Freedom Writers


Freedom writers teacher, Ms. G.  Freedom Writers Teacher and role model (still from the Movie)

A little while ago, I wrote about a teacher in Long Beach, California who was teaching English to kids who had problems of some sort. I had watched the movie and discovered the book. It is available in bookstores and on Kindle and Nook. Ms. G. taught freshman and sophomore English. Well I am now reading the book which is an anthology of the student’s work.  The students were told to write in their journals, and the anthology includes various entries from each of their journals.

To encourage participation without the possibility of humiliation, the journals were all anonymous, but the entries were numbered.

The students wrote about what was happening with their families and their lives, and why their English class in Room 203 with Ms. G became Home; for some of them a second Home, but for many, it was the only Home they had.

Some of them wrote about going home from school and opening the mail and finding an eviction notice.  Others wrote about the fact that there was no food in their house, and no money to buy food.  They wrote about being molested or physical beaten by their mother’s significant other.  They wrote about watching their mothers being beaten, and trying to pull the abuser off their mothers while blood is running off their mother’s head.

Some of them wrote that they lived in very bad sections in Long Beach.  , some children would stay late at school to finish their work, but because they lived in such dangerous areas it wasn’t safe to be out after dark, particularly for the girls.  Ms. G would wait until the children left and even though she did not herself live in Long Beach, she would personally drive each child home to keep them safe.

More than one student wrote about how hard it was to keep their minds positive, to keep hope in their hearts, that they would get good grades, and be able to do everything that they wanted to.  They were surrounded by negativity, and that was what made it so hard.  Everywhere they looked, there was negativity.  This negativity was where the violence and the gang life style, and the intolerance and bigotry that surrounded them came from.

The students learned through Ms. G’s class to respect themselves and to believe in themselves.  They wrote of seeing the whole world differently after reading books, biographies like Zlata’s Diary, that showed them that other people have gone through really difficult times and survived, and got stronger, and turned themselves into better people.

The students wrote about how reading opened up the world to them, and they learned about what was possible, not matter where you lived or what kind of background you had, you could be a person who gave backed to the world.  You could make your life be how you wanted to be, instead of what the world said it had to be.

One student even wrote how her mother ever gave her curfews or rules to follows, so she got the idea that she should give herself curfews, because she didn’t want people to know that her mother was neglecting her.  She felt like she had raised herself, and that it wasn’t easy.

After they had compiled their journals, choosing the pages to submit, Ms. G had the compilation turned into a book.  Ms. G then contacted the Secretary of Education, and told him about her students and their projects, past and present, and about the book created from their project.  He invited them to come in person to bring him the book.  Ms. G and the students earned the money for the trip to Washington, DC, and got to meet the Secretary, who was very impressed with their book.  SOme of the students were blown away just walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  When they reached the Washington Memorial, they encircled the monument, held hands, sang and said prayers.

Some of the students wrote about that trip, and how they felt so light and full of hope joined together around the Washington Monument.

When they returned to Long Beach, they found out that another student in their school, not a Freedom Writer, had taken a trip to Vegas with friends, and while their brutally raped and murdered a 7 year old girl, while another student watched and did nothing to stop it.  The students wrote about the difficulty of balancing the positive energy from the trip with the horrific news that someone they knew had raped and murdered a little girl.  It was a difficult time but they made it through together, and when the media came to the school looking for headlines about the murder, they went out against school regulations, and sang and talked to the media not about the horror perpetrated by one student, but about what the 150 or so of them had accomplished instead.

The negativity that surrounded these students is what is causing the distrust, distress and violence in the world today, but this wonderful teacher and her courageous students stand as a shining example of what positive energy, hope and understanding can do to make the world a better place.

 

 

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Who

 

 

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Freedomwriters

 

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Are You Being Abused?


End Violence in the Home

End Violence in the Home

I have found that young women have many questions about battering. They seem to lack information they need to be safe. Domestic Violence or abuse is a crime punishable by a fine and jail time. The states vary with the laws. Battering can begin at any time in a relationship. During the dating phase, after the wedding, when a woman is pregnant, or as the children grow up.

Abuse is physical, verbal or emotional. It can also be a combination of any of these. You have the right to live without fear.  Often in an abusive relationship, the abuser will begin trying to isolate the woman from friends and neighbors. He doesn’t want anyone to have influence on his woman besides him. Often he wants the women to stay home and not work. That outside contact can make controlling her more difficult. If a woman is working, she often is quiet at work. She is passive and is in the emergency room frequently. If she confides in a co-worker, she will insist that she loves and needs him. He says he loves her too. But this is not love. This is torture.

There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

you_cant_beat_a_woman_fridge_magnet-r2f60f43b75094530ab858f2d1647231d_x7js9_8byvr_324If you can’t bring yourself to leave, then fill a go bag with items that are extremely necessary. Money, prescriptions, clothes, ID for you and the children, and what ever your children will need immediately. Hide it well. If another attack happens you will need these things to flee. If you can’t get to the go bag, just leave and go to your local shelter. Husbands do kill wives. So your safety is vital. The things he has told you about being stupid, ugly, trash, or that you want to be hit is pure BS. Don’t buy into what he says. There is nothing you can do to justify his abusing you.

