December 2, 2015, was a day that would forever change my life. I opened my Instagram App. The first thing that I saw was an assassination.
A young, unarmed man was backed up against a wall, pleading to several police officers to just listen. Instead of being heard, he was shot over forty times by SFPD. It was three in the afternoon, it was a busy intersection in my hometown, it was witnessed by young school children from their classroom windows. As I watched the video and heard over forty shots take the life of Mario Woods, I knew I had to do something.
I went from being an armchair activist content to spread a hashtag to becoming an activist and a community organizer. I rallied with lifelong artist friends and friends I had just made to demand that the mayor do something about a rogue police department that committed acts of violence against San Francisco's communities of color. As our demands fell on deaf ears we decided that extreme measures were needed and we organized a hunger strike.
The hunger strike would forever change the way I looked at the community, the legacy of politics and law enforcement in my home town. Those years as an activist would forever change who I am.
In these uncertain times, we all need to go from spreading hashtags to taking action. I meet people who tell me how they could never do what I did. They just aren't that brave. My answer is the same, "we all make a difference in our own way if we just get up and do it". Not everyone can shut down a freeway or organize a march of thousands to city hall. I certainly didn't know I could until I was doing it. You don't have to go big to make a difference, you just have to get up and do something. From knitting circles to book drives to hunger strikes, we all can make a difference in someone's life if we just follow the intent. I am writing a book about my experience as an activist in the hopes that it will help people go from feeling hopeless to feeling that they can make a difference. In our own way, we can help make this world better. My goal is to write and self publish this book. I am raising money to cover my expenses as I write the book and the cost of publishing the first run of the book. The expenses include paying an editor, promotion and self publishing costs and the two months of expenses as I focus on writing.
Donations over $50 will receive a signed copy of the book. Donations over $500 will receive an acknowledgment in the book.
A percentage of profits from the book will go to activists making a difference in social justice around the United States.
Thank you for supporting me and allowing me to share my story.