Weekly Feminist Happenings June 30th-July 6th

Composite of Calendar Pages and Clock

It’s a slow week because of the Fourth of July! Be safe out there, fellow feminists!

Tuesday, June 30th

Screening of (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies: The documentary “(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies,” which examines the human tendency to lie, looking at the work of behavioral economist Dan Ariely. Details: Starts at 7 p.m. Salt Lake City Public Library – Main (210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City).

Saturday, July 4th

Burmese Traditional Thingyan Festival: The 7th Annual Thingyan Water Festival will be held July 4, 2015. There will be music, dance and food. Details: From 3-9 p.m. at 190 N. Cornell St., Salt Lake City.

Tell us about your events here! 

Marriage Equality!

Pooja Mandagere, left, and Natalie Thompson outside the Supreme Court following the 5-4 ruling by the court Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Pooja Mandagere, left, and Natalie Thompson outside the Supreme Court following the 5-4 ruling by the court Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Today is the day–the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in a 5-4 decision. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy writes, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

After years of fighting, years of tears, and so much heartache–it’s here. We must continue to fight for fair housing, safety from violence, and other basic human rights denied to so many (especially our trans* siblings of color), but today, today we celebrate.

Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality!

America Is Racist Without the Confederate Flag

Illustration by Sarah Green

Illustration by Sarah Green

The terrorist attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina is atrocious beyond words. By now the world knows the details of the attack, and more importantly, we know about the lives of the nine victims.  I’m not going to pretend that I know what it’s like to have such a safe space violated. I’m not going to pretend to know the pain of  the Black community when they see more violence staring at them from televisions and computer screens.

In the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, eBay, Kmart, Walmart, and Sears have decided to ban the sale of goods emblazoned with the confederate flag. Pulling the hateful products is receiving considerable praise, and it is, indeed, wonderful news, but please remember that removing the confederate flag does not move us past racism. Dylan Roof murdered nine people in cold blood because he lives in a culture that systematically devalues Black lives.

Racism is more than token symbols–it is policies and institutions that murder, rape, and humiliate Black folks and other PoC. Refusing to stock racist tchotchkes is the right decision for corporations, but it’s a feeble and long-overdue move. Don’t let this good decision, or this small “victory,” keep you from remembering that nine people were killed in cold blood because of white supremacist ideology, and dismantling that is going to take so much more than stifling access to tacky belt buckles and license plate covers.

Does someone in your family wear/display the confederate flag? Tell us about it! 

Weekly Feminist Happenings June 23rd-29th

sleep dealer

Tuesday, June 23rd

Film screening of Escaping Syria: Please join the International Rescue Committee’s new GenR chapter for a screening of Escaping Syria, the award-winning documentary produced by the IRC. This moving short film sheds light on the impact the Syrian civil war has had on millions of people forced to flee their homes and communities. The reception and screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker and IRC Executive Producer Cathe Neukum. Details: From 6:30-9 p.m. at Publik (975 South Temple). Free! Please RSVP to Amy.Meyer@rescue.org *

Angela H. Brown: Conversations in Creativity: Angela H. Brown will talk about nurturing the creative spirit. She has run SLUG Magazine since September of 2000. Since then, she has taken a small black & white zine and turned it into a full-color electrobrite magazine with a strong regional presence. Brown has brought back coverage on Utah’s deserving local music scene, Utah’s action sports community and continues to give exposure to prominent underground national bands. In 2009, Brown launched Craft Lake City, an alternative art and crafts festival showcasing DIY handmade goods held at the Gallivan Center annually. In 2010, Craft Lake City officially became its own entity, making Brown now at the helm of two businesses.

Co-sponsored by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Details: From 7-8 at the Finch Lane Gallery in Salt Lake (54 Finch Lane).
Screening of A Path Appears: Sex Trafficking in the USA: Presented in partnership with Backyard Broadcast and KUED. The Department of Justice estimates that there are 300,000 children at risk of being trafficked into sexual slavery in the USA. In the first episode of A Path Appears we meet the survivors behind these shocking numbers, and illuminate the widespread existence of violent crimes taking place across America. *Post-film discussion featuring Reverend Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms. Details: From 7-8 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Library (210 E 400 S).

Wednesday, June 24th

Screening of Sleep Dealer: Filmmaker Alex Rivera has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories for the past fifteen years. Sleep Dealer (2008), his first feature, is a Sundance award-winning science-fiction film embedded with profound political and economic critiques. It’s the perfect conversation-starter for discussions about issues as diverse as labor and immigration, technology and ethics, and globalization and the environment.

