When I started this blog back in 2011 my focus was quite different from what it is now. What began as a temporary website for a massage therapy business, over time, grew into a space where I would come to share my journey as an artist, activist, and student. In the last six years, the tone and aesthetics of the site has continually changed—from the design to the subjects covered, this blog has seen more than a few iterations. In the midst of change, the thing that remains true is my belief in community—online and off.
In December of 2016 a long-standing dream of mine started coming to fruition! Witnessing this dream manifest in such a short period of time has been a rather incredible experience to say the least. I’m putting together a post, and will share updates on the process soon. One thing this experience has helped me remember is the role of hope and gratitude in the pursuit of growing community. Both have been integral throughout the journey, and continue to influence the core organizing principles that inform the community-focused projects on the horizon. I’m so stoked for what’s to come!
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the spirit of sustaining radical hope in 2017, I’d like to share my gratitude, as well as a few of my favorite grassroots organizations that continue to push the envelope toward more peace, more love, and more justice. Let’s start with our community first.
We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. —Martin Luther King, Jr.
My sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for being a part of this community. There are a total of 350+ people who read this blog everyday, and for that I am so grateful. The growth of this space has been a slow but steady process and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has taught me to have patience, stay humble, and to keep sharing content that is (hopefully) inspirational and/or useful in some way. After 250+ posts and 4,000+ unique visitors, I’m looking forward to sharing the next phase of this journey with you.
Prior to graduate school, I spent 10 years in the non-profit field. I’ve had the honor of learning from grassroots organizers and leaders working in various movements across the U.S. This unique education continues to influence the way I think, act, and communicate. In the list or organizations that I’ve created, the common ground between them is a strong belief in collective, creative, compassionate, and strategic collaborations that hold the power to transform the world.
These are the qualities that I strive to include in my work. These are the qualities that, I believe, have the ability to get us through. We need hope that is radical. We need to thank the heavens for the opportunity to express our radical hope, and to our communities that keep us hopeful. We need each other. Always, and now more than ever. Here are a few beloved organizations dear to my heart that illustrate the meaning of community:
- The Highlander Research and Education Center (New Market, TN / Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South.)
- Southerners On New Ground (GA/Southern U.S. / Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.)
- The Chicago Freedom School (Chicago, IL / The mission of the Chicago Freedom School is to create new generations of critical thinking young people who use their unique experiences and power to create a just world. )
- Project Nia (Chicago, IL + NYC / Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration.)
- Harriet’s Apothecary (NYC / Harriet’s Apothecary is an intergenerational, healing village led by the brilliance and wisdom of Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, activists and ancestors. The intention of Harriet’s Apothecary is to continue the rich healing legacy of abolitionist, community nurse and herbalist Harriet Tubman)
- Inside Books Project (Austin, TX / Inside Books Project is an Austin-based community service volunteer organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where over 140,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy, and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.)
The power of people—our traditional medicines, artistic productions, social activism, responsible entrepreneurship, and collective memories—can transform the world. This year, I’m keeping my heart-work focused on cultivating this power within myself, and within my communities. If you’d like to hear more about projects as they develop, make sure to sign up to the mailing list. ↓↓↓
P.s. Your feedback is always insightful, and helps me to understand what themes you value most. If there is a subject that you’d like to explore further, you can reach me here. I’d love to hear from you!