The Dirty Dozen February Installment

How to be an activist and reclaim Valentine’s day

I struggled with what to write for this Dirty Dozen. Writing about Valentine’s day seemed so trivial. How do we celebrate something so petty when our democracy is literally crumbling beneath our feet, when there are senators to call, protests to attend, and Black History Month to commemorate. How can we pretend that this holiday is anything other than capitalism, patriarchy, and heteronormativity covered in chocolate? We can’t. But we also can’t hide and pretend the day doesn't exist. It does, so lets use it for some good. Lets disrupt Valentine’s day and reclaim it as a day of radical love, equality, and activism. Read some thoughts on how, below…

  1. The Cynical Owl

Cuddle up with your boo and watch some videos on The Cynical Owl. The Cynical Owl is an artist collective creating content for and by underrepresented groups in contemporary media.

“[The Cynical Owl] desire[s] to give people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, oddballs, outcasts and more, films where they can see themselves in all their complexity. The world may not recognize it now, but we are all in fact human at the end of the day.”

Not only do they create video content, but you can hire them as brand strategists. Hire them for video design and strategy, script development, pre and post production, and filming for personal or company brand development.

2) Break Up

Yeah, you heard me, break up. Get out of that one sided, potentially abusive, unreliable relationship…with our bank. That’s right, break up with your bank. Specifically, your bank that supports and funds the DAPL. Time to put your money where your mouth is, and after you break up you can open a joint checking account with your significant other (see how I brought that back around to romance?). Food & Water Watch researcher Hugh MacMillan suggests:

“Ask these banks to clarify whether funds they are providing are being used, in any amount, to pay for the heavily militarized response to the Standing Rock Sioux, including the attack dogs, sound-cannon trucks, heavily armed officers…People should also ask these institutions why they are sinking so much money into maximizing the amounts of oil and gas that can be brought to the surface and burned at a time when climate science is clear we have to maximize what we keep in the ground instead,”

Wells Fargo*

CEO Timothy J. Sloan

Corporate Office:
Wells Fargo
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

BNP Paribas*

CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe

Corporate Office:
3 rue d’Antin
75002 Paris, France

U.S. Office:
787 Seventh Avenue — The Equitable Tower
New York, NY 10019


CEO William H. Rodgers Jr.

Corporate Office:
303 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Chief Communications Officer:
Sue Mallino

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ*

Chairman Nobuyuki Hirano

CEO and President Takashi Oyamada

Corporate Office:
2–7–1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

U.S. Office:
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020–1104

Mizuho Bank*

President and CEO Nobuhide Hayashi

Corporate Office:
Otemachi Tower
1–5–5, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100–8176, Japan

U.S. Office:
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Citibank (CitiGroup)*

CEO Michael Corbat

Corporate Office:
388 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 800–285–3000 and 212–793–0710

TD Securities*

Chairman, CEO, and President Bob Dorrance

Corporate Office:
P.O. Box 1, TD Bank Tower
66 Wellington Street W
Toronto, Ontario
M5K 1A2

Investment Banking: 416–307–8500
Equity Research: 416–307–9360
Trading Floor Enquiries: 416–944–6978

U.S. Office:
31 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019–6101

Credit Agricole*

CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet

12, Place des Etats-Unis
Montrouge, France 92545

U.S. Office:
1301 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10019

Intesa SanPaolo*

CEO Carlo Messina

Corporate Office:
Piazza San Carlo, 156
10121 Torino, Italy

Corporate Social Responsibility Unit:

ING Bank*

CEO and Executive Board Chairman Ralph A.J.G Hamers

Wholesale Banking, Operations & IT, Sustainability, Corporate Governance:
Carolien van der Giessen

Head of Media Relations:
Raymond Vermuelen

Corporate Office:
Amsterdamse Poort
Bijlmerplein 888
1102 MG Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Mailing Address:
ING Bank N.V.
P.O. Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

U.S. Office:
ING Financial Holdings LLC
1325 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019


CEO Pierre Servant

Corporate Office:
Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A.
21 quai d’Austerlitz
75634 Paris Cedex 13, France

U.S. Office:
Natixis Global Asset Management, L.P.
399 Boylston Street
Boston, MA


