The Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV), located on 2208 SW 3rd St. in Corvallis and serving both Benton and Linn Counties, is currently looking for passionate volunteers to help restart the Men’s Coalition to End Violence (MCEV). The coalition provides community education, workshop activities, and group discussions to help men end the perpetuation of violence and discrimination against women and girls.
“In pre-COVID times, it was basically a place where people could come together and learn about healthy masculinity and explore that topic with other people,” said Jacob Stewart, a community educator with CARDV. “People would watch documentaries or videos or discuss readings, and then they would all work together to brainstorm ideas about how they could be involved in that kind of outreach and education work here in Benton County, as well as in Linn County and the surrounding area.”
Though the pandemic had disrupted and stalled the possibility of restarting MCEV, Stewart has lately been doing more community outreach to get it back on its feet – with a greater breadth of helpful resources to strengthen people’s understanding of healthy masculinity, and what it might mean and look like in practice on personal, interpersonal, and communal levels.
“There’s more and more research happening all the time now about not just the experiences of cisgender white men, but [that] prioritize asking questions like, what are the experiences of queer men?” said Stewart. “What are the experiences of men of color, trans men, men with all of these intersecting identities? How does that affect a person’s understanding of their own masculinity?”
Some of the ways in which different individuals are socialized to understand and perform masculinity, Stewart added, are why programs like the MCEV are so vital.
“With the work that we do with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, anyone can be a survivor, but most of the time, the survivors are women – and most of the time, the perpetrators are men,” he said`1. “So there’s something about how these men learned to be men. There’s something about the way they see themselves and the way they see masculinity that they feel gives them permission to act like that. And that permission that they give themselves has these awful consequences that we see in our work – so in a way, if people are learning healthy masculinity early on in their life, I really do believe that it reduces the chances that someone will behave in an abusive way in a relationship. And that’s really the goal of all the prevention work that we’re doing, which is trying to make sure that people don’t experience abuse or harmful, controlling behaviors in their relationships.”
To volunteer for or learn more about the MCEV, or to share resources that you believe would be beneficial to the coalition’s work, email Stewart at email@example.com.
Calling Disabled Creatives: Through Aug. 14, submissions are open for Issue 3 of Look Deeper Zine, a series dedicated to amplifying the multifaceted voices, lived experiences, and creativity of disabled artists and writers. The theme for this issue is to authentically reflect what it means and feels like to be disabled in contemporary society, with a particular emphasis on the online disabled community, crip culture, and the collective joys, pains, angers and/or hopes of disabled creatives worldwide.
Just about any and all creative mediums are acceptable for this issue, including poetry, photography, graphics, illustrations, mixed media, collages, paintings, editorials, and written pieces no more than 1,000 words.
Local multimedia artist Lee Niemi, the creator of Bitter Pill Press, a Corvallis-based DIY press for zines, has promoted the call for submissions on social media. An advocate for disability justice, he started putting out calls for creative works by local disabled and neurodivergent artists in June for the first issue of his Apple a Day zine, which explores how people’s relationships with food are impacted by disability, neurodivergence, and health complications.
“Part of what I want to do with Apple a Day is use it as a platform for uplifting other work by disabled artists as well,” said Niemi. “There are so many stories that currently have no platform, and I think the theme of this issue of Look Deeper is especially relevant right now as disabled peoples’ wellbeing continues to be disregarded by many despite the ongoing pandemic.”
Issue 2 of Look Deeper Zine, which was released in January of this year, explored disabled and chronically ill folks’ experiences of the pandemic and some of the ways they’ve been treated throughout it. It was titled “Only the Vulnerable” in retaliation to widespread rhetoric, behaviors, and policy decisions that tended to frame disabled and immunocompromised communities that were more susceptible to COVID as expendable – and, consequently, less valuable than able-bodied individuals. A punk-style poster that was created for the issue described zines as an act of rebellion, and, by that logic, “Only the Vulnerable” as a disabled-led revolt.
“Sick and disabled folk suffered so much during the pandemic,” the poster reads. “This is our response to existing in a time that deemed us disposable.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our community heard words from politicians saying not to worry, that the virus only affects people with underlying conditions. During the pandemic, our community saw protesters marching down the street, yelling for mask-less schools and cities. During the pandemic, our community heard loud and clear the carelessness people have for disabled people and our lives,” reads an Instagram post. “Therefore, this [104-page] issue, titled ‘Only the Vulnerable’, hopes to offer a safe space for our community, in which we can grieve, process, and celebrate the beauty of our community together through art. We hope to do this, and challenge the ableist norms that [are] present during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To submit your work, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should include the title of your piece, the name you want to be published under, your Instagram username (if you have an account), as well as a short description of your piece and your idea behind it.
