We had a wonderful retreat in February to refresh and reaffirm who F.L.O.W. is and how we do what we do--there’s a fantastic team of volunteers working hard to make us better and stronger as we move into our fifth(!) year. If you’d like to join us, you can come to our next monthly volunteer meeting on Thursday, March 7th, 7-9pm at the Women’s Center for Creative Work. In keeping with our mission and core values, we would particularly welcome the leadership and experience of women, trans, queer, gender-nonconforming, working class, or disabled feminists of color in our collective. Feel free to send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re also over the moon to report that we now have wheels again! Thanks to our amazing volunteer Kerstin Leistner, F.L.O.W. gratefully received a donation of an electric cargo bike, and she’s currently helping us modify our old trailer to store and display books along with it. It’s hugely exciting news, and we’re looking forward to rolling up to an event near you soon. We do need to find a secure place to store both of these--if you know of one or have garage or studio space near the Women’s Center where we could park, we’d love to hear from you.
And stay tuned for more news about a possible future branch of F.L.O.W. with a kindred group!
Rad Reads for March
March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th is International Women’s Day (first organized by the Socialist Party of America in February 1909, then moved to a March 8th national holiday in Soviet Russia after women gained suffrage, and finally recognized by the United Nations in 1975). Our history section contains quite a few books with broad general overviews, like Bonnie J. Morris’ Women’s History for Beginners, or Bonnie S. Anderson’s two-volume A History of Their Own, but we also have much more specific and compelling works, like Andrea Gibbons’ City of Segregation: 100 Years of Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles, and Catherine S. Ramirez’s The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory.
We’re looking forward to seeing artist in residence gloria galvez’s Going Bananas installation this month. Unfortunately both our copies of Dan Frank’s 2016 Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America, are checked out as of this writing, but watch our shelves for its return (or donate a replacement if you can!). The book is described by Haymarket, its publisher, as follows: “Highly accessible and narrative in style, Bananeras recounts the history and growth of this vital movement and shows how Latin American woman workers are shaping and broadly reimagining the possibilities of international labor solidarity.”
It’s hard to choose a few readings to connect with the multidimensional challenges to normalized oppressions and political shortsightedness in edxi betts’ work, but here are a couple that might be illuminating: Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson’s As Black As Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation, which “makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself” (from AK Press); and Cindy Milstein’s edited volume Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, described by historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “Alliances and the problem with ally politics, decolonization demands, a defense of riots, exposing gender violence, fighting back against police violence, and contesting white supremacy are among the timely issues presented in militant terms. The diversity of the authors gives depth to First Nations, African American, and immigrant views of the North American reality. This promises to be a handbook for every social justice activist.”
If you drop in for Thick Thigh Collective’s zine release party, go ahead and take a look through our zine collection while you’re there! We have a huge variety of zines on lots of different subjects (and we hope to make more of the zines donated to us available on the shelves soon--processing them is slow work). We have a few by Los Angeles Queer Resistance Collective, Los Angeles Archivists Collective, Women of Color Zine Collective, NK & Unterwoman, Glasgow Women’s Library, and many, many more.
Check out F.L.O.W. volunteer Alice Wynne’s program at the end of the month on Lookism, Faceism, & the Working Artist!