Iris M. Crawford

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The Atlanta spa shooting on Tuesday was the boiling point to the spike in recent hate crimes targeting the Asian community. In places such as San Francisco, Oakland, New York City and more, members of the AAPI community are being targeted and brutalized. Despite just reaching the tail end of this global pandemic, we continue to confront questions about race, belonging, identity and class in ways we have never had to before. This is a living thought-thread compiled of reflections from young folks of the AAPI community that I personally know and love. …

Dark times can breed great art

History shows that it’s during some of the most trying times that the greatest art is created. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bay Area’s artistry is still thriving, and many creatives are using this time to their advantage.

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The fundamental basis of art is to capture, process, and channel our emotional state. As we have already seen with protest art in Oakland and across major cities, the role of the artist is to catalog our current social conditions.

Here are…

Celebrations, protests, virtual concerts—here’s how you can get involved

A giant street mural reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ spanning three city blocks San Francisco City Hall on June 12, 2020. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

This Friday is Juneteenth, an annual celebration of the official end of slavery in the United States. This year, there’s a new level of importance that we as a community come together to honor the what this day marks and represents.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when freedom reached enslaved people in the deepest parts of the Confederacy. This happened when Union General Gordon Granger freed slaves in most remote areas of Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

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George Floyd Protests, San Francisco (Photo Courtesy of Author)

As a Black Woman, it is exhausting to see my brothers and sisters constantly being killed at the hands of oppressive law enforcement and by individuals who feel threatened by Blackness. Admittedly, following the George Floyd protests and riots, this week affected my mental health and productivity. We chant BlackLivesMatter not just for George, but for Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbrey.

If Black Lives Matter, why am I constantly reminded that our lives are disposable? In these past few days, it has been exhilarating to see people gather and protest in solidarity. …

Photo by Tomas Sobek on Unsplash

Biodiversity and COVID-19

To really understand the extent of the coronavirus, we must explore how infectious disease outbreaks, trade consumption and degraded ecosystems resulting in biodiversity loss are interlinked.

Biodiversity hotspots, as defined by Science Daily, are the 25 biologically robust areas in the world that have lost at least over 70% of their original habitat . These areas are vital because they hold some of the most important ecosystems that support life on Earth and are critical to human survival. Some of these areas include the Guinean Forests of West Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Eastern Afromontane ( DRC…

Exploring how COVID-19 exacerbates the pre-existing mental health crisis in health care and its effects on women.

Image created by Kevin Kobsic. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives

Ramat Adams, a medical scribe based in the Bronx and Marielle Henson, a registered nurse in Queens stress that working in health care is just as emotional as it is physical. They both confess that working 40 hours or more each week and accommodating to the constantly changing procedures to limit contamination and transmission of the virus is taking a mental toll. “Before the virus, we put ourselves out there… we’ve dealt with diseases such as SARS and pneumonia so we thought that this virus was something similar” said Henson. She works at a rehabilitation facility that specializes in physical…

Inspired by Bob Marley and The Wailers’ 1970 Soul Rebels Album

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

The stone that the builder refuse …..Will always be the head cornerstone,

The stone is the wet-backed Mexican that sweated out his spinach and cheese empanadas hours ago from the street cart on the corner of Columbus Ave and 72nd street.

He hails from the town of Chiapas and is the daddy of little Xiomara. A little two-year-old with a slight cleft lip and cutest apple cheeks you ever did see. Her squeal travels one million times faster than the speed of sound to reach his ears.

Also traveling is Xiomara’s mother. When the midday sun licks her back, she…

The journey of Iris’s Diaspora

Photo By Iris M. Crawford, Stanley town East Berbice-Corentyne, Guyana

I was born in NYC but Guyana gave me life. My ancestors worked with the sun and lived as one with the Earth. It welcomed me with ample mosquito bites and sweet shaved ice with carnation at every corner. It is the place that my father thinks was better when the British ruled but still leaves its indigenous voiceless. It is the place that if I look close enough, the Demerara river can be found in my life lines and the power of Kaiteur at my nose’s peak. …

Wright & Brown Distilling Co. has been in West Oakland for five years, making award-winning bourbon, rye whiskey, rum, and single malt. Each one of their bottles are made onsite, starting with a 250 gallon copper pot. Many of their barrels have been aging for about three years or more. Their brandy is made from organic Northern California grapes and much of their whiskey is locally malted.

Now, Wright & Brown Distilling Co. is one of the few distilleries in the Bay Area who have pivoted to making hand sanitizer for first responders. …

2020 brings new hope for community based healthcare

Earlier in the year, I sat down with Ms. Shakila Marando, founder and president of Doulas by the Bay. Her company offers a variety of services including parenting education, postpartum, birthing, breastfeeding, a doula school and so much more. Doulas and other community based healthcare services are not recognized and covered by insurance, specifically Medicaid. Women of color, particularly Black women, who would benefit the most from these services are particularly susceptible to health care inequities. Some federal legislation such as Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s H.R. 2751 Mama’s First Act is one of…

Iris M. Crawford

Journalist, Organizer, Creative IG@Iris.m_crawford

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