Queer Black Facilitators of the Future: Press Release

30 04 2012

Queer Black Facilitators of the Future

Mobile Homecoming Co-creators recognized in The Advocate “top 40 under 40”

March 30, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, 919-827-2702

Mobile Homecoming

Durham, NC – Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D and Julia Wallace, M.Div. will be recognized in the May issue of the The Advocate  – the leading gay magazine in America – on the “top 40 under 40” list for their creation of the nationally known Mobile Homecoming project. Mobile Homecoming is an intergenerational experiential archive project that amplifies generations of Black LGBTQ brilliance.

The Advocate says of it’s honorees, “these budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics… are facilitating our future.” Alexis and Julia are two of only 4 honorees from the Southeast on the list.

As a self-identified “queer black feminist troublemaker,” Alexis also travels the country facilitating workshops, seminars and lecturing on the legacy of Black feminism. Julia, a self-identified black queer theologian, multimedia artist and consultant, says, “Alexis makes trouble that looks like love and IS love.”

Alexis and Julia travel the country in a 1988 RV they call Sojourner, interviewing Black Lesbian elders and Trans Men, facilitating intergenerational community conversations and hosting replay events. Julia explains, “the replay event is a technology where we not only learn about the history of these visionaries but experience the practices that has sustained them.”

Alexis is not new to this sort of national recognition. She was one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World” in 2009; a Black Women Rising Nominee and a Reproductive Reality Check Shero in 2010; and a recipient of the Too Sexy for 501C-3 trophy in 2011. Alexis has been featured on North Carolina public radio and UNC-TV. She and Julia were also featured on the cover of Durham Magazine – that celebrates the city’s style and creativity – for a feature story suggesting that Durham, NC is the lesbian haven of the south.

Alexis and Julia drove their RV across the country in 2011 taking detours and making stops along the way to honor and listen to elders. They say, “it was like a tour of super heroes… our elders had to develop super powers to survive as black people, as women, let alone as LGBTQ people, 20, 30 plus years ago.”So far, they have been to over 50 cities in over 11 states and interviewed over 50 black queer visionaries. They take a “by every means possible” approach to getting the word out about this history and their intergenerational imperative via tumblr, short Facebook videos, an upcoming documentary film, a web series on Q-Roc.tv, and T-shirts,to name a few.

Next up for Mobile Homecoming is learning about sustainable building and living practices that will allow LGBT communities to take care of their elders as they age. They will also be launching a fundraising campaign to resurrect Sojourner or refit another vehicle with a veggie fuel engine to model their vision of sustainable mobile media making.

These “architects of the next decade,” as The Advocate describes them, both have advanced degrees and are founders of many organizations. The Mobile Homecoming project is affiliated with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), supported by Kitchen Table Giving Circle and has collaborated on events with many groups across the country including AARP, The DC Center in Washington D.C., Audre Lorde Project in NY, and Allied Media Projects (AMP) in Detroit. Alexis and Julia believe that “connecting community across generations is what will give us all access to the future we deserve.”

More information can be found at http://www.mobilehomecoming.org. and videos can be found at http://vimeo.com/user1580195/videos





Lex and Julia honored in the Advocate’s 40 under 40 list!

25 04 2012

from http://news.advocate.com/post/21701470227/forty-under-40

These budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science, are facilitating our future. Meet the architects of the next decade.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs & Julia Wallace  • 29 & 32
Durham, N.C.
Historians, Mobile Homecoming

In 2009, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Wallace were at a conference in North Carolina, attended primarily by black lesbians, and realized they were the youngest people there. Listening to the older women, “it became very obvious that the choices they had made and the things they had done had made things better for us,” Gumbs says. Adds Wallace: “We became very excited about the experiences they had.” That led the partners in life and work to get on the road and seek out African-American LGBT elders (basically, anyone older than they are) around the nation for a project called Mobile Homecoming. Gumbs and Wallace are documenting their subjects’ lives through video and audio interviews that they plan to assemble into a documentary film by the end of next year, and they are also holding intergenerational events and collecting photos, manuscripts, and other artifacts for an archive of black LGBT life.

The effort “has been affirming and sometimes overwhelming,” Gumbs says. In some cases,  “people have been waiting all their life for someone to listen to them.” Wallace says the project made her realize “we have a responsibility to our elders and our ancestors to take care of each other.” In addition to Mobile Homecoming, Gumbs’s projects include BrokenBeautiful Press, a website where activists can share resources, and Brilliance Remastered, which offers online seminars, individual coaching, and other assistance for scholars. Wallace is founder of Queer Renaissance, which uses the Internet and other media to connect artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and others. Soon the busy duo will be collaborating on a children’s book as well.





