Invisible Men

 

Invisible Men was launched March 31, 2018 by Luckie Alexandar, a trans man and is a Transman who is an advocate exacting change that builds bridges within the LGBTQI community.  His organization creates resources and support around transmasculine folks and trans parents. 

About the Founder

Invisible Men began as a platform for people of transmasculine experience to have the ability to tell their narrative’s instead of being handed who they were according to the world. There was a documentary released in June of 2018 called Man Made that had various trans men and even a mother who raised a trans man expressing their different experiences. 

Take some time to view Man Made here: http://www.manmadedoc.com/

In the beginning there were 12 trans masculine individuals who told their stories and given visibility to an otherwise invisible population. They are called legacies.  You can read their stories here.

Each year more and more legacies have been added to the website to share their stories. Over time, the creator of Invisible Men realized that there was so much more that the organization can do for the community. Invisible men started to hold workshops and hosting events.

 

 

They became study subjects for a UC Berkeley research project, launched a mentor program called Junior Legacies, had a binder exchange and giveaway, and had a first invisible woodsman camping program. 

Invisible Men has tabled at Los Angeles pride, trans pride, competence human trafficking events and many other events. Invisible Man currently gives out transition assistant scholarships and since the inception of Invisible Men have given out four. In 2019, Invisible Men had given out 12 binders, 10 suits, and four clothing care packages.

Tabling @ Breaking the chains – ending human TRAFFICKING in compton, ca

They have also  helped people with their name changes and help them to achieve their goals of starting hormones. Many of the Groups “Legacies” have supported other community members during surgery recovery which would include check-up calls and messages as well as visiting during recovery if they were in the same area.  

On October 17, 2020, Invisible Men launched its first chapter in Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta chapter had fed ten families during Thanksgiving and have handed out over 15 care packages. As the Atlanta chapter grows so do the services that they provide. Watch the Atlanta Chapter Launch Video Here

Invisible Men is currently working on a few new projects which include Recess: Healing thru Play, Love and Art: Healing thru Art, transmasculine specific cultural competency training, and a Wellness initiative. Invisible men currently offer healthy masculinity release emotional coping and support as well as HIV prevention and more. 

The creator of this organization, Alexander, has a long history of advocacy, supporting and providing resources to the LGBTQ community, black community, and the trans community. He is also the mind behind the design for the “All Black Lives Matter” mural on Hollywood Blvd in California. 

His passion to help and give back runs deep in his soul. I have the pleasure and the privilege to know him and be there with him every step of the way as invisible men grows.

Alexander is my mentor and a mentor to so many others I am happy to stand side by side with him in the fight for equality anthophyte for those who may feel invisible. Invisible Man is here for them and most importantly we want them to know did we see you, we are here for you, and you are loved. 

Find out more about Invisible Men and Donate Here

GYCC Receives the Finding and Making Good Award

GYCC Recieves Finding and Making the Good Award

We met at Prescott Center for the Arts, where the center was also receiving an award for their program PCA Serves

The Greater Yavapai Community Coalition (GYCC) is thrilled to receive the community’s “Finding and Making Good” Award!

Beautiful Arrangement from Allen’s Flowers: Molly Freibott, John Duncan and Sylvia Ximi of GYCC

The Prescott “Finding and Making Good Program” is run by a group of local volunteers. They actively seek out  people and organizations doing selfless acts in the Community.

Check out the Daily Courier’s Article Here.

  PCA and Finding the Good Team

The group is a also a part of the El Gato Community Gives Program. Their mission is “celebrating people doing, living and creating positivity without expecting anything in return.”

GYCC received the award for their COVID Response Action Plan-Emergency Box Program.

Because of the Pandemic, GYCC was receiving urgent daily requests from Covid Positive Community Members with moderate symptoms.  Local Hospitals were full and as a result, they were being asked to Isolate/Quarantine at home

GYCC  committed  to keeping  as many COVID-positive people out of the hospitals as possible. COVID support boxes contain 14 days of supplies and are focused on helping COVID-positive people manage and monitor their symptoms at home. Supplies focus on oxygen and temperature monitors.

