(A group of Indigenous people and allies march in the 2023 Baltimore Pride Parade carrying rainbow flags. Photo credit Eleanor Goldfield.)
Crushing Colonialism was founded and operated by Indigenous people working in a variety of storytelling fields across the world. We work to increase the pay and employment of Indigenous storytellers while also promoting their work, providing funding for media and arts projects, and increasing access to professional representation.
Crushing Colonialism’s mission is to uplift and tell the stories of Indigenous people through media and traditional storytelling. We produce international reporting and organizing to inform and empower marginalized community members, create professional opportunities, and advocate for the just funding and employment of Native media workers and storytellers. In doing this we control our narratives in order to crush colonialism.
Crushing Colonialism tells the stories of Indigenous people to create a world that values and honors Indigeneity.
(A group of Indigenous youth stand together with a fist in the air behind two large banners that read “Biden: Reject pipelines. Protect the future. NoDAPL. StopLine3” and the second reads “Biden, Army Corps: Your inaction=our death.” There are flags, a Native staff, and a very large puppet in the background of a black snake to symbolize DAPL. Photo credit Jen Deerinwater.)
(Jen, a light-complected femme presenting person with black glasses, brown, wavy, shoulder-length hair worn down, sits in a park with stone masonry and trees behind hir. Jen’s left fist is raised in the air, exposing tattoos and a Native designed turquoise, yellow, red, and white bangle bracelet. Hir right hand is holding onto one side of a Native made yellow, black, and white beaded medallion with the Crushing Colonialism logo in the center. Jen is wearing a black, short sleeve shirt and large, yellow earrings.)
Founding Executive Director
Jen Deerinwater is a bisexual, Two-Spirit, multiply-disabled, citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and an award-winning journalist and organizer who covers the myriad of issues hir communities face with an intersectional lens. Jen is the founding executive director of Crushing Colonialism and a 2019 New Economies Reporting Project and a 2020 Disability Futures fellow.
Jen received a B.A. from the University of Southern California in Gender Studies and Political Science with an emphasis on American Federal Government, a Graduate Certificate in Women in Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a M.S. in Communications Management from Simmons College.
Jen is a contributor to Truthout and hir work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including Bitch, Rewire.News, and New Now Next. Jen’s writing is included in the anthologies Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty First Century, We Organize to Change Everything: Fighting for Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice, Property Will Cost Us the Earth: Direct Action and the Future of the Global Climate Movement, and Crip Authorship: Disability as Method. Jen is also hard at work on two books, including Sacred and Subversive, a 2LGBTQIA+ anthology on faith and spirituality.
Jen has been interviewed for numerous outlets on hir work and The Advocate named Jen a 2019 Champion of Pride. Jen is also a 2022 member of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.
Jen currently serves on the HIV Epidemic among Urban Natives Community Advisory Board with Johns Hopkins University and Native American Lifelines and is a board member of the Disabled Journalist Association.
While a nomad at heart and raised in rural areas of her nation’s reservation in Oklahoma and rural Texas, Jen currently lives on occupied Piscataway land known as Washington DC.
(A black and white photograph of Dorothy Howard. Dorothy is a white woman with medium blonde hair. She is wearing a dress and hoop earrings and standing facing the side with a large smile showing her teeth.)
Dorothy Howard is the Grants Manager for Crushing Colonialism. She grew up in the farmland and forests of the Skagit Valley on Coast Salish land. Dorothy has 10+ years of experience organizing in the Wikipedia community to improve content diversity in the encyclopedia. Dorothy received a B.A. in History from Reed College, and an M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. Her research in science and technology studies and the ethics of methods has received National Science Foundation, Ford/Sloan Foundation, and University of California grants.
(A smiling Black woman with two afro puffs sits cross legged on a floor wearing khaki shorts, a tan cardigan, and a shirt that reads “Louisiana girls are sunshine mixed with a little bit of hurricane.)
DeAnna Rhodes (she/her) is a content creator, event producer, Black culture devotee, production manager for several creative spaces in the DC Metro Area, and the founder of Sunny Dee Productions. The mission of Sunny Dee is to facilitate connecting Black people with their heritage, create safe spaces for Black folks to explore themselves and their interests, and cultivate community – all things she feels are necessary in processing our collective hurt, helping each other heal, and moving towards our full liberation. DeAnna is an unabashed nerd, a womanist, and a proud alum of Howard University.
(A five year old Acee poses for a portrait with a purple background. He has black hair, brown eyes, and is wearing a white, purple, and yellow striped shirt tucked into purple pants.)
Acee Agoyo was born at an Indian Health Service hospital in New Mexico and it’s been downhill ever since. He is a co-founder of Indianz.Com, the leading internet Native American news site, where he focuses on the policies and decisions that affect tribal nations and their citizens. He was raised at Ohkay Owingeh, home of the Pueblo Revolt, a successful uprising against colonial powers that took place in 1680. He is also Cochiti Pueblo and Kewa.
Agoyo is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently resides in Washington, D.C., on the homelands of the Piscataway peoples.
(Photo of Andrés, a man with short dark hair wearing large glasses, a white button down shirt, and a black blazer. He’s holding a mic to his mouth as he speaks with a sign in the back that reads “Fulbright Colombia.” Taken in the municipality of Florencia Caqueta Deparment in Colombia.)
Jorge Andrés Forero-González is son and grandson of campesinos with ethnic Muisca heritage from Boyacá, Colombia. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s in Polítical Science and is a Fulbright Humphrey Alumni in Peace Building and Rural Development. He has 12 years of experience in the public sector, specializing in peace building, urban and rural youth programs, human rights advocacy, social movements, and non-profit management.
Forero-González is a co-founder and member coordinator of the international platform, Somos Abya Yala-Somos una América, and works as a researcher, writer, and consultant focusing on environmental and land conflicts in Colombia and Latin América.
(A Native person poses for a photo focused on their face. They’re wearing black glasses with rainbow details, a black shirt, and tan vest. They’re brown hair is chin length, asymmetrical cut, has small purple and pink highlights, and is parted to the right.)
Oswin Latimer (fae/they) is the Treasurer for Crushing Colonialism. Fae is an Autistic, Choctaw, Trans, Queer activist and educator with a long history of working against supremacism in faer disability justice work. Oswin has extensive experience doing policy work in education, healthcare, and employment through an intersectional lens.
Oswin is the founding director of Foundations for Divergent Minds (FDM), an intersectional, Autistic-run organization that focuses on improved quality of life for Autistic people, particularly those who are multiply marginalized by colonialist systems. Fae also acts as an Autistic consultant and provides anti-ableist education and support for dismantling oppressive practices that particularly harm disabled, 2SLGBTQIA+, and BIPoC folx.
Oswin has participated in many presentations, panels, and podcasts over the last decade, including New Jersey Autism Center for Excellence, Penn State TRIO training, and “Two Sides of the Spectrum” podcast. Faer activism and work was also featured in Citizen Autistic (a documentary).
In addition to faer activism, Oswin is most proud of faer children, who range from elementary aged to young adult and who are all neurodivergent. Oswin has applied (and applies) faer work into advocacy for and alongside faer kids, which improved their academic support and transition out of school services.