POC ZINE PROJECT

Posts tagged white privilege

Hey POC Zine Project! We at the Feminist Press love your organization’s blog, and we were hoping you would check ours out. We’re an independent nonprofit dedicated to publishing literature that promotes feminism, activism, and social justice. We’ll be posting book reviews, the latest in gender and sexuality issues, and other exciting news on our Tumblr. Perhaps you could help support us and spread the word to your followers, maybe join in on our discussions? We’d appreciate it! — Asked by thefeministpress

Dear Feminist Press and other entities that are reaching out to us right now solely to help them with things:

Thanks for your message. We appreciate your kind words. As you may have noticed from following our Tumblr (and through info we have shared here), we are in the middle of booking a 20 city tour. We are a 100% DIY, volunteer, unfunded project. As you can imagine, a 20 city tour is a tall order to deliver on when you factor in regular life needs (day job, family, etc.). We need all the help we can get.

With that context, we offer you the following friendly advice/guidance:

1. If it’s your first time reaching out to us, please consider figuring out in advance what sort of support you can offer in return, before asking us to take on additional tasks to further your mission. 

2. We are not a promotional mechanism for publishers. We are a grassroots advocacy platform for POC and deeply consider everything we help signal boost (intention, history of person/org, etc.). If you would like to develop a content sharing partnership, then you must also share what you can provide us in return.

3. If we have never seen you promote our efforts on your digital platforms, why should we consider adding additional tasks in the middle of booking our tour to support you? For example, Feminist Press has not re-blogged or promoted anything from POCZP on their Tumblr for over a week now (that’s as far back as we went to check), but yet contacted us on Tumblr asking for promotion … on our Tumblr. Does that make sense in terms of building goodwill/coalition building? No, it does not.

4. Please consider your various privileges before assuming that we have the space, time and emotional bandwidth to help you with your promotional efforts - especially without offering any support in return.

If you’d like to continue to discuss this (and have considered ways to offer us support so this is a mutually beneficial arrangement), please email poczineproject@gmail.com.

<3

POCZP

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: How to Stage a Coup [NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE AND FOR DISTRO]

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Earlier this year Helen Luu donated her original flat for How to Stage a Coup: An Insurrection of the Underground Liberation Army (2000) to POCZP, which we scanned just in time for POCZP’s participation at Allied Media Conference in Detroit.

Yes, it’s here!!!

READ & SHARE ‘HOW TO STAGE A COUP’

POCZP’s mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute and share. We are thrilled to share this legacy zine with the world in digital form and will be providing (sliding-scale priced) print copies at all Race Riot! tour events this fall.

HTSAC will be free for all POC attendees at Race Riot! tour events.

***This zine is best viewed online or via mobile in full-screen mode***

TITLE: How to Stage a Coup: An Insurrection of the Underground Liberation Army 

EDITOR: Helen Luu

PUBLISHED: 2000

DESCRIPTION BY POCZP TOUR MEMBER MIMI THI NGUYEN IN 2000:

Helen Luu recently edited a compilation zine called How To Stage A Coup, aimed at creating a dialogue among people of color involved in subcultural pursuits (including punk rock) around race, racism and politics. Contributors like Lauren Martin (You Might As Well Live, Quantify), Lynn Hou (Cyanide), Celia Prez (I Dreamed I Was Assertive), Elizabeth Martinez (Colorlines) and Vincent Chung address a wide variety of issues from organizing and identity politics, to activist dynamics and punk rock betrayals. What does it mean to look at the photographs of Third World suffering on the covers of grindcore records? What does it mean to talk about “pride”? Where was the “color” in Seattle/WTO? What comes first – “being brown or being famous”? The contributors to this compilation ask important questions that need asking, again and again, and Helen Luu brings it all together. 

Click here for the rest of Mimi’s interview, and check out Helen’s DJ projects as MissRuckus.

DO YOU WANT TO DISTRO ‘HOW TO STAGE A COUP’?

We announced on our Facebook page that we have two digital downloads available:

1) Print version

This version was made from a scan of the original flat. It was created with the intention of sharing with folks for distribution of the print version.

2) Read-version

This is the online-friendly version you can see in the embed above. This file is best viewed in e-readers or printed with the expectation that it will be page by page and not the same as the flat.

HOW TO ACCESS HTSAC FILES

We’re raising funds to make 200+ print versions of How to Stage a Coup to give away during tour, so we’re asking folks interested in gaining access to either files to email poczineproject@gmail.com with information about how they plan to use it.

Based on that info (and our relationship with that person/collective), we will ask for a sliding scale donation in exchange for access to a secure file.

We will be providing free access to both downloads on a case-by-case basis. In the meantime, enjoy the read-only version above.

We look forward to seeing more copies of How to Stage a Coup in circulation and on shelves in venues/zine libraries/archives worldwide! 

Please note that, per Luu’s donation statement, "This zine and the parts within it are not to be used for profit (paying for expenses is okay though)."

We’ll have more details about who follows up to distro and archive How to Stage a Coup in the coming weeks and months. 

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SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $1, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

March 8th & 9th, 2013: Inclusivity at CZF 2013

chicagozinefest:

An anonymous survey taker said in regards to CZF’s inclusivity: I think organizing a poc-specific zine branch of any kind is too much like segregation, even if the organizers’ hearts were in the right place. It’s not inclusion to specify the skin color of authors and it was already an extremely welcoming place to be for everyone involved, making the poc zine thing redundant.


CZF response: There may be some misunderstanding about the POC zine groups that were present/involved in Chicago Zine Fest 2013, so we wanted to clear that up. Two groups tabled at/participated in CZF that had POC in their names: the POC Zine Project, and Chi-POC. Both of these groups are self-identified and named themselves as well as providing their own bios with self-identifications to be read in introduction at the Exhibitor Reading, and they are autonomous entities that are not associated with the CZF organizers; we would never presume to categorize or label anyone! We support both groups and the rights of all zinesters who self-identify as POC to do so, as well as the reasons behind each group’s choice to use POC in their names and do what they do.

We highly recommend checking out both of these projects to find out more about them in their own words:

POC Zine Project: poczineproject.tumblr.com

Chi POC: onstruggling.tumblr.com

*We will be publicly responding to a few of the anonymous comments made in our Post CZF 2013 Participant/Attendee Survey here over the next couple of weeks in order to foster transparency and dialogue. Please contact us if you have any comments or questions!

