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Not Throw Away Women: Black and Indigenous Women Disrupt Violence
Sep09

Not Throw Away Women: Black and Indigenous Women Disrupt Violence

On this week’s show we’re exploring how some women have been dehumanized to the point of indifference. We’ll learn how one community is undoing the silence around the violence women of color face. We’ll also hear about how serial killers were able to hunt down mostly Black women for three decades in South Los Angeles. Then we’ll take you to the Yucatan where pregnant indigenous women struggle under a health care system failing to provide proper medical care. Featuring: Rochelle Robinson, Making Contact Fellow Kimberly Smith, community member attending Her Resilience mural project Gabrielle Rae Travis,  Her Resilience Community Outreach Coordinator Margaret Prescod founder of Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders and host of KPFK’s Sojourner Truth Mirna Aracely Tuz Acosta, Safe Maternity for the Indigenous Population in East Yucatan Neyi Amparo Cime Arceo, resident of Xanlah. Thanks to the Mary Wohlford Foundation for funding towards this program. Host: Laura Flynn and Jasmin Lopez Contributing Producers: Rochelle Robinson and Karen Stefan Tenorio Featured music: Blue Dot Sessions, Farsical Slow Driver, Inside the Origami Violin, Tanguedo Trans Alp, Gnossienne N1, Gnossienne N3 Black Ant, Fater Lee Broke For Free, Night Owl Phour Trakk, Long Transfer Kai Engel, Written in Ink More information: Her Resilience Kimberly Robertson’s obituary Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders Sojourner Truth Radio HBO Tales of the Grim Sleeper LA Weekly, Grim Sleeper Returns: He’s Murdering Angelenos, As Cops Hunt His DNA The Grim Sleeper timeline Nick Broomfield Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Accountability in Maternal and Reproductive Health: Experiences from Civil Society from India, Mexico, and Nigeria Femicide in Mexico: Mapping of Silence Archival Footage: AP, New Sketches of California Serial Killer, December 18, 2009 ABC News, Grim Sleepers Mysterious Photos Normalizing Violence Puts Black Women’s Lives at Risk Making Contact’s fellow Rochelle Robinson brings us this story exploring how violence against women, especially women of color, is so pervasive that we’re numbed into thinking it’s nothing less than normal. While the homicide rate for Black women has decreased over the years nationwide, in 2010, the rate was twice as high for Black women than all female victims combined.  In this story the first voice you’ll hear is Kimberly Smith, and then Rochelle Robinson as they talk about their own brushes with death. How Serial Killers Stalked Black Women in South Los Angeles In the 1980s in South Los Angeles more than a dozen black women were murdered. Many of these women’s bodies were found in parks, alleyways, and dumpsters.It’s believed somewhere between 3 and 5 different serial killers were targeting the South LA community in the 80s and 90s. One suspect, Lonnie Franklin, Jr.,...

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Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.
Jul06

Why we need more voices to speak the unspeakable.

My Community Radio Storytelling Fellowship with Making Contact (MC) has come to an end and I’m confident that my voice has been heard!   I am happy to have had the opportunity to be one of the first cohort of fellows to participate in what was both a challenging and engaging project, which I want to dedicate to Kimberly Robertson (may she forever rest in peace) and to all of the black female (including transwomen) victims and survivors of violence. My challenge stemmed from my topic about the unspeakable and perpetual violence against women, particularly black women, violence so normalized as to render us silent, invisible, and for far too many, dead.  Having to tell my personal story of domestic violence and sexual assault was hard at times.  While I had believed these experiences I’d survived were behind me, that I had moved on from the pain and suffering of those awful moments, I found myself struggling to tell the story without the memory of it consuming me. I would choke on the words as they tried to release themselves from my heart and my throat.  I would feel anxious about opening up those wounds and being left vulnerable while reliving the helplessness and despair that was once my life, a life exposed to violence.  Yet my desire to resist, challenge, and disrupt the status quo mindset that if it happens to black women it can’t be a crime, fueled me to see this project to its completion.  It is a small contribution to a very critical and complex issue that needs our attention and further discourse. This fellowship engaged me in dialogue with other powerful storytellers and agents of change.  It brought me into the company of the Her Resilience Mural Project, where the lives of women affected by violence in Oakland, CA became a clarion call for healing and a push for community and political discourse because this has to end and it won’t end if we don’t address it, if we continue to ignore this pandemic of trauma and death. I was inspired and lifted through these conversations with artists and organizers, many of whom had also survived violence and/or had friends and loved ones who survived or were murdered.  At times these voices were strong, clear, resilient and no longer afraid.  Other times, I can hear, see, and feel the tears, the pause manifested from the pain of retelling, of memories that can keep us bound and gagged and unresponsive. In those moments we found solace in spaces carved out for us to safely say what had been almost impossible in a society that would rather...

