights? Double Standard?
Let’s talk about it!
Jewish Voice for Peace invites you to a public discussion of the Academic Boycott of Israel with Cornell Professor and American Studies Association member Eric Cheyfitz.
When: Sunday, February 16th, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Where: Second Floor Annex, First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, Corner of Aurora and Buffalo Streets, Ithaca, NY.
Why: Because all of our voices matter!
Free and Open to the Public
Sponsored by Ithaca Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, Ithaca Catholic Worker, Dorothy Cotton Institute, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine, and Social Action Committee of First Unitarian Society of Ithaca.
The 83-year-old Rice has chosen to spend the final chapter of her life behind bars.
She faces a possible 30-year prison sentence on charges of interfering with national security and damaging federal property, resulting from an act of civil disobedience she committed in July last year.
Exhausted after hiking through the woods adjacent to the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that once provided the enriched uranium for the Hiroshima bomb, Rice, along with Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed splashed blood against the walls, put up banners and beat hammers “into plowshares” – a biblical reference to Isaiah 2:4, “They shall beat swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”
Breaking into a sensitive nuclear facility to stage a protest, the three activists were prepared for the worst. “We were very aware that we could have died,” Rice said.
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Never fear, vegan Easter is sweet! You can get vegan marshmallows and easter candy. You can make Devilish Potatoes (via Mercy for Animals) instead of deviled eggs, dye and hunt for vegan eggs, or make a vegan Easter basket. Start some seedlings for a spring garden or plant a tree or flower bulbs.
Easter is supposed to be a celebration of renewal and new life, and is often celebrated in a very child-centered way. Rather than objectifying and exploiting rabbits, chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals, why not set an example for children that demonstrates our respect for others of all species, and for the earth that we all call home? In the words of William Blake, “For Everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.”
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Watch what happens when a subway “preacher” tries to spread his heterosexism and homophobia and hate: A gay subway passenger stands up for himself and gets the whole car cheering for him by saying, “Jesus loves me!… Jesus is love! We can hear your falsehoods! There’s love in this train!… Love wins!”
I love this video for two reasons:
- It really reminds me of the usefulness of speaking to people in their own language, and to respect that they may be different from ourselves. Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully is an incredible book written by one of George W. Bush’s speechwriters, a conservative republican and a conservationist, not an abolitionist intersectional vegan by any means! However, his arguments have been enormously helpful to me in speaking with people who firmly believe that humans have God-given dominion over animals. I may not agree, and I might not define god in the same way they do, but I am now able to have an intelligent conversation with a right wing Christian carnist, in which I can respectfully quote all the compassionate Bible verses needed to counter the bloodthirsty ones they might feel attached to. Imagine what a different response this gay guy would have gotten if he’d said instead, “Your religion is oppressive and your Bible is lies!” By saying “Jesus is love” he effectively showed that the “preacher” was indeed a “false prophet,” at least, in the eyes of all of the people who were watching and who also want to believe that God, if s/he exists, is good and loving, and not hateful. Who are you going to agree with – the crazy bigot screaming vitriol, or the brave young man countering hatred with a reminder of Jesus’s love? I’m agnostic and more Buddhist than anything, but I’m still voting for the young man. Amen, brother.
- The other reason I love this video is because once Shira and I were on the train in NYC, and an old man and woman sat down across from us with Christian-themed baseball caps on, and started hissing hateful words at us, saying we were going to hell. We didn’t know how to defend ourselves. No one said anything in our defense. It was one of the cruelest, saddest experiences of my life. I wished dearly at the time that they could have seen me as a peace and justice activist, an ethical person who practices nonviolence in my every action, a loving person in a committed and healthy relationship, a community-minded voter and taxpayer, a fellow Brooklynite. Instead they saw something disgusting they wanted to destroy. It broke my heart. So I want to thank the young man in this video for his courage, for standing up and saying what I didn’t say. Love wins.
I also want to thank my freshman year roommate, Mer, and another one of our dorm-mates, Jesse, for having the courage to stand up one night at dinner, proclaiming, “I love Jesus!” It shocked me at the time because I hadn’t seen anyone progressive, any non-bigot, say something like that before, so exuberantly and honestly and earnestly, and from such a beautiful place of open-hearted love. If it wasn’t for those two people, and the influence of Hugh and his stories of radical Catholics (thank you Hugh!), I wouldn’t have come around to where I am now. My family has been wounded in the past by unjust and oppressive interpretations of religious scripture, and it’s taken me some time to get over my prejudice against religions and to find God in my own way. (Thanks to Josh A. for help in that department!)