This Native American Heritage Month, it's time to destroy the harmful Thanksgiving myth. The common story that our white supremacist education system (at least in the US) teaches us is that the Pilgrims who came to Plymouth hosted a celebratory dinner alongside the Indigenous Mashpee Wampanoag peoples on Thanksgiving in 1621. However, the truth is that Thanksgiving marked a massacre of Indigenous people (specifically the Pequot community) and part of the beginning of the violent settler colonialism that is the foundation of today's United States (source: @dineaesthetics on Instagram).
To properly honor this National Day of Mourning, there are some important things that non-Native people (everywhere, but especially in the US) should do. Below is a non-exhaustive list of resources and action items.
We Are Matching Donations!
One of the most substantial and concrete things that you should do if you have the means is to financially repay the Indigenous peoples whose land you stand on. This falls under the broader concept of land acknowledgement, a process in which you identify and acknowledge the tribes whose land you reside on and build authentically supportive relationships with those communities.
To that end, LingHacks has held physical events on Chochenyo, Ohlone, Ramaytush, and Tamyen land, and we are committing to match up to $1500 in donations to these communities as well as other Indigenous mutual aid funds. This amount is approximately equal to the venue fees we have paid to hold our events on these lands. To get your donation matched, make a donation to one of the organizations/funds below, and send your receipt to email@example.com. Make sure the receipt clearly indicates the name of the organization that you donated to. Below are the organizations that we will match donations for (thanks in part to Harvard's Institute of Politics and the American Library Association for some of these links):
If you run an organization (e.g. a hackathon, nonprofit, conference, club, etc), especially one that has held physical events, we encourage you to (1) run a similar donation match, (2) factor compensation for Indigenous lands into your venue fees going forward, and (3) use your social media platforms to amplify Indigenous creators, organizers, and mutual aid funds.
Other Ways to Help
We recognize that not everyone has the means to donate at this time. If you are not able to financially contribute right now (or even if you are), here are some other ways you can help Indigenous communities:
That's all for this post. As always, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, concerns, comments, suggestions, and/or corrections.
This past week was Transgender Awareness Week, and November 20th was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender people have been systemically oppressed in the United States and abroad - from being killed by police at higher rates than cisgender people to being misgendered to not being legally protected (among many other forms of transphobia). Below are some resources that you can utilize to take action to fight for trans rights. Once again, we are posting this after the formal day and week for recognition have passed because trans rights cannot be reduced to a week per year. This year (and going forward), we are also paying particular attention to the intersections of marginalized identities by highlighting Black trans creators and resources serving Black trans people.
Everyday Actions to Be a Better Ally
Books by Trans Authors
Instead of supporting the transphobic J.K. R*wling, reflect on how you probably didn't read many books that represented or centered trans people in school, and begin to change that with these books! Source: @theconsciouskid on Instagram.
Trans Creators to Support
Follow these awesome people on social media and support their work monetarily if you're able! As a standard disclaimer, this list is not exhaustive.
Trans Rights Organizations to Support
These organizations are doing critical work - from fighting for legal protection for trans people to providing mental health support to freeing trans people from prison to creating safe spaces in schools. Make recurring donations if able, and follow them on social media!
That's all for this week. As always, please reach out at email@example.com with any corrections or additions to this post or others. Thanks for reading, and keep fighting!
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