Support Feminist Musicians in SLC: Diatom’s Marina Tijerino

Marina T

Photo Credit: Taylor Grayson

Have you ever found yourself singing a pop song, only to realize the lyrics are deplorable? Well, you don’t have to worry about that with Marina Tijerino’s catchy and beautiful song, “Orbit Pluto.” Tijerino, the talent behind Diatom, makes gorgeous music without anything to make you cringe, and she’s in the running for Best Pop Artist with City Weekly. This is the perfect time for you to hear a new song, support a local feminist musician, and donate to a good cause!

Orbit Pluto is a song about the marginalization of women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and people of color who experience racism. I wanted to write the song out of a place of compassion for anyone who has suffered these injustices. Pluto is my metaphor for marginalized and oppressed people,” explains Marina. She continues, “Not all of my music is blatantly political, but I think what I’m trying to make is transformative art. I believe that tapping into true compassion requires believing the stories of those who are suffering, and understanding how current institutional structures are set up to silence marginalized people.” She sounds like a woman you can support, right?!

Here are two things you can do to show Marina some love:

  1. Vote for her as the Best Pop Artist with City Weekly.
  2. Download “Orbit Pluto”–all proceeds go to helping LGBTQIA homeless youth.

Marina could really use your help, so vote and share this with everyone you know! Help a talented and local feminist musician get the recognition she deserves!

When we’re watching the storm baby
what could go wrong?
When we’re watching the storm baby
On our level of reality is
a subtle place where our sanity lives
Oh we, thought we’d live up to be
The epitome of madness
pure and galactic
Or, revolutionary
reach out and grab it
one and only planet
Oh we, thought we’d live up to be
The epitome of madness
pure and galactic
Or, revolutionary
reach out and grab it
one and only planet
Who, are you to make me choose?
pink or blue while massive nebulas
offer so many hues
Alright so when universes collide
let the chaos inside of you
because you have nothing to hide
Feeling kind of small but I can do it all with you
with you
Feeling kind of small but I can do it all with you
with you
That’s why I’ll Orbit Pluto
That’s why I’ll Orbit Pluto

Weekly Feminist Happenings February 2nd-8th

Composite of Calendar Pages and ClockWednesday, February 3rd

Reframing Student Success Holistically as an Institutional Outcome: How do colleges and universities conceive excellence and/or success in relation to critical thinking, social responsibility and self-actualization? How do the experiences of marginalized college student groups—particularly black men—challenge and inform institutional definitions of excellence? What is the relationship between institutional conception of excellence and supports for underrepresented students? The lecture will address the abovementioned questions while exploring the benefits approaching and engaging students holistically toward the goal of increasing measurable outcomes like graduation, retention and persistence. Essentially, how do we reframe and define student success within the intersection of culture, academics and communal engagement?

Hotchkins is a critical race, organizational leadership scholar who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in educational leadership and policy with a focus in higher education. Hotchkins currently operates a cultural leadership bridge program called The V(i)llage in Utah, which serves 10 schools throughout Utah.

The V(i)llage focuses on the leadership development, cultural validation, positive academic outcomes and community engagement of students who self-identify as black.

Dr. Hotchkins’s research focuses on how institutions of higher education engineer the creation of an equitable public life for historically disenfranchised people? Specifically, in what ways do institutional climates impede and/or positively influence the access, retention and completion of underrepresented students—and ultimately student success. Details: At Westminster College in the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Auditorium from 7:30-9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 5th

Love is Blind – Utah Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired Fundraiser & Auction: Have you considered what it would be like to be blind? The Utah Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired strives to enrich the lives of Utah’s blind and visually impaired children and young adults. Through educational programs including Braille instruction to recreational activities, UFB has been helping these children and young adults conquer their fear through building self confidence and independence. Love is Blind is UFB’s annual fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit organization. The fundraiser and auction will be include guest speaker Becky Andrews and a blindfolded dessert, so guests can treat their sweet tooth without the interruption of sight. FOX 13 TV hosts of “The Place,” Brittany and Brooke Graham, will host and MC the evening. Details: From 6-9 p.m. at The Leonardo. Tickets are available here.

