It’s summertime, which means it’s the busy season!
We’re back working with Northwestern University’s Engage Chicago program from June through August. We’ll be accompanying undergraduates in the Community Organizing concentration on weekly site visits to various grassroots organizations around the city—including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Chicago Freedom School, and others. The eight-week session kicks off on June 27th. We’ll keep you updated on the journey here.
We’re also returning to our loves at PASO West Suburban Action Project on June 10th to teach a Queer and Trans Resistance to Policing workshop in Spanish. PASO recently expanded their membership from exclusively Melrose Park residents to include their neighbors in Berwyn and Cicero. We’ll be helping introduce new members to PASO’s commitments to police abolition and trans and queer inclusion in the fight for immigrant justice.
On June 15th we’ll be leading a daylong retreat for our comrades at Organized Communities Against Deportations, focusing specifically on developing structures for group decision making, and reflecting on some of the collective’s recent campaigns. We had an amazing time teaching a workshop on Linking Anti-Blackness with Anti-Immigration to OCAD’s community leaders last month, and we’re grateful to be back supporting core organizers.
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!
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!
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Stay posted here for more updates—especially as we get closer to the fall season!