Tag Archives: Yellow Springs

Open letter to the Yellow Springs Village Council

June 12, 2020

Dear Yellow Springs Village Council,

I am writing in support of declaring racism a public health crisis. It is a health crisis everywhere. Naming is important.

YS is a white-heavy town. We like to think of ourselves as part of the solution. But are we really part of the solution, yet? Even (maybe especially) in “progressive” places like this, (we) white people need to do real work–toil–not just giving lip service–to dismantle racism and white supremacy. Kindness is not enough. I know we humans are all at different stages in the process (internally and externally) of the walk toward true equality, and I think that calling racism a health crisis is a reasonable early step.

And: it’s just a start.

We have years of work to do, in our bodies and in our communities. Listen well. Listen well. White people need to listen before talking, and do what we can. Every day we can do more. Do what we can, inside and outside ourselves.

I hope this will be the real start of real change. I am committed to doing what I can. I hope the YS leadership will, too.

I encourage you to read this important book: My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem (read more and order it here: https://www.resmaa.com/books/). Resmaa Menakem writes about the trauma that racism inflicts upon bodies, specifically Black, white, and police bodies. We Americans (yes, even in YS) all carry racial trauma in our bodies, and until we work through and resolve that terrible condition, we won’t have real, lasting change, in YS or anywhere.

What a beautiful opportunity we have right now.

It’s going to be the most worthwhile work we can do in our lifetimes.

Please let’s not go halfway.


Rebecca Kuder


Register NOW for Writer’s Play Time!



Rediscover and liberate your sense of play! Unleash your creative spark! Demystify and disarm the inner critical voice that’s holding you back! Nourish any creative process. Inspired by the work of Lynda Barry (Artist and author of WHAT IT IS and SYLLABUS) we will write and draw and move. Please wear comfortable clothing. Must be 13 years or older.

WHERE: Yellow Springs Library

WHEN: Sunday, September 10, 2017 from 2-4  PM

Register now!

YS News piece on Antioch School Gala & Jon Langford


Joe Strummer print by Jon Langford, who will be in Yellow Springs this weekend!

Here’s a piece the Yellow Springs News posted about this weekend’s Langford-palooza.  It’s going to be fun!  If you’re able to do so, listen to WYSO at 12:15pm today when Niki Dakota will interview Jon Langford.

Grateful, again

creature/creation of earth

creature/creation of earth

Overheard, Yellow Springs, Ohio, on a single day in my grateful life: People singing show tunes around the piano at Emporium Wines & The Underdog Cafe​ this morning; Antioch College students singing together in the Olive Kettering Library; Grace itself in the form of the World House Choir​ singing, this evening, singing to the Mother of us all, the earth.

The world feels full of beauty and love, at the moment.  I’ll cling to this notion, make it my lifeline, for the rainy, dark days that are surely ahead.

Wishing the bubble were sturdier

Yellow Springs, a long time ago.

Yellow Springs, a long time ago.

(Caution: tired writer.  Mixed metaphors ahead…)

I grew up in a small town.  Though we had our quirks and craziness, and we were not immune to death and grief, the town felt safe when I was a kid.  It has felt safe to raise a kid here, too, and I am grateful to live in a true community, where people see each other, pay attention, and in the ways we can, take care of each other.  Having moved within walking distance to town, this summer, I was looking forward to echoing my own childhood: biking with my kid, hot afternoons at the swimming pool, soft serve ice cream, fun.  This sense of safety in my own town (yes, “my,” because I have a sense of investment and ownership in this place) is a cozy blanket I’ve enjoyed, and taken for granted, most of my life.

But since June, my security has been rocked by several situations that leave me feeling vulnerable.  I think back to the moment of Truman Capote’s “nonfiction novel,” In Cold Blood; I think back to the moment when people began locking their doors.

Earlier this year, there was a rash of burglaries that had many in Yellow Springs feeling vulnerable.  That situation ended in the arrest of a troubled man who grew up here.  Add the accumulation of things that is making me feel vulnerable this summer:

1. On June 12, someone sprayed undiluted herbicide on the grass at the pool, opening a controversy in our small town that is still going on;

2. On June 27, reportedly, someone with a gun was seen near the outdoor education center at Glen Helen where my daughter had been a camper earlier in the summer, which turned out to be a hoax reported by a camp counselor, who was then put on administrative leave;

3. On July 11, a local man attempted suicide, which resulted in a police search and brief lockdown of my workplace during the Antioch Writers’ Workshop;

4. Last week, another local man, allegedly pissed off about the potential for a farm lab at Antioch College, threatened to shoot the members of the Village Council and was arrested (sorry, I couldn’t find a link to this story);

5. Last night, there was a shoot-out resulting in a man dying, less than a block from a house where I used to live.

Notice: four of five of these summer situations involve guns, or the idea of guns.  Big deal, right?  This might not sound like much to people who live in larger cities, or dangerous parts of the world.  For a town with population under 4,000 people, however, these are big, and rattling.  I know people live (and even thrive) in war zones. But this summer’s accumulation of trauma in the village, the pile of things that shake our sense of safety, is palpable.  It takes brute effort not to pass my worry and fear to my five-year-old daughter.  (Oh, and, nothing to do with guns, but two  difficult events this summer: 1. Camille Willis, Yellow Springs resident and mother of my dear childhood friends–and a second mother to me–died very suddenly during the second week of June.  No gun involved, but the loss is central in wobbling my feeling of home, and safety.  2. Jimmy Chesire, beloved T-Ball coach, had a serious head injury.  Luckily, he is healing well, and so there’s some bright spot in that fact.)

When I think about where to focus efforts for controlling the proliferation of guns, I don’t even know where to start.  I know we also need deeper support for people who are afraid, for people who are in (mental, spiritual, emotional, physical) pain.  I know it’s more complicated than “guns kill people” but I also know that if it weren’t so damn easy to get guns, guns would kill fewer people.

I’ve been brewing a blog post about this soup of summer grief.  Today, after the latest event, I am sad and ragged.  Sad and ragged for all the people who’ve been hurt and affected by these situations.  I wish the bubble were sturdier.