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Curated in Cuba: Amani O+ Poem & Tell

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In sixty minutes (2 back to back shows) share an experience of a lifetime with me! Join us on Tuesday, August 30th.

This February, I was supported by our local activist community and nominated to join a People-to-People delegation of 518 locals organizing against the U.S. embargo against and pro the Cuban people.

Naturally much poetry was written, hundreds of photos taken and countless new ideas formed. Come learn through original art about international solidarity, Black Lives Matter’s connected to the liberation of the Cuban nation and, the ripples of colonialism beyond the borders of our country and the beauty of posibility and social change in the name of The People.

PROCEEDS GO TOWARDS my 2nd and 3rd Poetry Books of the REBELUTIONARY series “Soldier and With Nothing To Lose” AND “Curated by Cuba” a collecton of works started in or influenced by the journey.

Show A: 6:00PM-7:00PM

Show B: 7:30PM-8:30PM

Sliding Scale: $10-$20

19 Everyday Acts of Revolution

What does revolution look like to?

Perhaps our idea of revolution was developed by movies, music and pop culture, but let’ be real it’s overwhelming to think about it.

Like a scene from The Warriors; angry youth in denim jackets and black skinny jeans slamming trash cans into windows whilst Jay-Z’s “Takeover” plays enthusiastically in the background.

Revolution doesn’t have to be so complicated, violent or devastating.

Practicing everyday acts of revolution is how we manage to exists, otherwise, we spend our lives waiting for that big ‘scene’ to happen.

In lieu of a big undertaking, take everyday acts of revolution and trust that ideologies and behaviors will spread.

They say the revolution won’t be televised, and that’s because it won’t. We don’t event recognize the revolution because it’s happening right before our eyes.

Here’s 19 Everyday acts of revolution, add some other great ones in the comments.

1.Eat fruit. Especially ones with seeds. Share fruit too, that’s always great.

2. Be a snob when it comes to your coins. “Oh, this wasn’t made sustainably? I don’t want it.” “Oh you don’t know if people were paid fairly when they made this? I’ll put it back.” “Oh, this isn’t a small family biz? Thanks, but no thanks.” Be a conscious shopper.

3. Use your imagination. Make something out of nothing. Make a dollar out of 15 cents.

4. Pack a bug out bag and be ret for anything. I’m building out my everyday bookbag to also be a bug out bag, but it gets difficult when you’re walking around with a blade. Be ready for anything.

5. Set up a rain catchment system, and start to use water that is alternative to city water. Even if it’s only enough to water you garden, or flush the toilet, just do it.

6. Hang dry your clothes instead of using a dryer, it happens to be a very therapeutic experience, but you also save energy that would have been burned by coal, a non-renewable fossil fuel that is extracted underneath the ground in dangerous conditions.

7. Cook meals for other people, build community through meals.

8. Learn how to build a fire. Fire is a very controlled element. Energy, fuel, oxygen are the three requirements to build a fire. Watch some Youtube videos and practice in various scenarios. You just never know.

6. Go without AC. Duke it out, buy a fan, sit on your porch and meet people.

7. Stop buying stuff, especially stuff you are only going to use occasionally. Borrow from friends and family, and return it.

8. Stop buying stuff with currency, barter bih!

9. Grow food, nothing says fuck the system, like growing you own food. The one human need is food (clothes and shelter are optional depending on the climate where you live.) Take sometime to place down crops, and subsidize your own dependency on super markets. Easy things to grow? Squash in the summer, collard greens in the winter.

10. Buy from local businesses. Buy from black businesses. Buy from women-run businesses. Buy from environmentally friendly businesses. Buy from businesses, where you can identify with and respect the owners.

11. Fucking read, be engulfed in facts and literary fiction. Read to the youth too!

12. Condense the amount of things you own. That extra furniture set in storage will NEVER come to good use.

13. Walk or ride a bike, to lessen your dependency on crude oil, which is a non-renewable resource that causes wars and casualties of beautiful people around the world.

14. Eat intentionally. That’s includes for yourself, the planet and other people. Is what you eat medicnal for your body? Do you contribute to an industry that requires living beings to suffer? Are the farms paid fair wages and provided bathroom facilities?

