Friday, July 21, 2006

Insomnia, New Links and a Promise

I can't sleep thanks to a small late-night dose of caffeine that is keeping me too alert to relax, so I thought I'd kill time and brain energy on maintaining the blog. I've categorized my 'Big World' links and added several new links overall, including:

Nalo Hopkinson, because she's a dope Afro-Caribbean/Canadian SF writer who uses lots of Caribbean dialect and cultural references in her work. I've read her short story collection, Skin Folk, and have her first novel (published in 1997), Brown Girl in the Ring on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

Steven Barnes, a sort of SF renaissance man, who's written novels, for magazines, television, you name it. He's also the first blogger I found who'd written about Octavia Butler's death. Steven and his wife, fellow horror/SF writer Tananarive Due, were friends of Octavia's.

Samiya Bashir, an old college friend of mine whom I haven't seen in years but whose work I stumble across here and there in bookstores. A poet/writer and editor, Samiya edited Best Black Women's Erotica 2 anthology and was formerly an editor at Black Issues Book Review.

I've beefed up my new 'Politics and Power' list of links to include the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, which has been instrumental in pulling together local protests and other actions in response to the federal anti-immigrant legislation that is still pending in Congress. I've also added Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES), whose house party fundraiser I attended a few months ago, and Filipinos for Affirmative Action, one of the organizations where I cut my political teeth back in the mid-1990s. FAA also held a conference recently that I attended; a couple pics are on their homepage.

Also added several timely links relating to Palestine, Lebanon and Israel given the current war raging in the Middle East. One thing I'm struck by when I travel outside the US or meet people from other countries is how much more knowledgeable non-Americans are about world politics and current events. It's up to us to change that, and educating ourselves is the first step to helping change what our country is doing to (generally) mess up what other folks have been struggling hard to fix in their own countries. I've also added a couple links about Haiti, another place where the US has intervened even though it's none of our damn business and caused a lot of suffering.

And the promise is that I will write very soon about the conference I'm organizing, Raising Change: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference, which is taking place in Berkeley in just two weeks! I can't believe it. After more than a year working on this thing, it's hard to imagine that in a few weeks it'll be all over (the conference, at least; hopefully the post-conference buzz and movement-building will continue long past August). There's even been talk about a social justice fundraising blog being started out of this conference and continuing for as long as we can make it happen; keep an eye out for further developments.

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