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Introducing myself and my journal: Countering the Consequences of Marginalization

About Me:
Long before I was a member of a college audience listening to Anne Sexton, stunned by her brilliance, even after so much vodka, sad that little was left of her life; and even before reading Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" and the "Death of Socrates;" and even before I listened to the woman who survived the bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki; I knew racism, sexism, homophobia, age-ism, domestic violence, sexual predation, religious hatred, war, poverty and more. I see them all as aspects of one terrible, much denied reality of inequality and injustice--denied by many perpetrators and just as many of those who suffer it. I have also known throughout my life, nearly from the beinning, through all the exclusions and associated harm, that I am a student of life, that I can learn and that I can reject marginalization, survive and stand. I stand as a witness, a social commentator and a constantly researching, reporting analyst. I work to confront these circumstances, bring about change, document events and strategies and cross-teach with whoever I can. I work to be free in my lifetime which requires working for the freedom of all. This is what matters to me every day. I am hear to learn, to share what I know, and to share the comfort and satisfaction that comes with each achievement. "Freedom," wrote another insightful author, "cannot be divided. Either we all have it, or none of us do." This is my focus.

My Passions:
singing, literary writing, writing music/lyrics, dancing, language, living in the moment and for the future, learning from the past and from the young and very old

My Challenges:
Building a new, global social entrepreneurship to raise funds to establish new institutions of arts, education and mechanisms to constructively alter politics and to fund other social entrepreneurs in need of capital to develop and grow

My Vision for the Future:
the end of separate and unequal in everything; the emergence of equality and justice in education, wealth, power, health (of flora and fauna and all the planet); the end of domination of the masses by ideologies which cover up war and its consequences

My Areas of Expertise:
critical thinking, communication, investigation, documentation, dissemination of information and opportunities, teaching, singing, writing, recognizing talent and giftedness in others

Comments

Kika Sylvie Katchunga's picture

Hello

Welcome to our world community, so happy to have you with us
Soon on line

sylvie

Suzanne Brooks's picture

Thanks for welcoming me

Greetings Sylvie:

Thanks for the kind words. I am in Sacramento, California. Where are you?

I like this site a lot.

Suzanne

salvation
I am a Congolese girl, I dress to the east of the republic of Congo morcratique in Bukavu

sylvie

Hi Silvie:

I thought you might be interested in knowing that I am a member of Aurora, the collaboration of The Jazz Generation band (my band, I am singer, songwriter and bandleader) and Triangulacion Kultural and organization founded by Sergio Ortuno, master Candombe drummer and founder of the Candombe Drum School in Uruguay, South America together with other artists in France and the Republic of Congo. You can look up our names and the names of our organizations and find more about us.

Suzanne Brooks

Y's picture

Welcome to our global

Welcome to our global community, Suzanne. Our mission of empowerment through education seems to be right up your alley.

You are now a part of a thriving grassroots network of women leaders and supporters from more than 190 countries. See the Getting Started Guide to learn more about networking in our community: http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/about/guide

I look forward to hearing more of your voice in WorldPulse.

Blessings.
Yvette

Yvette

Suzanne Brooks's picture

Thanks for the welcome

Hi Yvette:

The timing of this connection couldn't be better. It fits with my launching WomenWorldCulture with which I hope to raise funds to give to other social entrepreneurs and to support new, innovative programs.

I am interested in learning about as many other women's organizations around the world as possible so we can work together on many issues of concern.

I feel at home.

Suzanne

Y's picture

Welcome home, Suzanne.

Welcome home, Suzanne.

Yvette

Suzanne,

You have such a far reaching vision! Thank you for sharing the links to websites you love. I wonder if you would be willing to compose a piece about digital issues for our Women Weave the Web Campaign? I'd love to hear your thoughts about how technology affects your life and the lives of women around you. I'm sure you could imagine the perfect subject! You can find out more information about the campaign here, http://worldpulse.com/about/blog/announcing-the-digital-literacy-phase-o.... It would be fabulous to have your voice join others as we think through issues around digital literacy in all its complexity.

