Jessica Yee, First Nations activist/feminist extradoinare, is writing a book and she wants you to submit! Please read the details and get in touch with her. Also, check out her new blog at Bitch Magazine. Also, be sure to check out the Native Youth Sexual Health Network which Jessica founded and is also the executive director.
To be published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Winter 2011
Why the new title? Because I was getting A LOT of “I just want my name to be published” submissions that weren’t really dealing with the question of where is feminist education today? So I decided to be more in your face and say that this is about “deconstructing the academic industrial complex of feminism” meaning this is about where feminism exists OUTSIDE the university/school walls – or why so much of the so-called “recognizable” feminism is just within academia.
Where is feminist education today? This is a question many people are asking, and I’d like to answer them in a book I’m putting together. Where do young people get to learn about feminism? And what the heck does feminism even mean to young people today? (and I’m talking about young, young people, not you 3rd year women’s studies person who might roll your eyes at my next set of questions. Maybe think of yourself before you got into women’s studies. Or if you ARE/WERE in women’s studies and think it’s kinda messed up, I’d like to hear about that too.) How come as a “theory” we don’t really hear about it unless we get to go to post-secondary type schooling, but in practice lots of us have been feminists of sorts throughout our entire lives. Why does it still look like a white-woman’s thing? Or not entirely sex-positive? What do young men have to say about it? Has there really been any intergenerational information sharing between those who might have “paved the way” and those who are thinking about identifying as feminists now?
With the working title of “Feminist education now: youth, activism, and intersectionality” I’d like to talk about all these issues and everything in between. Don’t like the word feminism? Please be my guest and talk about that – or if it helps to use words like “womanist” or “humanist” instead, or working for women’s rights, women’s empowerment, girls stuff, etc. then go that direction. I’m really interested in talking about the intersectionality of feminist education and breaking down the barriers of what constitutes “education”, where that might be, and according to whom. Education does not have to solely be within a school or school-type setting – if it happened on the street, in your kitchen, if it’s not happening at all, if you want it to happen some particular place – I want to hear about it.
What do I mean by feminism? No I don’t mean that it’s just about women, I mean all identities/definitions/euphemisms/pseudonyms than the English language of the colonizer can do justice to. Expand your mind.
What do I mean by intersectionality? Think of a street intersection and put yourself in the middle. There are lots of things that intersect the way people identify – for example I identify as a woman, as Indigenous, as bisexual, as multiracial and all of those things and way more come into play when I think about the way I want to learn things, i.e. feminist education. For me, I don’t exist as just one thing or another. In this book – I’d like to know about how feminism intersects (or doesn’t intersect) who you are.
Why is the word activism in the title? Because I think a lot of us are activists and even feminists and do education about the things we believe in without necessarily being sign-waving, chanting, picket-lining groups en-masse. I’ve often said some of the best activists I know are the ones who do it at home, wherever “home” might be – since that can sometimes be the hardest place to be passionate and true to the things you are fighting for.
What are we looking for in this book? Written, artistic, and otherwise creative submissions between 700 to 3000 words length if it’s an article. You are also very welcome to submit a photograph, an art piece, a poem, spoken word, etc. as well.
Can only “youth” submit something? Yes and no – preference will be given to young people under the age of 30 to be published in this book, however if you are over the age of 30 and would really like to say something – please submit and we’ll try and find a place for it, especially if you talk about young people in your piece.
Why would I want to write/create something for this book? Some folks like to have their name and stuff published, others just want their voices and ideas out there. You decide!
When do we want submissions by? Submission deadline is Friday September 10 2010.
What if I don’t really understand what you are asking for or want help putting something together? Please feel free to get in touch with me and let’s chat! E-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
All written, artistic, and creative submissions should be e-mailed with a Word doc. attachment and a 3 line author bio to Jessica Yee at email@example.com no later than Friday September 10th 2010. If you would like to mail yours to a physical address instead, please let me know.
Who is Jessica Yee?
Jessica Yee is a self-described Indigenous hip-hop feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter. A 24 year old multiracial young woman, identifying as Two-Spirit with ancestry from the Mohawk Nation, Jessica is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a North America wide organization working on issues of healthy sexuality, reproductive justice, cultural competency, and youth empowerment. Jessica is currently serving as the first inaugural Chair of the National Aboriginal Youth Council at the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, as well as the International Indigenous HIV/AIDS Working Group, and she is also the first North American youth representative at MenEngage International Alliance for Gender Equality. She is a strong believer in the power of the youth voice, and you can see her activisting it up on sites like Racialicious, Indian Country Today, or pick up the book she edited with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in January 2009 “Sex Ed and Youth: Colonization, Communities of Colour, and Sexuality.” She is the 2009 recipient of the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction award, a 2009/2010 Role Model for the National Aboriginal Health Organization, and was recently named one of 20 International Women’s Health Heroes by Our Bodies/Our Blog, as well as one of the Toronto Star’s People to Watch for 2010.
For more information about the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, please visit our website at: