Black lives matter today and every day. Silence is not an option for the DDCSP Alumni Network team. We, a community of Black folks, POCs, and allies stand in deep sadness, anger, love, and solidarity with actions of anti-racism against police brutality, state violence towards Black communities across the nation, and the institutions that uphold these legacies. We are reminded of what Audre Lorde wrote in Sister Outsider, “Revolution is not a one time event.”
This letter is a commitment from us to center alumni voices (goals, needs/asks, resources, wisdom) in our programming, not as a one time event, but as a continued culture. There are new learnings, there are new needs, and our aim is to “be like water” and adapt accordingly.
We also want to be transparent with the DDCSP community, in the spirit of humility and continuous learning, that we as staff have a lot of work to do internally. Many of you are graduating, looking towards grad school programs, navigating employment and leadership in companies/orgs/institutions, and searching for alternatives to these spaces (starting your own nonprofits and businesses, alternative training/educational spaces, etc). We’re doing the work of better holding space for all these truths while focusing on the systems that perpetuate barriers to access. In order to address both the slow and acute violence of white supremacy and to best meet the varied needs of our network, our statement today isn’t as far as this work goes. We are committed to continuing these conversations, we are committed to following through in action, and we are committed to doing this with you. We will continue to do this through creating:
Webinars and curriculum that center alumni voices and the leadership from within that already exists
Programming that addressing cycles of oppression and how to confront the normalization of these systems
Opportunities to radically heal in ways that incorporate Black and Brown joy, not just trauma
We know that you are already doing this work; alumni are protesting, sharing resources, educating themselves and others, and constantly growing. We want to uplift your voices and address your specific needs, so that you can continue to thrive in this work. A great example of an alumni using their network as a resource happened earlier this week via Facebook, when Adilia Watson (UW '19) shared out a link to a petition supporting Black students at their school. Please reach out to either Sydney or Luz if you have a specific need that the Alumni network or its staff can help you fulfill. You also can email the full network through email@example.com
Bring Your own Wig webinar cancelled: The original purpose of Friday’s webinar was to spread joy, lightness, and beauty to DDCSP’s diverse community of nature enthusiasts. The recent developments and constant exposure to police brutality, murders of Black folks, and violence against protestors have cast a somber pall over our community as we mourn and fight together. As such, we believe the voices that should be currently highlighted and amplified are those of Black folks, Black movements, and Black communities and have cancelled our “Bring Your Own Wig” webinar. We look forward to bringing this joy and energy to the DDCSP community at a more appropriate future date. Below you can find other ways to find joy this weekend for and/or by Black people. Feel free to reach out to Sydney if you have updates for this list.
Next week’s webinar: We have been working with Samara Almonte (UM ‘19) of Raíces Verdes for weeks to develop next week’s webinar, Radical Imagination for Mutual Aid. This webinar is in no way a response to recent protests throughout the country, but will offer a space for folks to discuss new ways of imagining success and fulfillment outside of institutions. This conversation will touch on Afro-futurism, feminism, and non-traditional life paths, and will be followed by an open space for folks to share resources and needs with others on the call.
The upcoming events listed below are focused on joy and healing for Black folks. You can find educational materials and information on where to donate here.
In love and solidarity,
Luz and Sydney at ELP
JOY & HEALING:
*many of the resources came to us through Harriet’s Apothecary and Training for Change
- Soul Fire Farms: Ask a Sista Farmer (every Friday, 4pm ET)
- Heal Haus: Cleanse and Clear (Friday, June 5 7pm ET)
- Heal Haus: Circle of Care for Black Womxn (Friday, June 5 8pm ET)
- Oceans & Rivers: Soul Medicine Circle (Fridays, June 5-19 12pm ET)
- Center for African and Diaspora Dance: IG Live Saturday Night Vibes (Saturday, June 6 7pm ET)
- The Creative Root: African Diaspora Cooking for Wellness (Sunday, June 7 3pm ET)
- Brown Girl Self-Care: Self-Care x Sisterhood Sunday (every Sunday in June, 2pm ET)
- PGM ONE: Black Affinity Space (Monday, June 8 3pm ET)
- People's Hub: BIPOC Herbal Restoration for the Revolution (Monday, July 16th and Tuesday, July 24th 2pm ET)
- Unchanged Visioning: Emotional Emancipation Circle: A virtual space for black folx to process racial stress & learn tools for emotional wellness (Wednesdays 7pm ET)
- TRACC4Movements: Self Compassion During Crisis (Thursdays and Saturdays through June 7pm ET)
- The Free Black Women's Library: Storytime Series
- Irresistible Podcast: Sustaining Ourselves When Confronting Violence
- Black Girl in Om: Free guided meditation
- Free or fair-cost online wellness led by people of color, womxn, and queer folks (Many daily)
- More Mental Health Resources
- PGM ONE Black Joy Fund