“Persephone’s Daughters” Statement on the Murder of George Floyd; Racial Justice Funds

George Floyd in 2016/ source WP:NFCC#4 / used here under Fair Use

“Spring irises bloom.
The caged bird no longer sings—
a knee on his throat.”
Kamand Kojouri



Dear Persephone’s Daughters readers, contributors, and community,

It is with outrage, grief, and solidarity that we join the voices of those worldwide condemning the heinous, racist acts of police brutality that directly resulted in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, 2020.

As a literary and arts journal with staff members and readers from all over the world, and a home base in Minnesota as our Editor-in-Chief’s place of residence, we grieve for the pain not only of our reeling community in the Twin Cities, but also for all those worldwide who have lost loved ones to police brutality.

Our mission is to uplift the voices of those pursuing peace after trauma, and to provide community and calm through healing art and storytelling. We envision, one day, a world free from violence. Not only from domestic and sexual violence and child abuse, of which many of our readers and contributors have survived, but also from racism, police brutality, systemic oppression, and the sharply entrenched inequities upon which the United States is historically built.

As artists and writers, we hold both the power to bring healing, and the power to illustrate and narrate the violent acts which deny, disrupt, and prolong it. As artists and writers giving voice to other artists and writers, we refuse to remain silent in the wake of abject, intentional terror.

In 2016, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, we brought you the Post-Election Mini Issue, a compilation of voices expressing their pain and anger at the election of a racist, ableist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic individual to one of the highest offices in the United States. Make no mistake – racism is alive and well in America in 2020 because America is an inherently racist project. Racist systems and racist individuals are killing Black men, Black women, and Black transgender folks at epidemic proportions, all with the direct support of this nation’s president.

We implore you to join us in action, however that action may look. Through protest, through provision of bailout funds, through distribution of food and basic necessities to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, to a commitment to hire and value BIPOC leadership, to challenge and actively work to dismantle, everyday, the systems that benefit white communities at the expense of BIPOC communities.

Silence in the face of this terror is in itself a violent act. We encourage you to do all of the above, in addition to donating to the following racial justice funds:

The George Floyd Memorial Fund supports George Floyd’s family with funeral and burial expenses, mental health counseling, lodging and travel for court proceedings, and basic necessities in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Minnesota Freedom Fund, a community-based nonprofit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals arrested. Note: MFF has received a significant influx of donations and is requesting that donations be given to orgs such as Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, detailed below.

Black Visions Collective, a Black, transgender, and queer-led organization committed to long-term success and transformation in Minnesota’s Black communities.

Reclaim the Block, a coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods such as violence prevention, housing, and responses to opioid and mental health crises.

Campaign Zero, an organization that utilizes policy solutions to end police brutality through limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.

Northstar Health Collective, a radical healthcare initiative providing health care services and other resources to marginalized communities; currently, they are on the frontlines, safeguarding the health of protestors.

National Bail Fund Network, a compiled list of bail funds across America. Donate to your local bail fund to support protestors in your area!

For those looking to learn more about the racist bedrock of policing, here are some educational resources to get started with:

Transform Harm, a resource hub about ending oppressive violence.

#BecauseWe’veRead, a reading list on policing and police/prison abolition.

A World Without Police, an organization that has compiled a study guide on the police.

@thegreatunlearn on Instagram & Patreon, a series of resources and critical discourse created by Rachel Cargle to aid in unlearning, including self-paced syllabi on racial justice.

In previous communications to our readers, we had stated that all proceeds from the print version of Issue 6 would be donated to the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse. We will now be splitting all proceeds and donating 25% to the Northwest Network and the remaining 75% to Black Visions Collective.

Please join us.

In solidarity,

Persephone’s Daughters

Meggie Royer, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Bhargavi Goel, Prose Reader & Editor

Mikey Jakubowski, Poetry Editor & Film Judge

Taylor Pevey, Prose Reader & Newsletter Staff

Uma Dwivedi, Prose Editor

Elena Torry-Schrag, Poetry Reader

Siam Hatzaw, Poetry & Prose Editor

Delaney Dunn, Prose Reader

Jessica Mazzeo, Art Evaluator & Social Media Team Member

Elijah Noble El, Persephone’s Daughters Film Division Co-Founder

Avleen K Mokha, Poetry & Prose Editor

Eleanor Hough, Poetry Editor

Sarah Shaughnessy, Prose Editor & Poetry Reader

Kim Kaletsky, Prose Reader

Catherine Luo, Art Evaluator

Tanvi Deshmukh, Poetry Editor & Art Evaluator

Rachel Hultquist, Prose Editor 

Lakshmi Mitra, Poetry Editor

This post is courtesy of Persephone’s Daughters and is shared here with permission; Mr. Floyd’s photograph is from Wikipedia. 


