Thenmozhi Soundararajan The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marraiges and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.” Noorjahan Akbar
At 19 years old, Noorjahan Akbar's impassioned activism seems beyond her years. She has spearheaded efforts in her native Afghanistan ranging from a program called Voices for Hope, which teaches Afghan orphans creative writing, to rallying young people to campaign for Hamid Karzai's challenger in the 2009 presidential election in an effort to change "politics as usual." But Akbar's most recent initiative is her most ambitious. In April 2011, Akbar cofounded Young Women for Change, dedicated to working for gender equality in Afghanistan. Just a few months after launching, YWC staged a march against street harassment in Kabul, a rare form of protest in the country. In response to the recurring flooding in the Philippines, the Filipino artistic community wanted to raise money and awareness that there was nothing 'natural' about these disasters. But they knew they would have to go to drastic measures to get the point across.
OPERATION LIFEBOAT: On 8pm Sept 21st, Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre Company in partnership with Anakbayan-Toronto, Catherine Hernandez will be lying in a lifeboat filled to her chin in dirty water for a total of 24 hours. She will have no access to food and her only luxury will be to have access to clean water to drink at timed intervals and health professionals at the ready for her own health and safety. Through twitter, youtube and facebook feeds throughout the world, she will be watched as she observes a day-long demonstration/performance art installation to raise awareness and funds for the recurring flooding in the Philippines.
Her inspiration? The photo in the poster of this unknown child in Manila desperately floating amongst debris following the flooding.
"My aim is to be in solidarity with this young child whose struggle through filthy waters needs to be known internationally, as well as to raise funds for the survivors of the Manila floods this year," says Catherine. "I know that the culprits to this supposed natural disaster are political and economic. Every year we see that beyond the clear problems of climate change there is also the fact that government of the Philippines is more concerned with lining the pockets of a select few at the expense of the many, and for the benefit of people like us in the West. And it is a sad fact that the beneficiaries of this suffering include us in Canada." Anseth Andrews
For 27 years, Asenath Andrews has been the principal of the Ferguson Academy for Young Women, a college-prep school in Detroit for pregnant teens. Along with typical academic courses, Ferguson offers such life lessons as parenting, home repair, and nutrition. Andrews transformed her school's surrounding land into an urban farm, complete with chickens, rabbits, and even horses; she uses the farm to teach students how to be self-sufficient and care for living things. The school doubles as a nursery so moms can be near their babies once they're born—and not drop out of school. And to graduate, every student must gain acceptance to college. “We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives.”
(On why he let Willow cut all of her hair off) "to remain exempt from perpetuating social inequity" DEFINE MAINTAIN ENFORCE (cc) photo by medhead on Flickr POWER PRIVILEGE & The Single Story
"give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right."
- warsan shire. Systems of Advantage include discrimination, stereotypes, prejudice but most importantly, the power and the privilege required to maintain, perpetuate and establish itself through force and definition and domination.
They include racism, sexism, ableism, imperialism and classism among others. Our differences are our best assets. They said: ‘You are a savage and dangerous woman.’
I said: ‘I speak the truth and the truth is savage and dangerous.’
-Nawal El Saadawi Malala Yousafzai International Day Of The Girl Kim Katrin Crosby www.kimkatrincrosby.com Lee Maracle Gein Wong Rukhsana Khan http://cassa.on.ca/racismfreeontario/See the full transcript