project california

Hey everyone!

I was recently in contact with the person running the Shift Project and it seems like a genuinely great opportunity for aid and support for qualifying individuals. The coordinator told me that they could also offer rides, gift cards, and other benefits for people who decide to be a part of the program. If you’re in the area and meet the criteria, it’s a completely confidential and can help aid others in the future.

“The SHIFT project is seeking participants who:
-are 18-24 years old
-are trans or non-binary people
of color
-live or work in Alameda or San Francisco county

Have engaged in one or more of the following behaviors in the past 6 months:
-had sex with more than 2 partners
-engaged in sex work
-consumed alcohol almost 
every day
-used drugs more than 2 days a week on average

This community-based project aims reduce substance use and risk behaviors for HIV, as well as HIV/STI incidence among transgender and non- binary young adults of color in Alameda and San Francisco counties. We will develop culturally and trans competent MEI (Motivational Enhancement Intervention) curricula and examine the effectiveness of these curricula. The information and outcomes gained through the SHIFT project will help improve services for agencies that provide HIV prevention and substance abuse treatment for transgender and non-binary young adults of color.

The SHIFT project recognizes that trans and non-binary young adults of color are frequently experiencing the intersection of racism and transphobia in addition to other systems of oppression. This is why SHIFT is seeking to work with trans young adults of color to connect them with services and provide health education sessions.”

It’s Time to Speak Up for Salmon!

Kayla Brown, Hupa, stands with Chief Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Wintu, for Rivers and Water.

The Hupa People are in a crisis situation, with a potential repeat of the 2002 salmon kill on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Because the Bureau of Reclamation is refusing to let enough water out of the dams, the rivers are too low and too warm, and the salmon are beginning to show signs of disease.

northern californian gothic
  • when people say “california”, they don’t mean you. they never mean you.
  • you can see the snow, it’s under your feet and all around you, but they keep insisting it’s not there. you saw it fall from the sky yourself. “it’s not real,” they say. “it doesn’t snow in california.” you reach down to scoop some up, to prove it to them, to make them see, but it burns your hands to the bone. “it not real. it doesn’t snow in california.”
  • you’re walking through the town and it’s raining, big fat drops from a dark sky. you turn the corner onto a new block and suddenly it’s not raining anymore; the sun is out, kids are riding their bikes in circles in the street, the air is warm, and the sidewalk is bone dry. you keep walking and turn onto another block. it is raining again. the only thing that tells you you’re still in the same place is the sound of birds singing in every tree, never breaking their song.
  • when you drive by the river, you always remark about how high or low the water is. “it’s really low today.” “oh, it’s almost up to the trees.” you have to. even when you’re speaking to an empty car. you don’t want to find out what happens if you don’t. you can’t afford to find that out.
  • there’s a mountain range in the distance that always have snow-capped peaks year-around, even during summer. you can keep driving towards them forever, but they will always be the same distance away.
  • sometimes, you can’t tell whether they’re actually mountains or just clouds. you can’t really tell anything from clouds, anymore.
  • “why do they call them ghost towns if there’s still people living in it? still, it’s really cool they all dress up like cowboys.” “what are you talking about? we’ve been here all day and haven’t seen a single person.”
  • sometimes, a pinecone just hits you in the head. you’re not even near a pine tree. the pinecone finds you anyway. the pinecone will always find you.
  • you don’t ask your neighbor why their flowers are growing so well during the drought. there is always a drought but their flowers are always so happy. you don’t ask them why every spring they write “i’m so sorry” on their lawn in red paint. you don’t ask them where your friend from L.A. who came up to visit you disappeared to. you don’t ask them.
  • the dogs drug something in from the woods, but you don’t know what or where it is. you just see a bunch of thick brown fur and trail of black blood. the dogs are nervous.
  • people are wearing flip-flops in the freezing rain. “excuse me, i’m sorry, but aren’t your feet cold?” you ask them. “i don’t have feet,” they sob. “oh god, what happened to my feet? oh god, my feet. oh, god.”
  • you’re in sacramento and you know you’ve seen that tree before. there’s a million trees around you but you know you’ve seen that tree before. it’s the same tree. you’ve seen that tree bef-
  • there is a bear you met as a child. you apologized to them for looking them in their eyes, and they moved out of your way to let you pass. to this day, you are pretty sure that bear is your friend. but you never know, with bears.
  • you’re in a diner passing through a small orchard town. “my wife and i have been here since the Great Depression,” the young farmer sitting next to you says. “oh, so you’re third generation, then?” you ask. the farmer just smiles into their coffee.
  • every place is named after the terrible things white people have done there
  • there is gold in the river. there is gold in the streets. there is gold under your fingernails and in your skin. they will kill you if they find it. they will kill you if they see it. lie. lie about the gold. lie about the way your hair sparkles. “it’s all the avocado oil,” you will say as they squint at you. “it’s just the avocados.”
  • you can hear them chanting it across the bay. hella. hella. hella. it’s so rhythmic, so comforting, like the rise and fall of the hills. hella. hella. hella. you know one day they will come for you and yours. you know one day you will join them. hella. HELLA. HELLA. hella. hella. hella. hella. hella.
  • the redwoods do not “start”. the rest of the world ends.
  • the ocean is cold and gray and it will take you. it will take you away. all you can smell are the wild herbs growing on the edge of a cliff and the corpses of seals rotting on the beach and the sand is made of jagged rocks that cut your feet. still, you wade in, ignoring the way the water stings your skin until the cold eventually numbs you to the bone. it will take you away. you don’t remember what it means to be warm.
LA Times: California Fights Back
Where does California go from here to protect its values under a Trump presidency?

