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Alana Yu-lan Price
Alana Price
Alana Price is managing editor at Tikkun.



Tikkun Wins 2014 Magazine of the Year Award​

Sep22

by: on September 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »

Tikkun is the winner of the 2014 “Magazine of the Year: Overall Excellence in Religion Coverage” award from the Religion Newswriters Association!

Alana at RNA

As managing editor, I was honored to accept the Religion Newswriters Association award on behalf of Tikkun. Credit: Dawn Cherie Araujo.

Tikkun caught the eye of the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) with our special issue on immigration, which took discussions of spiritual religious principles and values beyond the confines of temples, churches, mosques, and synagogues, and instead debated their application in political and social realms. Reading Puck Lo’s report on a Sikh temple that mobilized to protect a worshiper from deportation, a diverse array of articles on why scripture should energize faith communities to fight for more caring policies on immigration, Ross Hyman’s impassioned article about why it’s a Jewish obligation to stand up for collective bargaining rights, and the many other wonderful contributions to that issue, the judges at the RNA decided to offer this special honor to Tikkun.

The immigration issue lauded by the RNA was just one example of the deep convergence of religious and political thought that makes Tikkun powerful and unique. Our themes range from explorations of “veteran liberation theology,” to analyses of Secular Buddhism, to first-person narratives about Muslim prayer at the Great Mosque of Córdoba.

There’s more great content in store in the coming months. We’re very excited about the next three print issues of Tikkun that are coming up: the Fall 2014 issue on “Disability Justice and Spirituality,” the Winter 2015 issue on “Jubilee and Debt Abolition,” and the Spring 2015 issue on “The Place of Hope in an Age of Climate Disaster.” If you’re not yet a print subscriber, you can subscribe or join Tikkun‘s supporter network now to receive them.

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Can You Help Sustain Our Vision of Social Transformation? A Letter from the Managing Editor

Dec6

by: on December 6th, 2013 | 4 Comments »

headshotFrom efforts to counter homophobia to campaigns for more caring immigration policies, social justice struggles all rely on a similar leap of faith – the idea that, on a mass scale, we can shift our collective sense of what is possible and transform the world around us.

In this unsettling era of drone strikes, mass shootings, and impending climate disaster, it’s not hard to find information in the progressive mediascape about everything we are doing wrong. What’s harder to find is an analysis that combines an uncompromising commitment to exposing injustice with an insistent faith in our power to create empathy where hatred once festered, to heal from trauma, and to find meaningful ways to resist the crushing transnational economic forces that shape our lives.

That’s why Tikkun‘s fierce and full-hearted critiques are so urgently needed right now. Our authors reject despair. Instead, they actively articulate a vision of the world we want to live in, even as they offer unflinching analyses of human rights abuses against Palestinians, mass incarceration in the United States, and the violence of deportation.

We can’t continue publishing these articles on our own. Readers like you are critical to keeping this magazine alive. We need your help to sustain Tikkun‘s vision of social transformation.

If you don’t yet subscribe to the print magazine, that’s a great place to start. You can subscribe here. Or if you already have a subscription for yourself, you can buy a gift subscription as a present for your friends and loved ones.

During my five years on Tikkun‘s editorial staff thus far, I’ve led the magazine in dynamic new directions, redesigning our website, putting together a special interfaith issue on Queer Spirituality and Politics, working with former managing editor David Belden to produce a powerful introduction to Restorative Justice practices, commissioning articles for a special issue on Embracing Immigration and Ending Deportation, and shaping the direction of our recent Identity Politics, Class Politics, Spiritual Politics issue to center the voices of younger writers, queer writers, and writers of color.

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Inspiration and a Little Comedic Relief in the Struggle for Immigration Rights

Aug5

by: on August 5th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

The struggle over immigration rights has been intensifying, with undocumented activists like the “Dream 9″ testing out the new legal strategy of petitioning for humanitarian parole and immigration reform coalitions like the Alliance for Citizenship mobilizing supporters to speak out at political events held in their home states during the congressional recess this August.

coverWhile Congress has haggled over border militarization, Tikkun‘s been pursuing stories of immigration activism and analyses based in radical love. The result: our summer print issue, “Away with All Borders: Embracing Immigration and Ending Deportation.”

Some contributors to this special issue dream of transnational social safety nets while others draw on sacred texts to energize their faith communities around migrant rights. Others report on activist struggles ranging from anti-deportation actions to border solidarity efforts. If you did not receive this print issue in the mail, you can still subscribe now to gain access to the web version of it immediately or order a paper copy in the mail.

