Closing out Black History Month, our essay on the ballroom scene and Black queer resistance to state violence, co-written with Michael Roberson for Time Magazine, is now live. We also sat down for a fascinating conversation with our childhood judy Amira Rose Davis for the feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down. Together we discussed the intersections of prison abolition with contemporary athletic activism. You can check out the episode here.
Autostraddle is partnering with the Transgender Law Center to profile regions of the U.S. and its territories where anti-trans violence is spiking. As a participating writer, our piece will examine the work of trans and queer activists in Puerto Rico fighting for trans lives, and the tension between demanding state interventions and identifying the state as a key contributor to anti-trans violence. We met with and learned from some phenomenal organizers in the process of writing this essay. Look for it later in March.
This month we also begin several projects that will take us through to the end of the year. Partnering with Liberation Library, we’ll be teaching a small series of virtual poetry writing workshops for incarcerated young people at the Illinois Youth Center – St. Charles, through which participants will generate poems that will appear in Liberation Library’s new newsletter. We’ll also be facilitating bimonthly sessions for the new Portal Project of the University of Illinois’ Social Justice Initiative, envisioning the futures of environmental justice, survival economics, and prison abolition by bringing together activists on the cutting edge of all three. (A sort of a non-neoliberal think tank.) We’re excited to take on these support roles!
As we ease our way towards spring, we’ll also be leading a smattering of workshops. We’ll be teaching two Linking Anti-Blackness & Anti-Immigration sessions, one for the Jane Addams College of Social Work’s Rise ‘N’ Learn series, another for our loves at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. We’ll be leading a Trans & Queer Resistance to Policing workshop at Cornell University as part of the Disrupt the System idea-athon, and are returning from a long hiatus to teach a voguing workshop to undergrads at Brown University, framing the body as a source of intellectualism.
Lastly, as we begin our workshops with incarcerated young people, if the thought of youth being in jail pisses you off as much as it does us, follow and support the budding Final 5 Campaign, fighting to close the final five (unless Governor Pritzker has his way) youth jails in Illinois.