15. Put your friends to work. Hire you friends for projects, keep the money in the loop.

16. Go camping it’s an easy practice for the day you may need that bug out bag. See #4.

17. Teach an old dog new tricks. Show your grand mom how to make some healthy meals. Get your mom a bike, and bike with her.

18. Do a physical activity to show gratitude for your body; touch your toes while brushing your teach, neck rolls while cooking dinner.

19. Hug and love on people, because hate doesn’t exist in our vocabulary or our ancestral pedagogy.

Reposted from : http://www.fortnegrita.com/blogs/fort-negrita-blog/everyday-acts-of-revolution

Music Offers Healing

We stumbled across this wonderful list of songs that offer space for healing, anger, sadness, power and growth. Last week was very difficult for the Black community and all communities of conscience, and we need space to heal and honor ourselves. Sometimes, that comes through music.

We encourage you to listen to this music, drink some water and check in on your people.

Peace.

Honest Weight Community Supports SJC

Many thanks to the Honest Weight Food Co-op community for your generous Envirotoken donations from April to June! Together, you’ve raised almost $400 for the Social Justice Center. We are grateful!!!

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Summer Hours!

SUMMER HOURS COMMENCE: We will will be closed Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 PM from July 6-August 3. We are providing community organizing training to youth as part of the Albany L.I.G.H.T. program (summer employment). Thanks for your patience if we are a little slow to respond.

Our updated hours will be:
Monday: 10am-5pm
Wednesday: 10am-12pm
Thursday: 10am-12pm
Friday: 10am-3pm

#MemberMondays: Food Not Bombs

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Each week, Food Not Bombs serves a delicious meal at 33 Central Avenue. Their mission is to provide healthy, tasty food for communities dealing with food insecurity. Their volunteer organization receives cull and donations from local stores, then prepares food at the Free School, and brings it to the Social Justice Center (or Townsend Park across the street if the weather is right!) to support our community.

Find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fnbalbany/.

Building the New through Radical Fellowship, Self-Care and Stability

Written by Angelica Clarke, Executive Director, Social Justice Center of Albany

 

The Social Justice Center of Albany has been a part of the Capital Region community since 1981. The Center has offered space and resources to radical activist and service organizations throughout its entire tenure. In the past year, I have become the Executive Director at the Social Justice Center, succeeding poet and organizer, Victorio Reyes, who was director for over a decade. Before that, I was on the Board of Directors. The Center has supported my organizing since I came to the Albany area; it has also nourished much of the activism in this region for the past three decades. I was introduced to the space through organizing on SUNY Albany’s campus against the 2010 program cuts. The room reservations for Save Our SUNY were being cancelled on campus, and the Social Justice Center was happy to welcome us into their space and offer mentorship when we needed it. Organizers from Save Our SUNY ended up going on to found New York Students Rising, which is currently a member organization of the Social Justice Center.

 

Our mission is to create and support the work that will bring about an end to all the systems that perpetuate war and violence on the bodies of marginalized people. We are a community of artists, healers, dreamers, strategists, organizers, builders, and above all that, we are revolutionaries seeking system change. Our policies ensure a Board of Directors that is majority People of Color, Women, and Queer-identified people. We are an organization that values multi-generational collaboration because elders can remind us to stay the course, and young people can ensure we forge an innovative road forward to the world we want.

 

The Center has supported and created projects to help end racism, war, imperialism, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and all forms of state violence, while supporting cultural expression and making space for creativity within all of that work. We have created a space that can serve a broad set of needs in our community. The Center offers affordable monthly memberships to a wide variety of groups, along with office space and assistance with organizational development to help new projects flourish. Our success is based on our dedication to partnerships, coalition building and maintaining a long view on how to best meet the needs of our community. One of the main ways we support work in our community is simply by offering an ethically run, affordable place to help organizations navigate the world of grants, nontraditional fundraising, and maintaining a rigorous politic without having to jump through the hoops of becoming their own freestanding organization. We are both an umbrella and an incubator for building new activism.