Meanwhile, Tikkun contributing editor Josh Healey has also been hard at work on a powerful project of his own – a comedic call to action for humane immigration reform. Produced by CultureStrike coordinator Favianna Rodriguez, Healey’s short film stars comedy legends Richard Montoya and Corey Fischer. Sometimes a funny video can carry an important message to more new audiences than an earnest analysis, so please do share it widely across your networks, along with links to our summer print articles!

Obama’s Declaration, North Carolina’s Gay Marriage Ban, and Next Steps in LGBT Organizing

May9

by: on May 9th, 2012 | 4 Comments »

President Obama’s personal expression of support for same-sex marriage on ABC is sure to galvanize a new wave of gay rights activism across the country. It’s a heady moment — where might it lead?

The vibrant coalitions that developed this year in North Carolina, where activists fought simultaneously against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and against anti-immigrant and anti-worker legislation, offer a vision for a more expansive and radically engaged form of LGBT organizing than the narrower struggles for marriage equality that have dominated the activist landscape in recent years. It’s a model that I hope organizers in other states will look to in this moment of renewed energy.

Even though the majority of North Carolina voters cast ballots in favor of the anti-gay amendment, which was worded so broadly that it could threaten domestic partnership protections for all couples, the fight against the measure has offered a sense of the sort of multi-issue coalitions that, if replicated on a national scale, could bring about significant social transformations. Before writing off the North Carolina struggle as a total defeat, it’s worth watching this video of North Carolina activists discussing all that was built and won, despite the loss:

After years of watching Obama make strategic compromises rather than use his influential position to rally mass energy around the idea of health care as a human right or the wrongness of torture, it was heartening to watch him take a principled stand on this issue, despite the political dangers and risky timing. Regardless of whether marriage equality is the right goal for LGBT activists to be focusing on right now (rather than, say, an employment nondiscrimination act), Obama’s announcement feels meaningful on a symbolic level. So often the gay marriage debate seems to stand in for a more basic discussion about whether queer and transgender people deserve the same compassion and respect as heterosexuals and people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. In this context, it does feel new and meaningful for a president to refuse to cave to right-wing pressure to paint gay people as somehow monstrous or less than human. Not that we needed his approval, but still…

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Berkeley Students Plan Strike in Wake of Police Violence

Nov13

by: on November 13th, 2011 | 12 Comments »

Videos of UC Berkeley police battering students with batons and dragging them by the hair to prevent them from setting up an Occupy Wall Street-style encampment have risen to national attention over the last few days, provoking statements of concern from the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild, and prompting comedian Stephen Colbert to call out the AP for its wildly euphemistic description of police officers “nudging” protesters with batons.

I’m glad that these disturbing videos have been distributed so widely. With all hope the public outrage over these scenes will open conversations about the excessive police force used not only against protesters on the Berkley campus but also in Oakland and beyond. But as is so often the case, these sensational images of pain and violence seem largely to have eclipsed another deeply important story of the day — a story of solidarity, hope, community, and political galvanization.

general assembly

UC Berkeley students vote for a strike during a late-night general assembly on November 9.

The police violence that occurred during the afternoon on November 9 is only half the story. The other half took place later that night, when hundreds of students, community members, and professors poured into Sproul Plaza to hold a general assembly to discuss the subject of the students’ earlier protest: the extreme fee hikes that are making California’s public universities increasingly inaccessible to working-class students and saddling many students with a heavy burden of debt.

At 1 a.m., the general assembly voted to call for “a strike and day of action on Tuesday, November 15, in all sectors of higher education … We also call for simultaneous solidarity actions in workplaces and k-12 schools.” See the full proposal here.

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Photo Essay: Occupy Oakland’s General Strike

Nov4

by: on November 4th, 2011 | Comments Off

A handful of images from Occupy Oakland’s general strike on Nov. 2 have already become iconic: aerial photos of people streaming up a bridge to shut down the Port of Oakland, the silhouettes of protesters standing atop a railroad scaffold at dusk, a masked protester shattering a window of a Wells Fargo bank, and the flaming garbage heap around which confrontations with the police occurred during the night. Though an abundance of other images are being posted and shared by protesters, these startling, dramatic scenes captured by photojournalists have become a favorite pick for news outlets looking for an attention-grabbing image.

Most of these sensational photos were not taken from the perspective of the mass of people who participated in the day’s protests. They were taken by news helicopters or by photographers who spent the day shadowing masked protesters in hopes of a perfect shot of breaking glass. They fail to convey a central embodied experience of the day: the intense sense of connection, warmth, and engagement experienced by the people who participated in the day’s mass nonviolent actions.