We appreciate CZF organizers putting this statement out there. We had a great time  presenting and tabling at CZF, while affirming & supporting zinesters of color. Advocacy engines/platforms for poc zinesters will never be “redundant” as long as institutional racism exists in zine & DIY communities - oh yes, and in everything else. #boom #muchlove

- POCZP

Let’s Talk About: ‘The Truth Tour and how to be an ally at POC and Native events’

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By Cata, POCZP East Coast Intern

The Truth Tour consists of folks from the Pine Ridge reservation of South Dakota and allies, traveling to different cities in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic to tell their stories, advocating for a return to matriarchal leadership and raising awareness of the ongoing genocide of their people. The event I attended was a film screening of the documentary “Red Cry,” held in Washington, DC, on April 16th.

Below is an entry point into a continuous conversation, not a rule book. 

A big question that surrounds POC (people of color) events from those outside of the community holding the event is "how can I be an ally?"

A simple answer to these questions is to put your self in service to the community and don’t take up space. 

DC ‘TRUTH TOUR' EVENT RECAP

April 16 – Washington, DC – Metropolitan Community Church of DC – 6:30pm

When the Lakota Grandmothers came to DC in April, my partner and I cooked a meal for an event as an act of support/solidarity. What follows here are my reflections as an audience member/participant in the film screening event.

I write with a strong desire to contribute to a (hopefully) ongoing conversation of allyship. The night of the event in DC there were many important voices and stories shared. The group had come a long way to spread their voices. I am thankful for their journey. I felt blessed to be among these strong travelers and hope to meet them again one day.

However, among the powerful stories offered there were important voices and stories that were missed. Here are some things I observed as I watched the evening pass with a complex interplay of isms and unchecked privileges.

For days afterward I couldn’t get out of my head the Q&A session after the “Red Cry” screening. 

The white anarchist/activist who stood up and said “I don’t know about the rest of the room, but me and my house mates on THIS side of the room- we’re REALLY in SOLIDARITY with you all! REALLY!”

This wasn’t a question; it was a comment offered perhaps to receive an ego stroke from the audience/caravaners and it was distracting.

Then, there was an African-American woman who stood up asking to be part of the Lakota people, referencing her own Native heritage. It was refreshing to see a person of color seeking to honor their indigenous heritage— but the word use: “Can I be a part of you?” made my face scrunch.

Again, this was not a question pertaining to their journey or to the film.

Then, three or four folks raised their hands… again without questions… but instead with gifts. Literally folks were walking up to an elder with shells, books and bags of what? I don’t know.

Weird? Yes. Distracting? Yes. Ego strokes? Yes and yes.

Three-quarters of the way through the event, the main Native male speaker who had been speaking the most and facilitating, acknowledged that the others on his caravan, including most of the women, had not spoken. He suggested that they go down the line and share something.

"Yes, finally!" I thought, time to hear everyones voice. But, wait. One more person in the audience needs the spot light and asks a question/comment…then POOF! Our time is done.

A song is sung and things are wrapped up. There is never time to hear the voices of the other Native folks, most of them women, from the caravan.

NEXT STEPS

As POC organizers we need to reflect:

  • On this Truth Tour designed to advocate a return to matriarchy, how did the Native man facilitating (and the crew as a whole) not realize that his voice was filling the time available at the expense of other (female) voices from the caravan?
  • How do we as POC organizers/activists let inter-communities privileges distract or disappear an important layer in our events or projects? 
  • How did the audience continue on unaware of their distracting behavior?
  • Why did certain audience members(and why do some folks) think it was/is ok to deconstruct their internal conflicts on some one else’s time?

This brings me back to allyship. Here are some ways to be an ally:

1) Be aware of your layers (gender, colourism, class, race, orientation, shyness etc).

2) Take your OWN time to process privilege, settlers guilt etc.

3) Do your service, go home and process in your journal or with other allies about your experience and how to be a better ally next time.

It’s all good. We are all learning here, but to distract from someone else’s event/or project with your own internal conflicts is unchecked privilege. To disappear someone else’s voice or story with your own, no matter if you’re an ally or a member of the community is rude. These patterns disrupt progress.

Privileges unchecked and unprocessed hurt ourselves and our communities. Until we learn as how to beware of our layers and hold one another accountable the biggest thing that will come of our events and projects in the eyes of others (and maybe ourselves) is debriefing the distractions.

Distractions are annoying. And, distractions are NOT solidarity. Lets move the focus back.

NYC ‘TRUTH TOUR’ EVENT RECAP

April 8, 2013 – New York City, NY, Judson Memorial Church- 239 Thompson St. (Solidarity/Decolonization Training) – 7:00pm

By Anonymous contributor to POCZP

I attended the Indigenous Solidarity and Decolonizing Training at Judson Memorial Church in hopes of learning more about the Lakota people, their struggles, and what it means to be in solidarity with indigenous communities. I was looking forward to participating in conversations about the meaning of decolonization and how one develops and sustains a political praxis around decolonizing the self in relation to community.

These days I have been thinking a lot about what it means for me, a women of color to challenge the mindset of settler colonialism that is part of my privilege and my immigrant histories. I believe that the complexities of communities of color engaging with native and indigenous communities should not be limited to understand through reading books and watching documentaries, so I went to this event to listen, to learn, to say hello.

I have deep respect the leaders of this training, for their histories and communities, and for the ways in which they walk through this world. However what I experienced last night was triggering, frustrating, and very confusing.

All but one of the Lakota grandmothers was present and the reason for this was never clearly explained or discussed. We began by asking those in the room who have any European ancestry, to stand up. As expected nearly eighty plus percent of the room were of European descent; I was one of few women of color, and perhaps South Asian in the room who did not stand up.

I have a vague understand of the purpose of this exercise, to call attention to the active realities of colonization as part of people’s being, and that as privilege that you cannot erase. However the presenters did not once ask any questions or specifically engage with the people of color in the room to ask why there were present, what it means for people of color to experience colonialism, and how the displacement of communities of color can reinforce colonial oppressions that native peoples face.

Once again white people became the center focus of the discussion, a conversation that I am sick in tired of having.

How can we destroy the constructs of whiteness if we continually reify them in our political spaces through reliving trauma and shaming one another?

There were several instances where the main “teacher” of this “training” used disparaging language against biracial and multiracial people. They outlined the role of elderly women, or the grandmothers in the struggle without giving the elderly women in the room a chance to speak out on their own and share their stories.