Against Two-Spirit Erasure in Queer Communities: If you’ve ever been curious about what the “2S” stands for in LGBTQ2S+, Souksavanh T. Keovorabouth, a Diné and Laotian Ph.D. candidate at Oregon State University in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Queer Studies, recently wrote an article about the history, meaning, and sacredness of the Two-Spirit identity in Indigenous communities.
Keovarabouth, who is Two-Spirt themselves, writes that while the Gay Movement – spurred on by the Stonewall Riots led by Black and Brown queer and trans community leaders – began progressing in the ‘70s, queer Indigenous voices were largely excluded.
“As we were fighting for our voices to be heard by the U.S. government, we, again, were fighting another battle to have our voices heard in the Gay Movement,” they wrote. “This led to the recognition that Indigenous people have always had, what we now know as, LGBTQ+ within our communities way before LGBTQ+ even existed, generating a new identification of that sovereign identity as Two-Spirit.”
A translation of “niizh manidoowag” in the Anishinaabemowin language, the term “Two-Spirit” was coined in 1990 during the Third Annual Inter-Tribal Native American, First Nations Gay and Lesbian American Conference in Winnipeg. Keovorabouth describes it as referring to the intersections of queerness and Indigeneity.
“When you are Two-Spirit, you are encompassing this diverse gender, sex, and sexuality while intersecting with your cultural connection to land, home, and peoples… I truly believe that Queer Indigenous people who have been impacted by settler/colonialism have the right to utilize and learn from the term, even as a place maker for future possibilities of (re)learning and (re)claiming our cultures from genocide, assimilation, and colonization,” they wrote. “The future of Two-Spirit is bright and our true possibility of reaching a revolutionary imagining of what ‘Indigenous Sovereignty’ actually looks like. At your next Pride event, or inclusion of LGBTQ[2S]+ do not forget to add Two-Spirit into the conversation.”
You can read the full article here.
Call for Poems on Climate Change in the United States: In the U.S., the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) report is currently underway, and groups of scientists from across the country are overseeing the integration of research findings. To engage more public participation in this process, Poet Laureates Luisa A. Igloria and Aileen Cassinetto, along with Dr. Jeremy Hoffman – a former Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at OSU – are collecting submissions for a future print anthology of poems about the impacts of climate change in the U.S., including stories of environmental justice and community resilience.
The co-editors welcome poems that don’t use scientific jargon, but instead “offer vivid, specific, lyrical, and original imagery and language to embody lived experiences related to climate change and/or address the theme of urgency from climate impacts” in poets’ communities.
Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield, an assistant professor of Agricultural Sciences at OSU and an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, encourages participation from Corvallis creatives who are deeply concerned about, have witnessed and/or been directly affected by, and/or have turned to organizing within their communities in response to devastating climate impacts.
“Climate change is often thought of as only existing within western scientific contexts, when in reality there is a very real human response component that isn’t as widely recognized,” said Hatfield. “We see and read about climate change and subsequent impacts on the news and in print media, but rarely are we seeing human responses and impacts outside of these media venues. Smaller group interactions and interpersonal conversations are often more relatable, creating the infrastructure of our respective communities and what is occurring within those community systems.”
Submissions are especially encouraged from BIPOC poets and poets of other historically marginalized communities, which are disproportionately vulnerable to the worst of the climate crisis. Hatfield, who specializes in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous responses and adaptations to climate impacts, understands the imperativeness of building, maintaining, and uplifting mutually nourishing community systems that can help collectively address these impacts.
“This call is important because it allows for that discussion, opening up the discussion in a different light [and] allowing for the nationwide recognition of impacts and responses to climate change by and through people and communities in a non-scientific avenue,” she said.
For instructions on how to format and submit poems, click here. Accepted poems will be published in the anthology, which is slated for release in late Fall of 2023, when the NCA5 is also scheduled for release.
Free, Community-Led HIV Test Kit Deliveries: Haus of Dharma, a local drag entertainment and event-planning community led by queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QTBIPOC), is providing deliveries of free at-home HIV test kits in Corvallis and Philomath. Drop-off kits include one OraQuick rapid HIV test; information on local health services, including where to access HIV care, harm reduction services, and what to do if you test positive for HIV. By request, you can also have a free Narcan kit added to your delivery, which includes two doses of nasal Narcan, instructions for use, and CPR shields.
You do not have to be a resident of Corvallis or Philomath to access these kits; deliveries can be made to a location in either city that is most convenient for people who sign up to receive a kit, such as their workplace address, a friend or relative’s home address, somewhere on the OSU campus, etc. If this isn’t an option, you can send an email to email@example.com and try to arrange a delivery elsewhere. Folks also have the option to request discreet packaging.
To sign up to receive a kit, click here. In keeping with COVID safety precautions, individuals who will be making deliveries will be wearing masks and be fully vaccinated and boosted. While these individuals cannot provide direct medical services to those who request kits, they are available to help connect people to local services as needed.
By Emilie Ratcliff