Toward An Ethics of Activism

Watercolor cover of Toward an Ethics of Activism

Watercolor cover of Toward an Ethics of Activism


Screenshot of ET Russian's comic: The Ethics of Floating and Friendship

Screenshot of Alicia Garza's Staying Centered in the face of Extreme Adversity

Toward An Ethics of Activism: A Community Investigation of Humility, Grace and Compassion in Movements for Justice is a free, community-developed reader I compiled that seeks to disrupt dogmatic, exclusionary activist culture with kindness and connection. (Screen reader accessible PDF version.)

It continues the broader cultural conversation spurred by my articles, “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 radical framework of connecting across difference 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.

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

Cover Artist:
Erin Naomi Burrows

While I was originally inspired by the clear cut, linearly ordered design of academic texts, I wanted to make my project more inviting to non-academics and activists. I chose a bare light pink as the page background color, and kept the text black for high contrast and readability. I used a slab serif web typeface (Bitter) as the title and heading text to convey a sense of authority and tradition, and used a very common sans serif typeface (Source Sans Pro) as the paragraph text.

Project Date: June 2018

My Role: Editor, Layout Designer, Contributor, Project Lead

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