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    [post_content] => We know that packing for your program can be exciting but daunting, especially when there's a lot of unfamiliar gear that you'll need to buy. To help with this and to keep costs down, we have come up with a list of places where you can source second-hand or deeply discounted gear.



Here are some places to buy used/second-hand gear:

Here are some places where you can get new gear at a discount:

We also recommend that you look into whether there’s a used gear shop in your community. For example, Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, VT would have everything someone would need for someone in Vermont, and for folks from the Front Range, they could try Boulder Sports RecyclerWilderness Exchange, or Feral in Denver. There won’t be one of those in every town, but it is worth looking.

Finally, you can become a member of the Buy Nothing Project (usually accessible through a Facebook group local to your own community), where you may be able to find what you need through the generosity of another community member. Facebook marketplace or NextDoor may be other places to buy second-hand from your neighbors.

Happy thrifting!
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    [post_content] => As we begin to head out the door and travel again, one of the needs that comes to mind is how to pack. When we think about organizing our items for travel, we might feel a mix of emotions: joy, frustration, excitement, intimidation...Check out the tips below for advice on how to keep your packing light and versatile and to calm fears about needing the perfect gear. 



Once upon a time, I found myself a recent high-school graduate answering phones for a Senator in Washington, D.C. After many months of the chaos of managing insistent blinking phone lines and angry constituents all day long, I couldn’t help thinking that there had to be something better I could be doing with my accidental gap year (a story for another time). 

So, taking advantage of the Congressional Library, I started checking out books about faraway places and eventually found myself signed up for a gap semester in Southeast Asia. I lived on ramen and fundraised for months to pay for the trip. The hard part was done! 

Or so I thought. Then I received a packing list for my gap semester abroad in the Philippines, Thailand, India, and Nepal. My mind started to spin. “What the heck is an internal frame backpack...definitely not my JanSport?” “I don’t see Doc Martens on this list….” “Um, is Gore-Tex sold at Target?” On that first big trip of my life, I was more stressed about packing than about leaving the country for the first time to places where, only months prior, I couldn’t have pointed out on a map. I probably packed and re-packed my bag no less than 20 times. 

In the years since, I have taken countless trips abroad - including those I led as a Dragons instructor in Morocco - and moved abroad for extended time periods to Northern Ireland, Egypt, Morocco, and, most recently to England with my kiddo, partner, and dog. I have learned a lot about packing: what to pack, what not to bother with, and how to actually do the packing. Am I a pro? No. Am I getting better at packing with every trip? Heck, yes. 

 

People Keep Telling me to Pack Light

Less is more. If you remember nothing else from these musings, please file away this piece of advice that many share (and struggle with)! The first time I traveled abroad, I bought the only large backpack I could afford. What I ended up with was something that made me look and feel like one of the giant Galapagos tortoises I took care of during my summer jobs at a reptile zoo. And, while it might have been funny looking, the bag was perfectly functional. The problem was not the bag, but what I did with it. Which was to stuff it so full I could hardly walk down the street. There are so many reasons to pack light when traveling abroad. On my personal travels and as an instructor for Dragons I constantly was lifting my bag on the top of shared taxis, mules, and transits or carrying my bag for long distances. Having a manageable bag is something your arms and back will thank you for while you are traveling. Beyond manageability, packing light saves you space to add a few things from the places you visit and also makes it much easier to keep your things organized. I try to aim for keeping my bag at least 25% empty, as it makes everything easier to manage.  There is also something to the mind-pack connection. Ok, I made that up. But, in my experience having a lighter pack also leads to an ability to be more focused on the place and less on your literal baggage.   

