A safe place to be your radical self.
A sanctuary for artful dissent and civil conversation about political change.
Union & Utopia’s Origins
Are you tired of shallow political discourse? Feel alone in your radical beliefs? Frustrated by the state of progressive politics?
Like you, I also yearn for substantive discussion about political and societal transformation. As a poet, essayist, and novelist, I’ve sought to write fiction that is politically charged without being didactic. In the process, I’ve recognized the need to build community among, and provide sanctuary for, thoughtful people who care about the relationship between means and ends.
As a writer who explores the intersection where reality and fiction meet, I consider it essential to have a place where creative activists can have mature, educated conversations about the complex challenges confronting us, as well as hopeful discussions about our future.
Union & Utopia is intended as a haven for people with radical ideals who crave an opportunity to intellectually engage and share solidarity with fellow activists and critical thinkers. It’s a space for us to explore the need for systemic transformation and discuss our visions for a better world.
My commitment to radical social and economic change began while growing up in Jamaica Estates, New York, not far from the intersection of Union Turnpike and Utopia Parkway (Yes, it is a real place!) I became a nonviolent revolutionary at an early age and have continuously pursued that path while working within “the system.”
Whether I was scrutinizing public policy as a government analyst or holding P.T.A. leadership positions, I tried to live in accordance with progressive ideals and keep my radical spirit alive. Establishing Union & Utopia is another part of that unfolding, lifelong journey. Like you, I’ve committed myself to participating strategically as an activist, writer, and public intellectual.
Union & Utopia is a virtual hearth and fireside chat, a communal destination where we can support progressive movements and keep our ideals aflame during challenging times. We’ll talk about our “unfinished revolution” and seek to complete the work which remains undone.
THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF UNION & UTOPIA
Share educated opinions. Have civil conversations. Avoid ideological rigidity.
Practice participatory democracy.
Listen, learn, and respect the voices of diverse communities. Use kindness and patience to guide your decision-making process.
Consider the ends and means of political action.
The way we seek change will determine the character of the society we create.
Be political about how you live your life.
Electoral politics are only part of our complex journey. Real change comes from how you live your daily life, not just how you vote.
Examine how your decisions are being influenced by mass media.
Notice the impact of mass media agenda-setting and issue framing. Be aware of when you are being told not only what to think, but how to think about it.
Be an advocate for public education.
Support curriculum that meets the emotional, intellectual, and creative needs of all children and that protects childhood.
Don’t be afraid to use Marxist ideas to understand and explain capitalism.
That’s why they were invented.
Make Erik Erikson’s construct of “generativity” part of your life.
Nurture the next generation of activists.
Find resilience in art.
Make your own! Support independent musicians, painters, writers, poets, and bookstores.
Put love out into the world.
Mindy Ohringer is a novelist, essayist, and poet who writes about love, politics, feminism, relationships, and history. Raised in Jamaica Estates, NY, she considers the intersection of Union Turnpike and Utopia Parkway to be her ancestral home.
She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College and an M.A. in Politics from New York University. While working in New York City government and politics for eight years, she specialized in legislative, budgetary, and public policy analysis.
After becoming a mother, Mindy began writing politically charged fiction, essays, and poetry. She is currently seeking representation for a coming of age novel Apollonian Summer, a literary collection The Slumber Party & Other Stories: Meditations on Love, Marriage, and Mortality, and The Wife in Winter: Seduction of The Muse, the first book in a trilogy about women writers and the 2008 presidential election.
“When The Men We Don’t Marry Come to Find Us”
Terror House Magazine // WINTER 2019
“The Man in the Yellow Hat”
The Thieving Magpie // WINTER 2019
“Some Girls on Swings”
“Art Deco Love”
“Behind Two Doors”
Rat’s Ass Review // FALL 2018
“Where To Find Her”
October Hill Magazine // FALL 2018
October Hill Magazine // SUMMER 2018
“Hotel Mount Vernon”
The Thieving Magpie // SUMMER 2018
October Hill Magazine // WINTER 2018
Greenwich Village Literary Review // SPRING 2015
“Redemption at a Writer’s Workshop”
More.com // JANUARY 2010
“CBS: Why It May Be the Only Network for Us”
with Edwin Diamond
New Choices for Retirement Living // MARCH 1993
“Activist Hoffman Says Keep up the Hope—Victories Have Been Won Despite Apathy”
with Anne Kornhauser
Columbia Daily Spectator // OCTOBER 1982
Seeking respite from political spin and the media merry-go-round?
Share your radical beliefs, educated opinions, and creative advocacy in the safety of the Union & Utopia community