In addition, they include PPE for everyone in the household; disinfecting/sanitizing products; hydration and electrolyte support and shelf-stable food items. 

GYCC distributed 38 boxes with the help of other local agencies such as Big Brother Big Sister, AARP and the Prescott Odd Fellows.  The cost of 10 boxes is approximately $800.  GYCC wants to give a big thanks to everyone in the Community who donated supplies and funding!

To join in the effort or contribute to the cause, contact Molly Freibott or John Duncan at gyccinfo@gmail.com, or donate at the website az-gycc.org

To learn more, or to nominate someone in the Community who is “making the good,” visit findingandmakingthegood.com or visit their Facebook Page.

Find out more about PCA’s events here: https://www.pca-az.net/

Learn more about El Gato Azul here: https://www.elgatoazulprescott.com/

Check out this Article in Signals about El Gato Community Gives here: https://www.signalsaz.com/articles/introducing-el-gato-community-gives/

 

Grow Our Own 2021….we made it!

Spring 2021! We actually, finally made it!

2020 was the longest year in history!

Quarantine.

Racism.  Division. 

Civil Unrest.

Disruption of supply chains.  Over flowing Hospitals. 

Nothing is the same as it was a year ago and unfortunately, we’re not through yet. 

Everything is different….everything except…Spring!

In March 2020…the Pandemic had just started. Because of this, supply chains were down and food supplies were worrisomely unstable. Not to mention we were all worried if we would ever have enough toilet paper?

Because of this, GYCC decided to start a new program “Grow Our Own; A Garden for the Community”

A Garden brings hope and sustainability, together with a sense of Community; even during a lockdown!

Actual Produce from GYCC’s Garden

But how do you start a Community Garden quickly with only a plot of orange clay dirt, weeds and a shockingly tiny budget of $150.00?

The answer? Straw Bales!

Click Here to read about how we got our Straw Bale Garden Started!

Because straw bales are cheap and can be placed almost anywhere, we were able to get started suprisingly fast!  Here is our Fall 2020 “Grow Our Own Garden” planted out:

GYCC’s Garden Planted

It’s finally one year later and because Straw Bales are so positively hardy, we are able to use them for a second year!

Here is the Straw Bale Garden just a few weeks ago in March of 2021!

After an entire year of lockdown and “stay-home-everything”, we were desperately ready to get out in the garden!

But March had other ideas….

What do you when 2021 gives  you snow when you want to be gardening?

You build a DIY Straw Bale Greenhouse!

Ugly?  Absolutely!  Functional?  Heck yes!

The bales are heating and because we are early, we can start our own seeds!

Starting our own seeds!

Stay tuned and join us for weekly updates! 

Together we can build a stronger Community in 2021….one bale at a time!

 

Important Info for Downwinders

If you are over 55 you may have been impacted by nuclear testing or uranium mining in Arizona/Nevada/Utah/Colorado/New Mexico area in the 50’s and 60’s. The following information and links will help you figure out if you are entitled to compensation for illnesses that arose out of nuclear exposure. 

The US government webpage is https://www.justice.gov/civil/common/reca . RECA stands for Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. The reason we are publishing this information is that the deadline for filing is July of 2022 and it may take a while to compile the necessary information. 

There is a clinic in Flagstaff that is overseeing screening for Northern Arizona. Here is the link to that site:

https://northcountryhealthcare.org/community-programs/radiation-exposure-screening/ 

While the nuclear testing happened a long time ago, the affects may occur any time after the exposure period. We hope this may be of help to you.

Following is from the RECA website

Background

The United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons development tests from 1945 to 1962. Essential to the nation’s nuclear weapons development was uranium mining and processing, which was carried out by tens of thousands of workers.

