From our Executive Director
Thank you for financially supporting our work. It has been an emotional journey as our community witnesses the brutal murders of 16 Black trans women in the U.S. this year. With the current presidential occupants working to erase folks who are simply trying to exist, our team took July and most of August to rest, heal and focus on personal projects. As we continue to create spaces of love and joy I want to share with you what we are doing and ways you can get involved and continue to support with our work!
Our Healing and Restorative Justice Initiative consists of several components that spearhead our main body of work. Our writing clinics, cultural arts events and healing retreats serve as conduits for community members to engage in healing work necessary to process and move from trauma to cultivate organizing capacity and resources. We have hosted initiatives in over 40 states in the U.S. at Colleges and Universities as well as conferences and community gatherings. Our global initiatives hosted in Geneva, Oslo, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Kenya and London has facilitated cultural exchanges and anthropological studies with organizers that has enhanced our efforts towards a global platform for collective liberation of all oppressed people. This year, with a generous personal contribution of 10K, I am kicking off our Fall Tour in the South Pacific!
South Pacific Cultural Exchange: Converging Tides
August 25-September 9th
Samoa has a rich and vibrant fa’afafine community and culture. ‘Fa’afafine’ have always existed within Samoan society, and when translated literally means ‘in the manner of’ (fa’a) ‘woman’ (fafine). We excited to partner with Samoa Fa’afafine Association for our Fall 2019 South Pacific Cultural Exchange and Anthropological Study during Samoa’s Teuila Festival, one of the South Pacific’s biggest cultural festivals.
I am honored to have been invited by SFA to serve as a SPECIAL GUEST JUDGE for SFA presents the 2019 National Fa’afafine Pageant and the official launch of our National Campaign to END Violence, Stigma and Discrimination.
During our time in Samoa, we will commune with community members, share cultural practices and experiences, explore native landmarks and ancestral traditions while documenting through a video project celebrating our journey.
We will award 5 intentional gifts of $100 USD through scholarships to community activists, artists and organizers of the Fa’afafine community. We are excited to learn, share and be blessed by the knowledge, experience and lives of our hosts as well as share tools to build capacity for collective healing and liberation.
CLOSER TO HOME
Trans Women of Collective was awarded $10,000 from All Souls Beckner Fund to support our Black Trans Health Initiative (BTHI).
Our Black Trans Health Initiative seeks to address the systemic issues our community faces everyday. Colonization, anti-Blackness and transphobia is inextricably linked to state sanctioned violence. These systems of oppression has attempted to rob not only the land of its indigenous people and practices but our agency, bodies, family ties, identities, dreams, leadership and legacy. It has been instrumental in creating and cultivating a socially constructed hierarchy of white supremacy and cis-het patriarchy that works to deny trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary people, disabled folk, our youth and our elders at every turn. State sanctioned violence has utilized science, religion, academia, gender binary, amongst other systems of oppression to justify its acts of oppression, genocide, rape, slavery, subjugation and conversion.
Our Black Trans Health Initiative creates and curates spaces for our communities to engage in healing strategies, advancing equity and justice in our community and the communities we serve.
By centering the leadership of those most disproportionately targeted by state sanctioned violence and leveraging our access to resources, we give birth to braver safer spaces of collective healing and liberation. We feel this is the most direct approach. As opposed to programs being designed by gatekeepers, organizations being led by the elite and educated or decisions being solely in the hands of Board of Directors that don’t reflect the community. Those in power do not suffer the violence, discrimination, lack of access to educational opportunities, jobs and housing that we face everyday.
Grant funds will be used to support our operating expenses including: Safe House in Ward 1, daily cooked meals for community members, transportation to community meetings and events, stipends to fund the work of our organizers, renting meeting space, and information technology to support our leadership team.
Don’t forget your copy of SUPER PRINCESS SAVES THE NIGHT! All proceeds benefit our writing clinic.
WHY OUR WORK IS IMPORTANT
All of our work is led by the narratives, leadership and voices of our community members who exist at the nexus of state sanctioned violence; sex workers, poor people, homelessness and folk experiencing housing insecurity. Folks deeply entrenched in complex, seemingly inescapable traumatic environments. Through healing and restorative justice, are building a network of trans, non-binary Black and people of color who are artists, healers, entrepreneurs and creators sharing and cultivating sustainable projects for us and by us.
Lourdes Ashley Hunter
Support the work led by Black trans folk! Up
All purchases are direct proceeds towards Trans Women of Color Collective
Join TWOCC’s Happenings
TWOCC’s Mid-West Leader Nyla Foster WINS against the state of Kansas
“I’m glad to see the state of Kansas has agreed to recognize us for who we are.”June 24, 2019
(Kansas City, KS — June 24, 2019). — Transgender people born in Kansas will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates under a consent judgment between Lambda Legal and state officials issued Friday evening by a federal court.
“I’m glad to see the state of Kansas has agreed to recognize us for who we are. It should have not taken a lawsuit to reach that conclusion. This judgment makes me feel safer and like my state finally recognizes me and respects me as a woman,” said Nyla Foster, 30, a plaintiff in the case. “I am proud that transgender Kansans like me will no longer be forced into dangerous situations because their identity documents do not match who they are.”
Intersecting Injustice: A National Call to Action
This report is the result of several national LGBTQ organizations convening eight focus groups across the country with community members and advocates who are deeply invested in sharing narratives of lived experience, data and sample policies to address LGBTQ poverty. Read More
*The LGBTQ Poverty Collaborative is currently comprised of the following organizations: Center for American Progress, Family Equality Council, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, Trans Women of Color Collective, The Vaid Group, Whitman-Walker Health and The Williams Institute.