FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Janhavi Pakrashi, Communications Coordinator
As the year comes to a close, we have much to reflect on at The Audre Lorde Project. It has been a formative year that is culminating in one of our busiest seasons ever. We attended our allies’ Trans Day of Remembrance events, held a Pod Mapping workshop to assist members with winter wellness planning, raised funds on Giving Tuesday, and held our annual staff, board, and member visioning retreat in preparation for the year ahead.
While we took a break from coordinating our annual Trans Day of Remembrance event in the West Village this November, ALP participated with ally organizations who were creating spaces to honor and remember those we have lost. Members and staff from ALP supported The Osborne Association, TransLatinx, and NYTAG at their TDOR offerings. Awareness of the constant violence inflicted on marginalized bodies is something ALP is attentive to every day — it is woven into the fabric of our work for safety and wellness for our people. We dream of a time when the growing list of our fallen family ends, when liberation and justice are omnipresent, and when our most vulnerable community members no longer face violence.
The holidays are approaching, and the season of gathering and generosity is upon us. This can be a conflicted time for many folks in our communities, who struggle with family or rely deeply on chosen family for day-to-day survival. One of our greatest powers as community is to gather folks to commit to caring for one another in times of abundance and in times of need. We encourage folks to reach out to us about gatherings and community activities during this time.
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.
Bump into Cleopatra or I at a training, convening, or party and we'll regale you with tales from previous jobs at Pier 1, selling bootleg CDs (shhhh, don't tell the feds), being a paralegal, or getting fired after one day because I was the worst after-school program outreach person ever, and how those skills got us here.
Fortunately, this post is focused on how decisions are made at ALP and the models for democratic voting that we're trying to build.
Our new Co-Directors sat down to introduce themselves to the community and give updates on what's happening at ALP, what their vision is, and how community can get involved.
Thanks to everyone for all the support we've received since announcing that we're moving from Manhattan. We've also gotten a lot of questions and wanted to provide answers to some of the concerns that have come up most frequently.
Fall is upon us, and change is in the air! The staff at ALP are beginning to prepare for a deeply transformative period in our growth cycle. After completing our strategic plan, we’re entering the restoration period, in which we prepare for the changes ahead. During this period, we will be studying the narrative and values of our organization to rebuild a framework for change. This means learning, teaching, sharing, and regenerating with each other through a series of sessions covering topics agreed on with members and board. This renovation of our org will be happening in tandem with moving out of our Manhattan offices at the end of January. On Monday nights, leading up to the move, we will be having a series of community packing parties with free food and MetroCards. The purpose of these gatherings is to celebrate change and remember that hard work is easier in community.
Who do you picture when you hear those words? “Board of Directors”? Where do they work? What do they look like? What skills do they have? What qualifications do they need?