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Fabulous Resource for Bloggers, Artists, Educators: Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Free Images for Broader Public Use

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”



The Smithsonian has launched Smithsonian Open Access, an initiative that removes Smithsonian copyright restrictions from about 2.8 million of its digital collection images and nearly two centuries of data. This means that people everywhere can now download, transform and share this open access content for any purpose, for free, without further permission from the Smithsonian.

Among museums and cultural institutions, this is the largest and most interdisciplinary open access program to date. The Smithsonian will continue to add items on an ongoing basis, with more than 3 million images designated as open access by late 2020.

“Open access is a milestone for the Smithsonian in our efforts to reach, educate and inspire audiences,” said Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III. “Through this initiative, we are empowering people across the globe to reimagine and repurpose our collections in creative new ways.”

The Smithsonian Open Access content includes high-resolution 2D and 3D images of collection items, as well as research datasets and collections metadata, which users can download and access in bulk. All of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo contributed images or data to this launch. The program includes content across the arts, sciences, history, culture, technology and design, from portraits of historic American figures to 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons.


The Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia, carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to the Moon and back on the first lunar landing mission in July, 1969 / Source Smithsonian under CCO license

Previously, the Smithsonian made more than 4.7 million collection images available online for personal, non-commercial and educational use. Now, with Smithsonian Open Access, nearly 3 million of those images carry a Creative Commons Zero designation, which waives the Institution’s copyright and permits a greater variety of uses, both commercial and non-commercial, without the need for Smithsonian permission or payment.

“Open access exemplifies the Smithsonian’s core mission: the ‘increase and diffusion’ of knowledge our institution has fostered for nearly 175 years,” said John Davis, interim director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, who led the initiative from its inception. “With Smithsonian Open Access, we’re inviting people everywhere to make that knowledge their own––to share and build on our digital collections for everything from creative works, to education and scholarly research, to bold innovations we have yet to imagine.”

The Smithsonian is joined in this launch by collaborators using the Institution’s open access collections to create original works and discover new insights:

  • Artist Amy Karle used a 3D scan of a Triceratops skeleton from the National Museum of Natural History to create nine sculptures that explore the impact of technology on evolution.
  • Google Arts & Culture applied machine learning to the entire Smithsonian collections dataset to uncover connections between early women scientists at the Smithsonian and their life’s work.
  • Creators of the children’s book series “AstroNuts”––author Jon Scieszka and illustrator Steven Weinberg––produced a free, downloadable booklet showing K–12 students how to remix Smithsonian Open Access images for their own projects.
  • Georgetown University Library’s Maker Hub challenged students to create projects––from textiles to electronics to artworks––based on the Smithsonian Open Access collections.
  • Open access also makes Smithsonian content available via Creative Commons, Google Arts & Culture, Wikipedia and other digital platforms, increasing the reach and impact of these collections.

“The Smithsonian launched open access with new platforms to give the public ready access to our trusted collections and data,” said Effie Kapsalis, the Smithsonian senior digital program officer, who managed and guided implementation of the program. “We are excited to see how people worldwide use this dataset, which represents nearly two centuries of interdisciplinary research, to understand and solve today’s challenges.”

The Smithsonian Open Access launch event is presented in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. Data hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services Public Dataset Program.

Visit HERE to browse the Smithsonian Open Access collections and learn more.

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION was founded in 1846 with a bequest from British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829) to found at Washington an establishment for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” It is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoological Park.

The Smithsonian’s collections document the nation’s history and heritage and represent the world’s natural and cultural diversity. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, including more than 146 million scientific specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

“Thoughts” by Myra Viola Wilds; the Internet Archive; Public Domain Day, January 30, 2020

Myra Viola Wilds / Public Domain


“A copy of each verse I retain in my own handwriting, after this, they are copied in a book by my husband. I beg your kind consideration of the plain, simple verses herein: I do not seek Wealth, Fame or Place, ‘among the great ones of my race.’ ” Myra Viola Wilds in her Preface to Thoughts in Idle Hours, 1915



What kind of thoughts now, do you carry
In your travels day by day
Are they bright and lofty visions,
Or neglected, gone astray?

Matters not how great in fancy,
Or what deeds of skill you’ve wrought;
Man, though high may be his station,
Is no better than his thoughts.

Catch your thoughts and hold them tightly,
Let each one an honor be;
Purge them, scourge them, burnish brightly,
Then in love set each one free.

– Myra Viola Wilds

Poem-a-Day (Academy of American Poets) published this poem, which is in the public domain. I’d never heard of the poet so I went on a hunt. She’s a folksy poet and there’s nothing significant to be found online. Her book is not included in the Gutenberg Project, but it is included HERE in the Internet Archive.  If you haven’t explored this wonderful site, you must.



