Image of fireworks in Seattle, 2016 from CBS Seattle.

It’s probably easiest to say that I’m not a patriot because of how our country was founded on and continues to be maintained by violence, slavery, oppression, inequality, and propaganda that silences the truth and promotes the very opposite narrative. As Frederick Douglass famously proclaimed: “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim...There …


The irony of Chanukkah this year is that as we kindle lights anew each night, the Trump administration is extinguishing lights in an unprecedented federal killing spree.

Excerpts from “Trump Begins The End of His Presidency With String of Rare Federal Executions” (Vanity Fair, Dec. 11, 2020) and “The high rate of executions during Trump’s last weeks in office, explained” (Vox, Dec. 11, 2020)

Both started last Thursday- I lit the first night candle within hours of Brandon Bernard being executed by lethal injection at 9:27pm.


I don’t know who needs to hear this, and if you don’t it may sound terribly insignificant, but here’s the thing: it’s ok to be anxious and scared right now.

My day started off with someone telling me that as a hospital chaplain I should remain “peaceful” and “not anxious.” We were discussing how to balance our own fears and struggles to make difficult personal decisions in the face of COVID-19 with our moral and ethical responsibility to continue providing spiritual care to our patients and families. …


The author in her bike commuting outfit and an unexplainable pose.

I don’t think people are scared of biking in the city because it feels dangerous.

After eight years of commuting year-round in Boston and Seattle, and just as many years of people expressing surprise that I bike in even blizzardy and rainy conditions, I’ve come to believe something deeper is doing on. Because people do dangerous things all the time — including driving in a car.

Instead, I think what holds people back from biking isn’t just that they perceive it to be dangerous. …


I went canvassing with a group of friends in a nearby swing district yesterday. It was cold and rainy and, as usual even though I’m 31 years old, I dressed completely inadequately for the weather without bringing a rain coat or umbrella.

But I was done feeling guilt and shame over not having made any real effort to Get Out the Vote during this critical election cycle. I wanted to at least participate in what has been dubbed “The Last Weekend” and do something.

So: The shift was only 2 hours, I knocked on merely 23 doors, and the majority…


As I lay awake at 3am still processing the horrific news of the shooting this morning at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people were murdered by a white nationalist who screamed “All Jews must die!” before slaughtering those present at Shabbat morning services and a bris — a circumcision ceremony — of an eight-day-old baby boy… my heart aches. Deeply. In a way that feels like it pulls on our people’s generations of trauma, and re-opens wounds that are not my own but that are a part of me.

My mother has been working so hard lately…


Dear Men,

Let us be angry right now.

Let us be furious and outraged and so overwhelmed with hurt and hopelessness that we may not be able to find the words to describe our emotions and feelings in ways that are socially acceptable.

Let us be raw right now. Many of us feel betrayed and broken right now.

Let us have space to tend to our wounds, especially those that bravely chose to re-open them with the hopes it would make a difference (it did; you woke so many of us up and I am sorry you had to even…


The author geared up and ready to hit the streets.

I don’t think people are scared of biking in the city just because it feels dangerous.

After six years of commuting by bicycle in Boston, and six years of surprised reactions that I do it year-round, I’ve come to believe that something deeper is going on. Namely, that beneath the feeling of danger is an assumption that we do not have control.

Think about it. Driving a car is statistically dangerous but people feel like they are in control because they are surrounded by a steel cage. On a bike, you don’t have this protection so it’s easy to presume…


  • Art collector and patron Agnes Gund sold her 1962 Roy Lichtenstein “Masterpiece” for $165 million to create a fund that supports criminal justice reform and seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the United States.
  • Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has withdrawn from consideration for deputy secretary in the Department of Homeland Security!
  • The WNBA’s Seattle Storm is holding a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” rally, donating $5 from every ticket for that night’s game to the organization, and hosting a fundraising auction. They’re one of the few professional teams owned by women.
  • Marshawn Lynch, NFL player with the Oakland Raiders…

Abby Brockman

Hospital chaplain, community organizer, writer. Shamelessly laughs at the same jokes over and over and believes there are gateways to holiness everywhere.

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