Community Advisory Committee invitation draft 1 and notes
Community Advisory Committee invitation draft 1 and notes
A draft and notes related to the Community Advisory Committee invitation
A draft and notes related to the Community Advisory Committee invitation. Including WWC info, committee info, background on larger WWC community events, and other ideas.
11 March 2020
Text Item Type Metadata
You’re invited to The Kitchen Table! In Womanist Praxis, the Kitchen Table symbolizes a central place of gathering which symbolizes where decisions are made, dialogue is had, arbitration and mediation occur, harmonizing and coordinating are the ultimate goal. “The table is an invitation to become part of a group amicably comprised of heterogeneous elements and unified by the pleasure and nourishment of food and drink. At the table, people can come and go, agree or disagree, take turns talking or speak all at once, and laugh, shout, complain, or counsel—even be present in silence. It is a space where the language is accessible and the ambience casual. At the kitchen table, people share the truths of their lives on equal footing and learn through face-to-face conversation. When the kitchen table metaphor is applied to political problem-solving situations, the relations of domination and subordination break down in favor of more egalitarian, interpersonal processes.” (The Womanist Reader, 2006)
in The Womanist Working Collective’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC is will serve as a community accountability aid, event logistics
Participating in this committee is compensated at $25/hr
Established in October 2015 as an affinity group on Meetup, we began gathering as a group of likeminded Black women & femmes. Responding to our almost immediate growth and increased membership, we held our first strategic planning retreat in January 2016 and collective-wide data collection to gather vital feedback from our membership. From this survey and on-going evaluations, we began to shape and expand what was quickly evolving into an intentional Community of Practice centering livelihood and Quality of Life for Black womyn, transwomen, femmes and gender variant folks. Today, we continue building around the needs and feedback from our members to achieve our ultimate goal: Black Liberation!
Initially WWC membership was acquired by joining our Meetup group online, but over the last few years we found that that hasn’t been the most effective way to organize for the goals we have for our organization. We were experiencing extended periods of inactive members, constant no-call/no-shows, and our organizers spending an unrealistic amount of time trying to transition ‘inactive members’ into ‘active members’. This process, while not the most successful, had been the basis for the development of our Time Banking project and the concept of Time Poverty we often teach about. That being said, the Meetup platform simply wasn’t working for us anymore so in October 2019, we closed down our Meetup group.
Our organization has shifted away from being a membership-based organization to more of a community partnership and resource organization. Today, we’re prioritizing working within our capacity, resources and existing community networks to live out our vision. You’ve been selected from our network because you’re shown commitment to causes of Black Liberation within or outside of external organizations. You’re individual expertise, passion and dedication to our people makes you perfect for advising our work moving forwards.
What this looks like is directly funding Black women, femme and trans-led projects to activists in our networks with whom don’t have access to grant support or whose work isn’t considered to touch as many people so is often overlooks. We recognize those glaring challenges because thats exactly where we started out and we could’ve used an organization like us back then to alleviate the stress of trying to organize with such few resources yet very big dreams. We support these activists and projects monetarily through WWC Mini Grants starting at $100, marketing support by designing and sharing flyers through our via social media for them as needed or connecting them directly with mentors or networks to take their work to the next level. Each person/project decides how we could be of use to them and we do our best to make an impact.
Some of the larger community events or activities we’re participated in have been.
[Project; Philanthropy] WWC launched the Safety (Net)work project which is a mutual aid fund supporting collective and community members in their time of need; providing emergency support (food, shelter, supplies, resources, etc.) to prevent them from falling through the cracks.
[Event] Fighting Misogyny: Centering All Black Femmes & Women at the Community Futures Lab, Philadelphia, PA July 2016
We curated a space in which Black women and femmes could have conversations around their race, gender/gender identity, class and sexuality/sexual orientation in relation to resisting daily microaggressions and macro oppressions. This conversation was facilitated by Krystal Leaphart and Adriyanna Andreus.
[Event] Black Womanist Herstory Day Community-Led Teach-in, Philadelphia, PA, Feb. 2017
This teach-in gave participants the opportunity to learn about the concept of accessing Black Liberation through Womanist Principles. This daylong event was broken up into smaller workshops facilitated by community leaders and organizers covering topics such as: Black Cooperative Economics, Gender & Sexuality, Health & Wellness, Community Organizing and Reproductive Justice
[Project] Reciprocity: A Time Banking Project of the Womanist Working Collective
Time banking is a service exchange system that enables cooperation, interdependence and self-determination.
[Event] Healers & Helpers: A Therapy Speed Dating event, Philadelphia, PA, July 2018
In celebration of International Self-care Day (July 24), we developed a mental health and wellness networking event called Healers & Helpers event. This event was meant to help connect Black women in the mental health field (therapists, psychologists, life coaches, etc.) with Black women in the community who are searching for support from someone who shares similar identities and works from an intersectional, Healing Justice lens.
