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SPARK Artists: The death and life of self-love

Jazmin, left, and Isabel in front of their altar

by Montgomery Jones I don’t have a lick of artistic blood in my body, so I am entranced with my SPARK sister Jazmin Martinez’s art exhibit “The Body Collage Project,” which incorporates heavy topics, cultural celebration, and beautiful creations.  She talks about self- love, feminism, self esteem, Day of the Dead, and community.  Jazmin is [...]

Sorry, but I actually have nothing to apologize for


by Ajaita Saini “Sorry” has probably become one of the most common words in my dictionary. Despite the fact that I cringe every time I hear this word, I find myself saying it over and over again. The word has become a replacement for transitions in conversations, where we start off sentences with “sorry, but…” [...]

Research Blog: Hallelujah! Feminist activism sets me free

photo by Sarah Bures

by Jenn Chmielewski Okay, so I’ll admit it. Post-Turkey day and just a couple weeks off from my family’s Christmas dinner (and my awesome candy cane cookies) I’ve started to think a little too much about how this holiday season might be putting a few pounds on me. When it’s just me with a mirror, sometimes [...]

Girls and women don’t owe you our smiles

the sneer heard round the world

by Sam Holmes I like to think that I share similarities with Malia and Sasha Obama. After all, the three of us are intelligent, fashionable, widely-loved girls of color, right? Okay, I’m exaggerating. I’m entirely unfamiliar with the burden of having an unbelievably powerful parent, dining with diplomats has never been an item on my [...]

Black Women Create: 7 films to watch for

by Joneka Percentie It’s December, which means Oscar predictions are starting and there’s an unsettling and undeniable trend. Some top contenders include Wild (white woman in the wilderness), Exodus: God and Kings (white men and women as Egyptian royalty), Interstellar (white astronauts in space), Gone Girl (psycho white people), Birdman (white people in a play), [...]

Being a feminist face in an “un-feminist” space

The author performing in 2013

by Julia Bluhm I’ve been a feminist ever since I knew what a feminist was. Being a feminist seemed like common sense to me. I felt like, naturally, I was a feminist in everything I did. I’m a feminist as I work with a team of inspiring, motivated women in SPARK to create change. I’m [...]