portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

anti-racism | gender & sexuality | youth

ALLY zine

we are creating an amazing new zine about allies and oppression. we need your help, so please submit. we are just getting started and need all you rad zinesters to share with us!
Dear absolutely everyone,

We (Austin and Emily) are starting a zine called ALLY. We come from privileged backgrounds and still care about issues of identity and oppression. We firmly believe that recognizing one's own privileges is one of the first steps towards becoming a good ally to those who are fighting against oppression in our society. We are not experts on being allies in general (no one is an expert on being an ally) so this zine will not be centered around our thoughts on the issue. This zine is not intended to be a how-to manual on the correct way of becoming a good ally but rather a mosaic of testimony, ideas, questions, frustrations and hope. Each issue will have a broad theme centered on one type of identity.

The theme of our first issue is mental and emotional illness.

We cannot and will not lay down a definition of that for you. Interpret it however you wish. Here is a partial list of the types of things we are asking for submissions.

For those that self-identify as having mental or emotional illness:
-your thoughts and ideas on the concept of being an ally
-a piece about how you identify yourself and/or how it has affected your life.
-a testimony about if and how you feel oppressed. These can be general statements or very personal accounts (however you would like to express yourself).
-a story or picture about how someone succeeded or failed in being an ally for you.
-advice for those wanting to be good allies to those of your identity, or advice about what else you think people can do besides "just being an ally."
-an essay on systemic or linked oppression regarding your identity.
-questions, general or specific, of any type, addressed to anyone, someone, or no one.

For those who identify or want to identify as an ally to those with mental or emotional illness:
-your thoughts and ideas on the concept of being an ally
-a story or picture about how you think you succeeded or failed at being an ally.
-questions, general or specific, of any type, addressed to anyone, someone or no one.

We also would like submissions of inspiring or humorous quotes, poems, graphics, drawings, pictures, jokes, or anything else to pretty it up.

We are hoping to put out the first issue by mid-May so we are setting the deadline for submissions at MAY 12TH. Please send all submissions to  Lefty@riseup.net and/or  curl@riseup.net (direct questions or comments about the zine here as well).

There are no length requirements for any submission but please keep in mind that the zine on the whole will be between about 16-20 half pages including covers.

For all submissions that are chosen we will include as much or as little contact information as you would like. If you choose to be anonymous that is fine with us. We will also respect your wishes about editing. We wouldn't change anything because of content, but we might want to crop a piece for size purposes, but we will always ask beforehand.

Even though we are trying to make each issue themed, we of course welcome submissions about general topics of being an ally, oppression, identity, or anything else along these lines that you think people ought to read.

For the question submissions, it is our purpose to publish these questions as is, and not try to answer or clarify them ourselves. They can be things you just want people to think about, or real concerns that you would like someone to address, in which case you can put down your contact information and we will encourage people to offer answers if they feel like they can speak to your question.

We also are looking for advice for ourselves on how to make this project amazing, so if you have comments or suggestions for us that you don't want published we would welcome that too; especially advice on how to make a zine work.

ALLY will be circulated in the various circles that we travel in but if you have specific requests for copies please let us know and we will try and honor them. You all have permission to copy and distribute our zine freely as long as you copy and distribute the whole thing and not just parts. We ask this so that the messages of the individual writers are kept intact and so that the message of the zine as a whole is kept intact as well. Thank you.

We are of course giving away ALLY for free and will be fronting the initial costs of publication. If you really believe in what we are doing and want to help us out we would welcome donations of any size in order to defray the cost of making copies (and perhaps those of you with school copy codes could help us out too).

Thank you ahead of time to anyone who helps us out with this project. We want ALLY to be useful and enlightening and creative and wonderful and full of hope, but ultimately it will depend on those who contribute ideas and thoughts and share a part of themselves. We are creating ALLY as a means of education, especially our own. And we hope that this zine will become a tool for networking; sharing information but also a sharing of action and support. We want to hear all voices.

In Solidarity,

emily webb and Austin Wells

"Oppression can only survive through silence."
-Carmen de Monteflores
Support Coalition International 23.Apr.2004 13:26


I hope anyone interested in Mental health issues checks out: www.mindfreedom.org

This is a long standing grass roots organization based in Eugene that is dedicated to human rights and the psychiatric survivor movement.