[Rozena and I along with 3 other WOC professors and grad students proposed a panel on the Movement for Black Lives in girls’ studies but withdrew it for the reasons she outlines below. The images have since been removed.]

[New Abolitionist scholar Dylan Rodriguez notes that racial apartheid and genocide are the continual condition of the academy; nevertheless he writes: radical intellectuals’ inhabitation of existing institutional sites opposes structures of domination — even if, for most colonized peoples, “the academy is never home.”]

how do we make ourselves a/t home

in a place where

we were never wanted

a place that never imagined us inhabiting its lily white spaces

where we are meant to be the subject, never the agent

where our exclusion was/is a given

where we are merely the flavor of the month,

the spicy sidedish


hay(na)ku: stolen



rosaries, totems

of white power


children weep

in cages, bereft


spirits, families

generations scattered, lost


past unfolding

in real time


lenape californio

hawaiian filipino boricua


list of

colonized, broken people


this what

makes amerikka great?


“Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted…

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God…”

On the debut of Ruby Ibarra’s “Nothing On Us: Pinays Rising Behind the Scenes”

May 20, 2018

Yesterday, I sat in the Roxie Theater, weeping, almost unable to breathe, desperately seeking tissues, both of my kids asking, “Mom, are you okay?!”

And I thought to myself: why is this so weirdly familiar? …

25 years ago (!) I sat in movie theater in Santa Cruz, CA weeping, unable to breathe. For almost two hours. In a good way. Accompanied by other Asian American women from my graduate program crying just as hard as I was. We were watching Wayne Wang’s…

“I’m sorry, but they…actually made me feel…sick.”

Racist mom of CSU prospective student on college tour, 5/2018

Hey lady

Do I make you nervous

Does my brown skin, my surname signal other?

Do I make you sick?

Even with “Associate Professor” in front of my name

my PhD, MA, BA, grants, fellowships, publications

“do not signify,” as Jane would say

You’d demand my passport

my driver’s license

And still you’d insist I don’t belong.

What are your credentials, white lady?

What gives you, a visitor, the right to call campus police,

Say you’re nervous

and just like that

Native boys…

a poem for the 2018 Diversity Studies Faculty Exhibition

the smell of fried rice for breakfast
my parents at the kitchen table
drinking coffee, laughing
and talking smack

your warm hand in mine
the kids asleep next to me
the t.v. flickering
and a cat barfs
on the dining room floor

black and brown, all around —
where my voice is heard
where my work matters
where i don’t have to explain
where there’s solidarity in struggle
and solace in support
where difference is valued
where community and social justice
aren’t just buzzwords
where ideas come thick and fast
where folks have your back
where students get the Word
where ancestors celebrate our communion

Melinda Luisa de Jesús

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