WAM!NYC May 2017

Happy May Day, WAM!ers! If you're hoping to march or rally today but you don't have plans yet, check out this handy list of May Day actions taking place around NYC today.

Board member Agunda Okeyo will be leading Hater Free NYC at 12:30pm at Washington Square Park with BYP100, Jewish Voice For Peace NYC, Hollaback! and The Movement for Black Lives' #BeyondtheMoment campaign.

We've also got lots of news and events coming at you this month, including a TON of member updates (scroll all the way down) and one exciting WAM!NYC update: we have a new website on the way! The new site will include tools and resources (like pitch tips and an investigative reporting guide), an EventBrite link-up to all our events, photo galleries and more! Stay tuned.

Scroll down for info on upcoming events, volunteer and job opportunities, and what you - our awesome WAM!ers - are up to. As always, we need your help to keep this initiative going strong. We welcome your submissions!

Upcoming WAM!NYC Chapter Events

Let's Talk About Sex (& Media)

May 4//6:30pm//Union Square

Join us for a WAM!entoring session with Jaclyn Friedman, where we'll tackle the nitty-gritty of writing about and reporting on sex. On top of being the founder of WAM!, Friedman is a writer, speaker, activist, and creator of the hit books Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety. Her podcast, Unscrewed, is paving new paths to sexual liberation, and was named one of the Best Sex Podcasts by both Marie Claire and Esquire. Her newest book, Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All, will be published later this year. 

Clothes Swap & Potluck

May 13//1-5pm//Kips Bay

Now that we need to make room in our closets for all our "Nevertheless, She Persisted" protest tees, the WAM!NYC Clothing Swap & Potluck Brunch is here to help! It's a magical event where you can score fabulous finds, share what you no longer need, and network with a stellar group of writers, editors, and media creators. BRING: Clothing of any and all sizes (plus-sized items especially encouraged); shoes, jewelry, hats, and other accessories; and, one food or beverage item. Whether you bring one pair of jeans or go full KonMari, nothing will go to waste: All leftovers will be donated to Housing Works.

The event will also include a potluck brunch - for more information and food assignments, check out this food plan Google Doc and our Facebook event page.

Email wamnyc-board@googlegroups.com for the swap location.

Fundraiser: WAM!entoring with Ann Friedman

May 25//6:30pm//TBA

Join us for a WAM!entoring session with journalist and cultural critic Ann Friedman to help raise money for our upcoming annual conference. Ann is a columnist for New York magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and a contributing editor to The Gentlewoman.  She co-hosts the podcast Call Your Girlfriend and sends a popular weekly email newsletter. More details to come soon!

Suggested donation: $5-10

Other Upcoming Events

PEN Festival: Queer Representation & the Media

May 2//6pm//Housing Works SoHo

As part of the PEN America World Voices Festival, transwoman and political activist Jennifer Finney Boylan, trans author and boxer Thomas Page McBee, poets Eileen Myles, and Saeed Jones, and founder/executive director of Women in Media & News Jennifer Pozner discuss the narratives of transgender issues found—or not seen—in the media. Tickets are free.

Sisters of Comedy

May 25//7:30pm//Midtown

Agunda Okeyo presents Sisters of Comedy at  Carolines on Broadway, with Gina Yashere (MC - Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah), Joyelle Johnson (SeeSo's Night Train with Wyatt Cenac), Leighann Lord (Star Talk Radio with Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson), Naomi Ekperigin (Comedy Central's Broad City), Leah Bonnema (IFC’s Comedy Drop) PLUS a special Guest! Sisters is the longest running black woman centered comedy showcase in NYC featured by Time Out NY, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Essence and NBC. Watch out for 2 special segments on #SistersofComedy on PBS Metro Focus this month! Visit the Caroline's website for more info.

SAVE THE DATE: June 17, 2017

WAM!NYC Annual Conference:

 Report the Facts, Frame the Future.

Mark your calendars for WAM!NYC's eighth annual gender justice in media conference, to be held at Barnard College.

Stay tuned for speaker announcements and early bird tickets!

WAM!er of the month: Carrie Hawks

Carrie Hawks is a digital and video storyteller whose animated documentary, black enuf, just premiered at Verso Books in New York. Prior to filmmaking, Hawks concentrated on visual art and design. Their work addresses gender, sexuality, and race. The medium ranges from paintings, drawings, dolls, to video.

They have exhibited in New York, Atlanta, Kansas City, Toronto, and Tokyo. Their first animated documentary, Delilah, premiered at the Animation Block Party in 2012 and was awarded “Best Experimental Film” (Reel Sisters of the Film Festival) in October of 2012. Hawks has also worked for Al Jazeera America, Wired Magazine, Cartoon Network, the ACLU, and Publicis Modem.

Follow them on Twitter: @maroonhorizon.

Congrats on the film premiere! Can you tell us a little bit about black enuf?

The tagline is: A queer oddball seeks approval from black peers despite a serious lack of hip-hop credentials and a family that ‘talks white.’ The film is about 22 minutes, and there’s about five minutes of [live] footage, and the rest is animated. There’s one section where I talk about my great grandmother, and she wrote her own autobiography, so I animated photographs and her words. Or there are parts where I talk about my own experience and it’s an animated version of that. It’s real life things that happened but then an artistic representation of them.

I made the project in order to love myself more and to get into family history. I’ve done one other short film since I started black enuf, because I [originally] thought it was going to be about my whole family. I did a short documentary about a white cousin of mine who found our family after doing genealogical research after finding her family had been passing and lying to her for years.

