For Shaun

My cousin Shaun wanted this on a shirt. So I designed it. I’ve decided any profits earned will go to helping a homeless youth get some much needed self care in the form of natural hair care/grooming he is looking for.  A community member from Resist Oppression brought this young man to my attention and I am trying to find someone to provide the services he is looking for and the funds to make it happen.

Please help.  Buy here:

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Also, if you want to design your own tee shirt or hoody, use this referral link:  

Use my invite link to launch your own campaign and we both earn $1 per shirt sold (up to $100!)*


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And if you know someone who does a good twist out in Rhode Island, tell them to hit me up at or


Thank you!

❤ Ria



Shifting the Future of Reproductive Justice

Something revolutionary is happening in Providence and black women, indigenous women, women of color and trans people are at the center of it, where we belong.  

On March 9th, a large group of people from all backgrounds came together at First Unitarian Church of Providence on a Friday night.  They came not to worship, but to listen and learn about this thing called reproductive justice or RJ for short, as told by the leader of SisterSongMonica Simpson.

Monica is a lovely, welcoming, queer black woman who sung her way into my heart the moment she opened what I thought would be a lecture, but ended up being a come-to-Jesus epiphanic moment, with a song that gave me chills.  From there, Monica launched into her stories and how important it is for us all to acknowledge that every one of us has a story to tell and experiences that have shaped who and what we are. The mission of SisterSong is to connect the dots for people on how and why we must dismantle white supremacy in order for all people to be able to live our best lives using intersectional black feminism and reproductive justice as the lens.

So what is Reproductive Justice?

“SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” We live multi-issue lives, so the fight for reproductive rights can not and should not stop at abortion rights.  As black, brown, indigenous and trans folx, just by living in our bodies we face different challenges and are afforded or shut out of different opportunities. We left Friday night activated and ready to take a deeper dive into how to utilize this new understanding in our activism and advocacy work.

On Saturday morning, a smaller group of fifty made up of Leaders of Color and Allies in Solidarity Organizing reconvened for an all-day training, Reproductive Justice 101, with Monica Simpsonfacilitating again.  RJ has been developed from the works of black feminists past and present from Loretta RossAudre Lorde and the Combahee River Collective to Kimberle Crenshaw. For all the newfound focus on intersectionality or intersectional feminism,  we so often get it wrong. It has been co-opted into a catch-all phrase akin to inclusion or diversity. We forget the term was coined by a black feminist, Kimberle Crenshaw, to address the levels of oppression that are distinct to black women for being both black and women.  Watch her amazing TedTalk here:

Understanding reproductive justice was a game changer for so many of us who attended. RJ, allows for those intersecting identities and human rights to be acknowledged and fought for in a holistic way.  Through a reproductive justice lens, we are able to make the connections necessary to advocate for all people, especially the most marginalized by the systems of cis-hetero normative white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism.  Radical relationships must be cultivated between people of color and white allies in solidarity organizing. However, the most marginalized shall lead, which means people will be called in to check their privilege and continually center black and indigenous and trans people.  Those who have levels of privilege that blind them to the struggles of others, should not and will not lead the way for long lasting change to free us all. Understanding white supremacy and power dynamics is key in this work and everyone will be called to shift and dismantle them both.

We all have the inalienable human right to freedom and control over our own bodies.  This means it is our human right to decide for ourselves if or when we choose to become parents.   If we are parents, it is our human right to parent our children as we wish and be free from the oppressive conditions that white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism foster that endanger black and brown children daily.  Reproductive rights, historically, have focused on the cis-hetero white women’s right to choose and have a safe abortion. Reproductive Justice incorporates that fight but opens it up and exposes all the ways that black and indigenous people have had to  fight for bodily autonomy against a government that seeks to deny people of color access to their rights. Unequal access to equitable employment and wages means too many women lack the funds necessary to obtain, and often travel for, an abortion. The “choice” promised by Roe v Wade is no choice at all for the most marginalized women.

Freedom from Violence


Reproductive Justice

Freedom from all forms of violence and oppression are encompassed in the fight for reproductive justice. Freedom from domestic violence, economic violence, racial violence, environmental racism and violence, gun violence, and state sanctioned police violence are all fundamental human rights that reproductive justice extends to include.  Two days with Monica Simpson, SisterSong and reproductive justice had the attendees ready to integrate RJ into our work and recognize how present it already is in our daily lives. So what’s next?

Next Steps

As we went around the room, we shared what came up for us in this transformative experience.   We made commitments to ourselves and each other to bring RJ into our activism, our advocacy work and into our  respective communities. We acknowledged that we are in a moment of shifting culture and that we can play a role in making that shift focus on those of us with the least access and privilege.  We pledged to seek out and cultivate radical relationships that centered the most marginalized. We exchanged cards and phone numbers. We talked about the future we were living into and creating together.  This future is black and brown and indigenous and trans and gender non-conforming. This future is intersectional and uplifts the voices and experiences of the most marginalized. This future is free of violence and grounded in reproductive justice and human rights, for all.




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Oww, Ouch!: How to Apologize

So, you caused harm. Pulled your weapons of whiteness and inflicted pain and suffering on someone with less privilege than you. Maybe you were called in. Maybe you were called out. Maybe you shut down. Maybe you lashed out. Maybe you sat with it or maybe you stormed away and pulled out more weapons to defend yourself against the truth. Before you have any hopes of moving on or making amends you first need to admit to yourself the problem. Are you assuming your experience is universal? Do you think your opinion is more valuable than the person/people you hurt/offended? Have you denied someone else’s experience as real and valid? Do you feel entitled to the thoughts, experiences, education, labor, empathy, time and counsel of women of color?