Saturday, February 6th

Muslim Community Center Open House: The Muslim Community Center in Cottonwood heights welcomes our fellow citizens of other faith to stop by at our Open House to explore what Islam is really about. We welcome anyone with any question and we will serve food and refreshments. There are about 3-7 million Muslims in the US and this Open Hosue is your chance to learn about Islam and fellow Muslims. Details: From noon to 5 p.m. at the Muslim Community Center (1888 Fort Union Blvd).

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Weekly Feminist Happenings January 26th-February 1st

breaking the pipeline

Tuesday, January 26th

EPA Coal Pollution Public Hearing: Dangerous pollution from coal-fired power plants threatens our clear skies, our lungs, and our livelihoods. Come to the EPA Public hearing on 1/26 for a rare chance to directly tell decision-makers to protect Utah’s clean air, public health, and recreation & tourism economy. Here in Utah, we pride ourselves on the beauty and sanctity of our world-renowned public lands and national parks. Much of our state’s economic well-being depends on protecting those natural assets for the benefit of our thriving recreation and tourism economy. Not to mention the fact that our National Parks, like Arches and Canyonlands, provide immeasurable benefit as places to realize the restorative and empowering quality of nature. Pollution, like hazardous nitrogen oxide from Utah’s Hunter and Huntington coal plants, covers those lands in haze and clogs our lungs. The Regional Haze Rule of the Clean Air Act is designed to protect our National Parks and wild places, and return them to “natural visibility” by 2060. Each state has the flexibility to design their own plan. Unfortunately, Utah’s proposed plan did not address a very important precurser to visible haze, nitrogen oxide (NOx), giving two of the state’s largest power plants a pass and not requiring any reductions in NOx…at all. Luckily, the EPA has the final say of whether or not to approve or supplant the State’s innadequate plan. On December 17th the EPA released their (much belated) Draft Regional Haze Plan for Utah. We at the Sierra Club, HEAL Utah, National Parks Conservation Asssociation and allies fought hard to ensure that the draft plan included an option to require the best available pollution controls for Utah’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants. EPA could not ignore the power of the thousands of citizens calling for strong protections, and thankfully included the desired control technology as an option in their draft plan. Now we need your voice and your help to ensure that the EPA will approve a FINAL Regional Haze plan that cuts dangerous coal-fired power plant pollution by up to 87%. On Tuesday, January 26, the EPA will be hosting a public hearing in Salt Lake City at the Main Library. This is your chance to tell that the EPA to require Rocky Mountain Power to clean up its coal-fired power plants and protect Utah’s wild places and public health! The proposed pollution controls, called Selective Catalytic Reduction, are widely implemented and now required at over 200 coal-fired power plants across the country. We know the Utility and special interests will be fighting hard to push back against installing these cost-effective, common-sense pollution controls. But, that’s because they value their shareholder’s profits over your family’s health and well-being. Tell the EPA that Utahns deserve a fair and strong regional haze rule, just like many of our Western neighbors. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Tuesday 1/26! We’ll need to show up in force in force to seize this great opportunity to tell decision-makers to protect our parks, protect our health, and protect our recreation economy! Details: Email for more information. RSVP here! From 1:00-5:00 PM and 6:00-8:00 PM in the SLC Main Library (210 E 400 S, Level 4 Conference Room).

UCC World Affairs Lecture Series with Leif Wenar: For a generation, some of the money we’ve spent at the gas station and the mall has gone to empower the authoritarians and the armed groups that have given us our worst foreign-born crises. How can we get ourselves out of business with the hostile petrocrats and the violent extremists? Citizens, consumers and politicians can together lead a peaceful global resource revolution, which will make us more secure at home, more trusted abroad, and better able to solve pressing global problems like climate change. Visit for information. Details: From 7-8:30 p.m. at the Vieve Gore Concert Hall (1250 E. 1700 South, Salt Lake City).

Bystander Intervention Certificate: Attend our Bystander Intervention training to earn your Bystander Leadership certificate. The training is two hours and teaches students different skills and techniques to safely intervene before harm begins (prevention), during an incident (intervention), or after the incident has passed. We discuss consent and dedicate time to dispelling common rape myths and rape culture. We end by discussing common intervention scenarios designed to build confidence in your ability to help. Details: From 6-8 p.m. in the University of Utah Union. To register for our Bystander Intervention Certificate call the office at 801-581-7776 or email

Saturday, January 30th

Breaking the Pipeline: The Racially Just Utah Coalition in collaboration with the ACLU, the Public Policy Clinic, UCASA, and several other community partners, invite you to join the first Train-The-Trainer Symposium on the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP). This symposium is geared towards parents, students, advocates, administrators, educators, and community members interested in dismantling the STPP, a trend that impacts our most vulnerable youth by pushing them out of school into the criminal justice system.

