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!
Beginning this month, we’ll be posting monthly updates about upcoming workshops, projects, and performances here in our News section! You can sign up to receive notification of these updates with the button at the bottom of this page. We hope you’ll follow us and stay posted!
At the end of May we taught two Abolition 101 workshops to the amazing young people at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council‘s annual Youth Summit at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in conjunction with the #NoCopAcademy campagin. Last week, we facilitated our first ever Queer and Trans Resistance to Policing workshop entirely in Spanish to community members at PASO West Suburban Action Project in Melrose Park, with the support of Arianna Salgado. It was an important challenge—one which was met with enthusiasm from the community—and we look forward to offering more bilingual workshops in the near future.
Starting at the close of June, we’ll be partnering with Engage Chicago to offer a series of summer workshops and site visits to undergraduates at Northwestern University and other local colleges, focused on community organizing and gaining a deeper understanding of the wide range of resistance movements happening across our city. More info around what those workshops will look like, and the specific organizations we’ll be visiting, will be coming next month.
There are performances, workshops, and other exciting events coming up in the fall that we’ll be announcing here as the dates approach. Sign up so you can be the first to know! If you have any of your own questions or inquiries in the meantime, feel free to contact us here.
Thank you for your continued support!