Details: From 5:45-9 p.m. at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (410 Campus Center Dr. in Salt Lake City). Rivera’s lecture and screening are presented in conjunction with the UMFA’s America: The Latino Presence in American Art, a Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition on view at the UMFA through June 28. Attendees will receive free admission to the exhibition from 4:45-5:45 pm, before the lecture.

Thursday, June 25th

Decorating Projects for SLC’s New Hospice House for the Homeless: Help give death with dignity to the homeless. We need to transform a dingy old school into a comfortable hospice house. Painting, decorating, minor repairs and more. See our Project Wish List here, or come up with your own project! Thank you! Details: From 8:00AM-8:00PM; (We schedule projects around your availability) at the Inn Between (340 S. Goshen Street).

Friday, June 26th

Opening Night & Art Talk: Scott Tsuchitani: Join us for the opening of Scott Tsuchitani’s INTERNMENT 抑留, which explores Japanese-American identity, displacement, and the treatment of subcultures in the U.S. Tsuchitani will also give an art talk, titled “Execrative Order 906-6-6: War, Postmemory, and the Poetics of Evasion.” Details: From 7-9 at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (20 S. West Temple).

Saturday, June 27th

Harmon’s Best Dam Bike Ride is Utah’s largest cycling fundraising event with 3,000 cyclists raising over $1.5 million annually. This two day event is based out of the Cache County Fairgrounds in Logan, UT. Route Options (route subject to change):

•Day One: Course heads north towards Idaho and is relatively flat with options to ride 45, 75, or 100 miles.
•Day Two: For those up to the challenge, an additional 20 or 50 miles are available on Day Two with an option to ride up beautiful Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

Date: June 27-28, 2015
Start/Finish Location: Cache County Fairgrounds, 500 S. 500 W., Logan, UT
Registration Fee:

$45 through March 31
$55 April1 – May 31
$65 June 1 – 20
$70 June 21 – 28

Fundraising Minimum: $250

Register at: bikeMSUtah.org
Event Manager: Amanda Savage
Email: amanda.savage@nmss.org
Phone: 801-424-0113, select option 2

Outloud Youth Workshop Exhibition: Created by the hands of those who are systematically silenced for being ‘different’ during an especially uncertain time in their lives, these artworks speak to both individual and universal experiences. Details: From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (20 South West Temple).

Share your event here! 

How to Spot Vicarious Trauma


Being in the business of taking care of others is exhausting–there is no doubt about that, but sometimes that feeling of “exhaustion” is so much more. Victim advocates, counselors, and social justice advocates go through countless trainings on vicarious trauma (AKA “compassion fatigue”) and how to spot its symptoms. Here’s a refresher and a cheat sheet for anyone feeling like they might need a break:

What is vicarious trauma?

According to the American Counseling Association:

Vicarious trauma is the emotional residue of exposure that counselors have from working with people as they are hearing their trauma stories and become witnesses to the pain, fear, and terror that trauma survivors have endured.

Signs of  vicarious trauma.

According to Adults Surviving Child Abuse, signs of vicarious trauma can include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Work-related nightmares
  • Difficulties making decisions
  • Reduced productivity
  • Reduced motivation for your work
  • Loss of sense of control over your work and your life
  • Lowered self esteem, lowered sense of competence in your work
  • Difficulties trusting others
  • Lessened interest in spending time alone
  • Less time spent reflecting on your experiences

How to treat vicarious trauma.

If you think that you might be suffering from vicarious trauma you are not alone. You are doing good work, and you deserve help. The Wendt Center for Loss & Healing provides some tips summarized below:

  • Monitor yourself. In order to stave off vicarious trauma, it is important to keep in touch with your mental and emotional well-being.
  • Take care of your physical health. Eat well, get adequate sleep, and exercise.
  • Take a break. In fact, take a few. You deserve to go to lunch during the day, take a vacation, and ignore phone calls.
  • Separate yourself.  Remember to tell yourself, “This is not my pain. I am just holding it for a little while.”
  • Seek professional help. Sometimes all of the self-care in the world isn’t enough. Reach out to a professional for help managing your vicarious trauma.

I can’t say it enough: you are doing good work. You deserve health, happiness, and healing. If you think you might be suffering from vicarious trauma find the help you need, because this world isn’t any good without you in it.