In honor of Women’s Day, check out my latest essay on Medium, “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeeping, Secret Societies, and the Good Ol’ Boys Network.” This work, adapted from my 2019 presentation for Portland’s Drunken Discourse, explores the inherent sexism and racism of the fraternal order Knights of Pythias. This organization’s history, current structure, and practices are too often glossed over, despite receiving taxpayer funds from the City of Tacoma to make archival materials available to the public. I share some of my own personal experiences with the Tacoma chapter which led me to research this topic, as well as a bibliography for further reading.
If, like me, you think this kind of work is important, then please follow me on Medium (@suzanneskaar) and share this article with friends. I am also available to give the full presentation. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Edited February 2020: The producers regretfully informed me that a lot of footage from the Fall was damaged and unrecoverable. Unfortunately, this did not just impact footage of my presentation. While my liver declined the invitation to do this particular Portland event again, I am still more than happy to present this topic at other forums.
This weekend I traveled to Portland to participate in a monthly panel discussion, Drunken Discourse. I was invited by the host, Kyle Curtis, who read some of my work and gave me the opportunity to present my newest research project entitled: “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeepers, Secret Societies, and Good Ol’ Boys Networks.” My best friend since high school accompanied me on the train ride down, and one of my first and favorite friends, my cousin, met us at the venue just as the event was starting.
I was able to take a brief break and join them at their table in between participating in the on-stage “get to know your panelists” conversation and actually giving my presentation. This is how the off-stage conversation started:
I was inspired by conversations with activists regarding transparency and elected officials’ voting records, so I researched direct/ indirect campaign contributions in light of the City of Tacoma’s November 2019 $2 million settlement with US Oil. You can read “Connections vs. Corruption: Where is the Line?” at Medium now.
I am honored to have a poem included in The London Reader’s Winter 2019 issue: “Motherhood: Stories of Love, Loss, & Life.”
Per the publication, “10 percent of revenue from this issue is donated to Women’s Aid, a grassroots federation in the UK working to provide life-saving services and to build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated. Find out more about the charity at womensaid.org.uk.”
To purchase this publication or learn more about The London Reader, check out