There was a moment where a white man was being disruptive and the presenter challenged him on his behavior, but did not ask him to leave the room. Of course this man continued to be disruptive and my friend, a women of color, had to ask him to leave.

I could give further specifics and in detail but I am not interested in calling out the presenter or the organizers of this event. Rather, I write this to raise the question of how can we build solidarity and decolonize together when so many of our political spaces are dominated by the politics of whiteness and by those whom I gender as being male-identified and male-bodied?

What is it going to take for men to recognize their male-privilege and to step down, work together on building true allyship with women in the struggle, and to call each other out?

There is a lot to say about this training. I am vested in having these conversations in person, and with people I hope to build my politics and community with.

However, in sharing this, I hope we can have a more open and honest dialogue about how to challenge spaces that are political defunct in the moment, and how to create something new that has a liberating direction.

Editor’s Note: POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano attended the NYC Truth Tour date and put a call for feedback on the POCZP Facebook page. Subsequently, Daniela spoke with this anonymous contributor, who gave POCZP permission to publish their thoughts under the condition that they remain anonymous. POCZP respects their choice to remain anonymous, as often it can be very difficult and triggering as a POC to question POC-led movements/actions.

MORE ON THE APRIL 8 NYC TRUTH TOUR EVENT

Below are POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano’s thoughts on the NYC Truth Tour event, originally published on the POCZP Facebook page. She also recorded this positive moment at the end of the evening:

[DESCRIPTION: The event leaders asked attendees to participate in a round dance at the end of the event. Couples were placed in the middle circle, while the elders were in another circle around it. After a while, others who weren’t necessarily elders were encouraged to join the outer circle. Native and non-native folks participated in the dance. This video captures about 80% of the round dance duration.]

By Daniela Capistrano, POCZP founder

The event overall was (for folks we spoke to) very triggering and complex. I wish that more female elders spoke, since that is what the tour is about. However, I also understand that there is another related event where female elders will be speaking.

This event wasn’t an “easy” experience. Some folks said there wasn’t enough actual training and that it was more of a blame game. Others did not agree with this assessment at all and said they got a lot out of it.

The event leaders asked everyone at the start of the experience “to listen with your heart.” Some people in attendance had a very had time just listening and there were many privilege issues at play. One white male would not stop interjecting and made it all about him until he was asked to stop. He could not handle that feedback and left.

Another white male took up way too much time singing a “spiritual” song, making the focus about him instead of the elders. A white female spoke on behalf of a black male in attendance without his consent. Many interesting and triggering actions went down last night at this event, a microcosm of bigger issues at play …

Some participants had issues with being put on the spot based on race, class and gender. Another controversial facet of the training was when attendees were challenged to cut up their government IDs as a symbol of their commitment to decolonize. Clearly there are many factors that would inform someone’s decision to participate or not, such as citizenship status in the U.S. and the dangerous ramifications of not having ID while experiencing racial profiling or worse. Race, class and gender were also factors.

One could argue that this act of cutting up an ID meant nothing and was in fact hurtful to undocumented folks in attendance or others in tenuous circumstances. Lots to think about. But I aired on the side of listening with an open mind and staying until the end. I chose to cut up my ID to confront my privileges; to know what it felt like to destroy government issued materiality; and to think about all the privileges that made it so “easy” for me to cut up my ID without any real consequences. I did it for myself, didn’t judge those who didn’t and also doesn’t think that cutting an ID automatically “decolonized” my existence and mental state. For me, it was an act of undoing mental damage tied to identity politics.

I am glad that I did stay until the end of the event, because I was able to meet one of the female elders, who I hope will collaborate with POCZP on the Race Riot tour this fall, as #IdleNoMore is our core focus. 

Because I stayed until the end, I was able to capture the round dance on video, which had a very peaceful and healing affect for many who participated.

In closing, it’s 100% OK to not agree with all facets of a decolonizing event. It’s OK to not agree with the leaders and to walk out when you feel triggered. Several people did walk out. But I am glad that I stayed.

NOTICE: POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano reached out to Truth Tour organizers in April to share feedback and to discuss a possible collaboration for the Race Riot! tour. She also reached out again upon publishing this piece. We are patiently awaiting a response.

COMMUNITY: Help make this a productive conversation by adding your thoughts in your reblog.

RESOURCES

Educate yourself on what the Truth Tour is all about:

"Red Cry" information:

"Red Cry" premiered on April 1, 2013, at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City, SD in Lakota Territory.  It was shown on consecutive nights in other cities as part of the Lakota Truth Tour.

Limited quantities of the Red Cry DVD are available for free.  If you would like a DVD sent to you, Truth Tour organizers request that you give a donation of $5 or more to cover the costs of shipping and materials.

Please mail your address and a check made payable to “Lakota Solidarity Project” to:

Lakota Solidarity Project
PO Box 881
Asheville, NC 28801

If you would like to show the film in your area, they ask that you download the Organizer Toolkit and use this as a model for how to organize the screening. Contact them if you are interested in screening “Red Cry.”

DONATE to the Lakota Solidarity Project/Truth Tour via PayPal by clicking here.

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“Let’s Talk About…” is an experimental series by POCZP created to share communal knowledge, resources and reflections on a wide range of topics affecting communities of color.

If you are a person of color—or a white person with a history of supporting POC Zine Project— who wants to contribute to “Let’s Talk About…” submit to poczineproject@gmail.com with “Let’s Talk About” in the subject line. 

All submissions to “Let’s Talk About…” will be compiled into a zine (print & digital) that will be released by POCZP in December of 2013.

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SUPPORT POC ZINE PROJECT

If everyone in our community gave $1, we would more than meet our fundraising goal for 2013. If you have it to spare, we appreciate your support. All funds go to our 2013 tour, the Legacy Series and the poverty zine series.

DONATE link via PayPal: http://bit.ly/SHdmyh

SCENE REPORT: MidWest Zine Fest 2013

On April 13, 2013, POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton attended MidWest Zine Fest for herself and on behalf of POCZP. She created this report back as part of POCZP’s advocacy to help address safer space issues and to encourage more communication/outreach between white zine fest organizers and POC in the community where the event is taking place.

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As a result of Joyce’s recap, we have been directly in touch with MidWest Zine Fest organizers. Our advocacy is about building relationships and sharing resources—with the focus always being on the liberation of POC.

We understand the utility of call out culture but we prefer to directly address issues with people one on one. We have found this leads to more tangible positive change than simply reading someone/an entity online (although sometimes it is needed!).

