What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

Compare this with the history taught in your college classes…

An Indigenous History of North America

The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because…

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Recommended Read for Earth Month: Violence Girl by Alice Bag

Pre-order your copy of Alice Bag’s memoir Violence Girl today and pick it up April 22 at Earth Day when she reads and performs at Ventura College from 630-730pm!

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violencegirlorderformIf you’re into music, grew up in the 70s, are curious about the LA punk scene, or life growing up in East LA, Alice Bag’s book Violence Girl is for you!

“The birth of the 1970’s punk movement as seen through the eyes of Chicana feminist and punk musician Alice Bag. Set against the colorful backdrop of an East LA childhood and the Hollywood Punk Scene, this alternately harrowing and hilarious coming of age tale surveys the sweeping social changes of two decades through a lens of subversive art and thought.” Published by Feral House, 2011.

Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014. Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Right now I’m taking pre-orders, then you can pick it up Ventura College Earth Day Tues April 22, hear her perform and read, and get her to sign it and personalize it! Only $18 and a great read!

“If I could have a punk…

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Maya Angelou + The Importance of Artists + Festivals

Are you going to Lucidity? How can attending a music festival help achieve social justice and environmental justice?

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According to Maya Angelou,  author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “When members of a society wish to secure that society’s rich heritage, they cherish their arts and respect their artists. The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures offered in our country enhances our possibilities for healthy survival and continued social development.” (See more quotes from Maya Angelou).

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As we seek environmental justice and social justice, we would be wise to heed Maya Angelou’s advice. Artists provide us with vision, bring us vitality, show us the truth, provide a mirror and a window for  our souls. We must encourage and support a diversity of artistic voices as these voices will help us hear and see the solutions.

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The “new” festivals that are blossoming worldwide like Burning Man and Lucidity, or how festivals like Coachella

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JFK: We are tied to the ocean

Dian Sousa kicks off National Poetry Month with a reading tonight at EP Foster Library Ventura CA.

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10150041_10203721950236202_653635915_n “We are tied to the ocean,” said John F. Kennedy, “and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.”

Today is the third day of both National Poetry Month and Earth Month, and today I am writing to invite you to hear poetDian Sousa from San Luis Obispo County read tonight at EP Foster Library in the Topping Room at 7:30pm (651 E. Main Street, Ventura). Hosted each Thursday (except the fourth Thursday) byPhil Taggart, an open mic.

I chose this Earth Month poster for today because when I think of poets who write about and love the sea, about poets who go back from whence we came, I think of Dian, an ocean loving surfing poet if there ever was one. The video below, with a funny introduction about national poetry…

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April is Earth Month AND National Poetry Month: how will you celebrate?

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No foolin’! April is National Poetry Month AND it’s Earth Month! How will you celebrate? Will you share poetic good works? Will encourage environmental good works? Or both? Because, as Dr Seuss says, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Personally, I will be posting a poem a day this month on my own facebook wall as well as either on my “middle of the night poems from daughter to mother :: mother to son” page or on my “The Write Alley” page which feeds onto twitter. I also plan to continue working with Sheila Louise Photo to produce inspiring quotes and images like the one here and then publish them daily with hopes that one or more of them will go viral to spread these important messages.

And of course, my students and I are putting together a really…

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