Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashina wearing a red slip]
As an emerging queer writer of color, I deeply needed writing arts spaces that got it - that weren't just focused around straight, dead white guys - and they were damn hard to find. They don't exist in most graduate schools. They are rare in community spaces. I've spent the past 13 years teaching writing and performance to badass marginalized writers to try and fill that gap and because I love doing it, through Supporting Our Youth's Pink Ink program, co-founding Asian Arts Freedom School and teaching with June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley and in communities and colleges across North America. And 13 years later, I know there's still so much need for places to learn writing, stretch and grow fiercely as a queer writer of color.
But! I am so excited because I'm starting to teach writing classes as sacred space by and for two spirit, queer and trans people of color and TSQTPOC with disabilities. My first class, Sacred Texts, Collective Dream, is kicking off this November at the Living Room Project in West Oakland, CA, a physically accessible space. I'm also teaching this class online in December, in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Further, I'm teaching Frida and Harriet's Children, an online writing class for TSQTPOC with disabilities and chronic illness in January 2014. I am so fucking excited about taking the leap to make spaces of liberatory writing education for communities of writers I love the most possible. You can see more about the project here: http://www.brownstargirl.org/current-projects.html
Since I posted the call for participants three weeks ago, I've had a ton of people emailing and being interested in taking classes. This is awesome! I've also had a bunch of people asking what the scholarship opportunities are because guess what- a lot of two spirit, queer and trans people of color writers are broke! I have a number of Deaf folks who want to take the class, and I am fundraising to pay ASL interpreters to make this class Deaf accessible.
A huge part of liberation is making learning accessible in all ways. So- I'm writing to ask if you would consider supporting Sacred Texts, Collective Dream with a donation of any amount to go towards full or partial scholarships for folks who are broke/ low-income to take the class, and for access costs.
Here's the cost breakdown:
Cost of renting accessible space: $120
Scholarship fund: $600
ASL: 2 interpreters at $60/hour for 4 2 hour classes= $960
Total goal: $1680
You can Paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org, marking the donation as "personal" or "I'm sending money to family and friends." I'm bad at making GoFundMes and stuff like that, but this seems to work for most folks. Literally any amount of cash helps and gets you my love and support and thanks for helping collectively build zones of accessible creation as liberation.
If you're broke right now, I get it (believe me.) You can totally help by passing the word on! You can also help out by letting your folks know about the classes, posting about the classes and campaign on social media, or writing an article or blog post.
Thanks in advance for all the work you do, and all your love and amazingness.