Volunteer Research Assistants

reparationsI am reporting this call for volunteers because I am a big fan of Ms. Ayo’s work. Her non-published confrontation with gentrification inspired me. Her original website, now a book, demanded recognition for the “little things” of racism and her reparations work is intense in both its humor and its honesty. I have included her art as a form of feminist theory in my classes, even in the face of overwhelming racial supremacy in response.

That being said, research positions like these are usually paid labor. They require long hours, serious commitment, and though the skill set can be reused recompense marks the acknowledgment that said labor is above and beyond a normal work week. Ms. Ayo is asking for a 12 month commitment which means your labor will be diverted for a considerable amount of time. There is no pay being offered here.

Apply with the knowledge that you will most likely expand your horizons, get a front row seat to art as activism, and be engaged in provocative and timely social change art formation but you will not have any extra money in your pocket.

I believe strongly that social change agents need to value their own labor and the labor that they ask of others. Money does not measure value when you are committed to a cause, but to be committed without money requires a certain level of economic capital many people simply cannot afford. There are grants for social justice work, grants for art projects, and BIG grants for art as social change work (I know b/c my gf writes them regularly).

only one

And now that the disclaimer has been printed:

The Job that May Change Your Life

If Not a Little Piece of

the World


Seeking a Team of Research Assistants (damali ayo)
Reply to: damali@damaliayo.com

I am building a team of researchers (10) for a new project. (book and web)

you should have good writing skills, good communication skills, community values, excellent ethics, high standards, regularly use email and IM, be able to work without discussing the project with people outside the team, and be able to make a 12 month commitment to the project.

You will be researching one of several specific social issues (race, gender, drunk driving, raising children, nutrition….etc.) from a historical and current perspective. You will take notes and fill out standardized forms for me as a way of collecting your research. (so both forms and prose reports will be needed from you). All sources must be documented.

Research team members, are volunteers, but will be well credited and deeply (and publicly) appreciated for their work on this project. People who do good work for me get a reference for life, support, and advice when needed.

Interview, writing sample, and three references required.

I will be happy to provide a reference for you from my assistant as to what working for me entails/what thedamali experience is like. She will also be co-coordinating the team.

more about me and my work at http://damaliayo.com


i look forward to hearing from you.

damali ayo
artist. author. speaker.

She really is cool people. So check it out.

and Ms. Ayo, if you are out there, I will be happy to write a grant for or with you, let’s chat.


2 thoughts on “Volunteer Research Assistants

  1. I heard her interviewed on KBOO a couple of times. Awesome and awe inspiring. I like the way she did the collecting for slavery. It inspires me to think of doing something similar for Indians, I just hardly have the time to think about it let alone act on it, though.”…even in the face of overwhelming racial supremacy in response.”I’m good at talking to these kinds of people. When I’m done, they usually walk away with their tails between their legs.I hope to meet Demali someday.

  2. she still lives in Portland, right? My friends say she has a studio downtown in the N. park blocks if that helps get you in touch.it is easy to talk to supremacists on the street (easy being relative of course) but in a classroom you cannot just tell them what you think about their behavior, name it, and demand they engage the issues or get out, especially not when the leadership feels the same way.if you do get the time to collect stories for a public exhibit or book that would be amazing. Smith’s book talks about a present day death in one of the “Indian Schools” in Oregon and implies that history and the present are not that far apart in said schools there. It would definitely be worth exposing.

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