Here is “California Fights Back”, the sixth (and final) part of this week’s editorial series from the Los Angeles Times about President Trump.

Each of the installments of the editorial series are must-read pieces. I urge you to read all six parts. In the event that you’ve missed any of the previous articles in the series from the Los Angeles Times, here are links to each part:

Part I: Our Dishonest President
Part II: Why Trump Lies
Part III: Trump’s Authoritarian Vision
Part IV: Trump’s War on Journalism
Part V: Conspiracy Theorist in Chief
Part VI: California Fights Back

Have you seen this handsome frog hanging out near our Coastal Stream exhibit? The California red-legged frog boasts a distinguished history as the official amphibian of California, as well as the star of Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

During Twain’s time, California red-legged frog territory stretched from British Columbia all the way down to Baja California. Today, due to habitat loss and predation by invasive species, the red-legged frog is rarely spotted outside of a few select pockets in California and it’s listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. You can help red frogs and other species threatened by habitat loss by supporting a habitat restoration project in your area.
Tom Shadyac to Direct Wrongful Imprisonment Film 'Brian Banks'

Tom Shadyac is set to direct Brian Banks, a drama recounting the true story of the wrongful imprisonment and exoneration of the one-time high school football prodigy.

Shadyac will helm the film from a script by Doug Atchison. The project was originally incubated through Amy Baer’s development fund Gidden Media, and Baer will produce alongside ShivHans Pictures’ Shivani Rawat and Monica Levinson. Banks, Atchison, Justin Brooks and Neal Strum are executive producers. Production is set to begin later this summer.

Brian Banks centers on the titular high-school football player who was committed to USC by his junior year. His life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape. Despite maintaining his innocence, he was railroaded through the system and sentenced to a decade of prison and parole. With the help of the California Innocence Project, his conviction was overturned in 2012 and he achieved his NFL dream with the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season squad in 2013.

The project is Shadyac’s first directorial project since Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty, released in 2003 and 2007, respectively. “Living and teaching in Memphis for the past four years has given me an intimate look at the injustice people of color face every day,” Shadyac said in a statement. “Brian’s inspiring story is not only emblematic of that injustice, but a clarion call against a judicial system in urgent need of reform. It’s a story I had to tell.”

Added Banks, “It’s an honor to have such an amazing group of people to work with towards bringing my story to the big screen. Tom Shadyac is a good man with an amazing life-altering story of his own. He’ll get the job done.”


this man’s freedom and dreams were taken by a false rape accusation. you know that thing that feminist love to tell is “no big deal?” yea that (one more time fuck feminism, go womanism). his story deserves to be told just as much as any story by actual rape victims, who are also injured by those who fabricate rape allegations. 

this doesn’t give him those years back but at least his story can be a warning to all of us. false rape allegation isn’t something to belittle, to brush aside, to pretend doesn’t happen or to pretend doesn’t affect anyone. lives are ruined and sometimes completely taken (usually in jail).