Enjoy the recap and let us know what you think!

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MidWest Zine Fest 2013: The Awesome and the Not-So-Awesome

By Joyce Hatton

Joyce Hatton and Mimi Thi Nguyen at Midwest Zine Fest  2013

Joyce Hatton and POCZP member Mimi Thi Nguyen at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 (photo by Joyce Hatton)

On April 13th, 2013, I attended MidWest Zine Fest in Urbana, IL.

There were two speakers: Joe Coyle, and Kevin Hamilton. There were 21 tablers listed on the schedule, but a few more attended than were listed- myself included. I met some really interesting people and left with a huge pile of zines. I was really glad I went.  Other events that I didn’t attend included a photo scavenger hunt, a stencil workshop, a film screening, and a punk show.

THE AWESOME

  • When I walked in I saw several people wearing “radical librarian” name tags.  I <3 librarians, especially radical librarians.
  • I was delighted to see Georgi Johnston there, because I had just ordered the zine “Erik Satie was a Punk” through the mail. I was excited to read one zinester’s analysis of “punk” in a decidedly non-punk context (Satie was born in 1866 and and punk broke in 1977, as Georgi points out in the zine).  I talked briefly with Georgi and we ended up doing a zine trade.
  • Joe Coyle gave an excellent talk titled “Young People, the Prison Industrial Complex, and Writing” about work at a writing program based out of the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Joe said: 

"The voices of young people are often neglected in discussions about the justice system and other social issues. This talk showcases some creative work by detained young people that critically addresses these topics and imagines alternatives.”

A view of the crowd during Joe Coyle's talk at Midwest Zine Fest 2013

A view of the crowd during Joe Coyle’s talk at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 (photo by Joyce Hatton) 

Coyle commented that sometimes even auxiliary prison workers get flack for being a part of the broken system that is the PIC.  As we talked we agreed there is value in the efforts of working through the system to improve the lives of incarcerated people, and value in working for radical change of the system.

Joe Coyle and Becca Sorgert at Midwest Zine Fest 2013

Joe Coyle and Becca Sorgert tabling at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 with zines made by incarcerated youth and adults (photo by Joyce Hatton)

Joe and Becca Sorgert tabled zines written by incarcerated youth and adults as a fundraiser for the Beat Within thebeatwithin.org, an nonprofit magazine that publishes works by incarcerated youth.

  • Kevin Hamilton spoke about the process of making the zine “A Place in Time: Two Paths to a Television Broadcast.” 

Kevin Hamilton speaking about the zine making process at Midwest Zine Fest 2013

Kevin Hamilton (on stage) speaking about the zine making process at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 (photo by Joyce Hatton)

Kevin’s talk was a bit hard to hear because there was no microphone and zine fest was very busy at that time.  Fortunately I was able to borrow a copy of “A Place in Time,” and I really enjoyed reading it.

Kevin was motivated to make it after seeing a video of the 1967 TV show “Public Broadcasting Lab.” In the zine, images from one of the broadcasts were used to recap a discussion amongst students and faculty talk about racism on campus. Black students are very anxious to talk about it, and the white students and faculty much less so.

[POCZP Editor Annotation]

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FROM LAST YEAR: Chicagoian Jonas of “Cheer the Eff Up” zine tabling at MidWest Zine Fest in 2012 (in the black hat and hoodie)

Photo Source: Nicole on WeMakeZines

Update via Jonas on FB:

The final 2 issues of Cheer the Eff Up will be available this year! #5 will be finished in time for The Portland Zine Symposium in August. Issue #6 will be done in early November! 

In the meantime, you can get issues #1-3 at a few cool distros on the internets. The most recent issue #4 can be found through Mend My Dress Press or Portland Button Works

Please support those distros, because they are run by some of my favorite zinesters on the planet. But, hell, I’m not going to lie to you: if you write me a letter asking for a zine or 2, I’ll probably just mail you stuff for free. Meh. I’m a sucker for mail. Message me privately for the P.O. Box addy. 

Later gators,
-Jonas

[/POCZP Editor Annotation]

A view of the zine tablers at Midwest Zine Fest 2013

A view of the zine tablers at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 (photo by Joyce Hatton)

Participants during the stencil workshop at Midwest Zine Fest 2013

Participants during the stencil workshop at MidWest Zine Fest 2013 (photo  by Joyce Hatton)

COMMUNITY & ALLIES: Here is where Joyce raises some very important concerns that we hope sparks an ongoing and collaborative conversation between white folks who organize events and POC in the communities where they hold these events. If we don’t address these issues, POC will continue to feel unwelcome, unsafe and shut out from community. We cannot abide this. <3 Let’s change the game.

THE NOT-SO-AWESOME

  • Both Joe Coyle and Kevin Hamilton, the only two speakers, were white men.

Joe spoke for incarcerated youth, which due to the institutional racism of the justice system, many were people of color. Kevin’s zine spoke to racism on University of Illinois campus during the 1960’s and in my opinion, serves as a reminder that at any moment any one of us could be an individual that shapes history.

I appreciated Joe’s talk, and Kevin’s zine very much, but I always feel uncomfortable when white people speak about racism to a white audience (there did not appear to be people of color sitting in the audience of either talk.)

I appeared to be one of two people of color tabling zines there. There were some people of color who attended the event, which I was very glad to see. But I think it’s very important for POCs to have an active role in events, to have an active voice in presenting information. It seems like a distraction to talk about issues of race out there when your own space isn’t integrated.

I spoke with event organizer Jeanie about the lack of POCs at the event. Jeanie said that some zinesters of color were planning on coming from Chicago, but were unable to at the last minute. We talked for a bit about the need for more representation of POCs at zine events, and discussed barriers and solutions to making that happen.

POCZP stopped by Urbana-Champaign last year and put on an event at the Independent Media Center where Midwest Zine Fest was held. A few people commented to me that they had attended. While it was exciting to hear that, it was a little discouraging hear at an event with so few POCs tabling zines at MidWest Zine Fest.

  • There was a zine there about “ghost hunting” and it included an image of a “proud Native American.”

The zine said that ghosts followed Natives around, and encouraged ghost hunters to follow Natives around in order to hunt ghosts. I asked the tablers of the zine about it in and they said “it’s just a joke” and offered to give me my money back.

I told them I hadn’t bought the zine, I had just noticed it while flipping through it. They repeated “it’s just a joke,” a few times, and eventually one person said “oh, you know, our friend made that joke. She’s a member of United Tribes.”

