FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES continues! Multidisciplinary artist Shantell Jackson shares a poem to advocate and fundraise for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Donate at www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support ($10 suggested donation) and discover Shantell Jackson at www.Shantellrj.com


------- About SHANTELL JACKSON-------

While visual arts has occupied much of Shantell's outward facing creative work she also writes and performs original poetry. Poetry has been foundational in her creative writing and process. Shantell works with a various mediums in her visual art process, with a focus on ink drawings. She also uses acrylic and watercolor paints to create vibrant paintings with visual and tactile textures. She also utilizes the digital art process in her visual arts practice, sometimes taking original pieces and digitizing them or creating digital illustrations. Shantell hopes to take all her disciplines to create installations and performance art pieces that explores the human condition contemporarily and historically, in order to create dialogue across difference, that will build bridges and forge acceptance, and healing. Instagram: ShantellReneJ Web: www.Shantellrj.com



-------- About FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES -------

Fight for Our Lives is a performance series advocating for communities targeted by divisive politics and systemic oppression (queer, trans, incarcerated, migrants, womxn, people of color). By showcasing local artists, writers, and performers, our series also benefits mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to connect nonprofit opportunities to audiences and artists across the Puget Sound area. Fight for Our Lives is grassroots-led and time-limited until January 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.



I've been in and out -- socially, physically, mentally, emotionally -- for several months. Clearly the weight of the world has impacted my usual rhythm. When projects stack up, I rather enjoy the rush of saying yes!yes!yes! in order to feel the eventual victory of tasks completed. Not this time.


For several months I've been working on my second draft with the deadline of two days ago. I woke up at 5am to edit, worked at my day job, dabbled in the draft again during lunch, worked more, then edited into the evening. I deleted social media, limited my news watching, and narrowed my already hyper-focus further. This routine nearly caused me to quit this draft, yet I continued forward. Simultaneously, the world grew ugly.


Tremendous guilt took over these past weeks. The world called for support but my bandwidth was depleted. So what happened when I said no while the world kept calling me? I did what I could (which didn't feel enough); I donated money to black nonprofits and supported black businesses, and I pledge to do more for black writers with Fight For Our Lives. My action is a mere trickle compared to the flood of protest and support for Black Lives Matter. But I created the briefest of action steps to express my own advocacy for Black Lives and Black Trans Lives.


How to Support #BLM as a Writer

  • Hire an editor of color (send me recommendations, BTW, for my third draft of my book)

  • Take writing courses with black writers (I can't wait for Creative Storytelling through Songwriting with queer musician Sassy Black!)

  • Donate to black owned literary nonprofits (African-American Writers' Alliance does amazing work in the Seattle area)

  • Buy books from black authors (I'm currently reading How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones)

  • Advocate for and attend literary events of black authors

Continue the great fight, stay safe, and live well, y'all.






FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES strikes again! Writer Corinne Manning reads an excerpt from their forthcoming story collection 'We Had No Rules' (Arsenal Pulp Press) to advocate and fundraise for Mother Nation. Donate at www.mothernation.org and discover Corinne Manning at www.corinnemanning.com


------- About MOTHER NATION -------

Mother Nation is a non-profit 501 (C) 3 grassroots Native American organization which offers culturally informed healing services, advocacy, mentorship and homeless prevention in the State of Washington.


------- About CORINNE MANNING -------

Corinne Manning's debut story collection WE HAD NO RULES (Arsenal Pulp Press, May 2020) has received starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly the latter noting it "exquisitely examines queer relationships with equal parts humor, heartache, and titillation." Their stories and essays have been published widely, including in Toward an Ethics of Activism and Shadow Map: An Anthology of Survivors of Sexual Assault. Corinne is a writer in resident for Writers in The Schools and founded The James Franco Review, a project that sought to address implicit bias in the publishing industry.


-------- About FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES -------

Fight for Our Lives is a performance series advocating for communities targeted by divisive politics and systemic oppression (queer, trans, incarcerated, migrants, womxn, people of color). By showcasing local artists, writers, and performers, our series also benefits mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to connect nonprofit opportunities to audiences and artists across the Puget Sound area. Fight for Our Lives is grassroots-led and time-limited until January 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.


D.A. Navoti

About the Writer

D.A. NAVOTI (@da.navoti) is a creative nonfiction and poetic prose storyteller. He's a 2020 Seattle CityArtist recipient and a former fellow at Hugo House and Jackstraw Cultural Center. Read More... 

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