Highlights from ALP
New York City is opening up again after vaccination rollout, and it’s going to bring up a lot of important new questions as we move forward into the next stage of the pandemic. For a community organization that has historically gathered people as part of our work, this is the moment to consider the balance between autonomy and collective safety in movement building cultures. The safety work of gathering crowds is being transposed to meet the needs of the moment, but the philosophical questions underpinning it are present.
At every turn of our 25 year history, the Audre Lorde Project has been navigating the impacts of violence against otherness and defining ourselves as a protective space for the oppressed. In this benchmark year, we can reflect together on what it could mean to be free after a global pandemic, while fully understanding that our decompressing lives will require community, love, safety, and support more than ever. We will be contextualizing the strength and gifts of our identities with our power to envision collective action that holds together with unity.
It’s time to announce that after a combined 15 years of work at ALP that we, Co-Directors Cleopatra "from the Bronx" Jach and Maxwell Scales, will be transitioning out of the Audre Lorde Project on October 1, 2021. That’s still a long way from now, but it will be here sooner than we know.
We moved into these leadership positions officially in October 2019, and we knew that it was imperative to restore as much integrity, structure, and core values as possible back into the organization. After launching a much needed (and successful!) restoration period that addressed the cracks of transparency, conflict, and trauma, in October 2020, we announced to our board that it was time for us to start planning for transition. We feel that ALP, and its stakeholders (members, leaders, supporters, and allies), are ready to move into the opportunities we have established due to our diligent work. Going into ALP’s 25th year, we are in a place to really take in its profound legacy, honor, wins, and successes.
With 2021 well underway, we’re reflecting back on a tumultuous 12 months. You helped guide us through a year that began with the closing of our Manhattan space and saw us stretching ourselves to find new ways to maintain our connection and humanity with each other, across space and distance, amidst uprisings around the country and a global crisis.