This is even more troubling when put in the context of the still-active controversy surrounding University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s recently retired mascot Chief Illiniwek.

  • Dan from leaveyourbookmarks.com was wearing a tshirt that said “Chicago ain’t no sissy town.”

I approached him and had a brief conversation with him about the fact that “sissy” is a very loaded word that might make some people feel unwanted at the event, particularly given that he was tabling, which gives him the appearance of a person with power over the event. Dan was extremely polite, and offered to put on his sweatshirt to cover the shirt up.

We traded a couple of emails about our discussion a week or so later, and I think our interactions were very positive and educational for both of us.

I was very impressed with Dan’s immediate willingness to accept a new perspective, and complete lack of defensiveness.

I appreciate all the hard work the organizers did to host MidWest Zine Fest. I do not want to detract from the awesomeness of the event. What I wanted to do is give my honest perspective so that MidWest Zine Fest can grow to the be inclusive event that we all want it to be.

[/END]

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THOUGHTS FROM POCZP

POCZP founder Daniela Capistrano reached out to MidWest Zine Fest organizer Jeanie Austin this week after Joyce requested support.

Jeanie has been one of the organizers for the three MidWest Zine Fests, is a zine librarian with the UC-IMC Radical Librarians, goes to school for library science, and works with youth through Mix IT UP!

Here is the thread from our convo with Jeanie:

JOYCE’S EMAIL

Hi Jeanie and Daniela,
Jeanie, Thanks for your email.  I apologize for my lack of response.  I appreciate that you shared your concerns and experiences with me, but I was really unsure how to respond to information that I was supposed to keep secret- not just off the POCZP tumblr, but from Daniela and others. I think that growth and accountability can only happen in an open, transparent environment.  
If you do have any comments or notes that you want to go with the blog post, please let us know.  
Thanks,
 
Joyce

To her credit, Jeanie responded in a very honest way that frankly we rarely see from white zine fest organizers after this kind of interaction:

JEANIE’S RESPONSE

joyce -

i totally understand.  i felt yucky as soon as i sent that e-mail.  sorry to put you in that position.  
i think that i would add this as an addendum to the notes "if i were to offer a word of advice to organizers who want to maintain safer spaces (which we do), there needs to be a lot of talk about what that looks like in action, including a patrol team that looks around and is ready to ENFORCE safer spaces (even if it means kicking folks out)."

PART OF POCZP’S RESPONSE

Hi Jeanie,

Thanks so much for weighing in. POCZP does not use call out culture tactics because (although we understand when it is needed), we find it more productive to focus on solutions directly with folks we’re addressing. So we really appreciate your response and will include your note in the write up later today. 
I would also like to suggest the possibility of us all brainstorming by google hangout later this week or next week ways to collaborate in the midwest moving forward, with Joyce being a part of that in ways that make sense for her/work with her schedule. <3 Let me know what you think.
Warmly,
Daniela

POCZP founder Daniela and Jeanie are in touch about ongoing collaborations. Daniela, Jeanie and Joyce will be speaking about issues that came up at MidWest Zine Fest in more detail in the coming weeks so that resulting solutions can be shared publicly.

Jeanie is like many zine fest organizers—a person with a lot of other stuff going on who is passionate about building community. She reached out to us earlier in 2013, in fact, to present at MidWest Zine Fest. She also approached POCZP about a possible collaboration with a juvenile detention center in Urbana, IL and made an introduction on our behalf with Joe Coyle, who oversees the writing project.

This post isn’t about “calling out” Jeanie or anyone else at MidWest Zine Fest. We are about building community and making safer spaces for POC. 

COMMUNITY: Think about Jeanie’s comment:

to maintain safer spaces (which we do), there needs to be a lot of talk about what that looks like in action

This hits close to home for POCZP. We made our own mistakes during our first tour last year that we will not make again this year. We discussed these mistakes at Chicago Zine Fest and you can find all details within our prezi.

Despite POCZP being founded by a person of color, and being made up of POC and allies, we still made mistakes during last year’s tour that negatively affected some attendees. Some of our partner venues wouldn’t let people under 18 in, some of the venues were not wheelchair accessible and and we never created a Safer Space Policy for our volunteer event coordinators.

Even as POC, we need to examine our various privileges and how that informs the way we produce events.

So even as we ask the MidWest Zine Fest organizers to examine what went wrong and how to produce more inclusive events in the future, we continue to identify our own mistakes so that we can learn from them and then share that knowledge.

MidWest Zine Fest DID create a safer space policy. The challenge is (one that many event organizers face) how to make sure that everyone is adhering to that policy and whether or not everyone is one the same page about what the policy means

These conversations about accessibility, inclusivity and white privilege can be awkward, yes. But we need to keep having them. All the time. That is the only way positive change can occur. We need to all be a part of the solution.

Another factor to consider when assessing how the same mistakes keep happening over and over is volunteer organizer turnover rates. If there isn’t a handoff of information and a training component to onboarding new volunteers, critical information doesn’t get transferred. 

In the case of MidWest Zine Fest, there is talk that the festival may not event continue after this year (not confirmed). Jeanie herself will no longer be involved with planning the fest after this year, due to moving out of state.

But even if MidWest Zine Fest doesn’t continue, it’s likely that the past organizers will continue to create community in other ways and in other spaces. We encourage these organizers to think about how their various privileges informed their decisions that resulted some of the problematic realities of this year’s fest so that they can ensure that their next event is genuinely a safe space for POC attendees.

Check out Joyce’s roundup of zine fest posters that includes a note about MidWest Zine Fest’s problematic poster choice. 

Again, we aren’t interested in simply calling out issues and walking away. We appreciate the time and energy it takes to organize zine fests and would like to partner with MidWest Zine Fest (if it’s still around) in the future.

For additional context, here is a very positive review of MidWest Zine Fest written by a white male attendee. Here is another very positive review published by The Daily Illini.

Zine fest attendees can have very different experiences, even while being at the same event together. This is something to keep in mind when discussing what true inclusivity looks like.

COMMUNITY: How can we create a praxis - a constantly evolving framework - for zine fest organizers to reference as they build toward a goal of producing an event that is truly inclusive? We should all be sharing resources. Send us your ideas: poczineproject@gmail.com.