By participating, you will be joining a global community of women speaking out on the importance of digital inclusion and empowerment for women. Your voice will be delivered to powerful decision makers such as government officials, leaders in the technology industry, and policy makers at international organizations. In addition to influencing global agendas, your submission to the campaign will open the door to incredible opportunities such as:

· Being selected to represent World Pulse at influential international forums. This is your chance to meet key players and make your voice count!

· Connecting and building relationships with grassroots women leaders around the world. Be part of a community of thousands of women speaking out on this issue!

· Exploring and sharing resources for your work on our Campaign Resources page. Find support for your initiatives from funding to volunteers and supporters!

· Getting your voice heard on a global scale! World Pulse will analyze and collate your stories to deliver recommendations to influencers and decision makers on a global scale.

· Getting visibility and support for your work. Your story could be featured on our site, included in an e-magazine, or even published by well-known media outlets!

And the 2014 Lynn Syms Prize will be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work. The prize will include a $20,000 monetary prize to be paid out over two years to support her community based work, a feature profile on WorldPulse.com, and an all-expense paid trip to speak her message in New York City. You can find more on the website, http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/www/www-women-weave-the-web-campaign-prizes

I hope you'll participate!

Wishing you peace,

Kelly

Hi Kelly:

I am very happy to have received your letter and, of course, will joyfully participate. Digital issues for Women Weave the Web Campaign are paralleled in my thoughts about how technology affects my life and the lives of women around me, currently and for the many decades of my life. I will visit the website for more information and hopefully will find information there about deadline for submission, length of article, and any style requirements. I have been working on these issues since before Microsoft's Word version 1, since before IBM's correcting typewriter. At the other end of my experiences was when I taught a 112 year old woman to connect with Youtube.com. I look forward to this fantastic opportunity.

Many, many thanks,

Suzanne

Hi Kelly:

Can you help me find it. I did receive the message that it was submitted.

Suzanne

kellyannaustin's picture

so sorry

Dear Suzanne,

I've done a little research and asked our Online Community Associate, Emily, but we weren't able to locate your submission. We were wondering if you have another username? I'm so sorry for this difficulty! If you have the information saved, please feel free to post it again!

Wishing you peace,

Kelly

Suzanne,

I'm so glad to hear that you will add your wisdom to the WWW campaign. I'm sure we'll all gain a great deal from your contribution. :)

Best,

Kelly

Greetings:

I was very tired when writing for World Pulse yesterday, from much work and the fatigue that comes when a child dies. So I am not surprised that I can't find it. Any suggestions as to where I should be looking.

Suzanne

When I first wrote for World Pulse, I was near the beginning of the work to establish http://www.womenworldculture.com, a new and unique website to continue the decades of work on behalf of women, girls, cultures, disabled, and more. I am still at work on that project which, like life, has had its trials and tribulations, but those barriers are being overcome. In the meantime, something even greater has occurred.

Twenty-five years ago, while employed as the director of affirmative action at a major university, I investigated the very serious discrimination of a woman department head. The outcome of the investigation in which I engaged all of my investigative staff, as well as serving both as an investigator and as the director/supervisor of the entire investigation, was the most serious and powerful finding I ever made: that the discrimination was institutional, systemic. This means that the problem was not only about the actions of a single person or couple of people, but that the actions of those who were committing ongoing discrimination were the outgrowth of a climate which either encouraged, tolerated or ignored discrimination. The facts discovered in the investigation spoke for themselves.

To my readers: I hope you understand that an administrator who uncovers such a level of discrimination is responsible to report it because it violates law/s. In my case, it was also my responsibility, spelled out in my job description, not only to report it, but to take action to end the discrimination. Of course, the difficulty in cases of institutional discrimination is that a finding requires a comprehensive response to put in place solutions that heal the harm to the victim/s and changes the institutional environment to stop the ongoing injuries and prevent them from continuing.