The Container Matters, Kind Of

Can you live with just a backpack? Yup. For a trip of anything less than 1 year, I recommend bringing one large bag and one ‘carry-on’ that is small-to-medium-sized (think big enough for a water bottle, layer, book, notebook, and camera). More than one larger bag is difficult to manage in many situations. That’s right, all your belongings are in basically one bag. See above about keeping it light. Choose a piece of luggage you can easily manage. On our summer and gap semesters, we recommend a large backpacking-style (internal frame) backpack as the primary piece of luggage because it is easy to carry around, especially when not in an area with sidewalks.  The size of bag depends on the length of your trip, your confidence in packing light, and your ability to handle the bag. For long-ish trips, I usually try to opt for a bag around 55 liters. You can go bigger, but I find this size helps me keep to my light packing goals and it’s easiest for me to carry. For 1-2 week trips, I always start with a smaller bag (30 liters) to see if I can make it work. When I can, I feel like a real champ.  Does the bag need to be new, fancy, and the bestest-thing-you-can-buy? Definitely not. Your luggage/bag, again, should be comfortable to carry; but a used or lower-end version will very likely be just as effective.  [caption id="attachment_156984" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]domestic gap year program where there be dragons colorado utah Photo by Jeff Wagner, Instructor.[/caption]

There is No Such Thing as the “Right” Gear

On this last point, try to avoid ruminating about identifying and finding the perfect or right gear. Everyone has (or will develop!) their list of ‘must haves’ when traveling. You will figure out yours, but beyond a few clutch items; don’t worry about having everything from the outdoors-y stores in town. Especially for clothing, bring things you feel comfortable in and already like to wear. Case-in-point, I wore an uncomfortable pair of zip-off pants for months in Asia during my first travels simply because I thought I needed to have trekking pants to travel.  I don’t believe you need new, specialty, or expensive items to travel. For things you might need to buy, I recommend thrift stores or websites, such as the following, where you can get highly-discounted used outdoor gear.   

Sure, Sure. But What are the Essentials? 

The travel essentials are….well, as I said, you will figure out your own and, of course, it depends. I like to think about utility and versatility alot when I consider the essentials. So when packing, I’m wondering if I can use something in multiple ways or if a piece of clothing can be layered. If something only seems to have one-single use, I will often reconsider.  But for me, I always have the following stowed in my bag when I set off: 
  • 1-2 slim notebooks
  • 1 headlamp with fresh batteries
  • 1 watch 
  • MANY packing cubes 
  • 1 small bag of toiletries
  • 1 good book and 1 travel guide for my destination
  • 1 stainless steel water bottle
  • 2 hats (sun and cold)
  • 1 scarf (to wear, use as a pillow on the plane, mop up spilled coffee, or any number of things)
  • 1 Compressible puffy jacket and 1 sweater
  • Minimal clothing 
  • 1 pair of shoes and 1 pair of sandals 
  • My “uh oh” bag: extra glasses, first aid kit, and some cash
  • Thank you cards or nice paper for people I meet/stay with along the way
  • 2 waterproof stuff sacks/dry bags: 1 for general laundry and 1 for things that aren’t dry by the time I need to put stuff in my bag
  • A portable battery if bringing electronics 
  • A bankcard for an internet bank with no ATM fees and cheap-o currency conversion
  • 1 foldable tote

Mekong

The Actual Packing

I start with a list. I’m a list person, but even if I wasn’t I think this step is key. I have multiple saved lists for different kinds of travel; the list helps me remember key items and brings some intentionality to the planning process. I then collect all my items over a day or more and leave them in a designated spot in my house. I pack in advance; at least 2 days for a short trip and a week or more for very long trips. I do this partially to make sure I don’t need to go and buy things and also to give myself a chance to reconsider items. When filling my bag, I mostly use packing cubes to keep things organized and roll my clothes in the cubes to save space. I like having small cubes to separate different kinds of clothing. It is so tempting to pack a ton of clothes and/or shoes and I try to limit myself to just a few shirts, pants/shorts, and other things. Usually, I only bring 50% of what I initially pull out of my closet. You don’t need an outfit for every day of your trip, or even for every day of one week. I also stick to 1 pair of pajamas and bring only the barest minimum of toiletries (ok, plus too many earrings, but that’s my Achilles heel). I also pre-pack my carry-on (making sure it’s not too full to fit the inevitable snack I’ll buy en route to my destination). I set out the clothes I will wear on my first day of travel; making sure to leave a warm layer out. And, lastly, I make sure to have key items I’ll need upon arrival like sleeping clothes and toiletries at the top of my bag (or, even better, in my carry-on if they fit). Once I’m done, I carry the bag around a bit and then give myself a day or more to think about what I’ve planned to bring on my travels. My goal in reconsidering is almost always to reflect on what I can live without or what I can bring that is simply less bulky. I know that no matter where I travel there will be chances to buy almost anything I might need and that I can usually do laundry.  Sometimes I take apart the whole bag and try to find several items I can leave at home. It’s extremely common for people to add in lots of items that you think you might need. “I mean, probably I won’t need it, but better to be prepared!” While it might feel initially comforting to bring these items, I encourage you not to. I have found that the “what if” items rarely get used and just take up space. Give those things a little Marie Kondo thank you and leave them behind.   

