January 02, 2017

New Year's Action: Writers Resist!

I am terribly proud to be one small part of an amazing group of 30 local writers that is participating in Writers Resist: Modesto on Sunday, January 15, 2017. From the official press release:
"The flagship Writers Resist event, founded by poet Erin Bilieu and co-sponsored by PEN America, will feature famous literary figures braving January weather on the steps of the Public Library in New York City to read historic and contemporary writings on the ideals of democracy and free expression. Additional Writers Resist events, are being held in Boston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Austin, Portland, Omaha, Seattle, London, Zurich, Hong Kong, and many more cities.

Locally, the City of Modesto’s poet laureate, Stella Beratlis—along with writer Shanyn Vitti Avila and poet Elizabeth Sousa—is organizing Writers Resist: Modesto in response to concern during the recent Presidential campaign over public cynicism, disdain for truthfulness, and the unleashing of hatred and bigotry. Beratlis, a longtime member of the League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County, wanted to present an event which might galvanize Modesto audiences to become active in the civic life of the community, support nonprofits that address social justice issues, and network with like-minded people while having fun."

For more info, click to embiggen the flyer in the image at right, and to see if there's a Writers Resist event in your area, visit their main website.

With alarming racist events occurring even at our local community college campus, where my husband and I teach, I think it's incredibly important to stand up for a peaceful, thoughtful, diverse, and just society that operates on ideals of civility and values truth over small-mindedness. I come from a family that includes recent immigrants, Muslims, atheists, Latinos, South Asians, Caucasians; people of various faiths and ethnic origins who are brought together by love and care for one another--something that I hope is still possible on a nationwide level. I hope for a society where we recognize and value the diversity of our friends and neighbors, not one where I'm literally frightened that some of my family members might be targeted for reasons of faith, ethnicity, or national origin. Participating in Writers Resist is, for me, a critical part of standing up for my ideals in a way that promotes positivity and action.

And that's my two cents on it.

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