Meet The Women Of Color Bicycle Brigade “Ovarian Psycos” In This PBS Documentary

Independent Lens / Youtube

What comes to mind when you think of cycling? Spandex bike shorts? Sweaty dudes with one-piece cycling outfits half-zipped with chest hair dripping oily sweat? Someone cutting through traffic, ruining your commute, and not following traffic laws?

Yeah, the Ovarian Psycos are definitely not that.

Recently, PBS’ Independent Lens released “Ovarian Psycos,” a documentary about an L.A.-based cycling brigade of the same name.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

They are comprised completely of women, women-identified and gender non-conforming folks, who together, empower, support and build community around fighting anti-women and anti-immigrant sentiments. They gather, they ride and they fight for what’s right.

The Ovarian Psycos ride for the important cause of empowering women.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

One of the coolest things they do is their “Luna Ride,” which happens once every full moon.  After a message goes out for them to gather, they assemble, have open dialogue, chant things like “whose streets? – our streets!” and, most importantly, they ride in unity.

Men are not allowed to join at all – which is one of the important rules that helps them to “claim space in very dangerous zones,” as founder Xela De La X puts it.

PBS released several videos to promote the full documentary. In this promo, they discuss the Luna Ride, which men aren’t invited to.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

At one point in the video, some onlooking men are asked “how do you feel that you men are not allowed on Luna Rides?” To which one of the men replies, seemingly understanding the need for exclusivity in the group, saying “anyone who has been on any mass group rides, know it’s like 10% women and the rest is just a bunch of guys.”

In another powerful clip from the documentary, Ovarian Psyco Andi Xoch paints a vivid picture of women’s roles in The Chicano Movement.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

Interlaced with protest footage from civil-rights era in East L.A., where Xoch says the Chicano movement arose, Xoch rides the streets on her bike, weaving through the neighborhood with a backdrop of giant murals. She describes how powerful it was to have Chicanos paint the neighborhood. The clip, although only two minutes long, really gives a whole picture of the bridge between that time period and now, a period they feel almost wholly erased from.

UCLA Professor and author of ¡Chicana Power!, Maylei Blackwell, masterfully make connections between 60’s civil-rights movements and the goals of Ovarian Psycos today.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

Of the time period the clip shows, Professor Blackwell discusses how women have felt left out of parts of history they are most responsible for:

“Women in the Chicano Movement, women in the Black Power Movement, in the Asian-American Movement really looked at how women were core community organizers, how they really could organize for community transformation and how they’ve been written out of history.”

On riding together with other women and having “back up,” Xela says, “You feel like you can win the war. You feel like nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop you.”

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube


Watch the full documentary here on PBS.

[H/T] ‘Ovarian Psycos’: Young L.A. Latinas Forge Activism, Empowerment Through Biking

READ: Latinas Are One Of The Fastest Growing Demographics According To This Study And We’re Also Becoming Businesswomen

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This App Promises To Help People Alert Others About Ice Raids


This App Promises To Help People Alert Others About Ice Raids

These days, there’s pretty much an app for everything. Dating. Got it. Walking Dogs. Sure thing. ICE raids? Yep, that too. A new app called Notifica is designed to warn people of ICE raids in their area, providing them with crucial time-saving options to protect those they love most. Thanks to Adrian Reyna and Natalia Margolis’ shared desire to protect those vulnerable to President Trump’s policies, the app will be available on April 10th.

Notificia was partially conceived by Adrian Reyna of immigrant’s rights advocacy group United We Dream.

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Adrian Reyna, the Director of Membership & Technology Strategies at United We Dream, had been kicking around the idea for the app for a while. As Trump gathered momentum during the 2016 campaign, Reyna, a DACA recipient, saw the writing on the wall, Rolling Stone reports. Reyna, who came with his parents from Mexico, understood the uncertainty immigrants face living undocumented in the U.S. He wanted to do something about it.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reyna explained the panic that the undocumented face when ICE shows up unannounced.

As Reyna told The Rolling Stone:

[ICE] shows up unannounced to neighborhoods, public spaces and work places, most people think, ‘Oh, you can run away,’ but that’s not the case for many [undocumented] immigrants. It paralyzes you. You go into shock. In that moment, you have to think about all of the multiple intricacies: What are they going to do? Who should I call? What should I tell them? Having to sort through all of that in a moment of fear is impossible.

As Fox News reports, Reyna has had several family members deported.

So when Reyna met Natalia Margolis, a software engineer at the San Francisco based HUGE, the two decided to make Notifica a reality.

While Reyna brought understanding of immigration advocacy and the needs of the undocumented community, Margolis had the technical know-how to bring this app to life. According to Rolling Stone, Margolis was able to develop a prototype for the app in just 24 hours. Margolis explained how the app meets the needs of the undocumented in an interview with NPR:

Undocumented immigrants already have networks that they can activate in case of an emergency, and they wanted a way to be able to activate those networks quickly.

He explained why an app would be more effective than texting:

And there’s often not enough time to send out all of those messages at once. So this app lets you have a plan in place and lets you activate those messages immediately with the press of one button.

Notifica offers users several options to protect themselves and their loved ones.

As Fox News reports, Notifica users will have the option to almost instantly send 15 SMS messages pre-selected contacts. The messages will be PIN protected and they will delete from the phone as soon as they are opened. The user can set up custom messages so each recipient gets the most relevant information. As Reyna explained to Rolling Stone, “The app will help individuals think of these things way ahead of time before they happen and reduce the action that someone has to take in a moment to one simple thing.”

Notifica is free to download and will be available on April 10th. Fox News reports that over 8,000 people have already registered to download the app once it goes online.

[h/t] Rolling Stone: Inside the New Emergency App for Undocumented Immigrants

READ: Ireland’s Prime Minister Gave An Emotional Speech About The Power Of Immigration As President Trump Looked On

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