Brenda Howard—The bisexual activist you need to know

By Nicole Mitchell

“The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why Gay Pride Month is June tell them, ‘A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.’” — Brenda Howard

While it’s true that the first pride was a riot, many credit bisexual and LGBTQIA+ Activist Brenda Howard for continuing the fight and making June officially known as Pride Month—therefore awarding her the name of “Mother of Pride.”

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What is the path forward in a post-Roe world?

By Katie Harbinson

With the fall of Roe v Wade upon us, we must begin to envision a world without equitable abortion access. In Oklahoma, we have a terrifying view of what is to come; just last month, the state enacted a total abortion ban with very few exceptions. This ban is the strictest in the country and claims that life begins at the moment of conception. While there are exceptions for incest or sexual assault, the survivor must have a police report on file to obtain an abortion. Given how underreported sexual violence is, this requirement effectively nullifies these exceptions. 

Oklahoma has also copied the bounty hunting clause of Texas’ SB-8, allowing citizens to file suit against those believed to be assisting with abortions in any capacity. If a vigilante lawsuit is successful, the plaintiffs are awarded $10,000 and legal fees. Meanwhile, if the defendant wins the lawsuit, they are unable to recoup any fees associated with the suit. The impact of this vigilante clause is heartbreaking—patients are afraid to seek miscarriage management and providers are turning away patients experiencing complications after miscarriages or abortions out of fear. In addition to the lives lost by lack of access to abortion care, these vigilante clauses will only increase the already too stark death toll.  

Across the country, anti-abortion extremists stand poised to enact similar abortion bans in light of the repeal of Roe. These pieces of legislation are known as “trigger bans,” meaning the ban can be triggered into action after the repeal of abortion protections in Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. While the legislation and process of enacting these laws vary on a state-by-state basis, they will not go into effect immediately after Roe is repealed. While many states have already enacted their trigger bans, abortion access still varies greatly by state

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Women to Watch—A New World: 2024, KC’s newest art exhibit

By Nicole Mitchell

Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is opening its newest art exhibit this month: the Women to Watch exhibition (Women to Watch—A New World: 2024). The series has been held every few years and invites women artists from across the country to respond to a theme picked by Washington, D.C.-based organization National Museum of Women Artists (NMWA) curators. Kemper participated most recently in the series in 2019 with Paper Routes—Women to Watch 2020. This exhibition will be the seventh total installment of the Women to Watch series.

The theme for this year’s exhibition was inspired by the events of 2020, including a global health pandemic, intense calls for social reform, and political division. Artists across the U.S. used this as inspiration to express visions of a new world.

This year, Kemper’s presentation of Women to Watch—A New World: 2024 features five local artists Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud) (Aaniiih, born 1977), Bianca Fields (American, born 1995), Bev Gegen (American, born 1937), Melanie Johnson (American, born 1978), and Sun Young Park (South Korean, born 1990). The presentation was juried by Kemper Museum Director of Curatorial Affairs Erin Dziedzic and presented in cooperation with the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the NMWA.

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Author Alice Faye Duncan Reflects on Activist Opal Lee, Meaning of Juneteenth

By Sophie Oswald

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South, but the decree wasn’t fully enacted until two years later on June 19, 1865, when news reached enslaved people in Texas that they were free. 

Since, June 19, or Juneteenth, has marked celebrations of the end of slavery, but it wasn’t until last year that Juneteenth became a federal holiday through a bill signed by President Joe Biden. One of the people in the room that day was Opal Lee, the focus of Alice Faye Duncan’s newest children’s book, Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free. 

Opal Lee, also known as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” played a key role in making Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday.

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AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Travis Young

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young and Travis Carroll

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Photographer

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

My parents are from Vietnam!

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

My parents ended up in Garden City, KS, because there was work at a meatpacking plant. That’s where I was born. Then as I graduated high school I got a substantial scholarship from any in-state college so I used it to get me to KU in Lawrence, KS. After graduating there I moved to KC because it was the closest and biggest city population-wise that I had experienced at that point.

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