Friday June 26

Monday

Rode my bike to the North End for a site visit, listening to Sleigh Bells and Robyn on the speaker and felt like myself.

Friday

Drove to the beach and felt Nahant mapped onto Beach 98. Felt the highway mapped onto the A train. Felt like myself.

I wrote about Designers Available and why I think we shouldn't try to respond to the uprisings and COVID-19 crisis with graphic design. In the sharing, I felt like myself.

Thinking About Space

Bryan C. Lee on Design Justice and Architecture’s Role in Systemic Racism by Martin C. Pedersen for Common Edge

Making spaces like homes and semi public spaces into places for gathering and organizing feels like architecture, too. Protests Aren’t Only in the Streets by P. E. Moskowitz (You should read Moskowitz' book How to Kill a City.)

In the past year I’ve really woken up to climate change. I was really ignorant to the facts and the most mainstream movements were painted as crunchy and ineffective (again, ignorant). After seeing Naomi Klein speak at a Bernie rally in February ( :( ), I read Klein's book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. It was harrowing. It also gave me a glimpse into the ways that climate change affects humanity disproportionately and how its actors prey upon those who are already disenfranchised. I’m interested in seeping my understanding around the links between racism and climate change and learning more about leaders in this fight who have a strong lens for race and class.

Racism Determines Who Gets to Enjoy Nature by Drew Costley on Medium

Thinking About Reckonings 

Amber Guyger Should Not Go To Prison by Elisabeth Epps for The Appeal (Essential reading)

The End of the Girlboss Is Here by Leigh Stein on Medium. Please read We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler.

Related, this article "The “Grateful To Be Here” Generation Has Some Apologizing To Do" seems to acknowledge the harm done by women in the workplace slightly older than the writer but doesn't account for the harm done to the even younger people (women my age!)  who work under her peers. 

Op-Ed: The Nonprofit Case to Defund the Police by Jackie Rosa for the South Side Weekly. This article makes the case for the social services that will be enabled by defunding the police (Great!) via nonprofits (Less great!) Really want to dig deeper and see who's writing what about how we can move away from a nonprofit model of deploying essential social services, with the understanding that our government should be doing that work.

Listening To

This crossover Up First x Code Switch episode "Why Now, White People" where Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji do a deep deep dive into what about this wave of the movement for Black Lives has catalyzed white Americans in a way that past moments have not. If you're a person of color feeling a way about this phenomenon, I recommend a listen. If you are a white person feeling motivated right now, recently or not, I recommend a listen and a good think on how to sustain the feeling. 


Pleasant by SebastiAn feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg on repeat. Pure Josie bait. 

 

Watching

Devs on Hulu. I'm really a sucker for Alex Garland.  I never finish a show and J and I watched this in like, four days. 

Before Sunset (2004). Watching Before Sunrise for the first time in 2020, knowing it's part of a trilogy detracted a little from the will-they-won't-they element of the first film. This second film still feels right and decidedly more grown-up and and a different kind of intense than the first. 

Reparations

I've been thinking and talking a lot with friends about reparations. If you aren’t acquainted with the concept, you might read Coates' essay on the case for reparations. At any rate, I understand reparations to be a systemic solution to systemic injustice, four hundred years of slavery, Jim Crow, and a century of disinvestment, policing, genocide, and incarceration. But short of a sweeping adoption of reparations from the US government (and we are very short of that), what is the role of the individual in administering reparations? How do you go about doing that? I think my thinking and approach will evolve as I try to apply some intentionality to this idea and as we start to build the concept together. Working in and around non profit and institutional spaces, I’ve come to form some opinions around giving and philanthropy. I’ve seen what giving looks like, or rather what the giver wants it to look like - proving the efficacy of programming in harmful ways, wanting to be entertained and catered to, wanting to be treated with deference. I’ve also seen what giving looks like when those who don’t have much find generosity. A recent episode of Reply All talked about a strange practice of white people sending unwelcome Venmo deposits to Black acquaintances as a form of “reparations.” IMO this practice is likely more white guilt and weird relationships to individual Black people and Blackness at large than it is any type of reparations. This episode failed to mention the proliferation of everyday folks dropping their Venmo and cash app links on twitter, hoping for some help, or GoFundMe profiles set up for folks trying to pay for make rent or make it through another semester of college. When I see these requests, I try to give $20. For the last month, and I don’t mean this to be boastful, I’ve been giving pretty recklessly. What I'd like to do is to be more strategic, both so that I can sustain giving money frequently and so that I am putting my money where my values are. My values are that I like to just give cash no questions asked to people of color when they ask for it. I am also getting really concrete and specific in the issues and ideas I want to learn more about and support. Maybe I’m spending too much time adjacent to philanthropy as an idea but it’s almost like building a portfolio. Still working this out and I'm eager to hear what you think, too. 

If you don't have my contact info already, you can reach me at hi (at) joelleriffle.com or on instagram at @okayjoelle.