Join us Friday, February 4, for Transit Equity Day! We’re working with grassroots transit rider groups, environmental, climate justice, civil rights and faith organizations, and transit workers unions to host actions that recognize transit equity as a civil right on Rosa Parks’ birthday.Â Together, we’re demanding investments in safe, reliable, and affordable public transit service and better pay and benefits to expand and retain the workforce.
When Rosa Parks did not sit at the back of the bus, she set off a spark that ignited a movement that now states: Black Lives Matter.* Martin Luther Kingâs dream talk was in 1963. Parksâ bus protest was in 1955, and Black Lives Matter Movement is more recent. Hereâs a brief definition of this from Wikipedia:
Look at the gaps in these events and you can see that the fight for Black Rights is a long, sometimes slow process. I remember Rosa Parks from my teen years and thought she was a brave, young, black woman to carry out a non-violent act of protest and continued to be an activist throughout her life.
P.S. As a briefing leader for The Hunger Project I learned that one person CAN make a difference. Rosa Parks was one person who did make a difference!
February is a short, yet busy month calendar-wise. Today is the Chinese New Year and the beginning of Spring in China. First, see creative writing buddy Harvey Davis’ poem on this topic, reprinted with his permission, below:
The Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar is a very important date.
In various countries itâs called Lunar New Year; for it you don’t want to be late.
In countries like China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and many more
Everyone looks forward to the 15-day highlight of the year you cannot ignore.
This new yearâs celebration is also known in other places as the spring festival,And to those who celebrate the day it could be considered mystical.
It is a public holiday in countless countries and in large Chinese communities.
You can honestly say it brings to the Asian people a great sense of unity.
In some countries the festivities for the new year might have a special name.
âTetâ is the name for the Vietnamese celebration, but in truth it is the same.
The festivities include honoring ancestors and there are traditional ceremonies
When people get together to welcome the new year looking for prosperity.
You may be more familiar with Dragon dances but there are also lesser-known activities.
Have you ever heard of lion dances? For some countries it is their proclivity.
But for all involved in celebrating the new year they look for wealth,
Good fortune, prosperity, and happiness, but most of all for good health.
The Chinese calendar is about one month behind our Gregorian one.
It has between 30 and 50 more days per year — figuring that out is fun.
The Chinese zodiac calendar has a cycle of 12 years following the moon phases.
If you notice each year a Chinese zodiac animal is a symbol it embraces.
The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, and snake.
Horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig — knowing them, icing on the cake.
Now we come to the most important part: typical Chinese new yearâs food, served.
Fish the symbol of good luck, wealth and a healthy life, everyone deserves.
Dumplings are traditionally eaten and always enjoyed during that season.
Little round rice flour balls are filled with lucky food, sweets for good reason.
Good luck for the new year is the theme for numerous things done in word and form.
There are many symbols and traditions that you should know to escape scorn.
A word of advice: make sure your plate is never empty â so your luck will not run out!
Do not use a knife or fire for cooking on New Yearâs Day — that year youâll pout.
And now I give to you my Lunar New Yearâs wish: happiness, wealth, and prosperity.
I want you to know it’s from the bottom of my heart and given with all sincerity.
Next, February is Heart Healthy Month, which (for me) includes Valentine’s Day, because love is about the heart, as well as loving yourself enough to eat a heart-healthy diet. This is a great segue to the book I will be reviewing: The Truly Easy Heart-Healthy Cookbook by Michelle Routhenstein, who just happens to be my neighbor and friend’s daughter-in-law. I tried two of the recipes and liked both, so I will be posting the review and recipes soon.
Additionally, February is alsoÂ Black History Month and I will be featuring Rosa Parks, the woman who started a bus boycott by sitting in the front of the bus, instead of in the back of the bus and became an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.
Also, I will continue to post petitions and info on other environmental issues, like “Fast Fashion” clothes (inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends) piling up in a desert and no place to go. I hope to squeeze in a couple of heart-healthy winter recipes.
Finally, I will be posting my in-personÂ interview with Dr. Margaux Hein, a marine biologist who just happens to live below my daughter and daughter-in-law ten minutes from here. She and her fiance, Tory Chase, are involved with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the collapse of the coral reef there.
Margaux Hein & Tory Chase
February is teeming with topics and hoping you will follow my weekly and sometimes bi-weekly postings.