CEO Johannes-Jorg Riegler

Head of Communications:
Matthias Priwitzer

Corporate Office:
Brienner Straße 18
80333 Munich

U.S. Office:
560 Lexington Avenue
New York City, NY 10022

BBVA Securities*

CEO Carlos Torres Villa

Executive Chairman Francisco Gonzalez Rodriguez

Corporate Office:
Calle Azul, 4
28050 Madrid, Spain


DNB Capital*

U.S. office:
200 Park Avenue, 31st Floor New York, N.Y. 10166–0396 

ICBC London*

CEO and Managing Director Jin Chen

Corporate Office:
20 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7JE, United Kingdom

U.S. Office:
520 Madison Avenue 28th Floor
New York, NY 10022

SMBC Nikko Securities*

President and CEO Yoshihiko Shimizu

Corporate Office:
3–1, Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100–8325, Japan

Societe General*

CEO Frederic Oudea


Phone: 33–1–41–45–9825 (Paris number)

Chiarman of the Board Lorenzo Bini Smaghi


Phone: 33–14–21–30941 (Paris number)

Corporate Office:
29 boulevard Haussmann 75009
Paris, France

U.S. Office:
245 Park Avenue
New York City, NY 10167

The following banks are involved in funding for the entire Bakken pipeline:

Royal Bank of Scotland

CEO Ross McEwan

Director of Media Relations:
Chris Turner

Corporate Office:
175 Glasgow Road
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

U.S. Office:
600 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT 06901

ABN Amro Capital

Chairman of the Board Gerrit Zalm

Corporate Office:
Gustav Mahlerlaan 10
1082 PP Amsterdam
The Netherlands

U.S. Office:
100 Park Avenue, 17th floor
New York, NY 10017

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

CEO and President Brian J. Porter

Corporate Office:
Scotia Plaza
44 King Street W
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5H 1H1

U.S. Office:
250 Vesey Street,
23rd and 24th floors
New York, NY 10281

Scotia Howard Weil (“Energy Investment Boutique”):
Energy Centre
1100 Poydras Street Suite 3500
New Orleans, LA 70163
504–582–2500 and 800–322–3005

Citizens Bank

Chairman and CEO Bruce Van Saun

Head of Media Relations:
Peter Lucht

Consumer Lending, Business Banking, Wealth Management, Corporate:
Lauren DiGeronimo

Corporate Office:
1 Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903

Comerica Bank

Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Babb Jr.

Investor Relations:

Corporate Contacts:
Wendy Bridges

Wayne Mielke

Corporate Office:
Comerica Bank Tower
1717 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201

U.S. Bank

Chairman and CEO Richard K. Davis

Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Dana Ripley

Brand, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sponsorships:
Susan Beatty

Corporate Office:
U.S. Bancorp Center
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
800–685–5065 and 651–466–3000

PNC Bank

Chairman, President, and CEO William S. Demchak

Media Relations:
Fred Solomon

Investor Relations:
Bryan K. Gill

Corporate Office:
300 Fifth Avenue
The Tower at PNC Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222


Chairman John McFarlane
CEO Jes Staley

Corporate Office:
Barclays Bank PLC
1 Churchill Place
London E14 5HP, United Kingdom

U.S. Office:
745 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Press Office:

JPMorgan Chase

Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon

Corporate Contacts:
Andrew Gray

Jennifer Lavoie

Brian Marchiony

Corporate Office:
270 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017–2014

Bank of America

President, CEO, and Chairman Brian Moynihan

Executive Relations, Office of the CEO:
Matthew Task

Corporate Office:
100 N Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255

Deutsche Bank

CEO John Cryan

Corporate Contact:
Renee Calabro

Corporate Address:
Deutsche Bank AG
Taunusanlage 12
60325 Frankfurt Am Main (for letters and postcards: 60262)

U.S. Office:
Deutsche Bank AG
60 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

Compass Bank

Chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez

Director of External Communications:
Christina Anderson

Al Ortiz

Corporate Office:
15 S 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35233

Credit Suisse

CEO Tidjane Thiam

Board Chairman Urs Rohner

Suisse Banking Ombudsman:
Bahnhofplatz 9
P.O. Box 1818
CH 8021 Zurich, Switzerland

Corporate Office:
Uetlibergstrasse 231
P.O. Box 700
CH 8070 Zurich, Switzerland

U.S. Office:
650 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: 415–249–2100