 

The Social Justice Center has long been living in a space where queer, Black feminist revolutionary leadership guides our work. We have the honor of being in a community where queer, Black women’s voices are the voices of leadership. This year, we have been proud to partner with Holding Our Own, Inc. on an evolving project that seeks to bridge the gap between the social movements to end Mass Incarceration and Gender-Based Violence. The project has dared to ask uncomfortable questions about private and public healing, community restoration, social transformation and justice that the current systems and institutions in place cannot answer. This work has revealed that these questions are often overlapping and circuitous. In early 2015, we helped send a delegation of Women of Color, including myself, to the Incite Color of Violence 4 conference in Chicago. That delegation brought back invaluable knowledge, resources and support to our region, as well as revealing the expertise already present here by elevating the often unheard issues faced by Women of Color.

 

That is one example among many of the ways we build coalitions that help move our community closer to our vision of a future where people across identities can engage in radical fellowship and support each other, both materially and emotionally. At our annual potluck supper, many folks in attendance talked about the most impressive work that has happened in the Center this year for each of them. The overwhelming response was that personal liberation and emotional growth were the priorities for the year and that our community has helped to facilitate that growth. I gave the same response: fellowship with Women of Color through the organizing work and building we have been doing have changed how I address my work and allowed me to prioritize self-care while being a leader in the local movement against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration. We have spent the year aspiring to embody the Audre Lorde quote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”

 

Only multi-generational, multi-racial collaboration guided by the Social Justice Center got us there; ending our year by reflecting on self-love, even as we prepare for the work ahead.


This year we have decided to embark on a fundraising campaign that will support The Social Justice Center into the future, ensuring we can support each new wave of activism while nourishing existing organizations and bringing about the activism in this community that will make the changes we need to live safely and happily, meeting the needs of marginalized communities. The Center is going to raise $30,000 by May 19: the birthday of Malcolm X (and one of our board members). We want to renovate to make our space more useful for the long-term work ahead: from installing a new boiler to creating a backyard garden; from redoing the floors to adding staff time. In order to focus our attention on building the new, we must have facilities that support growth and staff available to meet the needs of our growing base of support.

We have spent three decades working towards a loving praxis, combining our political analysis with our organizing and development work. The Social Justice Center still strives daily to be a space that supports the community through play and political organizing. You should stop in some time for a dance class, healing and organizing workshop, poetry night or meeting to help end mass incarceration and police brutality. We’d be happy to have you.

 

Our contact links:

www.AlbanySJC.org

www.facebook.com/AlbanySJC

www.twitter.com/SJCAlbanyNY

Women, Mass Incarceration, and Violence Part 1

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In her article,  “Say Her Name: Women, Mass Incarceration, and Violence- Part 1”, Naomi Jaffe explores the various ways in which women- especially women of color- have been the biggest victims of the mass incarceration movement, and the violence that it perpetuates. As Jaffe mentions, “Women, particularly women of color, are the fastest-growing segment of the incarcerated population”. Not only are women being imprisoned at alarming high rates, but the negative impacts of the criminal justice system on low-income, impoverished communities are largely felt by  women who aren’t even imprisoned.

Women continue to be the primary caregivers in disadvantaged communities, so when these communities are targeted and it’s members become victims of the criminal justice system, it is the women who are left systematically and socially deprived. The power forces that control the criminal justice system may claim it is to protect society from harm, but all it is doing is leaving many minority communities with a  “profound void of youth, elders, parents, partners, teachers, and wage-earners”. Additionally,  both the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence have also increased due to this system. The combination of the detrimental results of mass incarceration have overall perpetuated the subordination of women of color and the depravity of black communities.

Read the full article by Naomi Jaffe here: http://holdingourownonline.org/2016/01/11/say-her-name-women-mass-incarceration-and-violence-part-i/

Solidarity with #PulseShooting

While the Social Justice Center has not issued a statement of our own, we feel compelled to offer the words of Queer & Trans Latinx and Black folks to help our community process this outrage. Last night, there were two vigils in Albany and today there will be one at 6 PM. Link to the vigil here.

The video offers words from Familia: Queer & Trans Liberation Movement. Their caption for this video reads: After the news of 50 people killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, we asked four Trans and Queer Latinx leaders for their thoughts. Here you will find the raw and unscripted footage.

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In addition, during the vigil offered last night by Black Lives Matter: Upstate NY there was a reading by Rosa Clemente from Janaya Khan’s (Black Lives Matter Toronto) statement in response, which you’ll find below.

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