For three days, members of TGIJP received political education from Jai Celestial of Soft Boi Consulting around The Axes of Oppression, Gender Justice, and Grassroots Organizing. During those three days, Rose Wonderfabulous — a healer from Tennesse, offered bodywork, reiki, and tarot card reading.
Ms. Billie Cooper, who was chosen as one of the Grand Marshals for Pride 2019, was in attendance as well as many of TGIJP’s longtime members. They all gathered in the TGIJP office, decorated with snacks, lunch, and flow charts encompassing the many themes of the retreat. One theme was to provide a deeper understanding of how to set change in motion and learning how to work with the next generation to continue the change. Another theme included how to empower each other as abolitionists that do work differently.
Posters that defined White Supremacy, Capitalism, and Patriarchy covered the walls, reinforcing what our members already knew but with different language. Questions littered the room asking: What does it mean to fight multiple systems working together through the lens of gender justice? What does it mean to be the ones transforming these things and creating something new? Each day included a POP: Purpose, Outcomes, and Process, to get participants’ brain juices flowing and to stoke conversation. Many of the folks in attendance loved the retreat and expressed that there is not enough of this type of work being done. It’s important that there exist convenings of trans women of color, especially Black trans women, and most importantly formerly incarcerated Black trans women.
What do these retreats provide for Black trans women and trans women of color?
- A chance to connect with community.
- A chance for intergenerational connection between trans youth and elders.
- A broader understanding of oppression that Black trans women and trans women of color maneuver in the world and in their work.
- A space to heal. Healing space during the retreat is integral, as diving into the topic of oppression brings up triggers; it’s necessary to hold our folks through that process.
How can you host your own retreat?
Write a funding proposal (Many of these funders provide step by step instructions for writing a funding proposal.)
- Funding for an individual
Trans Justice Funding Project: https://www.transjusticefundingproject.org/
Trans Lifeline- any document changes: https://www.translifeline.org/microgrants
- Funding for an organization
Third Wave Fund: http://www.thirdwavefund.org/index.html
Borealis Philanthropy: https://borealisphilanthropy.org/
Fundraising within your community (Grassroots Fundraising)
- Start with a planning committee. Plan around who needs to be present: Healers? Health providers?
- Create a theme: Mental Health? Healing? Political Education? Art? Start asking folks that are part of the community to donate money, talents, or time through volunteering.
- Pros: Community is more willing to donate to uplift community.
- Cons: Not likely to get folks who can donate large amounts due to limited resources.
- You could also seek sponsors: Your radical neighborhood cafe? Favorite club? A rich John?
If folks are interested in approaching TGIJP, we may be able to assist you in a project or event.