National Organization of Women

National Organization of Women

The fear you live with day in and day out does not mean you deserve it or asked for it. Examples of physical abuse are: pinching, slapping,hitting, punching, burning, pushing you, twisting your arms, and you have the right to live without violence. Forced sex in a marriage is rape…spousal rape. It is also illegal. It is hard to leave because you often still love him but you need to be a good role model for your children.

Anatomy of Violence

Anatomy of Violence

Domestic Violence is learned generation after generation. Little girls learn to be victims and little boys learn to be abusers. Some boys will try to stop their fathers and will punch and kick and yell at the father to stop the violence. Even if the violence is not turned against him, he learns to disrespect women. He will statistically become an abuser.  So your children need positive role models. They need to know that you can discuss problems and work them out. Remember if your abuser kills you he may very well end up raising your children.

There is nothing wrong with you. You do not deserve to be hit, spit at, spoken to in a demeaning manner. Your city has many people who care what happens to you and your children. There is help available.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

Don’t let this be you. You deserve better. If you need to go to a hospital for your injuries, tell the ER staff what really happened. They will notify the police and they will call the shelter for you. If you are being hit now, get out and you will find love again, the community will help you with housing and education. No one deserves to be beaten. It is so hard to decide about all of these things when you are being beaten frequently, but believe me you can go on to a good life. A life where you are safe and live without violence.

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Peace, Violence and all Stops Inbetween


Intercoastal Waterway

Inter-coastal Waterway an alternative to sailing on the ocean

   Photograph by Barbara Mattio; Copyrighted in 2013

I believe that many people are looking for peace these days and many are making peace in their families and communities.  Not all, but the people who are choosing peace are adding to the love and goodness in their worlds. This is good to see. Some people continue to be filled with rage and hatred. Murders and rapes keep taking place. Corruption in our towns and cities still raises its ugly head.

 

So what happens when you feel you have created peace in the bit of world which is yours? What happens when we see others without freedoms or rights? Do we just look away from the pictures? Is there a positive response we can develope? How do we do it?

 

No More War!

No More War!

 

We can immerse ourselves in kindness and love and greet those we love and those we meet as our lives flow long. The way of peace is not just what we develop  within. It does start here though .What happens when the peace we have worked for and have established within, faces  the violence, hatred and rage that is in the world? We need to be able to look at and work with all of the ugly-ness and not lose any of our love, peace or light. Refusing to listen to the cries of anguish isn’t an answer. Freedom, love and peace must be taken from our own lives and put into the world. It is a process and a necessary one pulling us into the fray. We can’t live fully, and turn our heads and hearts away from suffering, greed and war.

 

These women have established peace in their lives and are looking to make peace in the world.

These women have established peace in their lives and are looking to make peace in the world.

 

We can fight for women’s rights, we can stop Domestic Violence, we can stop children from being molested and we can try to understand how it feels to be sold into slavery. We can take a stand against against rulers who are holding their citizens  in oppression and fear.

 

War destroys the childhoods of children.

War destroys the childhoods of children.

 

I believe we have to be ready to get involved with bringing love and peace into the world. Join Amnesty International. I have written letters to many world leaders who are holding its citizens as political prisioners.  You can join local peace and anti-war organizations. You can speak your truth gently to those who walk the path of war. You can send medications, donations, clothes and text books to countries where they are greatly needed.

 

Look to your journey and find the path towards peace.

Look to your journey and find the path towards peace.

 

Yes, peace begins with each of us, but it can’t stay just within us. We must meet with others who want peace and by adding all of our peaceful intentions together, we can make changes in the world at large. One candle is a light, 100 candles is a brilliant light, a million candles is a bonfire. Let’s make bonfires where we live and where we work and we will succeed. So throw that pebble into the pond and watch the ripples of peace move outward to touch all people who need an end to war and rage.

 

Green is the color of PEACE!

Green is the color of PEACE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People are not Owned here in the USA or in any Country


Stats on Forcible Rape

Stats on Forcible Rape

Shameless Hussy

yesterday i had a wild thot. hearing james brown on the radio singing sit it loud: i‘m black and i‘m proud. Ithot, wonder how it would feet to say, say it loud, i‘m female and proud. it was obviously too silly , think how embassassed i would be if a neighbor came to the door. what if john came home and i was making the bed yelling I AM FEMALE AND I’M PROUD? i‘d never hear the end of it. i started saying it and nearly choked on the words. choulnt get them out . realized it was a lie. i aint proud. didnt havea thing to do with it. took pot luck and came out a broad. kept trying to say it. after a few tries, i could. it wasnt very loud. it was probly the quietest sound in the room. me patting pillow into place on the bed and muttering, i‘m female and i‘m proud. then i got a little hostilce and said it loud, i‘m female and proud and thot about it and wanted to feel it and said it loud k’m female and proud and after the record was over i yelled it a couple of times and it felt okay. and i hanent done it since but maybe i will again.”
—-excetpt from Alta
A revolution has started, there’s no doubt about it. And what will happen if the masculine world order, built on language and the supremacy of men continues to be shaken by women everywhere? Women are going to continue to shake and challenge the misogyny in society.

