Stay Solid! has arrived

Stay Solid stack

At long last, Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth has arrived!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, information, encouragement, or a unique perspective on life matters, this is essential reading. With over 150 contributors, the book travels widely across subjects ranging from family and immigration to indigenous struggle and mental health.

Check out my two (brief) pieces:

  • “How to Heal a Broken Heart in 10 Steps” (Relationships chapter)
  • “What Does An Activist Look Like? Or, The Revolution Within: A Story” (Getting Older chapter)

Visit The Purple Thistle’s Facebook page to find out more about the book and upcoming events to celebrate its release.

Breastfeeding and Social Movements

New Internationalist magazine, The BabyMilk Issue, April 1982
The Nestlé boycott, likely the largest consumer boycott ever, was launched on July 7, 1977 and continues today.

If you think that deciding whether to breastfeed your baby is an individual choice or personal preference, you might be surprised to learn that rates of breastfeeding have always been intertwined with social and cultural movements.

Some of the movements and organizations that have directly or indirectly influenced breastfeeding practices over time include the Nestlé Boycott, feminism in all its forms, the natural childbirth movement, INFACT Canada, La Leche League, Eats on Feets, the UN/WHO Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and the slow food movement.

This is one of the themes Aleck Ostry and I discuss in our book chapter in Health and Sustainability in the Canadian Food System: Advocacy and Opportunity for Civil Society published by UBC Press (2012).

Food Advocacy in Canada

How does real change come about? Aleck Ostry and I are part of a group of contributors trying to answer this questions in a soon-to-be released book called Health and Sustainability in the Canadian Food System: Advocacy and Opportunity for Civil Society (UBC Press, June 2012).

The book is an exploration of the successes and limitations of food advocacy work in Canada. Our chapter is called “For All the Wrong Reasons: Ninety Years of Breastfeeding Promotion in Canada” and looks at the influences of government, various social movements, and civil society organizations on trends in breastfeeding and strategies for supporting (or not supporting) women.

Edited by Rod MacRae and Elisabeth Abergel, the book covers topics ranging from sustainable pest management and obesity in schools to agricultural land protection and green politics. The book is scheduled to be released in June; in the meantime, you can take a look at the Table of Contents in the UBC Press Environmental Studies catalogue.

The Past is Still With Us

Issue #5 of rain’zine is out!

This issue of  RAIN (Radical Art in Nature), the ever fabulous all ages ‘zine, has a focus on  decolonization, unschooling, and creating counterinstitutions. And it features cover art by the amazing Julie Flett!

I have a short piece in this issue called “The Past is Still With Us” which is, in part, a tribute to Frantz Fanon. (2011 marked the 50th anniversary of his world famous book, The Wretched of the Earth). Fanon did a great job at describing how colonization gets under our skin and how oppression really isn’t so healthy for either the oppressor or oppressed (go figure…).

But this issue isn’t all seriousness! It also includes a music CD, a recipe, a knitting pattern (via the lovely Sylvia Bo Bilvia), and an anacrostic. Something for everyone, really.

Click here to see where you can buy RAIN and stay tuned for more info about a launch party.

Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth

I’m thrilled to be a (tiny) part of this upcoming book, edited by Matt Hern and a collective of wonderful people from the Purple Thistle, and soon to be published by AK Press.

The book is a big scrapbook-style collection of short essays, stories, ideas, explanations, descriptions and comics to support teens who have radical impulses and are looking for support in building a good, alternative, lasting life for themselves.

The compilation has over 150 contributors, including The Guerilla Girls, Derrick Jensen, Margaret Killjoy, and Dan Savage. And it should be out by summer!