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Academic. Activist. Writer. Explorer. Scholar. Lover. Friend. Free. Funky. Persistent. Kind. Clear. Unapologetic. @crystalleecrain

(Part I )

By Crystallee Crain

Titles include:

[Human Made Caves] / [No Need to Prepare] / [Big Little Brother]

Human Made Caves

The bathroom door felt like a barrier between two worlds — that of chaos and the other of a more planned and fully formed mess. Cassie just needed time. A moment to give herself the time to reframe and check-in. She couldn’t cry in front of the kids, and everyone was always watching her. She gave herself a few minutes cried the tears of transition to rejoin the herd. “It’s gonna be ok,” she thought. Not fully knowing the plans…

How to Protect Yourself and Your Community Against Violent Abusers

Survivors know all too well that their abusers hide in plain sight.

We hope we notice them before they see us walking through town. We hope we’re not alone when they do see us or find us. We hope that you, anyone out there, believe us.

The lack of accountability for the harm women and other marginalized groups experience is atrocious. Life-altering and ending. Often, we are left reimagined and forced to become anew.

I use the word survivors to respect the fact that many people died from the harm I and others have experienced. …

Within the United States, social patterns of interpersonal and institutional violence are unfortunate realities. Like any disease, violence permeates communities internally and externally. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) are often ignored or unnoticed when discussing the need for prevention activities and community education.

Some speculate that the low radar the issue has on the national social and political stage is due to their marginalization and native status. I believe that women of color are particularly vulnerable to racist and sex-based violence that can lead to a higher likelihood of death because of demographic-based violence.

Cities and other government bodies…

Our Political Responsibility for Human Rights in the Philippines

This past week, the U.S. State Department approved an arms sale to the Philippines worth 2.5 billion U.S. dollars. The approval comes at a time when community organizations and legislators alike are calling to account for military aid to the Philippines.

On Monday, June 14th, Rep Susan Wild (D-PA) announced the Philippines Human Rights Act. This act, co-sponsored by 11 other representatives, was introduced in response to human rights violations during the Duterte regime and would suspend military aid to the Philippines until basic human rights measures are upheld.

This act…



Souls line the dollar bill.

Beneath the pyramid with chisel and stones

Be will.

Above the brow of Jefferson

And in the corners of the Verde triangle, we wait.

We watch,

And we sit,

while they kill our babies,

some of them yet to be born.

We heard of the slaying of our grandfathers,

and the ways that our mothers mourned.

We fight.

Full of love and rage.

We are awake.





Sometimes desperate and displaced.


we appear to self in the mirror of a self-hating disciple of the sun.

So burnt from tar,

Thoughts on Personal & Political Agency

Written by: Crystallee Crain

Politics is about the distribution of resources.

Resources as in products and in some aspects of our society — people can be bought or sold. We forget that resources are also processes for knowledge creation and our ever-changing political agency.

Behind the veil of our everyday life the tax based distribution of resources from a national central government, trickles, to the states and down to a variety of municipalities. This process of complex governing bodies use formulas to determine the exact numbers and the ways in which this process happens. …

By: Crystallee Crain

I’m concerned about the invisibility of preventable hardship that occurs when we embody the status quo as a comfort.

While the term — preventable hardship — is not widely known it is easy to comprehend. Some personal difficulties can be prevented through social and cultural change. In this context, I’m focusing on the hardships caused by social conditions that are not in an individual’s control.

In American society personal hardship is often defined as a personal failure. Social conditions like a pandemic, for instance, or the ever-present level of racial and gender injustice in our system.


To begin I will say, that the way we were was never enough.

We failed each other. We failed ourselves — and then, without any warning, we learned that perhaps we did not.

Melancholy moments don’t define all of time. They are placed on our path to be learned from and to offer you a space for discernment in your future.

I am elevated by hindsight and moved by joy to be clear about how I spend my waking moments. I believe that love is a verb, a core meal of the day, and our personal responsibility to share with…

Personally, the massive response to the taking of black lives is emotional and motivating. My activism and academic work have focused on exposing the impact of community and state violence. I feel some gratification in this progress, yet I know that it is not enough.

In these moments, we forget about the backlash that comes after we leave the streets or after we move on to the next national tragedy, and after we feel we’ve been heard — even if it’s just for a moment.

The painful realities that we face are reminiscent of a child unable to leave a…

Crystallee Crain

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