Conditions 4 Change: A Pedagogical Cypher Review

3/24/21 An event co-led by Jessica Nicoll and Quilan Cue Arnold

I’m witnessing my Asian-American colleague jump, shake, convulse her body as Lizzo tells our community to “fuck it up” through her song, “Tempo.” Digital displays of bodies pop on my Zoom screen in response to the vibrations that are virally spreading through the virtual system and into the nervous ones. My system is rocking-and-rolling with the shimmering energy; sending my spirit through an emotional chaos:

A colleague I 


A human

I love. 


Grieving. Mourning.

Death. Asian. Asian-American. 

Hate. Salon.

Prison. People called Black. Death. 

Hate. Bigotry. 

Fuck it up!

My focus darts around my room to find tools that will help me channel this chaos. As Lizzo cuts away, the vibe she impulsed carries me to snatch a marker, rip an envelope open, write, and present “Stop Killing Us” to the screen while my shoulders bounce-and-sway to the trace of “Tempo.” All images cut away as well…except for one. Looming white hands manipulating crumpled pieces of paper consume the image next to mine. I crumple mine too and forcefully throw. it. aT. tHE. IMAGE! The hands in it begin to withdraw; revealing the face behind the looming whiteness. I recognize that this, too, is a colleague I admire and a human I love. 

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