We added a session for STOP Chicago’s Youth Action to our July calendar, offering an Intro to Prison Abolition and Trans & Queer Resistance to Policing workshop to Black youth on the South Side—our fourth summer with the program. We also learned that on Pride weekend, La Laboratoria Boricua de Vogue hosted a ball in San Juan, Puerto Rico and used a handmade banner with a quote from our piece Dancer As Insurgent as their backdrop! Such an honor!

We return this week to Chicago Desi Youth Rising‘s summer retreat for our seventh consecutive year! We’ll be leading an Intro to Prison Abolition and Linking Anti-Blackness and Anti-Immigration workshop for South Asian youth from around the midwest. August also marks the halfway point of our facilitation for the Social Justice Initiative’s Portal Project. We’ll be facilitating our third session for the cohort of activist fellows, delving into the incongruities and unspoken divides in our movements that are leading to less effective organizing.

We close out the month with a virtual writing workshop in collaboration with the Performance Response Journal and the National Center for Choreography as part of the Deconstructing Language: Liberationist Writing for Performance series. The goal of the program is to engage writers from oppressed backgrounds in “practical, tool-building writing/thinking skills that support seeing and responding to dance/performance with decolonized, pro-Black Feminist, anti-ableist, and queer frameworks.” Our session will break down our own writing practice in regards to reviewing and critiquing performance—using the on-stage work of our good friend Nic Kay for inspiration—exploring how language, gaze, and reflection can all be reclaimed to empower writers and artists of color, uplifting our unique styles, voices, and bodies in ways only we are capable of.

We’ve previously encouraged your support here for the #CopsOutCPS campaign, and we’re excited to share that in the fall of 2021, a majority of CPS high schools have voted to reduce the presence of CPD officers in their halls—with some removing them entirely—reallocating some $2 million to resources like counselors, social workers, and more. This is due in no small part to the diligent work of the Black and brown youth of #CopsOutCPS, and we want to offer them the deepest gratitude and congrats! Keep supporting youth organizers, and demanding nothing short of abolition!

We’re working on revamping our Patreon page, so please consider becoming a monthly donor if you haven’t already, and look out for new and exclusive content if you have! The donations we’ve already received there have helped us immeasurably throughout COVID, and as the pandemic continues, your regular support is integral to sustainably continuing our work.

Thank you deeply,