DNB Capital/ASA

CEO Rune Bjerke

Chairwoman of the Board Anne Carine Tanum

Executive Vice President Communications Even Westerveld

Corporate Address:
Dronning Eufemias Gate 30
0191 Oslo, Norway

Sumitomo Mitsui Bank

President and CEO Takeshi Kunibe

Corporate Office:
1–1–2, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

U.S. Office:
277 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10172

Royal Bank of Canada

CEO David I. McKay

CEO and Board Communications:
Paul French

Corporate Media Relations:
Catherine Hudon

Corporate Address:
200 Bay Street P.O. Box 1
Royal Bank Plaza
Toronto, Canada
416–974–5151 and 416–842–2000


CEO Sergio Ermotti

Head Group External Communications:
Mark Hengel
Phone: 41–44–234–32–21

Chief Communication Officer-Americas:
Marsha Askins
212–713–6151 office and 917–226–4743 cell

Corporate Office:
Bahnhofstrasse 45, CH-8098
8001 Zurich, Switzerland

U.S. Office:
1285 Avenue of the Americas 
New York, NY 10019 

Goldman Sachs

Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein
917–743–0939 and 212–902–0593

Media Contacts Americas:

Corporate Address:
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282

Morgan Stanley

CEO James P. Gorman

Corporate Office:
Morgan Stanley
1585 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

Origin Bank (formerly Community Trust)

Chairman, President, and CEO Drake Mills

Corporate Office:
3921 Elm St.
Choudrant, LA 71227


Chairman Douglas Flint

Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver

Corporate Address:
8 Canada Square
London E14 5HQ, United Kingdom

U.S. Office:
HSBC Headquarters
425 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Head of Media Relations, HSBC USA:
Rob Sherman

3) Give Good Gifts

In every sitcom there is a Valentine’s episode, and in every episode the guy buys his girlfriend the wrong gift and hilarity (supposedly) ensues. Don’t be a cliché. Get your gal (or guy, or non-gendered entity) a good gift, and make sure it’s good by getting a gift that from a company that gives back, employs vulnerable workers, and is fair trade and ecologically sound. It’s really not hard, so why not! Instead of me copying all the links from one blog to another and trying to make it look original, I’m just going to leave the link to this article that lists a ton of incredibly philanthropic companies where you can buy gifts. This list has every kind of gift you can imagine, and they are all gifts you can feel good about giving.

4) Go See A Show

Take bae out for a night of theater…radical theater that is! The New Black Fest opens their 2017 festival this April, but buy your tickets early and give them as a Valentine’s gift.

The New Black Fest is a commitment to celebrate, advocate and showcase diverse and provocative work in a festival of Black theater artists from throughout the Diaspora. It is a convening of visionaries who are determined to reintroduce the way black theater is perceived, who are ready to chart out resolutions and promote action through panel discussions, workshops, and putting both artists and community members on the hot seat. The New Black Fest is for everyone and anyone who supports elevating and celebrating Black theater around the world, in a fresh way.​”

Check out these videos about some of the incredible projects that were on stage at last year’s festival:

HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments
Published by Samuel French and available for production worldwide, The New Black Fest commissioned 7 emerging black playwrights to write a collection of monologues that explore their feelings about the well-being of blacks in a culture of institutional profiling.

THE PLAYWRIGHTS: Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Idris Goodwin,Nambi Kelley, NSangou Njikam, Dennis Allen II, Eric Holmes

FACING OUR TRUTH: Ten-Minute Plays On Trayvon, Race, and Privilege
Published by Samuel French and available for production worldwide, The New Black Fest commissioned six diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays in light of the slaying of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman verdict. Facing Our Truth’s purpose is to incite serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.

PLAYWRIGHTS: Dominique Morisseau, Winter Miller, Dan O’Brien (w/Quetzal Flores), Marcus Gardley, Mona Mansour, Tala Manassah, A. Rey Pamatmat

Un-Tamed: HAIR, BODY, ATTITUDE. Short Plays by Black Women (In collaboration with playwright Dominique Morisseau)
In the tradition of Facing Our Truth and HANDS UP, five Black female playwrights dig deeper into the national conversation around Black womanhood and social perceptions of Black femininity, providing Black women a creative platform to personalize these issues.

PLAYWRIGHTS: Cori Thomas, Lenelle Moise, Jocelyn Bioh, Nikkole Salter and Chisa Hutchinson

5) Send A Card

There is so much to fight for socially, politically, and environmentally right now that it can be easy to overlook those things that also need our help. One would have hoped that in 2017 we wouldn’t have to waste our time making sure that sexual assault was taken seriously so that we could put all of our focus onto scientific advancements, like finding a cure for cancer. But unfortunately, that is not the case. As you are making a card for your loved one this year, consider taking an extra ten minutes and making an extra card for a hospitalized child. Cards For Hospitalized Kids (CFHK) is an internationally recognized charitable organization that spreads love to sick children through homemade cards. Visit their website and make a Valentine’s day card for someone today, or host a card making party and make a tons of cards!

