Photo by Zack Spear on Unsplash

Note: I wrote this piece nearly one year ago, while reflecting on an experience I had nearly two years ago. While visiting Portland, Oregon I was forced to think about predominantly white, liberal spaces in the US, my place in racism, and what it means to “do the work” of anti-racism. I think it’s relevant today.

You only know Portland from that show, Portlandia. The one where Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play every character and every character is absurdly unique and absurdly that kid who lived down the hall in college, and maybe a little absurdly yourself, too.

When…


Humanity clings to nature as the Covid-19 epidemic intensifies

On the Tuesday morning in March when all schools in Chicago had closed, I went running from my parents’ house where I had been living. Nearly three steps in and a left turn down Washington Avenue, I caught a sunrise stretching through late-winter’s skeleton trees. It weaved over houses and haloed stop signs, as if to mock the corners where teenagers had stood less than a week earlier. …


This article was originally published on the Lane 9 Project Blog. Lane 9 Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating active women and girls on women’s health, eating disorders, fertility, and sport.

Amelia Boone, multi-time obstacle course world champion has just left treatment and gone public about her twenty-year battle with an eating disorder. She has broken four bones in the last three years. In 2018, Hannah Fields, professional middle-distance runner for Brooks, took a three-month hiatus from training to receive treatment for her eating disorder. When Sarah Sellers took second place at the 2018 Boston Marathon, Americans wondered…


Reflection on The Puritan City

On a Wednesday in early December, my car sat slumbering on a side street in Medford while I sat, typing on a laptop in Cambridge. Unable to find an affordable lease to begin before December 15th, I spent my first two weeks in Boston living in an Airbnb in Medford. On a Wednesday in early December, the town of Medford decided to reschedule a postponed street-sweeping, but I never heard the news. No one did. The notice was not posted on the street, nor emailed to homeowners, but only printed on the town website. …


Photo from a July 29th Sunrise Movement Boston action, where 30+ Sunrisers flooded the Massachusetts state house to demand a Green New Deal for Massachusetts.

This article was originally posted on the Sunrise Boston Media Page.

On winter weekday mornings, I would walk the mile to the redline, one little ant enveloped in a sea of identical little ants. Eyes down, white buds in ears, backpacks zipped, phones in hands, arms pumping, walk, walk, walk, move, move, move, just keep moving. Slowly new ants would file off their side streets and join our ant pilgrimage, eyes down, white buds in ears, move, move, move. At Massachusetts Ave and Wendell Street, a white car would lie sandwiched between two blue cars, all unable to move and…


This article was originally published on May 17, 2019 in the Somerville Journal and can also be found on the Sunrise Movement Boston Media Page.

If you climbed off the red line at Park Street on Friday, May 3, you may have assumed it was any average spring day in the city. You may have seen a few tour guides in colonial garb leading school groups through the Freedom Trail or heard the fading bustle of morning commuters. Yet, as you walked up the Boston Common hill, you would hear a new sound beginning to materialize. Slowly, you would notice…


The youth of Boston will again demand action at the Friday, May 3rd Youth Climate Strike. I urge you to join them in their rallying cry. (AP Photo/J. David Ake).

On April 18 a crowd of 1,400 crowded the entrance to Boston’s Strand Theater, filling it to capacity for the launch of the Sunrise Movement’s Green New Deal Tour. Despite appearances from various local and national legislators, the occasion was more reminiscent of an intergenerational rock concert than a Thursday night political gathering.

Rows of millennials sandwiched groups of retirees. Senator Ed Markey, Representative Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond led a choir of cheering and whooping. Their harmonious speeches were rivaled only by the real choir: a line of local high schoolers singing “Green…


It was a hot afternoon in Elk Grove, California. So hot in fact, that when I arrived at Ge Moua’s farm around 4 p.m. Sweat had pooled around my legs and it was nearly impossible to lift them from the driver’s seat. For months, this region was simply a red dot on my research project map. I would spend four months traveling around the western U.S., collecting stories from women in agriculture–a plan stenciled out in dark ink, Google maps, and Word documents flooded with farmer’s emails and market addresses. …


When I first read about Grown-up Cross Country in a Runner’s World article, over five years ago, I was not impressed. To me, a gawky, high school Cross Country runner myself, the concept appeared both starry-eyed and juvenile. I imagined gangly, middle-agers, clad in muddy uniforms, reliving their glory days while squashed onto a yellow school bus, the mixed-aroma of peanut butter, bananas, and sweat swirling through the air, all amidst a soundtrack of animalistic chants. With Grown-up Cross Country, I imagined, misfits could hide from their cruel adulthoods inside a cloak of team huddles, and claim anonymity within a…


On a walk in Somerville, MA

Since moving to Boston, I have taken some time off from running and exercising in general. I know what you might be thinking. How mature! How admirable! Emma has decided to take some voluntary time off, and wholeheartedly focus on her new job and new life in Boston! We always knew she was capable of such normalcy! While I appreciate the confidence in my character, if this time off were voluntary, that would imply that I were completely sane, and if sanity lives on Mercury, my MO orbits somewhere in close proximity to Neptune.

Instead, my time off was mandated…

Emma Zimmerman

I am a writer, activist, and distance runner who primarily explores topics of environmental justice, sport, and gender rights https://uprooteddiaries.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store