More Packing Tips, Please

For those of you who want to learn more tips, tricks, and secrets for packing for a Dragons summer and semester programs check out this recorded Packing 101 Webinar or reach out to us to get connected with a Dragons staff member to chat specifics.    Cara Lane-Toomey has been working with Where There Be Dragons since 2007 and is the current Director of College & University Programming.   [post_title] => How to Pack Like a Pro [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-pack-like-a-pro [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-01-19 12:36:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-01-19 19:36:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 26 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 26 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/recommended/ ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, Recommended )
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Disconnecting (digitally) to Connect More Meaningfully

I closed my computer screen, grabbed my journal, and found a sunny spot outside—thank goodness for Tucson in December, where I live. It felt appropriate to take a break from my screen to write about disconnecting from technology.  Over the summer I visited the Guatemala 4-week Spanish Language program. I had just joined the Dragons Administrative team in a new digital marketing role—managing social media, blog, and email marketing. I was really excited to be part of the Dragons team and visit a program for the first time. Having worked in the educational travel industry since 2015, I’ve only seen an increase in the dependence we all have on our phones, and the interference they cause with immersive travel programs. I was especially excited to see how a program looked without the use of mobile phones for students.   In Guatemala I spent time with my phone, taking photos and communicating with the other instructors and admin via Whatsapp. Sometimes students would ask to see the photos I took, or requested to see an Instagram post that included them (here’s a beautiful photo of the group at sunrise, actually). But mostly, the students seemed content without their phones, and this was about 2.5 weeks into the program. 

"I don't really miss it."

So I asked the group what it was like being without their phones, iPads, or computers for the last few weeks. To my pleasant surprise they responded with “I sleep so much better,” and “It feels so good to take a break—I know it will still be there when I get back.” Some said, “ I don’t really miss it. I love having conversations at dinner with the group instead of being on my phone.” I thought, Heck. Yeah. I need more of this in my life.  While it always feels important to take breaks from technology, it feels incredibly timely as we’re in the holiday season. The end of the year typically represents a time of gathering and reflection, and a great reason to be more present with our current surroundings rather than our screens. I surveyed the Dragons Administrative Team and our Alumni Ambassadors about how they disconnect to connect.

Best tips and tricks for taking a break from our devices: 

  • I plug my phone in to charge in a different room so I'm not tempted to look at it last thing at night or first thing in the morning. I actually bought a nifty new alarm clock with one of those slow rise lights so that I'm not dependent on my phone for my alarm. When going out on a hike or drive somewhere, I'll try to consciously leave my phone behind so that I'm not dependent on the GPS at every turn. —Aaron Slosberg, Director of Student Programming 
  • With family, we do try to keep our phones off and away from us so that they're not at the dinner table or part of the conversation. One thing that is a pet peeve of mine is when someone is telling a story and they say, "Oh, let me show you the photo of this..." and while it's relevant to the story, I think it just kills the conversation because they pull out their phone, scroll to find the photo, and then the description and storytelling kind of just grinds to a halt. —Dragons Admin Team Member 
  • I've started trying to unplug as much as possible during the weekends. I go hang out at my mother-in-law's house. She doesn't have wifi and I won't touch my phone all day— just play with kids and drink tea and sit around talking and laughing. —Jenny Wagner, Staffing Director
  • I like to set time limits on my phone and also temporarily delete some apps when I feel like I’m going on them too much. —Sally Thomas, Alumni Ambassador
  • Communicate with others that you’re taking a break so they know not to worry. Additionally, let them know your preferred way of getting in touch or when you’ll be checking your phone/email/messages. —Alex Biddle, Digital Marketing Associate 
 

Benefits we experience and activities to do when taking a digital detox: 

