Standing Together in the USS Lifeboat

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“We’re all on the same side. We’re all breathing.” Pardon the Game of Thrones reference, but Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryan the whichever) got it right. Except that in this metaphor, the undead hordes are Nazis and white supremacists, the White Walkers are the 1% and the GOP leadership, and the stately and terrifying Night King is actually Vladimir Putin, with a captive orange buffoon as his puppet. George R. R. Martin has set up a lifeboat situation in Game of Thrones and that’s really what we have here in the United States right now. The “ship” is the institution…

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30 Social Media Activism Rules for the Resistance

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Social Media Activism Can Be Fraught Hey, I get it. You’re an activist, but you have a boss, a family, neighbors, that one dude from high school, and several law enforcement agencies with access to your social media feed. Newsflash: even if you don’t realize it, that first sentence is something you should assume to be true. So. How do you #resist and stay (mostly) out of trouble? 1) Speech has consequences. Be prepared to back up what you say and be able to defend it to any or all of the above. Your online presence is creating your “brand”.…

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Professionals: Be a Leader in Social Justice

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I’m a business owner. I’m a professional social worker bound by a code of ethics and a set of practice standards. I have been told, by people who know better, that I can’t speak out politically. That I can’t cuss in public. That I can’t write about my personal life or talk about it, because “that would be unprofessional”.  That I can’t be a leader in the social justice movement “because it’s controversial”.  Don’t believe it. Your profession, your professionalism, creates an obligation to speak out against injustice, and for the rights of people who look up to you and…

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In the Room With Sexual Assault Survivors

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(CN: Graphic discussion of the effects of sexual assault. Really graphic.) Hey, Betsy DeVos. Nearly every workday I have at least one extended conversation with a fellow survivor of sexual assault, usually acquaintance rape, that is either about that sexual assault directly, or about the effects it has had on that person’s life. In the years I’ve worked as a therapist, well over 80% of the women and over 50% of the I have worked with have had at least one encounter in their lives that is legally defined as sexual assault or molestation. I realize this is not a…

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