We’re finally coming down after a busy summer!
We’ve wrapped up our time with Engage Chicago at Northwestern University, and with Assata’s Daughters’ Azubike summer session. We’re proud of the ways young people in both these programs have pushed our own thinking around what community organizing can look like. We’ll be linking up with AD again soon!
An area of our practice we’re currently expanding is facilitation and circle keeping for grassroots collectives, specifically focused on organizational development and community healing. We led Love & Protect’s semi-annual retreat in the spring, and closed out our summer by facilitating a weekend-long retreat with For the People Artists Collective. In each of these, we addressed things like revising the collectives’ mission and vision statements, drafting working agreements for new members, and developing decision making processes for group consensus. Keep us in mind if outside facilitation is something from which your collective or organization might benefit.
We’re excited about the collaborations we have coming up at BRIC House in Brooklyn at the end of this month! RSVP here to participate in our Intro to Voguing workshop with Michael Roberson of House Lives Matter on September 21st. RSVP here to attend a short viewing of our in-progress solo piece World After This One, alongside new work from NIC Kay, in conjunction with Mary Mattingly’s exhibit What Happens After, on September 26th. If you’re in NY, we hope you can make it!
This past month, we taught two Queer & Trans Resistance to Policing workshops to young people through the Student Voice and Activism Fellowship, and at STOP Chicago. Next weekend (and for the fourth consecutive summer!) we’ll be facilitating several sessions for Chicago Desi Youth Rising’s annual retreat for young South Asian activists, focusing this year on Linking Anti-Blackness with Anti-Immigration and Intro to Prison Abolition. Chicago’s youth are some of the most critical and powerful in the world, and it’s an honor to share space with them as a facilitator.
Our article “There’s Nothing New About Not Calling 911,” which was printed in the August issue of In These Times magazine, is now available online. We published a second article with Black Youth Project, “Calls to #AbolishICE are counterproductive unless they are also a call to #AbolishPolice,” inspired by leadership from Organized Communities Against Deportations and Mijente. Follow these orgs to learn more about how you can contribute to ending detention and deportation for all immigrants, and about abolition in total.
Lastly, we’ll be premiering an excerpt of our new performance piece World After This One in late September at BRIC House in Brooklyn, NY! We’re sharing the evening with our longtime collaborator NIC Kay, who will be performing a new piece of their own. The showing is in conjunction with visual artist Mary Mattingly‘s apt exhibit What Happens After, imagining a post-militarized world. While World After This One is a work in progress, we’re looking forward to sharing what we’ve been building so far.
While at BRIC, we’ll also be teaching a short Intro to Voguing workshop in collaboration with House Lives Matter, an organization dedicated to lifting up leadership inside the ballroom community. We’ll share more info on these NY events as the dates grow closer!
Thank you to all those who became patrons through our Patreon page last month! We’re incredibly close to the $200 mark. Feel free to share the page and spread the word!
Our biggest transition this month:
After co-facilitating the Ominira teen program at Assata’s Daughters for the past year, we’re shifting gears and training some recent Ominira graduates to become facilitators in their own right. Through the Azubike program, these graduates have the opportunity to educate other AD youth about Black feminism, history, and community organizing, while strengthening their toolkits as facilitators. Young people teaching curriculum to young people is a new venture for AD, and we’re excited to help support this evolution of their already-amazing program, and to continue working with some of the baddest, Blackest, young women and femmes in the city.
We published a short piece in the upcoming issue of In These Times magazine, titled “There’s Nothing New About Not Calling 911”, part of a larger series of essays engaging current discussions on alternatives to calling law enforcement in moments of crisis. In it, we outline examples of community safety already exhibited by oppressed communities that don’t rely on police, and strategies for challenging our current justice system that look to poor, Black, and undocumented people for inspiration. Lookout for the print and online versions of the essay later this month, and consider subscribing to In These Times to receive their monthly magazine.
We’re having a great summer with undergraduates in the Engage Chicago program, visiting various organizations around the city, and thinking more deeply about the community organizing tactics our political moment most calls for. Last week we visited American Friends Service Committee to learn more about the #NoCopAcademy campaign, as well as AFSC’s work around ending youth detention in Gaza. This week we’re checking out Organized Communities Against Deportations on the West Side, discussing the long fight to #AbolishICE which has recently entered mainstream discourse. Later this month, we’ll visit other groups like Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago—all organizations you should support!
Our Patreon page is getting so close to its $200 mark. Please consider becoming a monthly donor if you haven’t already. Every dollar makes a big difference in keeping our work sustainable.
Stay posted here for more updates—especially as we get closer to the fall season!