  • Surfing is the ultimate unplugged activity for me, my digital free safe space. —Aaron Slosber, Director of Student Programming 
  • I take detox breaks when I spend time in nature, go for hikes, and when I can go camping I rarely use my phone and it works wonders for me and my life. When I’m not on my phone, I try to journal, talk with friends, connect with family, make music or other art, go outside, workout, hike, etc. I feel it helps me feel more clear headed and more present. —Lily Conquanto Alumni Ambassador
  • The benefits of disconnecting allows me the chance to take a few moments to reflect on the past year as I enter into the new year. Not to set "resolutions," but to reflect on my experiences, who I have become, and life's transitions. It forces me to sit with the uncomfortable in order to enter the new year with clarity. —Sarah Bennett O’Brien, Programming Associate 
  • A great way to disconnect is spending in person time with friends and family. Sally Thomas, Alumni Ambassador
  • I absolutely love reading books, enjoy painting in my free time, and I often take walks in nature. It definitely makes me feel less lazy doing these activities than being on my phone, and I feel more connection with everything and everyone around me. —Julia Borque, Alumni Ambassador 
  • Playing board games! —Eva Vanek, Director of Outreach 
  • Baking, to fill the house with scents of cinnamon & comfort! Helps the brain disengage from the chaos of everyday life and focus on the simple pleasure of being "home". Lisa Smith, Administrative Associate 
  • I love to post up at the breakfast table with my sketch pad and draw cabins in the woods. We have some land up on Lake Superior and one day I hope to build an artsy and soulful home for our family. Simon Hart, Director of Partnership and Educator Programming 
  • For me, disconnecting leaves room for surprise and spontaneity. I can't help but view this through the lens of young children. There's a cycle to this process, which is disconnect, then comes boredom (which usually leads to anger/frustration), and then spontaneous action…I love when we get to the final stage. Often it involves trashing the house to build a fort or an obstacle course. When they choose to draw quietly, it's blissful. Whatever it is, it's never something that I foresee, which is what I love most about disconnecting. I think the key is boredom. When they say they're bored, I know we're about to break through to something funky. —Reed Harwood, Executive Director 
  • My favorite things to do when I need a break from the internet are go outside or read! Neither of these activities require any technology so I can get a full break. —Alumni Ambassador

It feels good to take a break.

Even handwriting this post in a journal before typing it out was a joyful experience. I feel better. Don’t get me wrong, technology is a huge help for my day to day work and life, but it feels so good to take a little break. I hear the birds singing in the mesquite trees, I feel the warmth of the December sun, and see my dogs Bert and Ellie sunbathing and happy.  From all of us at Dragons, we’re wishing you a warm holiday season and hope you take time to disconnect digitally so you can connect to yourself and your loved ones. Here’s to soaking up the present moment.  Eager to keep reading about the power or disconnection and unplugged travel? You can check out this article for what it’s like to be on a Dragons course without your devices.  [post_title] => The Power of Disconnection [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-power-of-disconnection [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-12-22 12:24:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-12-22 19:24:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 697 [name] => Dragons Travel Guide [slug] => dragons-travel-guide [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 697 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 26 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 697 [category_count] => 26 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Dragons Travel Guide [category_nicename] => dragons-travel-guide [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/dragons-travel-guide/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorized [slug] => uncategorized [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 23 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 23 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Dragons Travel Guide, Global Community ... )
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    [post_content] => 

Meet Lin Theik

Lin is a 29 year old tour guide, educator, and entrepreneur from Myanmar. The ninth of ten children, Lin has a contagious enthusiasm for travel, learning from differing perspectives, and environmental entrepreneurism. Linn is a hero on many fronts - from exposing local youth to a variety of cultures within the borders of his own country to finding creative solutions for reusing plastic.