Also, feel free to reblog this recap and include your own thoughts and links to resources. We’ll be sure to find them and share <3

- POC Zine Project

airhornoftruthandlove:

I thought I noticed a trend regarding images of people on zine fest posters, so I googled “zine fest poster” and here is what I feel is an accurate sampling of what I saw:
Midwest Zine Fest   Appears to be a white woman.
One of the LA Zine Fest posters.  Appears to be a white woman.
Paper City in Melbourne.  Appears to be a white young woman.
One of the Brooklyn Zine Fest posters.  Appears to be a white woman.
Birmingham Zine Fest  Appears to be a large community of exclusively white people.
Belgium Feminism Fest?  Appears to be women of color represented equally with white women.
I’m not a fan of putting people on posters, for many reasons. It sends unintentional messages that often alienate people.
When a decision is made to use images of people on posters, I appreciate when there are alternate, person-free posters used as well. If I want to support the project by taking a couple of flyers or posters to give to friends, I want to be able to give them one I don’t have to apologize for. And if images of people are used on posters, I do like it when it’s cartoony, rather than representational. The picture here, from Chicago Zine Fest 2011, is adorable. It shows people somewhere with many skin tones, even purple! And all the people in this fanciful place are the same. Whether they are young or old, purple or orange, they have the same love for reading zines! 

Excellent analysis by POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton &lt;3
We&#8217;d love to see more white folks who organize events factor in how representations of people at their events on materiality (physical and in digital form) both welcome and alienate POC.
A facet of white privilege is just assuming everyone is OK with an entire event being represented by a white person on a poster. That is no bueno. If you want more POC to attend your events, make your promotional materials more inclusive.

airhornoftruthandlove:

I thought I noticed a trend regarding images of people on zine fest posters, so I googled “zine fest poster” and here is what I feel is an accurate sampling of what I saw:

Midwest Zine Fest
Appears to be a white woman.

One of the LA Zine Fest posters.
Appears to be a white woman.

Paper City in Melbourne.
Appears to be a white young woman.

One of the Brooklyn Zine Fest posters.
Appears to be a white woman.

Birmingham Zine Fest
Appears to be a large community of exclusively white people.

Belgium Feminism Fest?
Appears to be women of color represented equally with white women.

I’m not a fan of putting people on posters, for many reasons. It sends unintentional messages that often alienate people.

When a decision is made to use images of people on posters, I appreciate when there are alternate, person-free posters used as well. If I want to support the project by taking a couple of flyers or posters to give to friends, I want to be able to give them one I don’t have to apologize for.

And if images of people are used on posters, I do like it when it’s cartoony, rather than representational. The picture here, from Chicago Zine Fest 2011, is adorable. It shows people somewhere with many skin tones, even purple! And all the people in this fanciful place are the same. Whether they are young or old, purple or orange, they have the same love for reading zines!

Excellent analysis by POCZP Midwest Coordinator Joyce Hatton <3

We’d love to see more white folks who organize events factor in how representations of people at their events on materiality (physical and in digital form) both welcome and alienate POC.

A facet of white privilege is just assuming everyone is OK with an entire event being represented by a white person on a poster. That is no bueno. If you want more POC to attend your events, make your promotional materials more inclusive.

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Race Riot 2 [NOW AVAILABLE AS A FREE DIGITAL ZINE!]
CREATOR: Mimi Thi Nguyen
RELEASE: 2002
DESCRIPTION: Mimi Thi Nguyen’s Evolution of a Race Riot (1997) is a huge compilation zine featuring writers of color who are affiliated with the punk and riot grrrl scenes. The pieces analyze racism, and privilege in the largely white populations of activist, feminist, punk and zine communities, and discuss isolation and homogeneity. There are articles and comics by American Indians, Asian Americans, African Americans, Filipinos, and Latinos.
The second issue of the compilation series, Race Riot 2, was released in 2002.
Thanks to a donation from POCZP member Mimi Thi Nguyen, POC Zine Project was able to scan Race Riot 2 and make it available online as a free e-zine.
Here is Race Riot 2's digital debut, enjoy! &lt;3

You can purchase print copies of both zines at POC Zine Project events in 2013, as well as through our allies, For The Birds Feminist Collective + Distro.
If you haven&#8217;t already read Evolution of a Race Riot (issue one in the compilation series), we&#8217;ve got you covered. Yup, we scanned it in 2011! Enjoy it below:

We&#8217;re thrilled that the Evolution of a Race Riot digital zine was read over 7,000 times so far &lt;3 We hope that people continue to read and share Race Riot #1 and #2, now that we&#8217;ve made both available to access online.
POC Zine Project&#8217;s mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute, and share. We&#8217;re an experiment in activism and community through materiality.
EDITOR&#8217;S NOTE: The original Race Riot 2 included an extensive, if partial, project directory of zines past and present made by people of color (not included in the above digital zine). POC Zine Project will release the Race Riot Project Directory as a free digital zine in 2013.

ZINE SPOTLIGHT: Race Riot 2 [NOW AVAILABLE AS A FREE DIGITAL ZINE!]

CREATOR: Mimi Thi Nguyen

RELEASE: 2002

DESCRIPTION: Mimi Thi Nguyen’s Evolution of a Race Riot (1997) is a huge compilation zine featuring writers of color who are affiliated with the punk and riot grrrl scenes. The pieces analyze racism, and privilege in the largely white populations of activist, feminist, punk and zine communities, and discuss isolation and homogeneity. There are articles and comics by American Indians, Asian Americans, African Americans, Filipinos, and Latinos.

The second issue of the compilation series, Race Riot 2, was released in 2002.

Thanks to a donation from POCZP member Mimi Thi Nguyen, POC Zine Project was able to scan Race Riot 2 and make it available online as a free e-zine.

Here is Race Riot 2's digital debut, enjoy! <3

You can purchase print copies of both zines at POC Zine Project events in 2013, as well as through our allies, For The Birds Feminist Collective + Distro.

If you haven’t already read Evolution of a Race Riot (issue one in the compilation series), we’ve got you covered. Yup, we scanned it in 2011! Enjoy it below:

We’re thrilled that the Evolution of a Race Riot digital zine was read over 7,000 times so far <3 We hope that people continue to read and share Race Riot #1 and #2, now that we’ve made both available to access online.

POC Zine Project’s mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute, and share. We’re an experiment in activism and community through materiality.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original Race Riot 2 included an extensive, if partial, project directory of zines past and present made by people of color (not included in the above digital zine). POC Zine Project will release the Race Riot Project Directory as a free digital zine in 2013.