I Would Transform: Anger, Hatred and Magic

24 04 2012

This Sunday in the Angry Intellectuals: Channeling Rage for Transformation Webinar we honored the fact that our anger is sparked by deep love and a profound desire for transformation.  We realize that our anger requires transformation from each of us and from the world around us.   At the end of our session, as we practiced recognizing the distinction between hate (the impulse to destroy…an impulse we reserve for the interlocking forms of oppression we indeed wish to destroy) and anger (the creative energetic impulse for transformation that we are bringing into our communities with intention), we created this group poem about what we would transform.  And how!

I Would Transform

A group poem by the Angry Intellectuals

 

i would transform the need to be right into a desire to be in community

i would transform fear of honesty into courage to be held accountable.

i would transform punishment into healing.

i would transform color-blindness into full color.

i would transform ownership into profound communalism

i would transform whiteness into the presence of unconditional love and accountability.

i would transform supremacy into relationship/community.

i would transform self-righteous white women into anti-racist warriors

i would transform individual solutions into collective power, into unstoppable contagious collective power

i would transform SCAF (Egyptian Military Leadership) into sons and fathers in their homes, taking care of their own families and communities

i would transform those who are now police into profound listeners in the face of violence

i would transform schools into places of critical consciousness and liberation

i would transform the academies tendency to overwork, underpay, and devalue revolutionary scholarship into valuing these ways of knowing and these people.

And that doesn’t seem like a radical enough transformation!

i would transform hierarchical organization structures to co-created spaces of accountability.

i would transform exclusion to equity

i would transform isolation and borders into abundance of love

i would transform ICE and immigration policies into organizers rooted in care- using all their radical energies to reunite families.

i would transform racist teachers who seem to hate kids into hologram designers for spaceship child safety seats

i would transform bullies into bootdancers

i would transform the public school system to satellites of black feminist schools across the country.

i would transform homophobic church leaders into humble hip hop hooray cheerleaders for love in all forms

i would transform rent into the most alive soil ever

i would transform my landlord into a rose garden curator

i would transform the property manager into  a beloved son embraced in the middle of the dig deep get it done committee

i would transform legal recourse into delving deep for life-giving resources

i would transform street harassers into corner poets singing love to mother earth

i would transform scarcity into abundance and communities to hold us.

i would transform fast breathe speech and thinking into patient grounded inclusivewisdom.

i would transform the instinct to devalue in the face of anxiety to the impulse courageously honor

i would transform the feelings of betrayal into the gratitude for new knowledge

i would transform defensiveness into deep breaths of listening

I would transform self pity into confidence

i would transform doubt to determination

i would transform fear into freedom

i would transform guilt into action and growth

i would transform forced silence into song.

 

i would transform myself





Sign up by April 30th! Eye to Eye: Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars

23 04 2012

Greetings Bright Thunder!

Applications are now open for May’s Webinar Eye to Eye: Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars!  Sign up by April 30th!

Eye to Eye will meet on four Tuesdays in May (8, 15, 22, 29)

Eye to Eye is an opportunity to get real about how individualism, internalized oppression and a capitalism-produced need to seem smart can get in the way of creating meaningful collaborations and useful intellectual partnerships with the communities that we love the most.  It is also an opportunity to find partners to collaborate with and to create plans for becoming the unstoppable, interconnected, community accountable scholars we want to be!

Required reading: Audre Lorde’s Eye to Eye: Black Women Hatred and Anger

The Eye to Eye Webinar Includes:

  • a workbook based on Audre Lorde’s Eye to Eye
  • 4 live webinar discussion sessions facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and attended by aligned visionary underrepresented scholars
  • inclusion in an ongoing networking google-group for webinar graduates
  • theme songs to release internalized oppression as we reach out into collaboration!

Rate:  $25-50 per participant per session ($100-200 for the whole course) or FREE for one-on-one coaching clients.

To apply for the Eye to Eye Webinar email brillianceremastered@gmail.com with your responses to the following questions:

Contact information: (phone, email)

Who are you and what are you up to?

Why do you want to take this webinar?

What times are you available on Tuesdays in May? (Include your time zone!)

Love,
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, PhD





Journeystones: Angry Intellectuals Release!

