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.
The effect of COVID is a collective trauma and we have already navigated so much. We have been inventing and adapting our own tools in response to isolation and violently oppressive structures surrounding our individual and collective struggles. Observing the news cycle, it’s impossible not to experience fear and pain from the ever-present assault on bodies which are not normalized by white supremacy. As individuals and in community, we continue to suffer great losses, while being uplifted by the possibility of an improving future ahead of us that will nourish the resilience required to resist and heal from these struggles. The grief is exhausting and we are all miracles for surviving this time with our safety intact. Our blessings are the ability to catalyze rage and sorrow into change and action while holding each other with empathy.
Last month, our new staff members successfully launched their first set of digital programs, sharing critical tools for political education, grassroots fundraising, and member leadership development. ALP member Acacia Rodriquez launched House of Lorde, an online creative repository and digital share-space for content made for and by ALP members and allies. Our Executive Directors announced that they will be transitioning out of the organization in the fall. We are re-initiating our Board growth strategy as we enter into what will undoubtedly be another transformative period in the organization’s narrative.
ALP exists as a continual response to countless assaults rooted in structural racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ablism, xenophobia, and all forms of violent othering by a white supremacist nation shamelessly built on the genocide of Indigenous bodies and the enslavement and forced migration of Black people. In Audre Lorde’s “There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions”, the poet clearly details the interconnectedness of the struggles of all oppressed people and also the multiple identities we each carry with ourselves. The message is that it is imperative that we empathize with each other's journeys in order to organize a compassionate world for ourselves and our loved ones. In these times of great change and deep potential, let us move together into the warmer months with a sense of possibility, hope, and understanding of one another’s struggles, with the knowledge that this compassion is a political act.
With Love and Respect,