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The Taskforce is Seeking A Dedicated Volunteer

The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women is seeking a dedicated volunteer who can devote 8 to 15 hours a week to help us with our mission. Hours are flexible and will be set by the volunteer. Additionally, the volunteer can work from home or anywhere else.

We are looking for a volunteer who has an interest and experience addressing gender issues. We are looking for someone who has an anti-oppressive lens and can work with a diverse population. Our ideal volunteer has excellent communication skills (especially written).

The volunteer will have the following communications and administrative responsibilities:

1. Regularly check our email account and respond to inquiries.
2. Manage our listserve.
3. Maintain our blog (by writing posts and sharing relevant information)
4. Offer administrative support to the ‘Black Girls Under Fire’ initiative

If interested in this opportunity, please send a cover letter and resume to chitaskforce@gmail.com — Attention: Mariame Kaba

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Healing Notes: Songs about Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Sometimes we can hear our own story told in lyrics. It can offer a sense of being understood, of not being alone in the world. Music often provides solace, allows us to reflect and sometimes to heal. Some have suggested that listening to music can be a form of therapy. It can provide a way to gain helpful insights to deal with problems we face. In honor of teen dating violence awareness month and the campaign to Free Marissa Alexander, we offer the following selection of songs about the realities of abuse and about overcoming violence.

1. Behind the Wall by Tracy Chapman

2. Birmingham by Amanda Marshall

3. Black Eyes Blue Tears by Shania Twain

4. Change by Patty Griffin

5. Don’t Ever Touch Me (again) by Dionne Farris (1994)

6. Fixing Her Hair by Ani Difranco (1992)

7. Good Enough by Sarah Mclachlan (1994)

8. His Hands by Janis Ian (1993)

9. How Come How Long by Babyface with Stevie Wonder (1996)

10. I Feel So Different by Sinead O’Connor (1991)

11. I Would Be Stronger Than That (1992) by Maura O’Connell (couldn’t find her version so sharing Faith Hill’s version of the song)

12. Island by Heather Nova (1999)

13. I’ve Got to Go Now by Toni Childs (1991)

14. Me and A Gun by Tori Amos (1992)

15. She Can’t Feel Anything Anymore by Paula Cole (1994)

16. Still by Macy Gray (1999)

17. Two Beds & A Coffee Machine (1999)

18. Valentine’s Day is Over by Billy Bragg (1988)

19. Voices Carry by Til Tuesday (1987)

20. Independence Day by Martina McBride (1993)

21. Foolish by Ashanti (2002)

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

A Black Girl Reader

blackcutie2
In June 2013, a group of women gathered to discuss the issues that affect Black girls in Chicagoland.  The event was titled “Black Girls Under Fire.” We talked about the various ways young Black women and girls are adversely impacted by institutional and personal violence. From this meeting, we have developed a Black Women’s Grassroots Think Tank. We will have more information about this project in the future. In the meantime, we would like to offer a list of readings about young Black women & girls that we have compiled. This, of course, is not a comprehensive list! In addition, we would welcome your suggestions of other texts that we should include on the list.

Black Girls Reader
(August 2013)

Brown, Jamila Aisha. “If Trayvon Martin had been a woman ….” The Guardian. July 12, 2013.

Brown, Ruth Nicole. Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy. Peter Lang Pub Incorporated, 2008.

Carroll, Rebecca. Sugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America. Three Rivers Press, 1997.

Cooper, Brittney. “Dark-skinned and plus-sized: The real Rachel Jeantel story.” The Salon. June 28, 2013. <http://www.salon.com/2013/06/28/did_anyone_really_hear_rachel_jeantel/&gt;.

Cooper, Brittney. “Does anyone care about black women?” The Salon. August 15, 2013. <http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/really_russell_simmons_a_harriet_tubman_sex_tape/&gt;.

Costigan, Catherine L., Cauce, Ana Mari, and Etchison, Kenyatta. “Changes in African-American Mother-Daughter Relationships During Adolescence: Conflict, Autonomy, and Warmth.  in Urban Girls Revisited: Building Strengths. Edited by Leadbeater-Ross, Bonnie J & Way, Niobe. New York University Press, 2007.

Dohrn, Bernardine. “All Ellas: Girls Locked Up.” Feminist Studies 30.2 (2004): 302-24.

Gaunt, Kyra D. The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop.  New York University Press, 2006.

French, Bryana H., and Helen A. Neville. “Black Teenage Girls’ Experiences with Sexual Coercion.” Black Women, Gender + Families 2.2 (2008): 77-98.

Hannon, Lance, Robert DeFina, and Sarah Bruch. “The Relationship between Skin Tone and School Suspension for African Americans.” Work in progress ed., 2013.

