The Practice of Allyship

This blog post was originally published as a subscriber-only article entitled “Yopp’s Guide to Being an Awesome Ally,” at the beginning of January 2020. I decided to share it more widely because it was such valuable information and I also updated it as my opinions and understanding of allyship had shifted over the years.  CN: broad discussion of oppression I once saw a post from someone somewhat new to social activism saying he wished there …Read More

A Tale to Tell: A Cherie Priest Tribute

Just a few months ago I re-published my article, “Creating Social Change One Person at a Time,” in which I talked about how the impact you have on individual people around you can, in itself, be a form of social activism. Denny Upkins is back to demonstrate exactly how this phenomenon can happen and the ripple effect it can create.  CN: general discussion of racism and homophobia An author by the name of J.D. Stroube …Read More

Creating Social Change One Person at a Time

Do you remember a time when you were a child and an adult in your life changed something in you for the rest of your life? Maybe they were the only person who believed in your ability to achieve your dreams. Maybe they taught you kindness and compassion towards the people you found difficult to forgive. Maybe they saw you for who you were and reflected you as good and valuable when no one else had before. Even just a small word of encouragement can be important enough to us at that age that we remember it for decades. That person that helped you probably has no idea that they affected you so much, even if that impact lasted a lifetime. What if you could be that person for someone else? 

What if you could be that person for dozens of people? Or hundreds? Imagine the reverberations of your actions throughout the world as each of those people carry that change with them through life.  

Hiding Behind “Good Intentions”: Why Good Intent Does Not Erase Oppressive Impact

CN: general discussion of oppressive social dynamics, brief discussion of misgendering We’re all familiar with the people who tell you outright that they hold hateful opinions towards oppressed groups. But for every blatantly malicious bigot, there are 10 people who “meant well” or “didn’t mean it like that” or “had good intentions” when they said or did something that actually had a harmful effect on a member of an oppressed group. You have probably been …Read More

The Unique Power of Digital Organizing

CN: general discussion of past elections and the pandemic. As someone who deals with chronic pain and chronic illness, many versions of “boots on the ground” activism have not been very accessible to me, and unfortunately, I have intense anxiety around making phone calls, so volunteering for things like phone banking or calling representatives were also out, for me. I also know I am not the only person dedicated to social justice work that is …Read More

The Problem with Misrepresenting Oppression as Just Part of Life

CN: extensive discussion of the mechanics of oppression, oppression-based violence and discrimination, and racism; brief discussion of ableism, sexism, trans-antagonism. Note: This article was published after the first week of Black Lives Matter protests but it was written back in March. Due to seasonal health issues, from mid-May until September I am rendered almost completely incapable of writing new material which meant that I could not write a response to current events. A guest article …Read More

The Complexion For The Protection: White Privilege in Media

CN: extensive discussion of racism and white privilege, brief discussion of fictional instances of stalking, murder, sex, illegal drug-use, abusive/manipulative relationships, false rape accusations, war and mass violence. Brief discussion of real-life murder, mass violence, and racially-motivated violence. Assume potential spoilers for all media mentioned below. As always, the beauty of guest posts on this blog is that they enable Yopp to include subjects and types of content that I could never hope to create …Read More

Power Dynamics Part 2: Privilege and Power

CN: discussion of 45, Brock turner, Kavanaugh, sexual assault, erasure of Native American history, racism, ableism, poverty, the manifestations of oppression. Mention of sexism, genocide, police corruption, and rape culture. Have you ever thought something like, Why am I so frustrated that this guy on the internet who I’ve never met doesn’t think that sexism exists? Why didn’t he listen to me when I told him about the time someone was sexist to me? Did …Read More

Essay on The Bezine: Using Social Interactions to Create Change

An article of mine was published today on The BeZine, an online magazine that looks at efforts for peace, sustainability and social justice through the lens of art. They publish photography, poetry, essays, fiction, even music, that coincides with the theme of each issue. They are particularly interested in looking at the world’s problems with the intention of finding solutions. The BeZine also has direct ties to 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC), which was …Read More

Power Dynamics Part 1: What Happens When Someone Has More Power Than You Do?

CN: reference to abuse of power, toxic work environments, and physical threats or sexual assault from authority figures. What would happen if you, an employee, walked into your boss’s office unannounced, interrupted their phone conversation, and gave them instructions on how they were to proceed with their work? What if you told your boss that their clothes are a violation of the dress code? What would happen if you told your boss that their work …Read More