I have been involved in activism and advocacy efforts since I was fourteen years old–which is to say since long before the internet was a thing you got on your phone, and when we planned a demonstration for the day the war started (this was in 1990, just before the “first” Gulf War) by putting up posters and flyers all over town noting the times and places we’d all meet if and when the war started.
From the anti-war movement I branched out to abortion rights, anti-racist work (I once went to an anti-Klan rally in a small town in Illinois–if there were Klan members there, they didn’t show up that day, but it felt important), and landed in the student anti-sweatshop movement, which was in turn a part of the larger anti-globalization movement of the late 90s and early aughts.
I work now mostly in advocating for the mentally ill (yes, I am not using person-first language–we can get into that another time) and in working to change the systems that disproportionately harm students of color and in special education.
Some of what I worked on is long gone; some survives in archives, and some I will gradually (probably very gradually) digitize and add here.
UI Students Against Sweatshops
I was involved (to a lesser and greater extent) in the University of Iowa’s chapter of Students Against Sweatshops from 1999-2003. We were meant to have a gathering for the 20th anniversary of the sit-in we held in April 2000 in April 2020, but then there was a global pandemic.
Mental Health Advocacy
I serve on the Patient and Family Advisory Group for the Department of Psychiatry at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I also work with the Iowa City Mental Health, Special Education, and Disability Advocacy Group.