- our face when someone says that people of color didn&#8217;t make zines in the 1990s or earlier and weren&#8217;t involved with riot grrrl
- our face when people &#8220;forget&#8221; to include zines by poc in their research, public collections, publications and best-of lists
- our face when zine-selling bookstores/infoshops don&#8217;t carry any zines by POC
CLAP-TALK CAT KNOWS WHAT&#8217;S UP &lt;3
We&#8217;re excited to share the Legacy Series in 2013: independent publications by POC from the 1700s-1990s.
Zines, one-sheets, pamphlets, self-published magazines and more. Stay turned.
- POC Zine Project

- our face when someone says that people of color didn’t make zines in the 1990s or earlier and weren’t involved with riot grrrl

- our face when people “forget” to include zines by poc in their research, public collections, publications and best-of lists

- our face when zine-selling bookstores/infoshops don’t carry any zines by POC

CLAP-TALK CAT KNOWS WHAT’S UP <3

We’re excited to share the Legacy Series in 2013: independent publications by POC from the 1700s-1990s.

Zines, one-sheets, pamphlets, self-published magazines and more. Stay turned.

- POC Zine Project

POC Zine Project and Tonya L. Jones respond to Portland State Vanguard's article on zines

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On November 12, 2012, Portland State University student Robin Crowell published an interview with Tonya L. Jones on PSU University’s Vanguard site. Tonya, the founder of the Women of Color Zine Workshops (and WOC Zine Symposium) based in Portland, OR, shared her thoughts with Robin on how “zines give voice to social justice” (what was used in the original headline).

POC Zine Project read the interview and — having a relationship with Tonya — suspected that some details didn’t make the edit. Also, Tonya and another person were misquoted.

WHY WE’RE PUBLISHING THIS RESPONSE

We definitely don’t want to discourage campus publications from covering poc zine-related topics. We are not about bashing student journalists. People make mistakes.

However, it is important to us that editors make it a priority to (when possible) include comments by interviewees addressing their experiences with racial inequality.

It’s also equally important for writers to have the ability to assess when edits to their work compromise the piece in ways that spread misinformation, or prevent important information from being shared.

We don’t know who made the final call on what did or didn’t get published, but we do want to raise awareness about two very important errors:

EXAMPLE #1: Tonya emailed this to Robin as part of her email interview, but it didn’t make it in the piece:

Some of us use our zines to write about our experiences as WOC and to deconstruct oppression in their lives. But, just like other zinesters, we like to talk about our different interests (e.g. music, knitting, cooking, traveling, pets etc.). We are no different (as artists) in many ways, yet we do offer unique history/stories to share as WOC.

Anyone involved in zine culture should have work by WOC zinesters in their collection.

Why were these two paragraphs cut? This information - in our opinion - seems like the heart and soul of Tonya’s motivations, and these facts should have been included in the article.

EXAMPLE #2: It’s important to be correct about things such as accurately publishing quotes. This is how history is unintentionally revised and people are misrepresented.

Sugene Yang-Kelly was misquoted. Here is the excerpt from the piece: 

Sugene Yang-Kelly views making a zine as a “self-indulgent” activity.

“It’s just a fun, personal outlet, and I’m not trying to reach a wide audience or impress anyone or change people’s minds,” Yang-Kelly said. “It’s a bonus if other people want to read my zines and have a conversation about it.”

Here is what she really meant, directly from Sugene:

I did not say that I thought zines were a self-indulgent activity, I said that it was self indulgent for ME. And I did not write an article that got censored, it was a different article that got censored. And we did NOT end up publishing and distributing the article ourselves. And that is not when I started a zine either. I’m glad that the group got some press, but I’m PISSED OFF that things that I said were either taken out of context or were factually untrue.

Considering this is a student publication (meaning more flexibility about things like word count and time to fact check), the article would have been more accurate and informative if some of Tonya’s comments had not been omitted. We also hope that incorrect quotes are addressed asap.

We thank Robin for interviewing Tonya for Vanguard and hope that Robin continues to follow the Women of Color Zine Workshops’ growth in Portland and beyond.

WHAT WAS LEFT OUT

Sometimes news articles and interviews don’t include everything you need to know. We followed up with Tonya Jones to get additional context to share with our community.

Tonya’s comment prefacing her statements that she emailed to POC Zine Project:

I am disappointed that the article didn’t mention the fact that POC/WOC HAD to start alternative forms of media because of white oppression/racism. It wasn’t just a fun hobby!

I did talk about Ida B. Wells and her work with a black newspaper that wrote articles about the lynching of black people. I also talked specifically about the work of the WOC group and our zine collective, which is all about our perspective as living as WOC in Portland which is almost 80% white, and how we have to navigate racisms in a state that has a history of oppression against POC.

These are the answers Tonya submitted to Robin via email, without any editing:

2) Define a zine.

There is a long history on what zines are about, where they started etc. In order to encourage WOC to get involved in making zines/DIY culture, I tend to use the words of a Portland activist I admire (PSU Black Studies professor Walidah Imarisha).

She was once a guest speaker at one of our workshops. She noted that as POC (people of color) we have always had to use alternative forms of media to get our voices heard. Creating our own newspapers, books, journals, etc., self-publishing is a part of our history as WOC. We look at women like Ida B. Wells, who was a journalist and wrote for a black newspaper to speak out about the racist injustices against Black people (lynching).

These were atrocities that were not acknowledged by the mainstream media. POC/WOC have had to write our own stories otherwise we were/are invisible in mainstream society. That is how I define zines, an opportunity for us to continue the legacy of telling truth of our experiences.

3) What made you decide to dedicate a workshop to women of color?

After attending the Portland Zine Symposium (years ago), I noticed a lack of diversity. I really wanted to connect with other WOC zinesters. The following year, I lead a workshop at the PZS called “Women of Color: Writing and Activism.” I received such good feedback from the attendees. I decided to host workshops monthly. It’s how the workshops started and the rest is history!

4) What should people know about zines by and about women of color?

I would like people to know that WOC have always been part of the zine community. You have wonderful long time WOC zinesters like Osa (creator of Shotgun Seamstress a zine dedicated to AfroPunk/Black people in punk), Daniela Capistrano (the founder of the POC Zine Project in NYC and creator of the zine Bad Mexican), Sugene Yang-Kelly (creator of All This is Mine zine), and more that have been out there being creative, self-publishing, lecturing, attending symposiums, etc.