Hirsch, Barton J., et al. “Inner-City Youth Development Organizations: Strengthening Programs for Adolescent Girls.” The Journal of Early Adolescence 20.2 (2000): 210-30.

Jones, Nikki. “It’s about being a survivor…”: African American Girls, Gender, and the Context of Inner-City Violence. in Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence. Edited by Chesney-Lind, Meda & Jones, Nikki. State University of New York Press, 2010.

Jones, Nikki. Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence. Rutgers University Press, 2010.

Miller, Jody. Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence. New York University Press, 2008.

Morris, Monique W. “Race, Gender and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Expanding our Discussion to Inclusion.” Washington, DC: African American Policy Forum, 2012.

Ness, Cindy D. Why Girls Fight: Female Youth Violence in the Inner City. New York University Press, 2010.

Phillips, Lynn M. Speak for Yourself: What Girls Say about What Girls Need. Chicago. 2002.

Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean. Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women. New York University Press, 2007.

Smith, Jada Pinkett, and Donyelle Kennedy-McCullough. Girls Hold Up this World. New York: Cartwheel, 2004.

Stevens, J. W. Smart and Sassy: The Strengths of Inner-City Black Girls. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Tyler, Rosaland. “Helping Black Girls Grow Up Safely.” New Journal and Guide. 2013.< http://www.thenewjournalandguide.com/en/commentary/item/2769-helping-black-girls-grow-up-safely>

Wabuke, Hope. “But What About The Children?” The Feminist Wire. July 19, 2013.

Ward, Janie V. “Raising Resisters: The Role of Truth Telling in the Psychological Development of African American Girls.” in Construction Sites: Excavating Race, Class, and Gender among Urban Youth. Edited by Weis, Lois & Fine, Michelle. Teachers College Press, 2000.

Ward, Janie V. “Uncovering Truth, Recovering Lives: Lessons of Resistance in the Socialization of Black Girls.” in Urban Girls Revisited: Building Strengths. Edited by Leadbeater-Ross, Bonnie J & Way, Niobe. New York University Press, 2007.

Weeks, Debbie. “Where My Girls At? Black Girls and the Construction of the Sexual.” in All About the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity. Edited by Harris, Anita. Routledge, 2004.

White, Renee T. “In the Name of Love and Survival: Interpretations of Sexual Violence among Young Black American Women. in Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, and Revolutions. Edited by Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean & White, Renee T.  Rowan & Littlefield Inc, 1997.

Williams, Tania. “[ENOUGH] ‘I’ve Witnessed a Lot’.” Ebony. April 22, 2013 <http://www.ebony.com/news-views/enough-ive-witnessed-a-lot-003#axzz2cCEfv2Q2&gt;.

Winn, Maisha T. Girl Time: Literacy, Justice, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Teaching for Social Justice. New York: Teachers College Press, 2011.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Resources

 

The Taskforce is Seeking a Dedicated Volunteer…

The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women is seeking a dedicated volunteer who can devote 8 to 15 hours a week to help us with our mission. Hours are flexible and will be set by the volunteer. Additionally, the volunteer can work from home or anywhere else.

We are looking for a volunteer who has an interest and experience addressing gender issues. We are looking for someone who has an anti-oppressive lens and can work with a diverse population. Our ideal volunteer has excellent communication skills (especially written). We hope to have someone in place by mid-August.

The volunteer will have the following communications and administrative responsibilities:

1. Regularly check our email account and respond to inquiries.
2. Manage our listserve.
3. Maintain our blog (by writing posts and sharing relevant information)
4. Offer administrative support to the ‘Black Girls Under Fire’ initiative

If interested in this opportunity, please send a cover letter and resume to chitaskforce@gmail.com — Attention: Mariame Kaba

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Our Reporter’s Toolkit in the News…

Claudia Garcia Rojas, former coordinator and current volunteer with the Taskforce, has an op-ed in Policymic today. She shares some of the lessons she learned while researching our media toolkit titled Reporting on Rape and Sexual Violence: A Media Toolkit for Local and National Journalists to Better Media Coverage.

She writes:

During my time as Coordinator of the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women, I spent approximately a year researching rape and sexual violence reporting trends for the production of a media toolkit titled Reporting on Rape and Sexual Violence: A Media Toolkit for Local and National Journalists to Better Media Coverage.

On a spreadsheet, I compiled what those of us who do advocacy work would deem “bad” stories in one column, and “good” stories in another.

Bad stories are those where the reporter employs victim-blaming statements (from the New York Times: “She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some say”), witness testimonies that are one-sided (from ABC 20/20: “She had her arm wrapped around me and one hand on my chest. It just felt like she was coming on to me”), and superfluous details that shame the victim (from the New York Times: “They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s”). A bad story lacks accuracy, fairness, and objectivity.

