I’m Jessica — the new Executive Director of Audre Lorde Project.
New York City raised me: I was a queer homeless teen in the sex trade who left NYC in search of safety. I’ve spent the past decade pouring my energy into projects to build safety with and for LGBTSTGNC folks in Los Angeles and Washington, DC — from grassroots fundraising for youth shelters in LA to working alongside trans and queer sex workers of color to resist criminalization of the sex trades and building a network of nightlife venues with staff trained to cultivate safer spaces across DC. This year, facing loss and new life in my own family helped me remember: the revolution starts at home.
Season’s Greetings from The Audre Lorde Project! Our November and December have been reflective; with Transgender Day of Remembrance and the holidays upon us, the gathering of chosen families is one of the defining characteristics of our LGBTSTGNC communities. This is the time of year when we can take a look around us and not just shop, but participate and be with our communities in rituals of love and generosity, that give us a sense of continuity as individuals and as part of something bigger. This month, ALP wants to invite you to participate with us! There are many ways to get involved, you can volunteer, donate, come to an event, or tell your friends about us. If you want to shop from a list of ALP’s vendors and other QTPOC shopping resources, check out forusbuyus.tumblr.com.
In November, we celebrated the resilience of the Trans community at our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was an evening, rich with memory, community, and ritual. We set up an altar for those who have passed, fed community members, held safe space for wellness and healing for people of color, and got to enjoy performances by our volunteers, members, and staff. Giving Tuesday brought us our most successful year in community fundraising in three years! Additionally, we opened the search for a TransJustice Coordinator.
As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to share our Annual Report with you, a celebration of moments of collective transformation that we have held together with you in this past year and a reminder that we are at our most powerful when we are building together. We hope you will enjoy learning more about our work to build people power, support our leaders, and increase the safety and well-being of LGBTSTGNC folks of color. We hope to see you at our events in 2019!
As we move forward into the fall season, The Audre Lorde Project wants to express gratitude for your support in the midst of political conditions that impel us to invest in holding each other closer, with love and protection. We want to thank you for breathing life into the safe spaces, the community rituals, the life-elevating trainings, and the provision of a sustainable framework for community fortification.
This month's big event at ALP is our Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 19th. On this day, we gather with community, comrades, and chosen family to honor the deceased. It's a ceremony where we hold space for one another in reflecting on the narratives of so many whose lives were cut violently short. The work of commemoration is an act of resistance against erasure and also a time for collective renewal of spirit. The timing of this event poignantly situates itself between the leaked government memo threatening to erase transgender identity and the holiday season, which can be a challenging time for LGBTSTGNC folks with family trauma. We hope to provide you with a healing space where you'll feel embraced by community while bearing witness to a collective act of uncompromising self-determination.
Our annual Trans Day of Remembrance is at 81 Christopher st at St. John's Lutheran Church on Monday, November 19th from 6-9pm. We are in need of volunteers for this year's TDOR 2018! Please come to support, and for healing, and transformation as we affirm that we will not be erased. We are most powerful when we are in community and there is no community as resilient as ours. Check out shifts below and how to sign up
The Audre Lorde Project and TransJustice will present Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018, taking place at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Monday, November 19, 2018 from 6pm to 9pm, and featuring conversations and performances in memoriam of those who have passed, but are not forgotten, in our communities. In our current political climate, it is more important than ever to honor the work and resilient legacies of community members who fought, and are fighting, tirelessly for self-determination and survival in the face of overbearing violence and structural oppression. On this day, we confront erasure by honoring their work and lives.
Every Fall, the season itself reminds us that change is constant and inevitable. On this note, let’s reflect on the fortifying events, workshops, conversations, and long-time community rituals The Audre Lorde Project has held over the past several months. Whether it’s celebrating our 20th Annual Chillin’ & Grillin’ along with BedStuy Pride, serving empowering movement building workshops, guiding folks toward community wellness and healing rituals, organizing the Annual Trans Day of Action, or convening members around immediate issues impacting our communities, The Audre Lorde Project has been showing up!
This season, we have a few new team members to welcome on board, fantastic learning opportunities and gatherings ahead, and as always, we want to honor our dedicated staff, volunteers, and movement ancestors for making the work we do possible.
On behalf of all of the staff and board of The Audre Lorde Project, we are happy and proud to announce the promotion of Cleopatra Acquaye-Reynolds (Cleopatra from the Bronx) from Membership Coordinator to Program Director.
The Fifth Annual POZitively Resiilent is a community building night of entertainment, education, and mind-blowing realizations of the world we live in centering communities most impacted by HIV.