Some of us use our zines to write about our experiences as WOC and to deconstruct oppression in their lives. But, just like other zinesters, we like to talk about our different interests (e.g. music, knitting, cooking, traveling, pets etc.). We are no different (as artists) in many ways, yet we do offer unique history/stories to share as WOC.

Anyone involved in zine culture should have work by WOC zinesters in their collection.

5) What does creating a zine mean to you?

It’s an outlet to purge my feelings about the racism I deal with as a Black woman. I love the freedom of creating a zine. It’s my own project I can return to when I feel up to it or when there are racist issues affecting Black women and I feel I should speak out about it

6) What is the title of your zine and could you tell me a little more about it?

My personal zine is called “See Me: Issues that Affect Our Lives, Acts of Resistance against Oppression and Black Feminist Thought.” I focus on issues of Black women (e.g. racist images in Hollywood, Black motherhood, etc.) with a feminist twist.

The WOC Zine group makes a zine collective called “Women of Color: How to Live in the City of Roses and Avoid the Pricks.” We discuss navigating Portland as WOC (e.g. racism, gentrification, resisting mainstream beauty standards, the arts, etc.).

We are currently working on our 4th issue. It will focus on POC and Housing in Portland (e.g. the displacement of the Black community from Alberta & Mississippi neighborhoods, etc.)

Any further comments?

Last summer (2011), the WOC Zine group applied for a project grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Our project proposal was to host a Women of Color Zine Symposium. We won the grant and hosted Portland’s first WOC Zine Symposium. It was in June of this year. The purpose of the event was to provide a space for WOC artists in Portland to come together while sharing their creative work with the larger community.

The day consisted of tabling of zines, raffle prizes, an open mic (with a reading from our WOC Zinester Scholarship winner writer/poet, Jamondria Harris), a workshop lead by long-time WOC zinester LaMesha Melton (She is the creator of Coco/Puss which a perzine about black women and sexuality discusses being a single mom, sex, racism, feminism, birth control, sex workers, and other topics). and the day ended with a performance with local all-female/multicultural hip-hop group, RoseBent.

We had a great time and looking at ways to host this event again next year. Keep a look out for it!

THOUGHTS ON HOW THINGS GET LEFT OUT

IMPORTANT: We are NOT directing these comments at Robin or implying we know anything about her motivations or freedoms re: her final piece.

Here are our top three points:

1. Sometimes white privilege plays a role in how journalists report on a story. Since racial inequality isn’t typically a white person’s experience, it may not feel necessary to include details directly speaking to racial inequality.

It’s important to be mindful of how your privilege affects what you write about and how you write about it.

2. Interviews via email usually eliminate the possibility of misquoting someone, but sometimes it doesn’t (although we prefer doing interviews in person, with a recorder!). It is up to the journalist to follow up with their subjects to clarify any questions or concerns.

Make sure that the quotes you plan to include are accurate. Take the time to check in advance.

3. It’s generally a good idea for a journalist to email the link for the article (once it’s live) to their interview subjects and inform them that if anything looks fishy, to let them know immediately so they can address it. This takes two seconds. Unfortunately, not everyone does this.

Some journalists excuse themselves by saying that they don’t want their work compromised, but to that we say “BUUUUUULL SHIT!” Making sure that your details are factually correct should not compromise your work.

Here are some additional thoughts, providing by the Women of Color Zine Workshop in their original event listing on Facebook for the 2012 Symposium, that we think are relevant to this dialogue: 

The image people have of Portland is mainly based on the white majority who live here - 76.1 % of the population, according to the 2011 U.S. Census. But the other 23.9%, the other Portland, they have a voice too. And the Women of Color Zine (WOC) group is one of the ways …that other voice can be heard.

REMINDER TO “WHITE ALLIES” WHO CONTACT US FOR ASSISTANCE

Submitting your call for submissions for your primarily or exclusively white-run zine to reach people of color through this platform, without an intro or any context, is inappropriate and the opposite of being a white ally.

Calling yourself a white ally doesn’t make you a white ally. Expecting POC Zine Project to signal boost a call for contributions to a zine that historically features white-only contributors is a gross display of white privilege.

Not reading our FAQ for white allies before submitting your call, that details the steps for white folks to submit their calls to POC Zine Project, before submitting, is equally gross.

It is not our job, or any person of color’s job, to help you find brown people to feature in your historically “by white people/for white people” zine because you lack enough friends of color in your own social circles to approach for collaboration.

We are tired of being nice about this.

Most of the time we are approached by white folks who understand the concept of being an ally and these have been positive exchanges, frequently resulting in collaborations.

But over the past few months - directly connected with the rising visibility of POC Zine Project in zine communities due to the Race Riot! tour - we’ve received more “help me do x” emails and requests for signal boosts from white folks. There is nothing wrong with that.

What is most definitely wrong and derails the possibility of a positive exchange is not checking your privilege before approaching us for assistance.

What is definitely not appreciated is expecting us to assume that just because you call yourself a “white ally,” that must be true. We owe it to our community to present them with facts, not assumptions.

We will not signal boost ANYTHING by any white person simply because they call themselves an ally. We take the role of white allies in the struggle for liberation and equality very seriously. It’s insulting to us and to true white allies when white people use that term but continue to behave in a manner that is silencing and oppressive to people of color.

We expect, and have a right to demand, that if you’re a white person who wants us to signal boost your call for submissions to your zine, that you provide us with at least some related links and other documentation that demonstrates your history of being a white ally. This is clearly spelled out in the FAQ.

Expecting us to take hours of additional time researching whether you’re an ally or not by reading all your zines and fact-checking - because you didn’t bother to share any kind of context - is just another example of white privilege within zine communities.

Scanning one of your zines and finding it filled with photos of white folks, and none of people of color, forces us to assume that you are in denial about your privilege. Featuring ONE person of color in your zine series, which otherwise largely features white contributors only, IS TOKENIZING. YOU ARE NOT BEING AN ALLY.

If you don’t provide context or background when you approach us for support (which should be common courtesy), our only recourse is to take time to research who you are and what you’re about. And we would rather use that time to empower and support POC who are tired of being silenced by people like you. So we won’t do that anymore. Ever again.

Come correct, please. You don’t like your time wasted and neither do we. Check your privilege.

We are, and will always be, primarily a resource for people of color. We appreciate our white allies who understand this and support our goals, knowing that our liberation is their liberation and the path to freedom.

Thank you.

*drops mic, walks off*

- POC ZINE PROJECT