Following the conclusion of these activities, lawsuits against the United States alleged failure to warn of exposures to known radiation hazards. These suits were dismissed by the appellate courts. Congress responded by devising a program allowing partial restitution to individuals who developed serious illnesses after presumed exposure to radiation released during the atmospheric nuclear tests or after employment in the uranium industry.  The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was passed on October 5, 1990. The Act’s scope of coverage was broadened on July 10, 2000.

This unique statute was designed to serve as an expeditious, low-cost alternative to litigation. Significantly, RECA does not require claimants to establish causation. Rather, claimants qualify for compensation by establishing the diagnosis of a listed compensable disease after working or residing in a designated location for a specific period of time. This determination is being done by North Country Healthcare in Flagstaff, which was referenced earlier in a weblink. 

 

Is “Tolerance” a Good Thing?

I have a confession to make: I cringe each time I hear someone say they practice tolerance. Being a full supporter of equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, wouldn’t I be happy to hear people “practice tolerance”? Why would I have that inner reaction?

I might “tolerate” bad weather, someone cursing, loud music in a peaceful park, or rude drivers. Each of these has negative impact which might require tolerance. Someone being a part of the LGBTQ+ community does not have a negative impact on me, and thus there is nothing for me to “tolerate”.

Am I merely not understanding the meaning of the word? I checked with Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance).

  • First definition: “capacity to endure pain or hardship: ENDURANCE, FORTITUDE, STAMINA” (capitalization theirs). When I work with someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, I’m certainly not thinking about how I have to “endure” them! Having people who are different is a benefit, not a hardship.

  • Second definition, part a: “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”. In no way do I feel like I am “indulging” LGBTQ+ people because their “practices differ from or conflict with” mine. We are all different; I no more have to “indulge” someone for being in that group than someone who has different colored eyes or hair than I do, or whom prefers a different flavor of ice cream. There is no need for sympathy or to “indulge” them for being different than me. To the contrary I am happy to embrace diversity.

  • Second definition, part b: “the act of allowing something: TOLERATION”. I most certainly don’t “allow” someone to be lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, etc. any more than they “allow” me to be straight. They simply are who they are and I am who I am. Nothing to tolerate either way.

  • Third definition, “the allowable deviation from a standard”. “Standard” according to whom? It is not “standard” to fit all common “categories” — and if someone was normal in all ways that in itself would be non-standard.

None of the definitions of “tolerance” seem to fit the idea of acceptance, and yet it is often used.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks about tolerance in multiple mission statement examples. https://www.aclu.org/other/gsa-mission-statement-examples

November 16th is the International Day For Tolerance. https://www.un.org/en/events/toleranceday/index.shtml

There’s a website on Teaching Tolerance. https://www.tolerance.org

The U.N. has “Declaration of Principles on Tolerance”, which is interesting to read and may be key as to why tolerance has been used with LGBTQ+ people. There they have their own definition of tolerance!
http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13175&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Regardless of how the U.N. defines tolerance, most dictionaries seem to agree with Merriam-Webster and the word certainly carries the connotation of tolerating something that is bad or annoying.

Wouldn’t it be better to use the word inclusive? Again back to Merriam-Webster: “including everyone especially: allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)”. (Italics theirs) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inclusive

Tolerance or inclusive, what do you think?

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.

2020-21 School Year Starting in Days… What Options Do I Have?

With COVID-19 still on the rampage and school starting soon (for AZ, August 6th!), many of us are wondering what our schooling options are. Do we send our kids to a brick-and-mortar? Buy or create a curriculum to homeschool? Enroll in an online school?

What is safe for my children and family? How do I know what is the right decision for my family? If I do decide to go with an online school, which one? In this article we will explore those options and hopefully help you decide what is best for your family.

Brick-and-Mortar

First, a quick definition: A brick-and-mortar school is any physical school your child might attend. 