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Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat
May21

Making Contact’s Violence Against Women of Color Live Chat

“This hierarchy of human life where if you are a woman of color and you’re impoverished, you’re at the very bottom and your life is seen as not worth anything.” –Margaret Prescod Join us on May 21st at 3pm PST as we discuss domestic, healthcare and police violence against women of color. This conversation continues our ongoing coverage on the cultural and structural dimensions of how violence against women and is being produced in solidarity with the National Day of Action to End State Violence Against Black Women and Girls. Follow the conversation on this page at 3pm and add your voice using the #vawchat hashtag. Black women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35 percent higher than white women. In Mexico an indigenous woman is 3 times more likely to die in child birth than a non indigenous woman. In the United States 3 women are murdered every day due to male domestic violence. End Violence Against Women of Color More information: Her Resilience Kimberly Robertson’s obituary Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders Sojourner Truth Radio HBO Tales of the Grim Sleeper LA Weekly, Grim Sleeper Returns: He’s Murdering Angelenos, As Cops Hunt His DNA The Grim Sleeper timeline Nick Broomfield Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Accountability in Maternal and Reproductive Health: Experiences from Civil Society from India, Mexico, and Nigeria Femicide in Mexico: Mapping of Silence Archival Footage: AP, New Sketches of California Serial Killer, December 18, 2009 ABC News, Grim Sleepers Mysterious...

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East Oakland Mural honors women effected by violence
May20

East Oakland Mural honors women effected by violence

Her Resilience, the arts organization featured in Not Throw Away Women is an art-based, women-centered project intended to honor, commemorate and celebrate the lives of women affected by violence in the Oakland community. The project was created by Hazel Streete in honor of Kimberly Robertson, a young Black woman who was raped and murdered in Oakland last spring. Participating artists include Kira Marriner, Melody Shaiken, Nicole Gervacio, Magick Monica, Joanne Ludwig, Summer April Lelia, Shana La Reina, Kate Klingbeil, Adee Roberson & Ximena Soza (collaboration), Kindah Khalidy and Angelica Padmavati. Here are some photos from the project and listen to the radio segment above. And follow the #VAWchat Twitter hashtag on Thursday May 21st at 3pm PST for our live chat on violence against women. Image from Her Resilience...

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Storytelling fellow Rochelle Robinson on normalized violence against black women.
Feb23

Storytelling fellow Rochelle Robinson on normalized violence against black women.

I am a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. My experience informs my narrative and the perspective I plan to bring to this project as the new Community Storytelling Radio Fellowship – about how it feels to be Black, female, often economically disadvantaged, and at a disproportionately high risk of physical and sexual violence. These stories rarely make it into mainstream media; our lives and our deaths get no attention and would appear we don’t deserve any…There is little justice, little consequence, and no national outcry to put an end to the violence against us because committing acts of violence against Black women is not thought of as unusual. And, shouldn’t we be used to it? In thinking about my story, I was drawn to that of Kimberly Robertson, a young Black woman who was raped and murdered in Oakland last spring. Her body was found at Francis Marion Smith Park at Park Boulevard and Newton Avenue, and except for the minimal local media attention, she was all but forgotten. However, Kimberly’s unfortunate and untimely death caught the attention of a local resident, Hazel Streete, who was inspired to coordinate a local art project, “Her Resilience: A Mural for Women Affected by Violence,” now underway at Park Community Garden in East Oakland. In this way, Kimberly’s life and the life of others will be memorialized, honored and serve as a reminder that women’s lives matter, and for me that means Black women, too. Her Resilience: A Mural for Women Affected by Violence In Oakland from Lea Bruno on...

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