[Philanthropy] As part of a concerted effort to put more money back into our communities, we donated over $1200 to Black-women led community projects, Philly Black Women’s March and Philadelphia Trans March.
Organizations we’ve collaborated with and/or donated to: Black & Brown Maternal Health Coalition, Black and Brown Workers Cooperative, Morris Home, New Voices Philly, Philly Black Women’s March, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, Philadelphia Printworks, SistahSpeak Youth Project, Free Library of Philadelphia (Lillian Marrero Branch), MOVES, The Sex Exchange, Black Quantum Futurism,, National March for Black Women, The Sable Collective and more.
Our overarching goal is to improve Black women and femmes Quality of Life by dismantling The Systems of Oppression, which we’ve identified with the help of bell hooks and the Combahee River Collective as the Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist CisHeteroPatriarchy. Through our work, we want to shift the culture of this and every other city on how they hold, support, protect, heal and educate Black women and femmes while simultaneously giving ourselves the tools and language around of self-care, healing justice as community care and systemic oppression reinforced by local social determinants. Black women often know exactly what it is we need, yet we are rarely asked or listened to due to racism, sexism, classism, colonialism, cissexism, heterosexism, ableism and a variety other factors informed by various systems of oppression which hinder our self-determination. The convergence of these products of supremacy and domination lead to social determinants such as our disproportionate mental and physical health disparities, gentrification/displacement, sex trafficking, barriers to reporting domestic violence and sexual assault, police brutality, murders, workplace discrimination and more. We need to build informed, participatory and grassroots community solutions to the issues Black women and femmes are facing in our neighborhoods, led by us and for us. Focusing on the community will allow us to share resistance, organizing and mobilizing strategies where they’re most needed to have a real impact on our material reality. Unmarried Black women are often the head of households making up the dominant family structures in these low-income neighborhoods. So anytime you’re helping women you’re helping families, their children, elder-dependents and returning citizens who are coming home.
We believe that projects we develop or support externally can help change the entire culture of how Black women and femmes are held in this country, but at the very least this should help improve conditions locally and currently.
Over the next year, our focus is largely on developing the Womxnist Liberation Cooperative, collaborating on the Black Women and Girls Health Report project with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Chronic Disease (Get Healthy Philly) and Injury Prevention and our latest organizing project, Sovereign.
Womxnist Liberation Co-op is a multi-functional worker-owned co-op offers political, cultural, artistic and spiritual education to help heal, educate and strengthen the Black community. Our goal is to generate a sustainable living wage for our members through owning our own means of production and leveraging them into ethical exchanges in order to sustain ourselves and our collective work.Through political education workshops, culture shifting analysis, activating community members skills and gifts in service of their liberation, shifting away from extractive Capitalist models of profit-over-people, to a more equitable people-over-profit model. This project is currently in development and the official launch will be in Summer 2020; it is ongoing.
According to Get Healthy Philly’s stated mission “We envision a report written by and for black women in Philadelphia to celebrate good work and prioritize opportunities for collaboration to improve health.” As it aligns with our vision of centering Black women (both cis and trans), femmes, girls and non-binary folx Quality of Life, we’ll be participating in the completion of this project with other hand-selected professionals and organizers to ensure there is a radical and liberatory lens being used for this report. We are unsure of how long it is expected to take as our first meeting isn’t until the end of March 2020 and we are not the ones housing this project.
Sovereign, the project we’d like funded is a collaborative merging of ours and other radical work taking place in Philadelphia into a tangible practice village. So our time bank (solidarity economy), worker-owned cooperative (solidarity economy), black joy healing space (social solidarity & trauma informed care), community partners organizing work (political education and deep democratic governance), apothecaries and farming/food justice (health justice), environmental and land reclamation from community partnerships (ecological justice framework) into one space to build a community practice space. We’re envisioning what does all of our praxis look like in action and practice? Why must we wait to visualize liberation for ourselves and our communities? Whose timeline are we operating on?
We’ll be recruiting other local grassroots organizations doing radical work to help develop this practice space over the next 6 months and 3 month post-event evaluation, which will culminate into a summit at Quaker’s Pendle Hill Retreat Center on July 3-5, 2020. This will launch more practice spaces all over the city and hopefully inspire people in other states. For the last 4 years we’ve been resting really heavy on theory/theoretical approaches to developing community-based solutions, which was fine but didn’t allow for enough practice so we’re focusing on that and evaluation moving forward. This pilot project is for 9 months.
Possible Meeting Dates:
March 21 - 3-6PM
March 28 - 12-3pm
April 3 - 6-8pm
Please complete this Doodle by March 15, 2020.
LaTierra Piphus, “Community Advisory Committee invitation draft 1 and notes,” Womanist Working Collective Archive, accessed July 4, 2022, https://wwcarchive.omeka.net/items/show/192.