Running on Empty

Good morning, friends.

This week we are here in solidarity.

With our friends and loved ones in Texas, who are once again fighting to survive another unnatural disaster.

With our friends at universities everywhere, who are, in the words of one colleague, “Exhausted, isolated, and running on empty.”

We know that this is hard. We hope that the projects and stories featured in this week’s newsletter are a source of solace and strength.

— Hannah for the VFC



This week in feelings

Take this week's feelings survey

This week, you’re tired.

I just feel like I can't anymore. Can't anything. And yet, here we are with another morning.

Completely worn out, but there's no way to take a break.

I wish there were a way to declare no-fault bankruptcy on everything I'd agreed to do before March 2020.

For the record, we’re here to give you a free pass on saying no to everything. You won’t get any judgment from us.

We also want to send some special love to everyone looking for a job right now. February has always been the hardest time of year for those on the job market. This year, in a panini?

I've applied for over 50 positions this year and I'm just...too exhausted to even find the energy to "pivot" to "alt-ac" careers. Expecting to be another unemployed/underemployed PhD come May.

Just here to affirm that this is very, very hard.


Featured Project: Homegoing

In case you missed it, a new project from COVIDBlack launched this week. COVIDBlack is dedicated to “connecting Black communities to their data.” Their new project aims to “transform the datification of Black death into a process of recovery and restoration of Black humanity.”

technology of recovery drives “Homegoing” and transforms both existing quantitative and qualitative data on Black death into a visual restoration of Black humanity. The project is grounded in the cultural history of enslaved African people who viewed death, despite its painful resonance, as a celebration and an occasion to return “home,” …a release from earthly misery. In a similar vein, “Homegoing” uses data on the loss of Black life to create a site of remembrance that honors Black life in its fullest and richest form and provides a refuge from the totalizing oppression of racism in American society.

Read more about the project.


Texas solidarity

The weather is a little better in Texas, but so many people could still use our help. If you have some resources, consider giving to these community-based organizations. h/t Gabi Baeza.

  1. Fe y Esperanza (http://stpaulshouston.org/espanol.) To donate go to: http://stpaulshouston.org/give. Click Give, select "Other/Events", and write in the memo "Fe y Esperanza".

  2. Vecinos Health Centers (@VecinoHC) serve so much of Houston and surrounding areas uninsured population. https://vecinohealthcenters.org/give/

  3. Casa Juan Diego - https://cjd.org/how-you-can-help/donate/.

  4. Plant it Forward- https://plant-it-forward.org/. Their crops have been decimated by the freeze and the donations here would help them rebuild. Here’s the story on their losses https://houston.eater.com/2021/2/18/22288224/houston-winter-storm-plant-it-forward-farms-refugee-farmers-crop-loss

  5. FAM Houston - works especially with refugee communities from Africa. They are in need of donations. Donate here: https://www.famhoustontx.org/give

  6. Esperanza Peace and Justice Center: https://esperanzacenter.org/

  7. Check out this list of mutual aid orgs across Texas.



News & Events from the VFC

Upcoming Events

  • Join us for our second Academic Tarot party! We’ll spend time in solidarity and look to the cards for help answering difficult questions about the future of higher ed. March 9 from 5-7pm et. Email for a zoom link.

  • VFC members: our next project meeting is Friday 2/26 at 3:30pm et. Contact us for details.

  • VFC at NeMLA: Join VFC members and other amazing folks at the Northeast MLA for a panel on “Re-imaging transferable skills: Professional Development in a post-COVID world” (Thursday March 11, 5-6:30 et).

VFC Updates

  • The Campus Caregivers Project is a VFC initiative that aims to document the conditions of caregivers on campus, and take action to fight for a better future. Check out our new website, with updated data and an action toolkit.

  • The VFC was nominated for a DH Award! 😍 Take a look at all of the amazing nominated projects, and make sure to vote … even if it’s not for us.