Lin’s Story

Lin had been working as a guide with a tour company leading young American students throughout Myanmar when he asked himself, “Why not do this with local students?” This question inspired him to found an organization, called Promised Land, that brings local youth on trips within Myanmar that exposes them to differing cultures and perspectives found within their own country. Lin teaches Myanmarese youth how to travel, guiding his students to reflect upon their own experiences and helping them to build a cohesive group dynamic. Students learn leadership skills, oversee the group budget, engage in trekking, and have discussions with local community members. Lin tries to give them, “what they cannot get from the city.” He says, “I’m trying to let them see what you really need to see, trying to get them to think outside the box.” Through these immersive and hands-on travel experiences, Lin aspires to cultivate a combination of confidence and respect within his students. Lin shares that one of the biggest obstacles in working with the youth of Myanmar is in fact their parents! Culturally, parents aren’t accustomed to being apart from their children and have high expectations for consistent communication and a low tolerance for separation. Lin surmounts these obstacles by posting daily messages on social media for the parents as well as keeping the trip length to a maximum of four days! Over the years, two prominent figures have influenced Lin’s approach to life. The first was his late father, whose wisdom shaped Lin’s heart-centered manner in which he approaches people. His father taught him,
'People will forget what you say and what you give, but they will never forget how you treat them.' The second was a former boss, who taught Lin, 'When you talk to the people, you talk with your heart, not with your brain.'
Those words of wisdom have a visible effect on the way in which Lin interacts with others; he exudes a zest for life and heart-centeredness that permeates all of his encounters. Lin states, “Traveling is important … to see the world in a different perspective.” He surmises that traveling is akin to standing in front of a mirror; it provides the opportunity to reflect upon one’s life and also to see from another person’s perspective. He shares, “The youth can change the world, if they try to know each other. If you want to know each other, you have to go to the place you’ve never been, talk to the people you’ve never talked to, and eat the food that you’ve never eaten.”
Forever the entrepreneurial spirit, when Lin isn’t busy guiding, he is developing a project to collect plastic and recycle it into bricks to be used for construction.
The idea came to him after watching local pagodas integrate straw to fortify the clay in the creation of bricks. He thought why not use plastic for the same purpose. He is in the process of creating this project and aspires to collect plastic gathered by people in his community by trading a prescribed amount for a t-shirt. We’ll end with Lin’s words of wisdom: “Walk the way you’ve never walked. Don’t judge people, go the road the people go so you will see it. Go travel and learn. You can have fun and see what is there.” Lin believes that meeting new people and seeing the world through different points of view is the key to understanding and true happiness. Lin's Film Recommendation: The Lady Lin's Book Recommendation: Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess Lin's Favorite Myanmarese Food: Mohinga: rice noodle soup served with beans, egg, and banana stem. An essential part of Burmese cuisine that is eaten in the morning and evening. To learn more about this inspiring human and his organization, please visit Lin’s website: Promised Land Myanmar.
 
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[post_title] => Local Heroes Series: Lin Theik, Myanmar [post_excerpt] => Meet Linn Theik. Linn is a 2x year old tour guide, educator, and entrepreneur from Myanmar. The ninth of ten children, Linn has a contagious enthusiasm for travel, learning from differing perspectives, and environmental entrepreneurism. Linn is a hero on many fronts - from exposing local youth to a variety of cultures within the borders of his own country to finding creative solutions for reusing plastic. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => local-heroes-series-linn-theik-myanmar [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-23 17:16:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-23 23:16:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 776 [name] => Local Heroes Series [slug] => local-heroes-series [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 776 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 776 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Local Heroes Series [category_nicename] => local-heroes-series [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/local-heroes-series/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 7 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorized [slug] => uncategorized [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 23 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 23 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Local Heroes Series, Global Community ... )
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    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-06-03 14:31:50
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-03 20:31:50
    [post_content] => Dear Dragons Community,

On Monday, May 25th—Memorial Day—George Floyd was murdered under the knee of a Minnesota police officer. In a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, Floyd’s death compounded the pain of another open wound: the wound of American racism, an infection that has festered for 400 years. It oozes hatred and rage and violence. It blinds so many to the full, sacred humanity of Blackness.

We write to you today to fight that infection. We know that Black Lives Matter. And in the words of instructor Caleb Brooks, “we know that George mattered, that he was imbued with the life force that every poet and theologian and artist and shaman has lived and died trying to translate into the broken languages by which we express our love and also our hate.”

We write to grieve with you, and to join hands with you against the systems that killed George Floyd.