Our agenda includes conversations on race and systemic oppression, power and privilege, understanding the STPP, parent and student rights, and ways to get involved this legislative session in support of STPP bills. This will also provide participants an opportunity to build skills on how to facilitate dialogues on systemic discrimination and institutional oppression within your organizations and communities.

Details: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is required. Scholarships available for those financially in need. Please email separately for more information.

Sunday, January 31st

Navajo Winter Stories: Traditionally, Winter Stories, games and songs are shared between the Navajo during the cold months when people stay indoors more. the Coyote and other animal stories are told for fun and for teachings. Often, Winter Stories are told about animals who are no around because they are hibernating. Everyone is welcome to come for this free, family-friendly evening of Navajo culture, stories, music and food. Details: Starts at 5 p.m. at Adopt A native Elder (328 W. Gregson Ave., Salt Lake City). Visit Adopt-A-Native-Elder for information.

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To the Men Taking Up Space They Don’t Deserve

guy throwing up hands

Last Saturday I went to see The Revenant at a local theater. I went with three houseguests visiting from Arizona, my husband, and a girl friend. Overall, I loved the cinematography. I really liked Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy’s performances, but I hated the one-dimensional depiction of Natives, the lack of women, and the rape scene, but this post isn’t about The Revenant. This post is about the way privileged white men take up too much damn space, all of the damn time.

During our group movie date there was an older man, I’d guess around forty-five to fifty, sitting with a female mate. The guy, who I’m gonna call Ken, decided it was appropriate to talk throughout the entire movie. Every five to ten minutes, everyone within earshot got to hear what Ken thought about the movie.

At around two hours in, I’d had enough, and I turned in my seat and said, “Will you please stop talking? I’d really appreciate it.” Ken’s response was a bewildered, deer-in-the-headlights, frantic stare. His beady little eyes tripled in size as if to say, “How fucking dare you ask me to stop giving commentary?! I should be able to talk to my companion without even so much as turning my head to whisper.” Real-talk, dude was talking to the movie screen. At least whisper it in your friend’s ear, man!

Ken blatantly ignored my polite request and talked a bunch more throughout the rest of the movie. I worried about what was going to happen when the credits rolled and the lights went up, but I could not have predicted his audacity. Ken walked up to me while I was seated, stooped down and asked, “Is it okay if I talk now?” I explained that it was fine to talk after, BECAUSE THE MOVIE WAS OVER AND WE HAVE A SOCIAL CONTRACT WHERE WE DON’T TALK DURING MOVIES.

“Thanks for letting me know when I can talk,” is all he could say as he chuckled and walked away.

I walked out with my friends, and we chatted, all of us completely dumbfounded by this stranger’s inability to understand basic movie etiquette. We joked about Ken’s seriously shitty luck, because he just picked a fight with six people who practice BJJ and Muay Thai (although none of us would’ve actually tried to fight Ken, because we’re athletes, not ingrates). We went home and that was that. But it’s a couple days later, and I’m still irritated.

I’m not irritated because The Revenant was ruined for me, I’m irritated because I’m so goddamn sick of men who command space they don’t deserve.

Women, especially women of color and LGBTQ women, can’t walk down the street, sit on a bus, or enjoy a movie without constant reminders that we are not entitled to safety or comfort. While this may seem like a “first-world” feminist problem, it’s more than that, because microaggressions lead to large-scale aggression. Talking over a woman in the movies leads to talking over women in courtrooms. It leads to women not having a voice in politics, the workplace, and interpersonal relationships. Catcalling quickly escalates to physical violence if the victim doesn’t respond according to the perpetrator’s expectations, and on, and on.

I paid $20 for a movie to enjoy a piece of pop culture. I didn’t pay for Ken’s commentary. I mean, really, man?! All the screen time, in all of filmdom, isn’t enough for you white guys? You need to talk DURING the movie as an audience-member too?!) I politely “confronted” him, but not before I asked myself, “Does he have a gun? Is he going to try to hurt me and my loved ones?” The truth is, I sat for a solid two hours and didn’t say anything because I was scared shitless that the situation would escalate. In the end, I said something. I said something because I’m sick, and I am fucking tired. I am tired of being followed into bars by men who can’t take “no” for an answer. I’m sick of being talked down to by men who haven’t earned their position of authority. And I am overwhelmingly exhausted by assholes who can’t bear the thought  that maybe, for just a moment, it’s not their turn to talk.

