ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: social justice

Net Neutrality: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Net Neutrality. Two terms that have been popping up in debates on the Internet and elsewhere for a while, but I can almost guarantee that although you’ve heard the words before, you don’t know what they mean. Allow me to clarify it for you. John Oliver, on his HBO news re-cap Last Week Tonight cleared things up for me back in June after I watched his 13-minute video on the topic. Oliver’s exactly right when he points out that the reason net neutrality is being overlooked by the people it effects the most is because it’s being presented in a language that doesn’t engage them. The term net neutrality is actually a good thing. In its most simplistic explanation it means that the Internet is neutral. It’s a level playing… Read more »

WTF Ohio? A Guide to Current Legislation and Activism

Right now, there are no clinics in Ohio with active licenses to terminate pregnancies. Every single clinic is currently out of compliance with Ohio legislation. RH Reality Check just released a run-down on Ohio’s newly renewed anti-abortion budget yesterday. Over the past few months anti-choice legislators and activists have been engaging in attempts to shut down clinics one by one, without much interference from local lawmakers. Recent Ohio legislation has constructed a terrifying model for shutting down clinics — and it could get used by states across the country. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and other states have seen their fair share of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider, also known as TRAP, laws that are designed specifically to shut down provider service facilities. Fortunately for women’s health advocates, many judges have ruled… Read more »

Four Things I Learned as a Campus Organizer

In less than two weeks, I will be graduating from college. I will listen to a lot of that Vitamin C song, toss my cap up in the air and cry over my student loans. In all seriousness, I have learned so much in the last four years; I can’t imagine who I would be today without being a campus organizer. From me to you, here are the top four things I learned from my experiences and my peers. 1)      It’s about being ORGANIZED! Having a plan is so essential to making change on campus. If you aren’t strategically planning for social change on your campus, then there are some obvious loopholes that will make the process unnecessarily longer. This isn’t just the big details either; this also includes the… Read more »

Can A Buzzfeed Quiz Really Determine Your Privilege?

“I consider myself to be physically attractive.” “I’ve always had cable.” “I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.” These questions are from a Buzzfeed quiz called “How Privileged are You?” The quiz asks you a series of questions related to your gender, race, income, and sexual orientation, and then rates whether you are “not very privilege” or “privileged.”  And I think that it’s complete bullshit. There’s no “quiz” you can take to determine your privilege or oppressions. Understanding who you are and your access to privilege, spaces, and resources is complex.

Five Things I Want to See More At Social Justice Conferences

I adore social justice conferences. I love the spaces, the atmosphere, the fact that I know I have something in common with every person in the elevator. I almost always feel safe to be who I am at conferences. I will acknowledge that attending them and feeling safe at them is often a privilege, no matter how accessible they tend to be. I have been very fortunate that I have attended so many throughout college, but I have noticed that some of them fall short when it comes to really implementing inclusive spaces. These are some of the observations I’ve made about how to make them more inclusive. 1. Child care/child-friendly This is something I rarely see at conferences! Having kids in social justice spaces is so essential to keeping… Read more »

The Non-Issue of “White Face”

A few days ago, singer, songwriter, and actor Nick Cannon took to Instagram to promote his upcoming album “White People Party Music” by donning a white persona he calls Conner Smallnut. While some fans thought Cannon’s impersonation was on point, others took to their keyboards in protest, claiming that Cannon’s actions were ignorant, racist, and hypocritical. As a black person I have to admit that I occasionally forget how easy white people seem to get their panties in a bunch over fear that they are being victimized by racism. It continues to boggle my mind that this is a true worry for many white people, because it’s so clear that these people do not grasp the concept of racism.

Challenging Ableism: Autism and the Conversation about Vaccines

Recently there has been a debacle in the public health field about the connection between vaccines and autism. The Center for Disease Control will tell you there is no connection, while plenty of Americans and Jenny McCarthy believe that there is a definite link between the two. First off, there is such a range of autism. I will be using the term autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to cover the range of them, including Asperger syndrome, since there is rarely the distinction around this conversation. If you are not familiar with ASD, check out what information the Center for Disease Control has. But I am not here to debate with you about whether vaccines “cause” ASD. But here’s the thing: Why are we so afraid of autism and children with disabilities?

An Open Letter to Judge Orlando Garcia

Thank you. I don’t even think a thank you can express a fraction of how I’m feeling. It’s a kind of I want to run up to you and give you a long embracing hug as I cry in your shoulder kind of thank you. I’ve been a Texas southern boy my entire life. No, a gay Texas boy and I never thought in my young life that I would live to see today. As I see other states pass sweeping legislation granting a right to love, I never thought Texas would be nearing equality. I remember last summer when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA. I was in my accounting lecture and was browsing through my Facebook feed on one of our breaks. Status upon status of the news… Read more »

We Won’t Go Back: Raising Youth Voices in Reproductive Justice

History was recently made in Ohio when over 300 people rallied at the capitol in Ohio for reproductive rights. I was fortunate enough to attend the We Won’t Go Back rally at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio with my Choice USA chapter (and a fellow Choice USA blogger!). At this rally, I was very inspired by the high attendance, chants and calls to action to vote and change the political climate around abortion rights in Ohio. I felt lucky to be in the presence of America’s pro-choice superstars, such as Ellie Smeal of Feminist Majority Foundation. I kept thinking of how fortunate I was to be part of something so historical and important for my generation. However, I observed something funny about the representation of the reproductive justice movement throughout… Read more »

Like, Favorite, Retweet: At Netroots Nation, Sharing Was Caring

From National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change to CatalystCon to the National Womens Studies Association’s annual convening, I’ve been to my fair share of conferences. When I attended Netroots Nation last week, I was certain that that it would feel old hate. After all, conferences like this tend to follow a predictable template: 1. Tote bags are a given. 2. Where there are tote bags, there will be free swag.