Weekly e-Newsletter 3/9/22

Art of the Week

“The Sound of their Names”

Praise their grit and gospel, their glistening
brains, their minds on fire. Neurons, numbering the stars.

Praise their bones. Their spines and skulls,
the axis, the atlas: I will not and I shall.

Their mouths, praise. Ridged palates
and smart muscular tongues, teeth, sound or pitted,
their wit and will. Their nerve,

and founded within the body. Honor
now their wombs and hearts, biceps and blood,
deep mines of the flesh where passion is tested.

Thank all twenty-six bones of their feet,
arches, heels, bunions, sweat,

marching the streets in high buttoned boots. Praise
the march. Praise justice.
Though slow and clotted. 

Their hands at the press. The grease and clatter,
the smell of ink. Feel the sound
of their names in our mouths:

Susan B. Anthony

Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett

Praise their eyelids that close
and give rest
at the end of each long day.

Praise the work that goes on. 

Poem by Ellen Bass, an American poet from New Jersey. “The Sound of their Names” is part of The Project 19 Initiative, the largest women-only commissioned collection in history.

The initiative was created and released in March 2020 to celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which provided women with the legal right to vote.

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Credit: Edi/NIH

Q: Am I an ally by simply having BIPOC friends?

A: No. An ally is someone who makes the intentional decision to understand, empathize and act in support of others.

This oftentimes looks like using one’s own place of privilege, through voice or action, to invoke change for Black and African American communities. 

Allyship does not have to be complicated, but it should be intentional. Read more on allyship from the NIH. 

Inspiration: Switzerland Breaks 500 year-long Neutrality

(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

During disagreements, people who desire to stay neutral have often used the phrase “I’m going to be Switzerland on this issue.” Well, those people will have to find something else to say. 

For the first time in over 500 years, Switzerland has broken its neutrality in favor of adopting sanctions against Russia. 

Switzerland president Ignazio Cassiss has stated, “To play into the hands of an aggressor is not neutral. Having signed the Geneva convention of human rights, we are bound to humanitarian order.”

This is a powerful and inspiring reminder of Dr. King’s message that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

Imagining and creating a world of equity and kindness requires us to help our fellow neighbor during times of distress.

Sustainability Tip: Coming to terms with anti-racism

Credit: Getty Images

As we continue to seek equity and justice in our world, there are many new terms that have entered our everyday vocabulary.

Some of those words include: anti-racism, intersectionality, unconscious bias and micromessages. 

To promote a better understanding, Bing has created a short anti-racism glossary to help us. Check it out here

Weekly e-Newsletter

March 9, 2022
Editors: Rae’Jean Alford & Terry Gips

At the Alliance

We are excited to continue celebrating Women’s History Month. This week we are highlighting the creator of the Nike “swoosh.”

If there are any specific women or national campaigns celebrating women that you would like us to highlight in our newsletter please send us an email at info@afors.org . We also welcome your general newsletter submissions.
We are still looking for teachers and middle and high schools interested in joining our SHE Kindness School Program. 
Connect with us this week on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or LinkedIn as we continue our conversations surrounding sustainability, health, equity, and kindness.

Women's History Month Spotlight: The woman who created the Nike swoosh

Carolyn Davis was a student at the University of Portland studying design. Phil Knight (a co-founder of Nike) approached and asked her to design a logo for his up and coming shoe company. They agreed upon a salary of $2 per hour, which ultimately resulted in Davis being paid $35 for the project.
While Knight had initial reservations about the logo, it was registered on June 18, 1971. Davis’ design has gone on to be one of the most recognizable logos across the globe. Read more about Davidson and her design. 

Food for Thought: The true cost of accessibility vs. health in food deserts

Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock

Family Dollar stores have long served as pillars in low-income communities. Offering consumers everything from toothpaste to cleaning supplies and even refrigerated food products such as milk, these stores have often been the only accessible places for many living in food deserts. They have also served as an important source of employment.

While their convenience, affordability and accessibility have provided stability for many families, the unsanitary conditions of their stores has been a known and common experience for many years. 

Most recently, Family Dollar was forced to shut down over 400 locations across Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. During an inspection at a warehouse in West Memphis, Arkansas, FDA officials found inexplicable conditions. 

“Live rodents, dead rodents in various states of decay, rodent feces and urine, evidence of gnawing, nesting and rodent odors throughout the facility, dead birds and bird droppings.” Foul stenches and odors and droppings “too numerous to count.”

While appalling, the conditions of this Family Dollar warehouse are neither shocking or a new occurrence. In fact, OSHA officials have commented how this chain has had repeated sanitation violations. In Memphis, specifically, there have been city-wide protests since 2019 asking for a change in stores. 

Many are now posing the question: would this have been allowed to go on in a more affluent community?

But the more important question may be, what do we do to ensure that those underprivileged have access to stores that are clean and safe? Source: CNN

Take Action: Stop Environmental and Humanitarian Disaster in Ukraine

Smoke and fires could be seen near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Screenshot/YouTube
Caution: This may make you feel overwhelmed and depressed BUT you can act.
While the fire resulting from Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility (it provides a quarter of Ukraine’s power and is the largest in Europe) has been put out, it is now under Russian control with plant workers forced to work under duress at gunpoint.
This violation of international law has led Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to underscore the danger of another Chernobyl, which has also been taken control of by the Russians and caused increased radiation levels.
Sadly, as this Politico piece points, this is just one of numerous environmental threats that have already begun taking place. “Two low-level nuclear waste storage facilities in Kyiv and Kharkiv have already been hit, according to the IAEA” (Intl Atomic Energy Agency). 
“Massive fires are already burning at oil depots and munitions dumps.” There are “more than two dozen sites where environmentally damaging spills, explosions or fires were taking place. They included power stations, chemical warehouses and power plants.”
“There are also chemical, manufacturing and metallurgical plants, many housing dangers that if unleashed could make whole districts unlivable for decades. In the eastern Donbas region alone there are 4,000 hazardous sites. And there are “465 tailings storage facilities across Ukraine, holding over 6 billion tons of waste from various industries.”
“If one of Ukraine’s seven hydropower plants were to get hit, that could flood huge areas below the dams. The movement of troops and heavy military equipment can also wreak long-term damage to protected areas and species.”
“Then there is the danger of neglect. In the Donbas region, Kremlin-backed separatists stopped pumping water four years ago from the Yunkom mine — the site of a 1979 experimental nuclear explosion. Spatial analysis company Terra Motion calculated that rising, radioactive water might reach the surface in a little over a year. Their Chief Technical Officer says, “This has the potential to render large parts of the region uninhabitable, spilling toxic waste into rivers and groundwater,” potentially spilling into the Sea of Azov that’s linked to the Black Sea.
So, what can you do? You can show solidarity with the people of Ukraine and join us in signing the Environmental Peacebuilding Association’s Open Letter on the Environmental Dimensions of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.  

Song of the Week: I Am Woman

Listen to Emmy Meli’s “I Am Woman.” In 2021, it topped charts after going viral on social media. It is a song full of affirmations that encourages women to acknowledge and celebrate all of their many various qualities. 

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