Photo provided by Meera Ghani

Meera Ghani (she/her) is a Pakistani community organizer and activist living in Brussels. She’s the one of the Co-Founders of the Moxie Consultancy Collective. As a brown, queer, Muslim, feminist, immigrant parent, she’s deeply invested in building radical communities of care.

In a phone call, Meera and I connected over growing up, coming into a consciousness about the environment and feminism, and what it’s like to be a parent today. Meera first started caring about climate change when she was a child. “Back then, in the 80s, it was called global warming and as I became more and more interested…

Sundeep Boparai (photo provided by Sundeep)

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sundeep Boparai, human rights, social justice, and trans activist Operations Manager of Northwell Health Physician Partners LGBTQ Transgender Program at New Hyde Park. We talked about how important it is for the LGBTQ+ community to have comprehensive health care, how broken our overall system is, and how affirming health centers, like his, are having a huge impact.

Although I don’t live a trans experience, as a gender expansive, queer woman, I’ve had my share of medical traumas including being molested by a doctor at 19. Partially because of internalized homophobia I did not…

Photo from Jiroe on Unsplash

I’ve taken to considering the whole month of February about love. It has nothing to do with the dark origins of Valentine’s Day or maybe it does. Out of brutality, out of oppression, love keeps us afloat.

Do you remember the first time you held hands with a lover walking through a public park or kissed one another outside a café before parting ways? For those of us who occupy relationships that have been marginalized and criminalized — the ability to show love and affection to our significant others, to our romantic chums, to our crushes, both privately and publicly…

Katy and Jessey Christmas Tree 2020

As I get older I find myself becoming less and less all or nothing. Despite my desire to buck consumerism and the patriarchy of Santa, I find myself once again wrapped in the wiles of Christmas.

Sure, we have our alternative Christmas Eve tradition where we find a tree in the woods to decorate for the animals. In the afternoon we string cranberries and popped corn and cereals o’s and slice oranges and apples to share. Jessey, my kid, adds oats and nuts to the ideas of what I should pack. …

Photo taken by Katy Chatel

Dear Paige,

You and Molly are old enough now to know why we never got a proper goodbye. That last summer I came with you to Michigan, the one where I made you the pirate birthday cake filled with Fruit Loops necklaces and Blow Pop rings, and the loot of thrift store mini toys your mom would have bought new. The summer I took Molly out for walks in the umbrella stroller that snagged at every bump in the sidewalk and she’d say, “Go faster, Mommy,” because in our perpetual game of pretend, I was always the mommy.

In real…

In the age of Zoom fatigue parents often want more off-screen options for their kids. Here are 14 ideas to get you started.

Pet Rocks

Oliver Paaske Unspl

Learn about different types of rocks. Go on a walk to find a rock of your own. If you would like a pet rock, think of a name and create a habitat for it. You can use paint, glue, googly eyes or buttons to decorate your rock or leave it as it is.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Choreograph a dance. This can easily be done solo or with siblings, classmates, or neighbors. This…

Photo by Elliott Stallion Unsplash

Gearing up for Election Day is anything but business as usual this year. Due to the pandemic people will be voting by mail in record numbers, there may be lower turn out at voting places, and there is still confusion over voting options. One of the challenges we face with 50, somewhat autonomous states is the lack of a centralized process for administering the election and counting votes. Each state has its own rules.

Distrust in the Process of Counting Votes

Even before the coronavirus blanketed the election in logistical challenges and suppression of voters of color, Americans worried about…

Day 5: Our bodies, Our Rules: Awareness, Agency, and Consent

One of the things our young people are learning during the pandemic is about personal space, gauging other people’s comfort with proximity, and protecting one another with mask wearing and proper hygiene.

Creating opportunity for body awareness, agency over what happens to our bodies, and ongoing consent can and should happen all the time but is particularly accessible when we’re home with our families.

Photo by Hisu Lee Unsplash

Body Tracing

You’ll need a big cardboard box you can unfold, a giant roll of paper, or some chalk and a safe spot to lie on the cement or asphalt. With permission, have one person lie…

Day 4: Room for All Emotions and Feelings

Some emotions are explosive, others are quiet. We all have them. Part of our job as parents is to help our children regulate behavior, while allowing them to release all emotions and express feelings unencumbered by judgement.

Explore mood and feelings with music

Select a handful of songs from different genres of music. Sit quietly, draw, or move as you listen to the song. How does the music feel in your body? What does it make you think of? What feelings come up? What mood are you in when the song is over? What kind of music makes you feel…

An Opportunity for Personal and Community Growth

Photo from Chloe S. Unsplash

When I was twelve I organized a Save the Earth Committee with my female friends. One weekend we set out to clean litter out of our town brook. My mom, who used to wear t-shirts that read Women Power: It’s Much Too Good to Waste and A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle, dropped us off with two trash barrels. We waded into the brook, mucky water overflowed our rainboots as we fished handful after handful of Capri Sun juice pouches, aluminum and polyethylene Bugles bags, and brown beer bottles out from under fallen tree branches…

Katy Chatel

is a writer whose passions include social equity, environmental justice, and parenting.

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