Toward an Ethics of Activism

Watercolor Cover of Toward an Ethics of Activism

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Toward An Ethics of Activism: A Community Investigation of Humility, Grace and Compassion in Movements for Justice is a free, community-developed reader that seeks to disrupt dogmatic, exclusionary activist culture with kindness and connection. It continues the broader cultural conversation spurred by “Excommunicate Me From the Church of Social Justice” and “Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists” to point towards the desperate need for social justice movements to adopt a radically different framework to survive.

In this reader are timely contributions from leaders in powerful activist movements shaping the national and local political landscapes – Sylvia Rivera Law Project, #BlackLivesMatter, Seattle Poetry Slam. These contributors have each taken a moment to reflect and share their wisdom on how to keep their liberation movements intact, flourishing, and flexible. Through essays, comics, and poems, this project explores gentler ways of being together, attending to internal conflict, and living a sustainable life of activism.

Editor and Designer:
Frances Lee

Featured Contributors:
Alicia Garza
Corinne Manning
Dean Spade
Erin Naomi Burrows
E.T. Russian
Frances Lee
Maisha Manson

Cover Artist:
Erin Naomi Burrows

Photo by Erin Burrows

I’m Frances Lee.

I’m a multidisciplinary creative scholar who investigates the production of culture and matters of the heart. I’m a master’s student in Cultural Studies at the University of Washington at Bothell. My research interests are located at the junctures of activist culture and performance studies.

I’m a writer. I publish musings on queer kinship, community activism, and Asian American & Pacific Islander literature. I wrote a piece called “Excommunicate Me From the Church of Social Justice” about dogmatic activist culture as it relates to call outs, instructive texts, and the quest for purity. I also published a follow up piece, “Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists”, on developing an ethics of activism.

I’m an advocate for the trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming communities in Seattle, where I managed the production of the 2017 King County Trans Resource and Referral Guide.

I’m also a trained visual & UX designer and recently worked in the Seattle tech industry.

My pronouns are they/them/their.

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Hire me

Do you have a project, problem, or organizational need that involves social justice or cultural change? I’ve worked in higher education, the anti-violence movement, the US non-profit sphere, online literary publishing, the tech industry, and more. Check out my current and past projects in the top menu. With my breadth of experience and training, I can apply my unique perspective to helping you understand and shift the specific culture of your group. I offer:

  • Advising/Consulting
  • Workshop Facilitation
  • Custom Resources Kits
  • Public Speaking
  • Manuscript Review
  • Or, pitch me your new idea!

Talk with me

I am also looking to engage in more collaborative community-facing art projects. Check out the Projects section above for past creative works. With my social justice and compassion-centered ethic, I can offer:

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Video Editing
  • Project Management
  • Or, pitch me your new idea!

To initiate a request, you can contact me using this form. Please include as much information as you can about dates/timeline, location, honorarium/rates, and travel.