The answer is yes! You have been conditioned this way. White supremacist culture dictates that you (and I!) have internalize these very messages. Therefore, this is exactly what you need to unlearn and resist everyday in order to mitigate the danger you cause to black women (and other folx with marginalized identities).

Be honest with yourself about the heart of the disagreement or else there will never be a path to legitimate healing and restoration. If the black (or brown, indigenous, disabled, queer/trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming) woman in question is on a path of transformative justice and equity (and a lot of us are) then your challenge is that much greater.

So you caused harm, now what? You could just say sorry and keep it moving. Hope the other party will get over it. But that is probably doomed to fail. Why?

Because saying sorry does not show that you understand what the issue was or that you have committed to making changes to your behavior to ensure the offense or harm doesn’t happen again.  If your apology sounds like, “I’m sorry IF I OFFENDED YOU.” I hear, “I’m tired of talking about this and don’t get why you’re mad, but maybe this will end it.” or “ I don’t want you to be mad at me so let’s make up.” Neither of those get to the heart of the pain you have inflicted with your words or actions.

Skip all ifs and buts in your apology and stick to just the facts. What did you do that caused pain? Do you understand why in hindsight it was wrong? If so, say so but do not explain your intentions. As Appel Rossell so brilliantly laid out in her essay for The Establishment, When Will People Of Color Start Raising The Goddamn Bar For White People?, “White people, you see, have this thing called good intentions. And we’re told these intentions — which only white people have, while people of color just have suspicious behavior and sassiness—trump impact, everyday.”

Good intentions are not more important than perpetuating white supremacy and inflicting racial trauma (or ableism or transphobia or Xenophobia or anti-semitism, etc.) on people that are fatigued to the marrow of our bones from fighting for access to our full, unyielding, resplendent humanity.

Do better.

See also the handy infographic: 5 Easy Steps to A Sincere Apology originally created for Resist Oppression.

KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation.

Opera Snapshot_2018-02-23_164833_www.buymeacoffee.com

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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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You’ve Got Mail

PushBlack Takes You to School…

from your Messenger app.  Opera

I believe I have shared about this before, but here goes, again. This time in a more official capacity.

Sign Up for PushBlack on Facebook today.  You will get history lessons sent directly to your messenger inbox regularly.  But not just any history lessons.  Take this entry on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Did you Know That FDR’s New Deal Was Racist?

PushBlack contextualizes the racist policies inherent in The New Deal. FDR and The New Deal are typically praised for pulling America out of the Great Depression, however, that was not true for black people.  Roosevelt’s New Deal actively hurt black people by allowing employers to pay blacks less and kept black people from homeownership.

These are the true legacy of FDR’s New Deal that black people are still fighting.  When we talk about dismantling white supremacy, this is what we are talking about.  Truth is power and power is liberation.  Know your truth and don’t be afraid to stand in it and for it, daily.



KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation. 

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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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Racism is bullying

Apparently there was a full blown movement created with a hashtag, #WalkUpNotOut and everything y’all to gas-lighting, victim blaming and forward white male supremacy.  Kindness is great, but this framing is problematic on every levels; from victim blaming to further stigmatizing “outcasts” as potential murderers, this needs to stop.

Anti-black racism is the bullying of black people and happens in big and small ways every day a million times a day. Yet mass shooters are very rarely black people. Go figure.

Stop this nonsense.  Don’t co-sign and enable this kind of narcissistic abuse.  Want to know how to break this cycle?  Anti-racism is the key to dismantling cis-hetero normative white patriarchal supremacy.  Simply put, white supremacy is a form of narcissistic abuse.   Do the work to eradicate internalized oppression and strive everyday to be an ally to folx with different levels of privilege, at different intersections of oppression then yourself.  If you are ready to start that journey, then Join the Club!


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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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So, I said what I said. #MeToo. Meaning, I too have been sexually harassed and assaulted in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been harassed in the workplace, namely by white men, in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been assaulted by a white man or two in my lifetime. Depends what I want to count and what I want to forget. By saying #metoo, I did not say what, where, how or who because I don’t think it is any of your business. I am not here to be your trauma porn. I am not here to expose all my vulnerabilities on demand. I said what I said and I stand with all victims and survivors of traumas that come in all forms.

But lest you forget, I am first and foremost a black woman though, so fuck Rose McGowan and her peak white feminism and fuck #womenboycottTwitter because as Rosa Clemente said last week when it started (paraphrasing) this is peak white privilege to surrender use of a major platform because of your hurt feelings and sensibilities while Black and Indigenous people are using every avenue we have available to us to stop the bleeding. People are dying in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island, protests continue in St. Louis, people are dying in Somalia, black lives still don’t matter, indigenous people are still colonized and oppressed.

So no, I won’t boycott Twitter or FB to stand with white women that historically and currently have not stood with me. Instead, I will spend my time using whatever platform I am given to help support, donate, amplify others causes and needs and raise my voice in protest. Because silence is violence and white women continue to wield the power of that violence to bend people and structures to protect and uphold whyte feminism. Whyte feminism is white supremacy. Take your pink pussy hats and shove em…


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