17 04 2012

This Sunday was the second session of The Angry Intellectual: Channeling Rage for Transformation!   We are training ourselves to use the energy and insight of our anger to create transformative relationships, not to reproduce domination.  Here are some stones on our path.

With love,

Lex

Journeystones: 

After Audre Lorde’s “Journeystones I-X”

a quarry of clarity from the Angry Intellectuals

(or a can of stones to kick)

 

i can drop my need to be right all the time

i can drop my fear of seeming like a failure

drop my need to be liked

drop my need to fix things for other people

i can drop my tendency to bear it alone….

i can drop the need to always do more…sometimes i have already done (MORE THAN) enough.  capitalism kills.

i can drop my fear of being judged

i can stop faking the funk like any revolution has gone smoothly

i can drop the need to fit in completely. i’m different (in some ways) and it’s good.

and my shoes are cute :)

i can drop my hard rock need to seem like i can never be hurt

i can drop the fear of never being hurt…and suspecting that the present is simply the past in a new body, time, and person

which also must mean i have to drop a refusal to deal with past hurts

i can drop my expectations of other black women to be the perfect me i wish i was

i can drop my fear of seeming needy

i can drop my fear of being my mother

and me of being my father…

and me of being reactionary

i can drop my need to be right/to focus on just my hurt so that i can see that other’s actions are really out of fear

i can allow compassion, instead of pushing it away.

i can drop my shoulders and release the pent up tension. that’s not even a good warrior pose!

i can drop the teacher/academic/professional pose which hinders the possibilities of radical education

i can drop those standards of grace that were not mine/ours to begin with

i can drop those perfectionist tendencies….

i can drop the idea of speaking to anger or emotion as taking up too much space.

i can drop my fear that i’m taking up too much space.

i can drop my fear that my community won’t hold me.

i can drop my fast conclusions which foreclose the possibilities of allies

i can drop my fear of my own healing and give others permission to heal

i can drop my need to hide love. I feel deeply and I need to say it often.

i can drop my need to seem rational when I KNOW my feelings hold truth

i can drop my distrust of my body.  my body knows the truth!





I Know: Angry Intellectuals Testify

12 04 2012

This past Sunday was the first session of the second webinar in the Brilliance Remastered series The Angry Intellectual: Channeling Rage for Transformation and it was a testimony service indeed!   As part of our process of acting on Audre Lorde’s wisdom that “anger is full of energy and insight.”

This group poem highlights some of the wisdom that our anger reminds us to act on!!!

 

I Know

 

A Group Poem by the Participants in the Angry Intellectuals Webinar

Channeling Rage for Transformation

 

I know that there is magic in my rage, and power in its love

I know that every emotion I express is valid

I know transformation is possible possible possible

I know I have the power to create create create from something, from anything from nothing

I know that my work is valuable and matterfact PRICELESS!

I know that the lives of black girls are priceless and sacred everyday.  Including Sunday!

I know I’m happy I got to go to black feminist “church” this afternoon :)

I know I am grateful for this space.

I know that we need more of these spaces, for the many more like us out there

I know that state sanctioned, vigilante style, wrongful death–genoicide–is wrong

I know that love is always the answer

I know the power of our knowledge and love is stronger than capitalist ignorance that has those i love captivated.

I know that the revolution begins with the self

I know I have more to learn. I know I must be held accountable.

I know that being present is an uncomfortable lifestyle I must embrace

I know Superiority, Supremacy is not used to having to listen to the invisible.

And, I will not remain invisible.

I know that I am beautiful.

I know that I am more than enough

I know that I am bigger than any institution

I know that we can do this work….

and I know that I am not yet who I desire to be but all things in due time…

I know I am not limited by my physical challenges

I know I have what I need to do the work I am here to do. Actualize!

I know, as a white woman, other white people often don’t want me to respond to racism.

and yes I know that wrong is not my name

I know that my ancestors are right here right now.

I know I am not alone. I am surrounded in love.

I know that I am surrounded in and filled with transformative LOVE!

I know that letting go and not holding on is healing.  Pack light

I know that we have strength in community. Not alone at all.

I know that my emotional clarity and expression will not only heal myself, but my community

I know when we come together to give others the space to express themselves

we give ourselves permission to be who we are

I know that my knowing is growing by the day.

I know that I know that I know that I know that I KNOW!

I know “they” betta act like they know

I know we betta act like we know!

(I know that I don’t want this to end just yet :-)








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