Whether these remedial actions can be taken depends on the top leadership of the institution and whether that leadership is part of the problem or truly wants to lead an institution of justice and equality. In my case, the institutional leadership refused to accept the finding. Instead, I was asked to resign. If I complied, I would have been placed in another position there or in another institution with accompanying educational and/or financial benefits. If I refused to resign, I would be fired. I was told I had a couple of weeks to think about it. My immediate and never changed response was that I would never resign under such circumstances. As a result I was fired.

For months, my efforts to secure justice for myself was blocked, in their determination to destroy my academic work (I had finished all but my dissertation for a doctorate) and to my professional career life began. Those efforts have continued for 25 years. In such circumstances, many people who have been helped by the person who stands un-waveringly for justice and equality, do not reciprocate with kindness. Instead, they abandon the human/civil rights advocate and look for opportunities to join or receive some benefit from those who are illegally discriminating. Many more are insulting along the way, with admonitions such as, "you should have known better than to have challenged people in power."

Like many another woman in our collective history in the pursuit of justice and equality, I have been blocked in my educational pursuits, despite having an outstanding academic record for my entire life. I have been blocked from employment with behind the scenes secret investigations and false, negative comments or evaluations I was never given. I have filed endless complaints with government and civil rights organizations, including those of ethnic/cultural groups and of women. I have been forced to work at times below minimum wage just to eat and to feed my dog--often my only loving companion. Friends and family too often look for some way to find fault as an excuse not to help. I do not need to describe all that I experienced as a result of standing up against discrimination because much of it is chronicled in my book, "The Constructive Extermination of Women of Color: Consequences of Perpetual Socio-Economic Marginalization." This book grew out of my unpublished dissertation, "Racism and Sexism in Higher Education: The Autoethnography of An Activist." It is available on one of my websites: http://www.womenofcolorday.com.

Nor was this the only terrible battle I have had to face. Another was with my mortgage company. I prevailed with the one-time advice of a powerful real estate attorney to told me how to handle it, despite the harassment and other actions by my mortgage company and the terrible handling of my case by the federal agency which should have been assisting me. I survived and prevailed by working on it every day for two years, by writing every person to whom I could complain until people began to pay attention. This was only possible because of the opportunities for research and communication via email and the Internet.

Throughout this time, I continued to work on the injustice of my firing by the university when I would not overlook discrimination. I posted more than 130 webages and sites, plus kept my phone number listed, so that other women with similar experiences would be able to find me some day. My plan was and is to initiate a class action suit for as many women as I can find or who can find me so that we can bring about justice, not only for ourselves, but for as many other women as possible.

About 5 years ago, a woman in Europe who had been discriminated against by the same university found me via the Internet. Two years after that, two more women found me and identified others. This week, after years of effort, the woman in Europe found a law firm willing to represent us. Because we have kept working for justice and have kept in touch, we were able to immediately accept the offer. For me, after 25 years, the Internet has made possible the real pursuit of justice in our cases to begin. For the offending university, we have had decades of opportunity to do research to help our case and are well prepared. I have no doubt we will prevail.

The message in the experiences of our group and my personal experience is that justice is better than injustice and that justice only prevails when we keep working on it. Persistence, determination and high self-esteem are required. And to survive, we must stay physically and mentally healthy, believing in ourselves, knowing that we are never really alone and that the greatest benefit of the digital age is our ability to find others who share our morals and ethics and whose existence, when we learn of them, brings great joy to us, sustains us. "Joy Comes In The Morning" is a famous line to be examined and remembered. Along the way, we learn to take care of ourselves, living healthfully so that our minds and bodies survive. We recognize that "We are the ones we have been waiting for." When we refuse to give up by giving in to evil, we grow and find others like ourselves.

This posting is to encourage every victim of discrimination to not only hang on but to become active to save your own life. Many of us are writing messages to you. If you look for them, you will find them. You have research and study of your own to add. The wait may be long sometimes, but the outcome is so sweet. I have never been happier.

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