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?
Throughout our 23-year history, the Audre Lorde Project has worked on multiple fronts -- developing LGBTSTGNC POC leaders, educating our people and allies, organizing 20 events per year, leading campaigns for justice, mobilizing over 3,000 people annually, and building capacity for movements towards liberation. We have often moved at the pace of crisis. We have moved with urgency because of the vast needs of our community, but also often have fallen victim to capitalist ideals of productivity over people. This has at times caused us to stumble - choosing punitive responses over transformation, placing healing on the back burner, and not being as transparent with internal happenings within the organization as needed. In solidarity with our members, current/former staff, and the community that we serve, we want to apologize for the harm that has been caused. As an organization, we are not exempt from causing harm, but we are dedicated to improving and internal change. This letter is to express how we will now intentionally begin that work and how community can collectively plug into this process.
Starting in October, ALP will enter a 9-month restoration period to better focus on deep internal study and alignment. This period will end in June 2020. During that time, our staff will come together to strengthen our political education tools and curriculum, evaluate our trainings, programming, and campaigns, and ensure that we are best positioned for the long fight to liberation.
During this time, we'll also be moving from our Chelsea office back into our Fort Greene space full-time. Gentrification has made rents in NYC unsustainable and ALP is not immune to these pressures. From November 1 to January, our offices will be closed to the public while we prepare for our move.
Read on to learn more about our plan and a few of the ways that we are asking people to stay involved.
As summer winds down, we want to consider what it means to return to study and reflection, as a season of sunlight and community transitions into a cooler version of itself, preparing us all for back to ALP Season.
This August, our Safe Outside the System Collective brought you another phenomenal Bed-Stuy Pride celebration, which was a full day of participation, challenges, learning, and resilient problem solving. Under the current political conditions, our joy and gathered presence in public space is an act of resistance. Creating this annual ritual for our neighbors and community creates a powerful sense of real life connectedness for ALP Members, staff, long-time community members, and the folks who find out about us by walking through the park that day. The success of the event is one example of the strides we’re making as an organization.
Pride season has washed over us, and here we are on the other side. Here at the Audre Lorde Project, we've had an eventful month of organizing, educating, holding space, and navigating the inevitable changes that come in the reflective moments in a season of renewal. The sun drenches us, and the weather tempts us back into community; folks are out in the streets, finding each other in the world. Black and Brown bodies are everywhere, finding places to gather and take care of one another, out in public. It's beautiful. It's also a time when concerns about how we stay safe while we're out and about in the world come up. Let's take a moment to consider what we're all doing to love and protect one another out there in the world as the season heats up.
Please note that The Audre Lorde Project offices will be closed for holiday until Monday, July 8th.
June is here, and we have a lot going on at ALP! In preparation for our 15th Annual Trans Day of Action (TDOA), we're bringing you powerful opportunities to participate in movement history with us this year. It's been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, and we still have work to do, but it can't happen without your support and participation. It's the perfect time of year to get involved in the work of centering LGBTSTGNC People of Color in our movement spaces. Volunteer with us, apply to join our board, or make a donation to support our work. Folks who have been trained on ALP's Community Safety protocols are strongly encouraged to join our Safety Team and support us at TDOA.
The vernal equinox is approaching, which means Spring is almost here! Let Winter’s incubation give way to regenerative resilience, as we observe the most tender part of the cycle of life around us, as the earth comes back breathing a plethora of new growth and possibility. It’s a fertile time for new beginnings, and also a moment to reflect before the rites of Spring in New York are in full swing. Let the abundance of the new season inspire you to put #GiveOutDay on your calendars, on April 18th. This is an annual giving ritual for organizations that serve our LGBTQIA communities.