Highlights from ALP
February was a month of ritual, poetry, healing, and resistance at ALP. During this month, we celebrated the birthday of our namesake, Audre Lorde. We also participated in the Day Against Hate along with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the NYC Anti-Violence Project, and other allies from our NYC Against Hate Coalition. We’re also using this Restoration Period to evolve how we bring campaign work into our digital spaces, beginning with our Brick by Brick Campaign. This time is teaching us, both as a staff and an organization, about what it looks like to shift the culture of our workplace and political home, while preparing it for an entirely new way of operating. We want to see leadership moving in many directions and for folks to feel a symbiosis with each other as we work for a common purpose.
This month, we say goodbye to our former home, the historic Miss Major-Jay Toole Building which housed generations of organizers and held grassroots groups focusing on manifesting social change for our communities. Each year, fewer of us have been able to sustain there because of the escalating cost of rent and shifts in economics that impact our ability to thrive. Building strength through collaboration and ritual and honoring each other’s work is how we have been building resilience during this part of the Restoration Period.
After a challenging year, ALP has found its equilibrium. Displacement because of gentrification is a personal subject for everyone in this organization. It is an extension of colonial practices that have been traumatizing and killing our ancestors for generations. So our challenge is not a new challenge, and in fact, it strengthens our resolve to put our hearts into the work of building our communities in resistance to this force that harms our lives.
We are returning to our Brooklyn home, a sacred space that has held many generations of struggle in the work toward liberation. As we return, we are taking care to restore the space and create safety and comfort for each other in how we want to re-inhabit our own history together, in a new formation.
We are proud of all of our community members, and curious new attendees, who participated in our moving parties and created so much joy with us in a time period that was inevitably stressful. Community made it work. And the organizing of all those hands at work is something our dedicated staff was responsible for. We moved mountains. We put the movement in moving! We got it done!
It’s us. Your awkward, but bordering on endearing, leaders of The Audre Lorde Project! After many community conversations, strategic planning sessions, and intentional collective decision-making processes, we, Cleopatra [Jach] & Maxwell, are excited to announce that we will officially be moving forward as ALP’s executive leadership!
So first things first, let’s address something. The last year and a half has been ROUGH COOKIES. We have moved through hard staff transitions and silenced narratives of our struggles. But, we have been able to ground in abundance and have found so much stability and consistency in how our membership shows up when we are at less than best. We are so grateful for the patience, investment, and belief that our staff, membership, and stakeholders have generously given us. It’s more important to us now than ever that our community members know their voice is valued and we will be working to make sure that is known interpersonally as well as institutionally.
In this moment of transition, we want to practice radical candor; we thought the best way to introduce ourselves would be to use a facilitator’s best friend, RANDOM CHECK-IN QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE GO WAY TOO DEEP IN.