PUSD is currently planning on starting school on August 6th with two weeks of online school and then potentially moving to face-to-face classes, depending on what the recommendations from the Arizona Department of Education Roadmap. They discuss more of this here: https://www.prescottschools.com/blog/22387/

For some, students and parents, the uncertainty of how school is going to happen this year may be stressful and your family may desire a more predictable school year.

Also, there is the concern of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Schools, unfortunately, with their inevitable close contact, are one of the biggest ways to spread this pandemic, no matter the precautions taken!

If not a brick-and-mortar, then what?

Homeschooling

It is important to make decisions based on your children and family unit. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to schooling options. Know your limitations and capabilities because it can make or break how things go. 

To start with, ask yourself these three questions:

Is your child self-motivated or do they need someone to hold their hand along the way?

A lot will depend on your children’s ages and personalities. 

Ask yourself:

  • How available are you for them, especially if you have younglings? 
  • Do you have the ability to multi-task well? If not, is this something you can and are willing to learn?

For homeschooling, our experience is that in grades K-4 they needed a lot more hands on assistance from us and less as they’ve gotten older

What style of learning does my child learn best with?

Because we live in a state that doesn’t have specific requirements for homeschooling, you can do whatever you feel is best. You can teach in whatever way you want, leave out or add any subject, and set your own schedule for schooling. You don’t need to check in with anyone to make sure you are “in school”, testing is up to you, and you have many other benefits, though this also means you are largely left unchecked if you are unintentionally leaving out important parts of a curriculum.

If you do use your own curriculum you need to let the county know that you are planning on schooling at home. This is a very simple process and only takes minutes.

You will need to print an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool (https://www.afhe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/affidavit_of_intent_to_homeschool_rev2019.pdf). Along with this document you will need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, have the affidavit notarized, and send it into the county. Here is the mailing address and phone number for Yavapai County:
Tim Carter
2970 Centerpointe East Drive,
Prescott, AZ 86301
928-771-3326

If this is the road you want to explore, I recommend connecting with a local homeschooling group and ask questions; they are an awesome resource! 

How much does homeschooling cost?

Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive as you’d like! There are pre-made curriculum available; some by subject, some by grade, religious preferences, teaching method, field trips, and the list goes on. With that said, you will likely find you want materials to best serve the needs of your children. This can include the basics like pencils and paper and other common office supplies, to materials needed for science experiments or other materials you might not have at home. There are many resources to find lessons that use fairly inexpensive materials. 

Another Option: Online Schools

There are variety of free online public schools. There are also virtual private and / or religious schools that vary abundantly in prices.

If you decide to enroll in a public online school, you do not need to file an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool.

To learn more about a school, you can check out the website and / or call them and ask questions such as these:

  1. What kind of computer and / or browser works with the school’s system?
  2. Does the school supply textbooks and other items needed for class (such as science experiments)?
  3. Is the school accredited, and if so by what organization(s)?
  4. What is the ratio of students to teachers?
  5. Are there any hidden fees?
  6. Lastly, what is the expected role as a parent?

Of course, not all kids are the same. With our kids, now grades 8 and 9, we certainly are supportive and help them when needed, but for the most part they are successful with an online school without much assistance or prodding from us. At the same time, we make ourselves available should they need us.

Below are some free public online school options.

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: 9-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: 7-12

The links below will give you an idea of what will be taught using an accredited online school. These links will also help familiarize you with the terms used in online schooling and supply answers to more questions and / or concerns you may have:

 

 

Arizona is a state that offers a wide variety of options for schooling; brick-and-mortar, homeschooling, and online schools. Remember, this is doesn’t have to be a rest-of-school-life decision. Just take one year at a time and adjust as needed.

If you have more questions or concerns, I recommend joining Arizona Homeschool Chapter (https://www.facebook.com/groups/311460192366429/), a local homeschooling group. I found the families to be incredibly helpful and supportive with both creating a curriculum and doing online schooling.

 

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.