Ethel’s Club Founder Naj Austin delivers critical tips and reminders

Last year, after just four months of opening Ethel’s Club, a social group and safe space invented for people of color, founder Naj Austin had to make a hard pivot from IRL to virtual fellowship amid a global pandemic. A heavy undertaking given the circumstances and uncertainty of the world. But Austin was game for the unforeseen challenges and refocused to build a path forward that is all about “creating a digital space that speaks to people in a way where they gravitate toward it.”

In Active Voice, writer Brianna Holt’s new interview series for GEN, where Holt catches up…

Dive into these works of poetry by Black women during National Poetry Month

June Jordan shrewdly told us, “Poetry is a political act because it involves telling the truth.” And take it from us, there’s so much truth to share from Black women…

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Nikole Hannah-Jones, a staff w​riter and investigative journa​list for The New York Times Ma​gazine, a​t the Times building in Midtow​n Manhattan in 2016. Photo: Karsten Moran/Redux

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights and racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine. Hannah-Jones also co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization dedicated to increasing the ranks of investigative reporters of color. In 2017, she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship (colloquially known as the “Genius Grant”), and in 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on “The 1619 Project.”

“I see my work as forcing us to confront our hypocrisy, forcing us to confront the truth we would rather ignore,” Jones…

Photo of Mariame Kaba on the left with the words “ZORA CELEBRATES MARIAME KABA” on the right against a gray/black/lime-green blurred background.
Photo of Mariame Kaba on the left with the words “ZORA CELEBRATES MARIAME KABA” on the right against a gray/black/lime-green blurred background.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Gioncarlo Valentine

Mariame Kaba is an organizer and educator whose work focuses on restorative justice, advocating for youth, ending violence, and dismantling the prison industrial complex (PIC). She has long been vocal in the movement to abolish police and prisons, a movement that gained notoriety in 2020 after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers and the subsequent protests.

“As a society, we have been so indoctrinated with the idea that we solve problems by policing and caging people that many cannot imagine anything other than prisons and the police as solutions to violence and harm,” she wrote…

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Ortho-phthalates, or just plain phthalates as they are often called, are found in many products across food, medical supplies, toys, and cosmetics. Basically, they’re in homes across the country. As ubiquitous as they are, phthalates are also dangerous.

As Drew Costley points out in a recent Future Human story, phthalates are neurotoxins that have been linked to learning, attention, and behavioral disorders in children. They are also harmful to women. Costley also notes, “these exposures aren’t equally felt. A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women…

Portrait of Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Shanta Corbett on the left with the words “ZORA CELEBRATES: DR. KIZZMEKIA ‘KIZZY’ SHANTA CORBETT” on the right side.
Portrait of Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Shanta Corbett on the left with the words “ZORA CELEBRATES: DR. KIZZMEKIA ‘KIZZY’ SHANTA CORBETT” on the right side.
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist at the National Institutes of Health, in Wheaton, Md., Sept. 25, 2020.
Photo: Timothy Nwachukwu/The New York​ Times/Redux

Kizzmekia S. Corbett, PhD, or Dr. Kizzy as she’s known to her followers, is a viral immunologist and one of the National Institute of Health’s top scientists behind the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Dr. Kizzy’s online presence has been a source of knowledge and hope for her followers throughout the pandemic.

“I think my love of discovery in science melded with my empathetic nature for people,” she said in an interview with CNN. …

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Bob Fitch Photography Archive, Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries

Microaggressions chip away at our daily lives, but we still make room to live out loud — Black and proud

The acts are small but harmful. Insidious. They compound over time. Whichever way we describe microaggressions as a collective, or as it relates to our personal lived experiences, we know that it is a form of racism that can really do a number on us. Microaggressions chip away at us and live with us rent-free.

This is the case for Tracey Ford, who recently wrote about a microaggression she experienced during her formative years as she headed to a department store with her mother. It’s an unshakable moment that has stuck with Ford since.

“We stopped on Lexington Avenue not…

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Photo courtesy of Kenneth Thompson/Methodist Church Global Ministries

“When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.” –– Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917 — March 14, 1977) was a women’s rights and voting rights activist. Born in rural Mississippi, she was known for her impassioned speeches and testimonials wherein she used scripture, hymnals, and straightforward real talk to lead the civil rights movement for Black women in the state, eventually co-founding the National Women’s Political Caucus. During her lifetime, Hamer was extorted, shot at, harassed, arrested, and brutally attacked for trying to register…

Unprecedented snowstorms have left Texans without heat, water, and electricity for days

Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign on February 18, 2021 in Killeen, Texas. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Millions of Texans have been left without heat, electricity, and even running water following massive snowstorms that swept through the southern states, according to the New York Times. And more snow and ice is expected to be on the way.

The cold weather has put unprecedented strain on the state’s electrical grid, leaving millions in freezing homes. The cold temperatures also led to pipes freezing and bursting in homes across the state, making running water another scarce resource. Texas residents in lower-income, non-White communities are experiencing the brunt of these burdens.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a news conference…

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