ICE in hotels, Black Girls in Om, and Erica Garner

January 5, 2018

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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.

1. Anna Julia Cooper Center Annual Lecture: Dr. Brittany Cooper
Each year the Anna Julia Cooper Center hosts a distinguished scholar, activist, or artist to address the university and broader community. This year’s Annual Lecturer is Dr. Brittney Cooper! Brittney Cooper is a writer, teacher, and public speaker. She thinks Black feminism can change the world for the better. Brittney is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. She is co-founder of the popular Crunk Feminist Collective blog. And she is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com and a former contributor to Salon.com. Her cultural commentary has been featured on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, Al Jazeera’s Third Rail, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, PBS, Ebony.com, Essence.com, TheRoot.com, and TED.com.

2. Erica Garner Died of a Heart Attack. But It’s Racism That’s Killing Black Women.
Melissa Harris-Perry for ELLE.com: “Eric Garner’s death was individually tragic and collectively enraging. His death mattered because he was human and his death mattered because it captured a meaningful social death experienced by whole communities. The same is true for his daughter. She matters as a person, a woman, a mother, a daughter, an activist who had so much more to give. And she matters because her death reveals to us so many of the burdens carried by black women and girls as they navigate unequal systems in the American state.”

3. Washington State Sues Motel 6 for Sharing Guest Information With Immigration Officials
Alfonso Serrano for Colorlines: “This information was provided on an almost daily basis by some motels without the ICE agents having provided any documentation or evidence of reasonable suspicion, probable cause or a search warrant for the requested guest registry information. Motel 6 was aware that the ICE agents used the guest registry information to identify and single out guests based on national origin, including guests with Latino-sounding names…On a number of occasions, ICE agents arrested or otherwise detained guests after reviewing Motel 6’s guest registry information”

4. Black Girl In Om prioritizes wellness for women of color
Sadé Carpenter for the Chicago Tribune: “‘The overwhelming thing that I hear literally every single session from at least one person is…this idea of never have I ever entered a space with like all black and brown women…being in a space of positivity and affirmation and vulnerability,’ said Lauren Ash, Black Girl In Om founder and executive director. ‘It’s not just a yoga session. People don’t know that.’…Ash and Ivory strive to make wellness affordable and accessible for women of color. Self-Care Sunday classes cost $20, and BGIO has collaborated with other Chicago groups and spaces — like skincare shop Scratch Goods — to offer free or inexpensive programming. The BGIO podcast features conversations on topics including nutrition, mindfulness and meditation. Both say their viewpoints on holistic wellness have changed since Black Girl In Om.”

5. Women, People Of Color Still Abysmally Underrepresented In Hollywood Leadership
Marina Fang for Huffpost: “In some ways, 2017 was a landmark year for women in movies, with Patty Jenkins directing ‘Wonder Woman,’ one of the three highest-earning films at the box office, all of which featured major female characters. Several female directors also were behind smaller, critically acclaimed movies, like Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ and Dee Rees’ ‘Mudbound.’ But barely anything has changed for women in the movie industry over the last decade, according to a wide-ranging new study led by University of Southern California professor Stacy Smith, who regularly examines the issue of representation in Hollywood. Released Thursday, the report entitled ‘Inclusion in the Director’s Chair?’ found that from 2007 to 2017, there was no measurable change in the number of major movies directed by women or people of color.”