Happy New Year! May 2019 be a period of positive manifestation for each one of us.
We’re kicking off the year by leading a small series for queer Asian and Pacific Islander org Invisible 2 Invincible on January 15th. Together we’ll be pod mapping—an exercise for taking inventory of support networks and community resources in anticipation of moments of crisis. We’ll tie this into a larger vision for abolition, generating options for violence prevention and accountability that do not rely on police and prisons.
On January 25th we’ll be facilitating Chicago inJustice: Anti-Racism and Mass Incarceration at McCormick Auditorium at Northwestern University from 5pm to 7pm. This open dialogue will unite youth and organizers in an exploration of what Ruth Wilson Gilmore terms “non-reformist reforms” for fighting mass incarceration. Undergrads and high school students will be in conversation with members of Chicago Community Bond Fund, For the People Artists Collective, Chicago Torture Justice Center, and the #NoCopAcademy campaign. Open to the public, this event will include opportunities for immediate action steps. Feel free to come through!
We’ve been fans of the AirGo Radio podcast for a minute, and it was such an honor to be a featured guest there just before the close of 2018. We sat down with Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger to talk about gentrification in Chicago, trans resistance, loving Blackness as key to global liberation, among many other things. You can check out the full episode here.
Shoutout to Mary Mattingly, whose exhibit What Happens After at BRIC House—where we premiered an excerpt of our in-progress performance piece World After This One in September—was named one of the top 15 art shows in Brooklyn for 2018 by Hyperallergic! We’re so grateful to Mary for including NIC Kay and ourselves in this project. Congrats!
Lastly, just before the end of 2018, we reached the $200/month goal on our Patreon page! Thank you deeply to all those who have become patrons and supported our work through this venue. We are working on finding ways to give back to you soon!
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 Police and Prison Abolition 101. 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!