activism

Don’t Choke On Your Silence

Sister Outsider.pngAudre Lorde’s Sister Outsider has sat on my shelf unread for decades. Thankfully, I picked it up last night and found these much-needed words for these times:

“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.

Cheat Sheet for the June 5 California Election

Responsible Citizen 2018

Edit as of May 29: It turns out not all ballots are the same and the bubble numbers aren’t matching up for everyone, so I’ve removed them from the tables below. You’ll have to search for the candidates by name on your ballot.

A friend of mine who’s overwhelmed by making ends meet and mommyhood asked me if I could tell her how to vote in the upcoming primary. Given how non-transparent electoral politics are, I assume she’s not the only one who could use a hand. So, I spent most of my Sunday figuring out which bubbles to fill in so that you don’t have to! (I highly recommend Ballotpedia.org to help sort through it all.) See my recommendations below. 

Remember that voicing your opinion at the voting booth is only one way of making societal change. In these trying times, we need much more than that. That said, happy voting, responsible citizen!   

Office  Person
Governor Gavin Newsom
Lt Governor Eleni Kounalakis
Secretary of State Alex Padilla
Controller Betty Yee
Treasurer Fiona Ma
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
Member of State Board of Equalization: 3rd District Cheryl Turner
US Senator Dianne Feinstein
US Representative Grace Napolitano
State Senator Mike Eng
Member of State Assembly Blanca Rubio
Judge of Superior Court: Office  No. 4 A. Veronica Sauceda
Judge: Office No. 16 Patricia (Patti) Hunter
Judge: Office No. 20 Wendy Segall
Judge: Office No. 60 Tony Cho
Judge: Office No. 63 Malcolm Mackey
Judge: Office No. 67 Maria Lucy Armendariz
Judge: Office No. 71 Danielle Gibbons
Judge: Office No. 113 Javier Perez
Judge: Office No. 118 David Diamond
Judge: Office No. 126 Rene Caldwell Gilbertson
Judge: Office No. 146 Armando Duran
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond
Assessor Jeffrey Prang
Sheriff Alex Villanueva
Prop Yes or No
68 Yes
69 Yes
70 No
71 Yes
72 Yes

The CAAP Chooses Me as an “Arab American Who Cares”!

CAAP

I’m so honored that the Center for Arab American Philanthropy has chosen me for their series “Arab Americans Who Care,” wherein they state they “can’t wait to see what waves Stephanie Abraham makes next!” Alhamdililah!!! Check out their generous feature, “Stephanie Abraham and a Passion for Helping Others.” (Also pasted below.)

(more…)

PSA for Mumia Abu Jamal #freemumia #treatmentnow #hepc

I first learned about Mumia Abu Jamal in 1998 when I was a student transferring from Pasadena City College to UCLA. At that time, the movement to free him was gaining steam, particularly on college campuses and I took it on wholeheartedly. I marched in protests in LA, San Francisco and Philly, shouting, “Brick by brick, wall by wall, we gonna free Mumia Abu Jamal.” I did an internship with a nonprofit wherein to communicate the urgency of his situation, we organized a national day of art on September 11th (two years before the Twin Towers fell) entitled “Mumia 911.” Inspired by his writings and those of other former Panthers like Assata, I focused my World Arts & Cultures degree on the links between social justice movements and art.

At that time, his case was an example of how people get railroaded by the state and sentenced to death with unfair trials — especially Black, poor people. It still is. Now, it’s also an example of how the state denies prisoners medicine and medical care.

Originally, Prison Radio asked me to write the script for this PSA–but then they asked me to read it as well! How could I refuse? I needed to communicate how dire the situation is, but I hardly recognize myself with such a serious tone.

Mumia continues to publish and to speak out as a voice of the voiceless. The movement to free him has taken some hits, but we’re still fighting for his life and freedom. Join us.