The photo essay below offers a vision of the general strike from the ground, from the perspective of participants who were listening to speeches in the plaza, chanting in the streets, and marching en masse to the port.

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Photo Essay: Sacred Spaces at Occupy Oakland

Nov4

by: on November 4th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

altar
Buddhist monks in orange robes chant in one corner of the Occupy Oakland encampment. Across the plaza, a reverend in a rainbow stole reads Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Six Principles of Nonviolence” at an interfaith events tent, and a rabbi gives a Jewish blessing. A block away, candles burn on an unorthodox altar to the death of capitalism, and passers-by leave flowers and notes on the concrete bench that has become a vigil area for activist Scott Olsen, whose skull was fractured by a tear gas canister on Oct. 25. Nearby, a woman wearing a hijab talks about how a tentful of anarchists kindly lent her their rug when it came time for her to pray. There is a striking cheek-by-jowl feel to the interfaith interactions here — a spontaneity and intimacy so different from the stiff pageantry that can sometimes accompany carefully orchestrated interfaith events.

Click on any image below to open this photo essay from Occupy Oakland’s general strike on Nov. 2.

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VIDEO: Occupy Oakland Closes Down Port

Nov2

by: on November 2nd, 2011 | 6 Comments »

It’s almost midnight, and I just got home from a deeply inspiring fifteen hours of marching and gathering and coming together with thousands of people during Occupy Oakland’s daylong general strike. Tikkun was out in force all day, participating in the actions, shooting video, taking pictures, and conducting interviews, so we will have much more material for you soon. So much happened today, from the early afternoon protests to shut down local branches of the big banks that have profited from foreclosures on people’s homes, to the evening’s mass nonviolent action to close the Port of Oakland (the fifth-busiest shipping port in the country). Before heading to bed I wanted to offer this little taste of the warm community feeling at the port when news came that — after an arbitration process involving the International Longshore Workers Union — port officials had agreed to cancel the evening shift due to the protesters’ blocking of the gates. Many danced when they heard the news. I didn’t manage to catch on video the little riff that the whole crowd was singing along to the brass band’s song, so you’ll have to fill it in with your imagination: “We closed the port” (doo bee doo bee do wah)… “We closed the port!”



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Collaborative Art Fractures Prison Walls

Oct4

by: on October 4th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

The image of a hand pressed against thick glass, fingers outstretched, made its way onto Evan Bissell’s canvas because it still haunts one of his collaborators, a young woman named Chey who saw it as a child visiting a jail.

“My dad used to do that when I’d visit him,” she wrote in a note to viewers of the “What Cannot Be Taken Away: Families and Prisons Project” at San Francisco’s SOMArts space. “The glass was so thick that you couldn’t feel any warmth.”

Chey chose to include a lotus flower because "the muddier and darker the lotus grows from, the more colorful and beautiful it will be when it blooms."

The collaborative art exhibition, which seeks to open our imaginations to new ideas about why harm happens and how harm can be repaired, is itself a hand pressed to the glass of the prison system, a warm-hearted attempt to create new flows of communication and empathy between people shut inside and people shut out.

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Outrage at Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction in Trial of Oscar Grant’s Killer

Jul8

by: on July 8th, 2010 | 19 Comments »

Involuntary manslaughter. It is with great sadness and bitterness that those two words are echoing through California right now.

Protesters gather in downtown Oakland following involuntary manslaughter verdict in trial of the officer who killed Oscar Grant.

Protesters have massed in downtown Oakland in response to this disturbingly lenient verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former transit police officer who shot and killed unarmed train rider Oscar Grant.

Involuntary manslaughter — it’s a verdict usually reserved for accidental killings such as car accidents. That conviction alone usually carries with it a maximum prison sentence of four years, but in this case the maximum sentence has been upped to fourteen years due to Mehserle’s use of a firearm in the killing.

I am deeply critical of our nation’s bloated and violent prison system (the United States locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world, and this does not make us any “safer”) so it was strange to find myself hoping — along with so many others in the East Bay — for a stiffer verdict and therefore longer prison sentence for Mehserle. This is and is not about Mehserle. In truth, what I want is not revenge or punishment but rather an end to police brutality and racism in our society. But for various reasons, this particular trial has taken on an enormous symbolic significance.

For days we’ve been wondering: Will the verdict reinforce our sense that the justice system sees crimes by cops against people of color as somehow natural or forgivable? Or will it reassure us that our justice system is capable of seeing a white cop’s killing of a Black man as equally if not more criminal and disturbing than a Black man’s killing of a white cop?

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