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FYI: Blog Maintenance 10/31

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Class, I received this email today, FYI:

UThink blog administration (Movable Type) will be down for approximately 4 hours Sunday October 31 from 7:00 - 11:00 AM for server maintenance. The public will will still be able to view your blogs during this time, but administration and/or modification of the blogs will not be available during this downtime.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact with any questions.

Extra credit: 10-10-10 Global Work Party


Class! An exciting opportunity awaits you:

I am (more than) willing to grant double extra credit points--on top of the extra credit allotted in our syllabus--if you join (or create) a local work party on Sunday and submit a review of your experience and thoughts on the blog!

What does "350" mean? It's the safest upper limit of carbon in parts per million for life as we now know it to exist. The number transgresses linguistic bounds, and signifies a concrete goal for policy makers, scientists, and activists to work toward. Where are we now? 392ppm... Uh oh.

So what's all about, you ask? Look here!

And what's this "10/10/10 Global Work Party" all about? Read more here! You have the chance to be a part of history as people around unite to create the single most widespread day of political action...EVER.

If you get out to participate, be sure to register with so they can log your actions and count you IN as a climate crusader!

What can I do with a GWSS major?

Hi students,
The timing for this event isn't perfect as it begins during our last 5 minutes of class, but I'm sure you'd find it worthwhile even if you arrive a little late:


Come join the owner of Cake Eater Bakery, Sheela Namakkal; Jennifer Pritchet from Smitten Kitten; Minneapolis City Councilman Gary Schiff; GWSS PhD. Candidate Katie Bashore; and political activists Sara Burt and Erika Wurst for an hour of informative, lively discussion.

Date: Wednesday, October 6

Time: 12-1pm

Location: 325 Education Sciences Bldg.

Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Judith Katz at

Sponsored by the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.

PROTEST! National Day of Action for Education Rights

"Say no to the tuition hikes, staff layoffs, and budget cuts that are threatening our access to a quality education at the U of M. Send a clear message to the U administration that we will not be silent while our education is under attack." -Students for a Democratic Society

7th Annual Women's Health Research Conference

Not sure if we can get credit to go, but this looks amazing. We read some of Deborah E. Powell's work last semester in Feminist Debates. She offers valuble critique and insight into racial disparities and intersectionality.

The Deborah E. Powell Center Proudly Presents
7th Annual Health Research Conference
A Focus on Health Disparities and Domestic Violence

Monday, September 20th, 2010
Registration: 8:30am
Conference: 9:00am - 3:30pm
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota

Meet the Author: America & The Pill

...Another event opportunity directly related to our course topics:

U of M professor and author Elaine Tyler May will discuss her book, America and the Pill, at the University of Minnesota Bookstore on Wednesday, September 29 at 4:00 p.m.

Who: Elaine Tyler May
What: Discussion and Book Signing
When: Wednesday, September 29 at 4:00 p.m.
Where: University of Minnesota Bookstore 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis
Contact: Kari Erpenbach, University of Minnesota Bookstore (612) 625-6564,


MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(September 7, 2010) University of Minnesota professor and social historian Elaine Tyler May will discuss her book, America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation, on Wednesday, September 29 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis.

May traces the birth control pill from its beginnings to the present day, illuminating what it has and has not achieved over the last five decades. America and the Pill provides a historical context about its effects including its impact on feminism, marriage and many of the contentious issues that have shaped the last half of the twentieth century. Examine how the first oral contraceptive and the quest for reproductive rights has posed challenges to the authority of medical, pharmaceutical, religious, and political institutions while resulting in changing sexual mores and behaviors; the reevaluation of foreign policy and aid; and women's rights.

May will sign copies of her book following the discussion. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to order a signed copy visit the Cellular Level?

Class, this announcement was just emailed to me (9/14) and I thought I'd share it with you all. I'm particularly interested in what the organizers of the event have to say about our physical/biological responses to racial difference, and how a better understanding of this might dismantle white privilege. FYI!


More Than Skin Deep: Uprooting White Privilege & White Supremacy One Cell At A Time

All it takes is a small upset, a new situation to deal with, or a tough task at hand, and suddenly your stomach tightens, your heart beats faster, and you find it hard to sleep. Behind this anxiety lies a biological mechanism that is part of how we are wired to be human. Any disturbance to the environment, whether it's physical (cold, hunger, infection, etc.) or emotional (fear, mourning,deadlines, etc.), triggers a response from the body aimed at guaranteeing its survival by maintaining its internal balance, The issue is not that we react, it's what we do with these reactions. And then it's about the institutions we create to help us control or alleviate or hide these reactions, to maintain our "internal balance". This process is as true for something as seemingly benign as stubbing one's toe, to the more complex, complicated and intense responses we have to issues of racism and white privilege. And while dramatically different in their intensity, impact on society and import in our lives, their physiological roots are the same; thus, to understand this root is to begin to find a deeper, and hopefully more effective, pathway in responding to issues of racism and white privilege in our lives.

This workshop is for white people who already have an understanding of white privilege and white supremacy (WP/WS) and want to learn more about how to dismantle WP/WS through embodiment work, education, visioning and practical action.

The intention of this training is to use critical race content and embodiment exploration to uproot ideologies of white supremacy and systems of white privilege in our lives. This is done through becoming more conscious around the presence of WP/WS at our deepest selves as well as in our work to end racism. To be clear, this is not about subtly re-centering whiteness, but instead is work we as whites must do in the service of ultimately dismantling the structures of racial oppression in our society, in our workplaces, in our communities, and in ourselves.

This workshop provides a mixing of critical race and embodiment content delivery and practical application. So, white folks who are used to doing this work through a typical analytical workshop lens will be asked to lean into playing with personal transformation and likewise those who come to this work from a framework of personal exploration, will be asked to engage in deeper analysis via the critical race content presented.

Susan Raffo is a writer, community organizer, craniosacral therapist and global somatics practitioner. Her interest is to bring together embodiment work and experiences with political work and experiences to end oppression and further social justice.

Heather Hackman teaches university courses in social justice and multicultural education, heterosexism and homophobia in the US, race and racismin the US, and oppression and social change.

While we have been doing this work individually and together for a number of years, we feel it important to note that we are not positioning ourselves as "experts" on the issue of race, racism, white privilege or white supremacy as white supremacy would have us (and any whites doing this work) subtly do. Instead, we are simply attempting to share some of the experience we have gained in doing our own work and working with others around these issues and welcome your contributions to this workshop as we grow together.

Upcoming workshops open to everyone are scheduled for:

Sunday, October 17th from 10am until 5pm
Saturday, January 22nd from 10am until 5pm
Sunday, April 3rd from 10am until 5pm

Advance registration is required for each of these workshops - space is limited to 40 participants.

The cost of the workshop is based on a sliding fee $25 to $75 and includes the cost of lunch and materials. Call or email Susan at 612-245-4056 or or Heather at 612-599-1221 or for registration materials and information. Registration closes two weeks before each workshop.

Lunch: A vegan lunch and some snacks throughout the day will be provided. Please let us know if you have any additional dietary needs.

1. Wear comfortable clothes - there will be some level of movement, but that will be determined by your level of comfort and not by any directive from us. Plus, it's a long day and so we would like you to be comfortable.
2. Please bring paper and pens for writing, notes, and journaling.
3. And of course bring an open heart, an open mind, a willingness to lean into your edges, and an acceptance of inevitable change.

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