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“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”

Alice Walker

TGIJP client posing with her meal from Sunday Dinner

Image by unknown photographer

We as a community have built upon the idea that we take care of each other and that we should be the people taking care of ourselves. However adamantly this country/culture tries to convince us otherwise, we know that we are best equipped to take care of each other; we actually have everything we need to create space for our own healing. We are invested in breaking cycles of trauma and harm and that we are the only ones that can break that cycle. We come up with clever ways for our healing, we build and create safe spaces out of nothingness. We become our own healers.

Throughout our 15 year lifespan, TGIJP has figured out innovative and creative ways to take care of our community and heal each other. We know that the process of healing is something that we have to heal from as well, and that fighting for our survival and freedom is a constant process. Our organization has many community gatherings because we know of the power of community. We have Black Girlz Rulez, a yearly convening of Black TGI folks in January, we have Mail Correspondence Night every week, open to all communities with dinner and an opportunity to correspond with TGI folks in jails and prisons, and we have quarterly retreats with transformative justice workshops and more! We have hella community gatherings where the intention is healing, support, safety, Blackness, survival, and freedom because those spaces are scarce, which makes them all the more sacred.

We sat down and decided we needed a holistic approach to healing while maintaining abolitionist ideology, a community gathering that addresses the health and wellness of our entire community while we heal, deconstruct, and fight for freedom. A gathering not directly on the frontlines this time, so our recharge time is happening as community-care without the same sacrifices as self-care. With community care, our labor is We brought back Sunday Dinners last weekend, centering our ideas around food as healing. The current political and social environment is harsh and traumatic and we wondered how we could deconstruct trauma and slow down through community and radical food healing.

We wanted to introduce the opportunity to build relationships with each other, building familial traditions with communities [folks] that don’t often have access to family. We wanted to feed the other parts of ourselves that we don’t get to elaborate on, like rest, medicine, laughter, and longevity. We fed those parts of ourselves with food, traditional sacred food like collard greens, dressing, chicken, ribs, and black-eyed peas.

Have you thought about community-care lately? What questions are you asking yourself? What does community-care look like to you? What does self-care look like to you?

You’re invited to our next Sunday Dinner, keep in touch for dates and times! You can keep in touch through our Instagram @tgijustice, Facebook, or Twitter @tgijp.

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