6)Bake Something

Valentine’s day can be an emotionally taxing time time for anyone, but especially for survivors of domestic abuse. Let women and children know that they are still valued and loved (even after Trump cuts funding for all domestic against women programs) by doing something as simple as baking Valentine’s treats and bringing them to your local women’s shelter. Some domestic abuse shelters have undisclosed facilities so as to protect their inhabitants, but they still accept donations at other public locations. See what you can find in your neighborhood and spread love to some people that could really use some.

7) Love Your Mother

We all have one very important woman in our lives…Mother Earth. I don’t need to write here about how we have mistreated the earth and the ways in which she suffering at our feet. But might I remind you that we are artists. founder and environmental author Bill McKibben believes that “Art can convey in a different way than science the threat that climate change poses to our planet…The world’s best scientists have tried to wake-up politicians to the climate crisis, now we’re counting on artists to help.” is an environmental organization with a huge emphasis on using art to raise awareness and inspire change. In fact, they call people who follow their movement Artivisits. On their website they have videos, an artist resources guide, an artivist network to connect with other artists and activists, and a list of ongoing and past projects that fully embrace art as a vehicle for change and saving the earth. Give the most important woman in your life the attention she deserves.

8) Call Your Senators

No one has to be alone this Valentine’s day, spend your time calling your state representatives and continue to #resist.

9) Celebrate Every Kind of Love

If there is one thing Valentine’s day is, it’s heteronormative. Which is so boring because lets be honest, the world is so far past heteronormativity that to ignore queerness on Valentine’s day makes you- at the very least- way behind the times. Fill your Valentine’s day with unadulterated TRANS* LOVE and normalize, embrace, and support your Trans family, friends, and lovers by watching Her Story:

Her Story is about two trans women in Los Angeles who have given up on love, when suddenly chance encounters give them hope. Violet is drawn to Allie, a reporter who approaches her for an interview, while career-driven Paige meets James, the first man she’s considered opening up to in years. Will they risk letting what they are stand in the way of being loved for who they are?
Trans women in the media have long been punchlines, killers, indications of urban grit, pathetic tragedies, and dangerous sirens. Rarely have they been complex characters who laugh, struggle, and grow, who share strength in sisterhood, who seek and find love. Her Story depicts the unique, complicated, and very human women we see in queer communities, and explores how these women navigate the intersections of label identity and love.
Co-written by Jen Richards and Laura Zak, directed by Sydney Freeland (Drunktown’s Finest), with cinematography by Bérénice Eveno, and produced by Katherine Fisher/Speed of Joy Productions, Her Story features predominantly LGBTQ women, on and off-screen. With this project we have the opportunity to positively shift cultural perceptions of trans and queer women. We invite you to join us in helping to make visible the lives of women who too often are made invisible.

Watch the first episode!

10) Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

smooshy faced puppy angel

My mom always says that all dogs want is to love and to be loved in return. So who better to spend Valentine’s day with than puppies!! Take your significant other (or just yourself if you feel like you need a little extra love in your life) and volunteer at your local animal shelter. Your heart will grow by about a billion percent (I’m citing science on that one) and you’ll bring joy to animals that probably deserve it more than most humans. Just don’t bring them chocolate!

11) Hold Your Friends Accountable

It’s safe to assume that at least a few Valentine’s days will end in a proposal. And a proposal leads to a wedding. The national average spent on American weddings is $32,641…THAT’S INSANE. That’s about $28,000 more than what Europeans on average spend on weddings. Capitalism ya’ll, we’re all just victims. Anyway, I digress, My point is that with big weddings come big guest lists and big registries. But you don’t really need another toaster, do you? So instead, consider using the I Do Foundation. I Do Foundation allows you to put any charity of your choosing in your wedding registry, so guests can donate money in honor of your love to the foundation or charity of your choice.


I’ve seen this quote floating around Twitter and Instagram, and while it’s corny it’s also true:

In a society that profits from your self doubt, loving yourself is a radical act.

Smash the patriarchy. Smash capitalism. Love yourself. Take a bath, buy some chocolate, remember your self worth, and take the time to make yourself feel like the gosh darn unicorn that you are!


❤ The Dirty Blondes