We’ve begun facilitating a series of sessions for our friends at Chicago Community Bond Fund this month, supporting the org as it evaluates next steps in the fight to #EndMoneyBail. Over the coming months we’ll be revisiting and revising CCBF’s mission and vision, reevaluating its core values and commitments, and reimagining some of its structures so that the org can continue its work sustainably without losing its radical roots.
On the 22nd, we’ll also return to our friends at Invisible 2 Invincible to teach a Pod Mapping & Transformative Justice workshop. This has become an annual tradition, and we’re always happy to come back to support the badass work of i2i!
We’re proud to be leading a brief Prison Abolition 101 workshop in Nashville, Tennessee on the 24th for Black Mama’s Bail Out’s first ever pre-convening. No one does praxis like National Bail Out, imagining a world without prisons while fighting in the present to free our people from incarceration. We are excited to join them for this convening, continuing to deepen our collective ability to envision a post-incarceration world.
Lastly, we’re excited to announce that this month we’ll be traveling to Mexico City! Museo Universitario del Chopo is the new home of the Elements of Vogue exhibit in which we originally participated at CA2M in Madrid back in 2017. We’ll be performing Dancer As Insurgent while at MUC, as well as teaching a Trans & Queer Resistance to Policing workshop in Spanish. (Shoutout again Rachel Hoffman who helped us both translate and print the timeline that will be joining us on this trip!)
Happy New Year! Life on our planet in this current iteration is difficult, and we hope this year brings deep resistance, new bonds of solidarity, and a brave commitment to imagining better for ourselves and those we love.
In addition to all the other exciting things that happened at the close of 2019, we squeezed in one more panel with the Chicago Architecture Biennial …And Other Such Stories at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Titled Making Lineages Visible, we joined Kelly Hayes and Byul Yoon in a conversation moderated by Monica Trinidad on the ways women, trans, and queer people regularly spearhead activist efforts in Chicago and elsewhere, yet often see their labor erased in mainstream analysis. It was an honor to problematize credit, ego, historicity, and feminism in radical organizing alongside some of our longtime co-strugglers.
We’re kicking off the New Year facilitating for the all-new national group Dissenters, a student-driven organization devoted to building resistance to the U.S. war machine. We’ve been supporting Dissenters in crafting an anti-war narrative that is accessible, intersectional, and international in scope. On January 3rd, we’ll be co-facilitating a session breaking down this narrative for the organization’s inaugural training here in Chicago.
At the close of the month we’re joining members of People’s Law Office, Law for Black Lives, and other legal advocacy groups in Atlanta, Georgia for a convening on how law can support reparations for the racist War on Drugs. We will be facilitating a Pod Mapping & Transformative Justice workshop, as well as a second session on the differences between healthy conflict and harm. We hope these offerings can help lay a strong foundation of healing and trust for this network of organizations as they move forward with some truly visionary work.
We have some exciting developments emerging in the late winter. Stay posted here for more updates soon!
We’ve been doing a lot of writing! Our piece in Them Magazine celebrating Women & Children First bookstore is now up. Our collaborative poem for Trans Day of Resilience in honor of Layleen Cubilette-Polanco is also live, as is an accompanying essay annotating the poem and envisioning trans liberation through an abolitionist lens, published by Poetry Foundation.
To close out the year, we’ll be partnering with Embarc Chicago on the 11th to teach an intro to Chicago organizing to students from several high schools from across the city. In addition to highlighting some historic wins and recent campaigns, we’ll lead a Power & Privilege workshop, and guide students through imagining a world without prisons with Prison Abolition 101. On the 18th, we’ll link back up with our friends at STOP Chicago to facilitate an interactive discussion with young people on #PoliceFreeSchools, mapping out concrete visions of learning environments divorced from the prison industrial complex.
Finally, on the 12th we’ll appear on a panel at the Chicago Cultural Center along with other contributors to the anthology The Funambulist by its Readers: Political Geographies from Chicago and Elsewhere, commissioned for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Staff from The Funambulist, a Paris-based magazine of art and architecture, will guide us through a discussion around radical anticapitalist struggles for space and autonomy in our city, and how architecture can more actively contribute to our movements.
Wishing you love and power into the new year,