The Building Keeps The Score: On The Richardson Hotel

The Building Keeps the Score: Toward Asylum-Occupancy and a More Purposeful Haunting of Buffalo’s Psychiatric Spaces

The following is an essay written by Jessica Lowell Mason, originally published in SUNY Buffalo Romance Studies Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 2, December 2020, reprinted here for greater readerly access in the hopes that those who are designing the Richardson Hotel, which will replace the former Hotel Henry, will proceed with greater sensitivity to the history attached to the building in which their hotel will operate. If this subject interests you, the following article may also be of interest to you: “Hotel Henry and the Line Between Restoration and Trivialization.”

Continue reading “The Building Keeps The Score: On The Richardson Hotel”

Jacquese Armstrong

In Walked Mania by Another Name… (and It wasn’t Bud)

     I always told myself, “If I could just finish college.” Then, “If I could just move.” And then finally, “If I could just find a job in my major and work.” The voices would stop then. But they didn’t. I finally had to admit to myself this was a for-real lifelong struggle. I wasn’t ready to handle that, and death was my contingency plan.

Continue reading “Jacquese Armstrong”

Gina Fournier

Child Witch

Summer of 1975. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was released. Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom manned the top of the Billboard Charts.  Michigander Gerald Ford was president, succeeding Watergate- disgraced Richard Nixon. My favorite jeans were vertically striped in white, yellow, green and brown. 

It wasn’t Levittown, but it was similar.  Livonia was a once new-ring suburb of Detroit, where I was born.  Our little burg was called Devonaire Woods and carpeted with post WWII brick ranch homes. All were designed and built alike: three bedrooms, one bath, living room, kitchen and basement.  If kids visited someone else’s house, you didn’t need to ask where the bathroom was.

Continue reading “Gina Fournier”

A Book Reception for Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art

This month, the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Buffalo hosted a book reception for “Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art” (Vernon Press), co-edited by Jessica Lowell Mason (MITA’s co-founder) and Nicole Crevar. The reception was held held at UB in Clemens Hall, North Campus, on March 15, 2023.

Continue reading “A Book Reception for Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art”

Angelina Pacholczak

A Queer Feminist Ethics of Eros 

A Chapbook of Feminist Poems 

The following works inspired this chapbook of poems: Transforming Carceral Logics: 10 reasons to Dismantle the Prison Industrial Complex Through Queer/Trans Analysis and Action by S. Lamble, The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action by Audre Lorde, Are the Lips a Grave? by Lynne Huffer, Educating a Women: A Feminist Agenda by bell hooks, and Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza (“Towards a New Consciousness“) by Gloria Anzaldúa.

Continue reading “Angelina Pacholczak”

Attorney General Letitia James’ Public Hearing on Mental Health in Buffalo, NY: Witness Testimony Against ECMC’s Psychiatric Program

Like many of the witnesses who provided verbal testimony during today’s public hearing on mental health, I would like to thank Attorney General James for holding this hearing and for providing a venue for everyone to have a voice in addressing problems within our mental healthcare system: in my five years of involvement with mental health advocacy in western New York, I have never been made aware of any kind of public hearing of this nature; it is a first in my experience, and I hope it sets a precedent for similar venues for open communication between the mental healthcare system and the community members affected by it. I’d like to introduce myself.

Continue reading “Attorney General Letitia James’ Public Hearing on Mental Health in Buffalo, NY: Witness Testimony Against ECMC’s Psychiatric Program”

Daaimah Lyon

Dear Abu

It’s a curious thing.  I don’t know why when I see photos of you I must fight the urge to cry.  First as a kid it was anger, then sadness, wondering why?  Now as a grown woman, it’s still sadness and tears.  As if my heart has been broken.  As if my heart has been ripped out of me.  As if there’s an emptiness inside, a void that’s never and will never be filled. 

Continue reading “Daaimah Lyon”

Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement

A Mad Feminist Dialogue for a Mad Archive: “Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement: A Dialogue on and of Dissent”

This event was part of the 7th Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues, in 2020, hosted by the Women’s Institute for Leadership and Learning. The dialogue brought together mad activists and scholars to discuss old and new directions in Mad feminist activism and to consider mad activism’s role in a larger feminist agenda. It will also touched on the rights and positionality of women, Black and Indigenous People of Color, and LGBTQ+ folx living with psychiatric labels or who have had psychiatric experiences, and those fighting for their rights from unique locations within larger social justice efforts. The dialogue considered non-normative activism and elicited discourse on what mad feminist activism has been and is becoming, considering the ways that mad feminist activism has dealt with and deals with identity, erased histories, and contested activist and advocacy tendencies and trajectories. By exchanging ideas and sharing experiences on mad feminist activism, our hope was that our dialogue would serve as a moment of mad grassroots organizing.

Continue reading “Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement”

Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennett Speak at Williamsville Board of Education Meeting on District Gender Policies: October 2021

My sister, MITA Co-founder Melissa Bennett, and I spoke together at a Williamsville School District Board of Education Meeting, in October 2021, in support of two gender-inclusive policies that were being voted on by the district’s BOE at the time. One was Policy 7554: Student Gender Identity, a policy aimed at inaugurating and declaring publicly and in writing the Williamsville School District’s promise to “[foster] a safe and supporting learning environment for all students, free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, gender non-conformity, and gender expression.” The policy also promises that the District “will assess and address the specific needs of individual students on a case-by-case basis.” The second policy, Policy 5634: Gender Neutral Single-Occupancy Bathrooms promises that the District is “committed to creating and maintaining an including education and work environment” and “will ensure that all single-occupancy bathroom facilities are designated as gender neutral.”

Continue reading “Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennett Speak at Williamsville Board of Education Meeting on District Gender Policies: October 2021”

Betty Aubut


“Hi, I’m Jody. I’m a lesbian but don’t worry, it’s not like I’m going to attack you in the middle of the night.”

            I spun around to see a stocky woman with close cropped hair standing a bit too close for comfort. Jody appeared to be 20-something, like me, and wore tattered dungarees, left-overs from the 70s, like mine. I had been unpacking and quietly checking out my new digs on the unlocked unit of this prestigious, private, psychiatric hospital south of Boston. I think I did feel a bit attacked as Jody’s booming voice jolted me back to reality. I likely jumped a mile.

Continue reading “Betty Aubut”

Blog at

Up ↑