May 2014 Archives

Rochester NY Anti-Racist Movement

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I moved to Rochester New York in 2011. Racial Equity is becoming a highly discussed topic again (or maybe it always has been and I'm just getting connected to the discussion here in Rochester), and it is one I've always cared deeply about. This February I attended a group discussion at the Brighton public library about Race. It was really exciting to see a diverse group of people there. It was especially significant to see people in positions of power- including our Town Supervisor (our elected Mayor-like position) Bill Moehle as well as representation from the Police Department. The conversation was powerful, and at times uncomfortable. But that might even be the point. Get uncomfortable, be vulnerable, listen, and learn from those around you. It was a nice beginning for my re-entry into the world outside my home. I've spent the last three years at home raising my lovely three year old. I intend to continue to do so. But I'm ready to get involved in the community again as well. As my father would say, I'm ready to "get my head out of the sand".
From that meeting I got connected to a lot of organizations that are working toward racial equality here in Rochester. I'm listing them below and I hope you'll take a moment to look at these organizations online and consider getting involved in one or more of them.

You can learn more about FREE at the link below:

ACT Rochester also had a hand in creating FREE and supporting this summit on Race You can read more about ACT here:

Here is a great place to read feature articles and blog posts about Issues of Race and Equity in Rochester NY

And here is yet another organization involved in equity for Rochester residents- Metro Justice

There is a local National Coalition Building Institute in Rochester- yet anotherorganization fighting racism in Rochester

The local YWCA is also active in the anti-racist movement

Dear Internet,

Last year I shrank an entire inch. How does that happen to a 33 year old you wonder? Well, I was (probably) born with a fracture in my vertebrae.
I guess the stress of pregnancy and childbirth dislodged scar tissue that was basically stabilizing my spine.

But, no longer. Hence the shrinking. And frankly, a lot of pain and nerve damage .
I am reminded of Alice in Wonderland and the bottle that says "drink me" on it. I admit that it feels like I went down the rabbit hole and found myself in an unreliable, chaotic reality, so the image is apt.

I'm having back surgery. Spinal fusion. In July. They will remove a disc, insert titanium, and encourage (make?) bone growth happen. And hopefully I'll feel better after I presumably feel a lot worse for a month or so. And then my daughter will have a new narrative. One in which she won't feel compelled to ask me "Is your back not sore?" when, on rare occasion, I carry her down the stairs. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes. I hate that this is her narrative. The idea that a woman's body image can be based on what her body can do rather than what it looks like came at exactly the wrong time for me. And I can't help but wonder what impact it has on other women who have bodies that fail them in one way or another.

I'm ready for change. Both reluctant and impatient for surgery.

And now that the internet knows I'm having surgery- it must be true.

Mama Rae