Good resource for poets, writers, researchers.

The Internet Archive “is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

“We began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral – but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 20+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 625+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.” MORE

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Details on Public Domain Day HERE / Courtesy of the Internet Archive


Poetry Rocks the World!

Jamie DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.



 

FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

The Medium Platform, May Be a Good Place to Display Your Work – First Impressions from Karen Fayeth and Jamie Dedes

Medium.com logo / Public Domain

“Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter. So whatever your interest, you can always find fresh thinking and unique perspectives.” Medium About



Karen Fayeth (Oh Fair New Mexico) and I have been playing on Medium for about six weeks or so, checking it out and – each for our own reasons – are reservedly pleased. This is a online publishing platform started in 2012 by Evan Williams, former chairman and CEO of Twitter. It offers the opportunity to share “stories.”  They don’t say “posts.” These stories can be poems, flash fiction, fiction, creative nonfiction, opinion pieces and so forth. Today, we share our first impressions of Medium. We do plan to continue our experiments with Medium, at least for awhile. Should you decide to come along for the ride, do follow us so that we can follow you. / J.D.


First Impressions: Karen Fayeth (Oh Fair New Mexico and Karen on Medium)

I have been blogging since 2007 so going over to Medium felt at first like giving up a lot of control. The more I use the site, the more I have come to appreciate the ease of creating, editing and posting stories. They are doing all the management and maintenance of the site and I can just write. That is pretty cool.

That said, Medium does work in many ways like a social media site. By that I mean you  have to have plenty of followers and claps to get your work seen, and I don’t have a particularly large network. In the early days, Jamie was kind enough to give me a boost via her network, which is robust, and I’m grateful for the reads and comments. I’m slowly building my own network via reading and commenting on stories. I’ve also befriended some wonderful writers on the platform.

There are some writers who make a lot of money on Medium, and it’s easy to get caught up in feeling like I have to be at that level. There are lots and lots of stories on the site about how to make money on Medium and I did find myself feeling anxious, as though I had to write as often as they did and I had to make as much money as they did, and if I didn’t I was a failure. I’m a lot more sanguine now as there is NO WAY I can hold down a full time job and write 2 or 3 posts a day.

Now about the money, in the three months so far, the most I have made in a single month is $7.46. One might say that is a pittance, but to me, I’m actually getting paid to write. It’s small but it’s something.

During the week of November 17th, I challenged myself to write a post every day and while it was a lot of fun it was also a lot of hard work. As expected some of the stories did better than others.

I did try using a service that drives clicks to a link for one of my stories to see if sheer volume of clicks would help. That post has 550 clicks but only 35 reads, so it has made a grand total of .08. The earnings model really does depend on Medium users clicking the link and reading the story.

So to sum it all up, I would say I’m still learning and I’m cautiously optimistic.

KAREN FAYETH: Raised most of my life in New Mexico, my job brought me to Northern California. I don’t usually identify myself as a Californian, simply a New Mexican living in California. In the first couple years after moving, I distanced myself from my home state thinking it backward and remote. Then I began to visit home more frequently and truly learned a love for my home state that only comes by gaining perspective. I’m a writer, a crafter, a photographer and labor at a “real job” during the days.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day, The BeZine, and Jamie on Medium)

My focus is a bit different than Karen’s. I’m in search of platforms where I can have my say. I’m considering Spillwords and a few others as well. These for myself and on behalf of both off-and-online friends who post their poems on Facebook but are looking for somewhere more visually appealing to collect and showcase their work for access by others. These are folks who don’t want the burden or expense of a blog.

Medium might be ideal:

  1. It is in effect a minimalist blogging platform, easy and intuitive to use.
  2. Everything is maintained. No work on your part.
  3. No advertising. No clutter.

Other pros depending on what you are looking for:

  1. Ability to social network, if inclined.
  2. Potential to earn back your monthly $5 USD investment. I’d say posting poetry is not going to net much. Payments are based on time it takes to read. Poems will net you a few cents each. So far for November, I’ve earned $2.69. That’s with a couple of short stories thrown in.
  3. You get a “friends link” to go with each “story.” You can use your friends link in texts and emails and on Facebook, Twitter, or other micro-blogging and social media networks.

Possible Cons:

  1. Medium uses Strip for payments, which may work in counties where you haven’t been able to take advantage of opportunities that make payments via PayPal. You’ll have to do your homework on that. Neither PayPal nor Strip is available everywhere around the world.
  2. If as I am you are already heavily networking elsewhere, Medium might be just a bit too much of an addition.

You are able to register and feature your poems on Medium without a paying membership. They won’t be shared among Medium community members. Unlike Twitter, however, readers don’t have to be registered to read and folks outside the Medium Community can view your work whether or not you are a paying member.

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Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications:  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton