Happy BLACK Father’s Day

The only other black guy on my partner’s job was fired last week. The company HQ is in Dallas so we are both on high alert for his job security.

That means that he refuses to take a vacation out of fear they will replace him with his replacement–just because “casually” racist high-powered corporate attorneys are irrationally uncomfortable with his dark skin, broad nose and full lips.

In our 3+ years together, the only vacation I’ve known my partner to take was our road trip to relocate my vehicle from Texas to Brooklyn. It was the same summer Sandra Bland was murdered. And he came along only because he was in-between jobs after being unceremoniously fired from another law firm–also based in Dallas. And his family harassed him for daring to enjoy himself.

Some would say I’m making hyperbole or being paranoid. Or, of course, wholesale dismiss me as an “angry black woman.” But I’d be a fool to ignore the sum knowledge acquired from suffering overtly racist teachers, employers and colleagues throughout my soon-to-be 43 years of life experience (20 years of them were in the belly of the Lone Star State).

I see the nothing but love and kindness in the faces of Philando Castile, in Alton Sterling, in Kalief Browder. In the kid named Thug down the street who helped me shovel my car out the snow one time. I see as much compassion and intelligence as I do weariness in my formerly convicted nephew who has proudly parented four children (of whom only one he biologically fathered). I see the same kindness in the faces of Norman and Kenny and Donald — some of the men in my neighborhood who ask for change and food at corporate coffeeshop outside my train station whom few people bother to see as men or learn their names. They are all someone’s son, brother, and maybe father, too.

And I also see the hatred and violence on the faces of overtly proud white men who boo us in Trump caps and disappear (probably to get their guns) when we confront them with the First Amendment. I see them with their dicks hardened by the violent spirits they project upon us and use to allegedly justify the violence against us.

I know that even among “friends” I am unsafe. Hence the screeching silence around the latest non-conviction which upholds that murder is a perfectly reasonable and acceptable response to the sight of abundantly melanated skin, noses designed for tropical air, and lips full enough to kiss the soul.

My partner really wants to be a father.

It’s not the fear of what it’ll do to my body but the fear of mothering A BLACK CHILD in a world that vehemently denies our right to exist with dignity that frightens me away from inviting conception.

This is our last full weekend together before I leave on the 3rd and pretend as best I can that I’m free from racist Americans for 7 weeks. My mom doesn’t understand that I’ll feel safer in Rwanda and Kenya and even in the indigenous land of my family’s enslavers than my country of origin.

At brunch on Father’s Day we were seated next to a Black man sitting with his arm around his 7-year-old son. My partner beams, smiles, makes eyes in their direction. Yeah, I got the hint, Darling…

The mother comes along shortly and we spent less time chewing and more time enjoying their stories about family, parenthood, and the consistently beautiful surprises from the precocious old soul they were given to love and raise. I mean, the kid loves JAZZ! And we had JUST laid in bed watching the old School House Rock “3 Is a Magic Number” and I always lose my shit when they sing “… there were threeeee… in their family…”

And when we left brunch the rain had stopped but my face was a monsoon. I know that something as simple as being a father when you’re Black in this country is not necessarily a beautiful thing.

I’m tired of the state-sanctioned public lynchings, y’all. I have anxiety on a scale I’ve never experienced, and I struggle to succumb to destructive self-sedation just to keep my heart from repeatedly and unexpectedly skipping a beat EVERY DAY. My adrenals are worn out. My mitochondrial DNA is exhausted. I even wonder if I’d have been the kind of mother who kills her own child before seeing them sold off or raped or brutalized.

Spending two weeks in Rwanda this summer is no vacation. I am hyper-aware that the Rwandan genocide has roots in the Belgian colonial legacy of ranking people by phenotypes and placing features associated with “whiteness” atop the hegemony of people who once co-existed in peace before Europeans came through with that white supremacist bullshit.

Look up that asswipe King Leopold II. We are nothing but “beasts of burden with monkey legs” to him and the imperialist community.

Look up the history of the song “Amazing Grace” — the author worked on slave ships and participated in making sure that none of the girls or women aboard were virgins when they arrived.

Dear NON-BLACK people who like to use the word “WOKE” — I challenge YOU to not just bear the burden of the names we carry–but to bear the full stories behind the names. I dare every single one of you to take some of this burden off the backs of your Black co-horts and really try it on for size for a week or so and engage in some real conversations with OTHER non-Black people to decide what YOU with all the power of whiteness vested within y’all are gonna do collectively to fix this shit.

It means NOT coming to whichever Black person is in closest proximity of your lives for emotional labor and counseling–but INSTEAD to do your own work as not just an “ally” but as an actual accomplice. You are several generations behind in your mitochondrial DNA to begin unpacking that whiteness = anti-blackness, and that whiteness is ruining our collective hu[wo]mXnity.

I miss my DADDY. He spent 20+ years as a combat medic fighting for “freedom” — which is apparently this country’s right to lynch ANY of us at ANY time. He enlisted only because he tried for an apprenticeship but the racist unions in Detroit had completely shut him out.

Patriotic, isn’t it?

Happy BLACK Father’s Day.



If you have ever been POSITIVELY IMPACTED by any of my work as:
Dragonfly, Miss Justice Jester,
Helvetika Bold, or Robin Laverne Wilson
I request your TANGIBLE ENTHUSIASM so I can continue my intersectional work going forward with greater mastery, volume and impact!

I need $10,000 for my final MA year of tuition and travel.

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  • Immerse myself in theatre this summer through three separate two-week intensive residencies in
    • Rwanda [teaching],
    • Kenya [networking],
    • and Scotland [observing].
  • Focus on the intense roster of reading, writing and creating to successfully and joyfully complete my thesis.
  • Nurture relationships with people across the globe who appreciate my commitment to social justice and culture work.
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It’s the intersection of arts and culture with advocacy and activism. When you add education to the dynamic, it manifests in many theatrical forms including theatre in education, theatre of the oppressed, playback and newspaper theatre, hip-hop theatre, theatre for reconciliation, theatre for development, legislative theater, process drama, puppetry, direct action, culture-jamming, street theatre, parades, rituals, and many other manifestations of socio-political public creative expression.

All of my work and much of my personal community is anchored in artivism.



It is my desire to surrender myself into the creative and intellectual rigors of this academic chapter of life. “Mellow” rather than “fellow” — is gender neutral and speaks to the joyful tone I intend going into and throughout my final year of master’s level graduate work.

Running for senator was one of the most incredible rides of my life! I persevered with the support of an enthusiastic community behind me. That wild amazing ride with New Yorkers who helped carry and cheer me on across the state made it evident that my contribution to world has positive impact. That inspiration is reciprocal.

However, I was still in school during that excruciating election cycle. I had to let a lot of academic work fall to the wayside. And after the election and the holidays I had no choice but to withdraw into private life with the same intensity as my public political campaign in order to recenter and resume my graduate studies.

Now that I’ve restored my focus — and with a little help from my friends! — I am ready to dialogue publicly about how art, activism, and education together can instigate progressive grassroots transformation.

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I accept your TANGIBLE ENTHU$IA$M via Venmo, PopMoney, cash and checks.

My email for Venmo and PopMoney is robinlaverne@gmail.com.



This page is called RISE because the final year is when I’ll take flight through thesis and this summer itinerary offers the momentum I need to take off. And we fundRAISE so that someone and/or something can RISE.

Help me FLY and fly WITH me!

We don’t need designer labels to legitimize any campaign. All they will do is skim off the top. Everyone wants their gift to reach its full velocity as intended on both sides.

Venmo and PopMoney are straight from one account to another in a secure transaction with zero or minimal fees on either end. So let’s use the most direct [no fees] means possible to simply GO and FUND ==> ME!  🙂

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I believe in #BankBlack so all gifts go directly into my educational expenses account with OneUnited.

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With GREAT RESERVATION I will accept PayPal.

They are currently under great scrutiny by the international community concerning their discrimination against Palestine. Plus they skim a 2.9% cut of the transaction.

I’ve signed a petition by SumOfUs.org and urge you to please do the same.

I am also aware that Venmo is owned by PayPal. So what’s the difference?

Using designer label PayPal transactions costs 2.9% plus $0.30 in fees. Popmoney fee is $0.95 per transaction. Venmo incurs no fee.

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I’ll share my journey through blog posts, photos, zines, buttons, and other forms of TANGIBLE GRATITUDE — and everyone who funds my travel and tuition will get a handwritten postcard from abroad!



I am explicitly forbidden by the university to say the institution or program by name when crowdsourcing. They are under investigations and cannot risk the appearance that resource-challenged students might be soliciting money on behalf of administrators and faculty.