What was it like working on a project that’s so deeply personal?

My parents liked it. Which I was nervous about. I came out to my father by making the film. I hadn't told him, and I sat my whole family down and had them watch the film just after Christmas. When they watched it, I felt like, OK now they’ve seen it so whatever happens happens.

When did you start working on it and what has the work entailed?

About five or six years ago. I’ve been working on various projects, freelance and full-time. Animation is not a fast moving medium. I started animating and then I talked to a friend about it, and he said, why don’t you write a script? So I wrote a script out about it, and then I started storyboarding what I thought would go in, then I did the voiceover, and then I workshopped it and worked with a group of filmmakers who were all working on projects. Then I enlisted some friends and other people to do voiceovers and bring it to life. Then I continued storyboarding, what happens when and what I want to draw when.

I started working with the Diverse Filmmakers Alliance and they gave me a lot of great feedback on how to make it better and tighter. And then I joined LASS (Ladies’ Animated Short Screening), so it was good to work people who had that training and how to lay out the story and keep track of the 80 different things you want to do. I also read some books on making animated film, and ways to use color pallette to convey meaning. The majority of my film has a lot of tans and browns and neutral colors, and then I have a breakout moment using hot pink. I also worked with a sound designer to add music and sound effects to it.

I got a grant from the Jerome Foundation in 2014, so that was a financial and ego boost, to know other people believed in the project. And it allowed me to pay people, which was great.

What are the next steps for the film?

It will play in LA this summer. And it should also be playing at the Brooklyn Museum this summer, and I will be part of a panel talking about black queer video artists. Ultimately, I’d love to have it in high schools and colleges to help people talk about identity and self acceptance and race relations. There is no real producer for these things, so I’m doing all of it. After having a great premiere, I’m excited to bring this to education institutions and students.

What else are you working on right now?

This is my biggest project outside of work, but I’m also involved in black women artists for black lives matter. We had a takeover of the New Museum on September 1. In March, we started a residency in Houston in a group of row houses. I worked with the performance group and we made a compilation of performances of people who could not be there in Houston, and I edited a lot of video pieces. I also have a show at BRIC and I’m working on collaborative projects with the Diverse Filmmakers Alliance, like one about people of color and healing.

Call for WAM!er of the Month submissions

Would you like to be featured as a WAM!er of the month, or do you know someone in WAM!NYC who’s been kicking ass lately? We’re launching this newsletter segment to highlight the extraordinary work our members do each and every day in their fields. Send a short bio or success story (yours or a friend’s) to srussellkraft@gmail.com to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!


Member Updates

This section of the newsletter functions sort of like an alumni update section from a university magazine, but with a WAM!NYC twist. Are you a newly appointed editor and want to send out a call for pitches? Did you just score your dream job and want to tell the world about it? Will you be covering a big news story and are looking for Twitter followers or editors to pitch? Do you know a WAM!er (or are YOU a WAM!er) who simply deserves a shout-out? Send short updates to srussellkraft@gmail.com and we’ll include them here.

This month’s updates:

  • Jerin Arifa stood behind the Women's March on Washington organizers, literally and figuratively, after they were arrested and detained for nine hours for civil disobedience – including a nursing mom who was not allowed to feed her baby. A wide range of organizations invited her to participate on panels and workshops each week, on topics ranging from religious feminism to Title IX enforcement. Her co-presenters included trailblazing women like Carmelyn Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. 
  • Marisa Crawford's second full-length poetry collection, Reversible, is now out from the feminist poetry press Switchback Books. It explores teen girlhood, nostalgia, fashion and feminist identity. 
  • Sarah Leonard was recently promoted to features editor of The Nation. Sarah, who first joined The Nation as senior editor in March 2014, is co-editor (with Bhaskar Sunkara of Jacobin) of The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for a New Century and a contributing editor at Dissent and The New Inquiry. Most recently, she penned the April 10 cover story of The Nation: Housekeepers Versus Harvard: Feminism for the Age of Trump and helped to launch the new and improved secure tips site. Follow her on Twitter: @sarahrlnrd.
  • Collier Meyerson joined The Nation in the spring as a contributing writer focusing on race and politics.
  • Board member Agunda Okeyo will be on a May Day special of The Laura Flanders Show this week to discuss her boycott and direct action campaign targeting the Trump cabinet's business interests in NYC, Hater Free NYC, endorsed by BYP100, Jewish Voice For Peace NYC and Hollaback! www.haterfreenyc.com
  • A NewsHound's Guide to Student Journalism, Katina Paron's comic book-style high school journalism textbook, has been fully funded through Kickstarter! The project raised nearly 110% of its goal and Paron hopes to have the engaging, character-driven textbook into classrooms by early 2018. Visit bit.ly/NewsHoundsGuide for more info. Thanks to WAM! members for all their cheerleading and support. 
  • Shirley Velasquez is a site director within Time Inc.'s entertainment group (PeopleEnEspanol.com and Chica). She's been there since last July and is now leading the charge in developing a cohesive Hispanic audience from an edit perspective across Time Inc.
  • Jayati Vora just started as managing editor at The Investigative Fund and is actively soliciting pitches for investigative stories. She's open to all kinds of reporting, but is particularly interested in stories about how technology affects society (privacy, data mining, political, social impact) and in reproductive rights and gender-related story ideas. You can reach her at jayati@nationinstitute.org.

Want to learn more about what WAM!, a 501(c)3 non-profit, does on a national level? Check out executive director Jamia Wilson's strategic vision


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