On the other hand, a good story is written from an objective or trauma-informed angle. It’s the kind of story where a reporter opts for accurate language instead of opting for provocative words. Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams affirms this, writing “When the media uses the word ‘sex’ within a story about something where there are alleged victims of assault, it’s a semantic failure on an epic scale. It diminishes crime. It sensationalizes it. It removes the distinction between a normal, consensual act and violence. Sure, you could say that sex is an element of those stories. But you’d be missing the part about force and pathology.”

Read the rest here.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Media, Sexual assault, Violence

 

Black Girls Under Fire: A Workshop and Discussion – June 1

We’ve reached capacity for this event. Thanks for your interest. We’ll post notes about the event here later.

blackgirlsunderfire2

Register HERE by May 20th only if you are CERTAIN that you will be able to attend. Space is LIMITED.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Events, Incarceration, LGBTQ, Racism, Violence

 

Reframing the Discourse on Teen Pregnancy: Resource List

Last September, we hosted (along with our allies) a two-day conference about violence in the lives of Chicago girls and young women.  As part of this event, Katy Groves & Chez Rumpf offered a workshop about our need to reframe the discourse on teen pregnancy.

Below is a description of their workshop:

Title: Baby College for All
Facilitators: Katy Groves (Youth Service Project) and Chez Rumpf (Center for Urban Research and Learning, Loyola University and Project NIA)

This workshop seeks to shift the framework around teen pregnancy and parenting. Pregnant and parenting teen girls often are pathologized as deviant young people who have become pregnant as a result of their personal deficiencies and problems. As such, services targeting these young women often attempt to “fix” or “reform” them through individual-level interventions. This workshop will engage participants in imagining ways to de-stigmatize teen pregnancy and parenting. Rather than frame teen pregnancy as a life-ending event that shoulders young women with insurmountable barriers, we will consider how to create structural supports for young mothers and how to cultivate a culture that places a high value on children.

Using a popular education approach, facilitators will lead participants through an activity to identify the current stigma and pathologizing discourse about teen pregnancy and to investigate the causes and consequences of this stigma. Through another activity, facilitators and participants will explore the historical evolution of this stigma. The workshop will close with a visioning exercise to develop concrete strategies to foster a sense of communal responsibility for children.

At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with:
• an understanding of the historical development of current discourses about teen pregnancy
• a critical assessment of these discourses
• ideas about how to create supportive environments for teen parents and their children

You can find an excellent resource list that they handed out to workshop participants here.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Public policy, Racism, Resources, Violence

 

Fact Sheet: Teen Dating Violence and Forced Sex in Illinois & Chicago, 2011

Last summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health released the 2011 national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Survey results. This survey includes a lot of key information that would be relevant to those who work with youth in Chicago and Illinois.

You can find the full results here.

Mariame has compiled an updated fact sheet about teen dating violence and forced sex in Illinois and Chicago. You can download the fact sheet HERE.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Data, Sexual assault, Violence

 

March 20: The Invisibility of Police Violence Against Women & Girls of Color

Join us on March 20th from 6 to 8 p.m. as we partner with Project NIA to organize a discussion about the invisibility of police violence against women and girls of color. The event will take place at the Pop-Up Just Art Space, 729 West Maxwell Street. RSVP to policeviolence2011@gmail.com

Discussions and considerations of police brutality often focus on men as the primary victims of this violence. We know however that women are also the targets of violence by law enforcement.

Witness the following disturbing scene of a young women being roughly handled by police officers as she protested the killing of Kimani Gray just this Wednesday night.

On March 21, 2012, Rekia Boyd, a young African American woman, was with her friends enjoying an unusually beautiful Chicago March day. The four friends decided to walk to the store up the street. In order to do so they had to cross through an alley. Dante Servin an off-duty detective with the Chicago Police Department had recently moved into this gentrifying neighborhood.

Detective Servin was reportedly upset with late night noise behind his home across from Douglas Park and from his car had told a group of four people to quiet down. There were words, an object raised, and the detective fired his gun repeatedly.

Antonio Cross was hit in the hand. The object he had raised was a cell phone. Boyd was hit in the head and pulled off life support the following day.

Antonio Cross was charged with assaulting a police officer and is presently awaiting trial. The State’s Attorney asked for a continuance this past January because they were “not ready,” the new trial date is set for March 13, 2013 at 9am at 3150 Flournoy. Update: Charges against Antonia Cross were dropped.

Detective Dante Servin has been placed on administrative duty and no charges have been filed against him.

Join several speakers including Mariame Kaba (Project NIA, Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women)Crista Noel (Women’s All Points Bulletin), and Shira Hassan who will discuss the invisibility of police violence particularly against women and girls of color.

This event is part of a series called Black & Blue that examines policing, violence and resistance.  For information about the other events, click here.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Events, Police, Racism, Violence

 
 
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