We condemn the racist policies, white supremacy, and police brutality that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and innumerable others. White people and white-run organizations must actively work against the legacies of white supremacy, racism, settler colonialism, patriarchy and structural inequality upon which this country was built and that pervade the lives of Black and Brown people in the US every day.  

As an administrative team, we regret that it has taken us until now to make this statement publicly. We acknowledge that we benefit from these heinous legacies and have a responsibility to dismantle them. Our mission to build a just and equitable world requires sustained anti-racist action. We stand in solidarity with those demanding racial justice. We invite you, our community, to join us in the movement for sustainable transformation. 

Today, Dragons donated to Black Lives Matter 5280, a small organization on the front lines of the protest in Denver, near our headquarters. You can find more organizations to which our staff are donating, and more ways to get educated and involved below.

The work of liberation is hard and at times may feel impossible. But, to echo James Baldwin, “in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand.”

In solidarity, 

The Where There Be Dragons Administrative Team

 

RESOURCES TO GET EDUCATED AND INVOLVED

Thank you to Black-led activists who have created these resources, which we have pulled from various locations. 

READ

We encourage you to purchase your books from black-owned and African American-focused bookstores. You can find a list here
  • ain’t i a woman by bell hooks
  • Ally Resource Guide
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Black Lives Matter Syllabus 
  • Choke Hold by Paul Butler
  • Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper 
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall 
  • How to be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • How We Get Free edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson 
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat White Supremacy, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
  • Native Son by Richard Wright 
  • POC Online Classroom  
  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde 
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi 
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein 
  • The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
  • What to do Instead of Calling the Police 
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors & asha bandele
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
  • Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price
  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis 

LISTEN

WATCH

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • BlacKKKlansman (Spike Lee) — HBO
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — HBO
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to watch FREE for the month of June
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • Rachel Cargle’s Address on the Revolution 
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • Systematic Racism Explained
  • Tamika Mallory’s Speech on George Floyd Protests
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

DONATE

GET INVOLVED

  • #AmplifyMelanatedVoices when sharing content
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for George Floyd
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for James Scurlock
  • Click for a pre-made email draft to demand justice for Tony McDade
  • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO VOTE
  • Get involved with your local government to end police brutality 
  • Join Local Black Lives Matter Chapters
  • Join Local allyship organizations such as SURJ

SUPPORT/FOLLOW

MORE

 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-05-28 12:03:20
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-28 18:03:20
    [post_content] => As the world battles the spread of COVID-19, many people, communities, and nonprofits are facing immense hardship. In response, the Dragons Fund, our nonprofit partner organization, created the Community Relief Fund to support communities that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 during this unprecedented pause of travel and tourism.
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Hover over the interactive map to view grant locations.
 
In just two months the Community Relief Fund has raised $15,000+ which has been distributed through small grants mostly aimed at providing food and essential supplies such as personal protective equipment to vulnerable households. Some examples of how these funds have been mobilized:
 
  • Indonesia: A $525 grant in Yogyakarta provided essential meal kits to 39 families, provided 25 hazmat suits to public health workers, and built a public handwashing station
  • India: A $1000 grant to Aajeevika Bureau, an Indian nonprofit working on the front lines of the migrant crisis
  • Senegal: A $700 grant provided food supplies to vulnerable households in seven communities (Dene, Ndioukhane, Yoff, Mouit, Temanto Samba, Dindefelo, and Niodior) and a $500 grant to purchase personal protective equipment for medical workers
  • Bolivia: Two grants totaling $1,300 to provide critical food supplies to households in El Alto, Tiquipaya, and Cochabamba
  • Cambodia: A $500 grant to Women's Resource Center, a local organization providing emergency food, hygiene products, and medicine to those in need of support
  • Nepal: A $500 grant provided essential food packages to 26 families in Panauti (rice, lentils, oil, sugar, tea, soap, beaten rice, fried lentils, soy nuggets, salt)
  • Peru: A $500 grant to Sacred Valley Health, a local organization that supports and trains community health workers
Additional project proposals are underway.
Learn more about the Community Grant Fund!
 
PS. WANT DRAGONS BLOG UPDATES SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? ONE EMAIL A WEEK. NOTHING MARKETY. UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAGONS BLOG AND STAY CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY. ❤️
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