Protesting who owns a woman's body

Protesting who owns a woman’s body

Can we not envision a world in which both men and women honor the body, refusing to separate it from spirit? Can we see a world that cherishes the earthly as holy? Can we envision a world where caring for and nurturing the earth and each other becomes more important than domination and conquering? Can we see in our mind’s eye a world where all human beings are considered part of the ceative matrix?

Men ought to think about how it would feel if a sister, mother, aunt or nana was raped. Would it be hillarious to them?

Men ought to think about how it would feel if a sister, mother, aunt or nana was raped. Would it be hillarious to them?

I don’t feel men are the enemy. I have seven grandsons and love each of them dearly. The problem is that Patriarchy is killing the best in both genders of our society.You can smell the decay of society and war everywhere. The only history recorded is men’s history. We have made some progress but certainly not enough.

Women can never give up the search for themselves and their truth. Our truth is our herstory but it is more of an oral tradition that a written one. Women have only been able to be published under their given names for a couple of decades now. I have read that anonymous was a woman and it makes complete sense to me.

The United States of Shame

The United States of Shame

Real men don't rape

Real men don’t rape

Men often ask what women want. This is a huge subject but I will say here that we want a safer world to bring up our children and grandchildren. We want a healthy planet that will sustain us and future generations. We want to be accepted as equal and independent people despite our gender. We want a saner world. A world where young people go off and commit mass shootings doesn’t happen. We want a world where every woman is safe from abuse and rape. We don’t want to be the brunt of sexual innuendoes and jokes.

No more Rape Culture

No more Rape Culture

Raise the kind of man who will respect and treat a woman as an equal.

Raise the kind of man who will respect and treat a woman as an equal.

Advice

“My hazard wouldn’t be yours, not ever,
But every doom, like a hazelnut, comes down
To its own worm. So I am rocking here
Like any granny with her apron over her head
Saying, lordy me. It’s my trouble.
There’s nothing to be learned this way.
If I heard a girl crying help
I would go to save her;
But you hardly ever hear those words.
Dear children, you must try to say
Something when you are in need.
Don’t confuse hunger with greed;
And don’t wait until you are dead.”
—-Ruth Stone

We must stop revictimizing the victim

We must stop revictimizing the victim

We Did It !!!! Don’t Hit a Woman, Now it is a Crime Once Again


This is the Cycle of Violence. Do you see someone you know in it?

This is the Cycle of Violence. Do you see someone you know in it?

Thank you Congress for keeping all women safe

Thank you Congress for keeping all women safe

It will now go to President Obama who will sign it into law.

It will now go to President Obama who will sign it into law.

"Now

Never let a man slap, kick, punch, push, verbally insult or demean you. Call the police. It is a crime!

Never let a man slap, kick, punch, push, verbally insult or demean you. Call the police. It is a crime!

]America, stop teaching that violence against women is allowed. America, stop teaching that violence against women is allowed.

The Violence Against Women that Just passed the Senate and now the House will be signed into law by President Obama.

The Violence Against Women Act that Just passed the Senate and now the House will be signed into law by President Obama.

Guns and Domestic Violence


The Anatomy of Abuse

The Anatomy of Abuse

Today, I just want to talk about the violence that steals the peace in our world. The entire world is writhing with the pain of violence and hatred. Peace is something we need to choose and too many people are choosing hate, intolerence and violence. There is so much horror and death everywhere in the world, we are moving away from what is morally right, and ethical in our lives. We look around and there is terrorism, jihad, Domestic Violence, bullying and a total lack of regard for the suffering of others.

Love should never hurt

Love should never hurt

So many families are filled with abuse and It is happening more often each year. This effects millions of women and children. Part of the increase is that is reported more often. Part is the increase of violence in our society. This violence is reflected in the lives of women and children.

"The

In these violent homes wars are being fought and people are being injured and killed. If you study cases of murder-suicide in America, the majority of the abusers own one or more guns. Women who leave an abusive situation are in the greatest danger. This is often the time when they are shot or beaten to death. Statistically, abusers believe in their right to to bear arms. So this issue is that we make guns available to men who beat, strike, and often kill the members of their family.Sometimes, they just kill the woman. All of us who have worked in Domestic Violence have seen an abuser with a gun. We often saw angry men with guns who threatened to kill the woman. We never quite knew if he would include us. I had several death threats made against me during my years in DV.

We need to add these two issues together because abusers, whether male or female, should never be allowed to have guns. No one should have to live in fear. Adding guns to the access of abusers is just putting women and children in more danger. We need to stand up and Congress needs to ratify the Violence Against Women act. It needs to be passed this year.

We need to stop violence against women and we need to make sure guns are not in the hands of abusers.

We need to stop violence against women and we need to make sure guns are not in the hands of abusers.

We need to keep talking about the danger so many live in. We need to insist that Congress do everything it can to protect women, children and men who are living in violence. Call or email your Congress people and Senators and tell them you want them to pass the Violence Against Women act and to push for gun control.

You can help save someone’s life. You can make a difference and choose making peace in our world.