Weekly Feminist Happenings January 19th-25th


Tuesday, January 19th

Black Girl Dangerous Q & A: Mia McKenzie is a writer, activist, and founder of the website Black Girl Dangerous (BGD). She is a black feminist and identifies as queer, facts that are often reflected in her stories, which have won awards and grants. She has numerous publications, and her first novel, The Summer We Got Free, is the winner of the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for debut fiction. She will be having a moderated Q&A with students on her book and social media activism. Details: Starts at 12 p.m. in the University of Utah Union, Saltair Room.

Screening of Black Social Change in Utah: Preserving the Story: The documentary Black Social Change in Utah: Preserving the Story, which looks at how social change agents, particularly black activists living in Utah, maintain hope in the face of adversity. Stories and histories from members of Utah’s Black community were filmed, recorded and combined into a compelling documentary format by SLCC TV and Marian Howe-Taylor, SLCC manager of Community Outreach and Strategic Initiatives. Details: Starts at 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake Community College Grand Theatre (1575 S. State, Salt Lake City).

JumpStart: A Morning Meetup for Changemakers: Cliff Hurst is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business at Westminster College in Salt Lake City ( His graduate course in Social Entrepreneurship inspires and guides a new generation of leaders in the MBA (Business) and MACL (Community Leadership) programs. Cliff brings to the teaching profession more than 24 years of experience as an independent organizational development consultant. He is an affiliate of the Center for Innovative Cultures at Westminster College and a regular facilitator of Tools and Best Practices Workshops for the Center. Cliff’s is researching entrepreneurs’ cognitive and metacognitive thought patterns, and how these affect their judgment and decision-making as entrepreneurs.  Cliff is a board member of the Robert S. Hartman Institute and co-editor of the Journal of Formal Axiology: Theory and Practice. Details: From 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Impact Hub (150 S State St, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111)

Wednesday, January 20th

Spoken Word with Truth Cypher: Local group “Truth Cypher” (a community of writers, storytellers, and spoken word poets) and students from the U will perform spoken word about their struggles. Details: Starts at 12 p.m. in the University of Utah Union, Saltair Room. 

Thursday, January 21st

Elect Her: Weber State University’s Women’s Center will host Elect Her, practice campaign skills and hear from speakers including Utah State senator Luz Robles-Escamilla, Jan. 21, 2016, at Shepherd Union Ballroom C, free, advanced registration required at before Jan. 12. Call 801-626-6090 for information. Details: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Weber State University – Shepherd Union Ballroom (3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden).

Talib Kweli: The Brooklyn-based rapper earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years. Talib Kweli is known for his strong political views and activism, including on the topics of racial stereotypes and police brutality. He will perform a 10 minute spoken word with an hour keynote address. Details: Starts at 12 p.m. in the University of Utah Union, Union Ballroom.

Friday, January 22nd

Standing in Solidarity:Hinckley Pizza & Politics Discussion – a conversation on what it means to stand in solidarity in terms of support and how that may (or may not) translate across various groups, activist movements, nationally and globally.
PANELISTS: Irene Ota (moderator), Kilo Zamora, Jem Locquiao, Gabby Huggins. Details: Starts at noon at the University of Utah in the Hinckley Caucus Room.

Roe v. Wade Celebration: Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah presents an evening of storytelling hosted by Giuliana Serena of The Bee; a curated line up of community members from all walks of life will share compelling, vulnerable, first-person narratives about abortion. These stories will illuminate a range of experiences, and make space for all present to explore the complexities of this issue. Support Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to choose, as we commemorate this important decision, remind people how far we have come, and address how far we have to go in protecting women’s basic rights.
Details: Doors and bar open at 7pm for reception, stories begin at 8pm. Space is LIMITED and Pre-Registration is REQUIRED!

Saturday, January 23rd

MLK Jr. Day of Service: One of the best ways to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to dedicate a morning of service to various community oriented services through the U’s Bennion Center. Details: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE! Day of registration will be in the Union from 8:15 AM – 8:45 AM.

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