Launching of the ECC, Summer Caucus Series, White Folx Accountability Space, FIRE Fellowship & Solidarity Fund
This summer, after a year and a half of incubation and preparation, Youth Passageways launched an Education and Consulting Collective (ECC). This small and growing circle of educators, facilitators, and practitioners close to the center of Youth Passageways have been working together in various configurations for years, and are now publicly offering their services through the network. Read more about the ECC here
In August, as our first public offering, the ECC offered a race-based caucus series. Responding to the needs we were seeing on the ground, we felt that it was essential to create separate spaces for our partners to do the work that is theirs to do in the face of systemic racism: a space for healing for People of the Global Majority (PoGM), and a space for healing, study, and accountable action for white folks. A third caucus was hosted by a member of our community as a mixed-race space. The series was an experiment with reparative economics.
The caucuses gathered throughout August. As is always the case with Youth Passageways, it was a beautiful, complex, emergent, sometimes messy, and prayerful ceremony centered around healing and justice, culminating in gathering all caucuses together for a People’s Assembly at the end of the month. At the People’s Assembly, demands were presented by the PoGM and mixed-race participants and received by the white caucus.
The caucus spaces brought together new folks that had never been connected with Youth Passageways, along with long-standing members of our community. People from their early 20’s to their 70’s participated, including a number of people coming from the same organizations, as well as interracial couples. The white caucus space was by far the largest, with smaller PoGM and mixed-race caucus spaces.
The caucus series was an experiment with reparative economics. The white folks were asked to contribute on a sliding scale for participation (over $5600 was raised!), and the PoGM and mixed-race spaces were offered as a gift for participants. PoGM facilitators decided collectively how to share the funds as compensation for their work. Four out of six chose to receive support, and they also gifted two Indigenous women in leadership within Youth Passageways. This effort towards reparations built on Youth Passageways’ work around resource flow, and was a complex and imperfect process. Yet it was also healing. Members of the PoGM caucus facilitation team shared that the transparency around the issues that arose, and the impact of having the decision-making and authority held within their group, was a new and healing experience for them.
Some of the fruits of this series include:
- People have found each other, and deepened in dialogue together as pairs and small groups, to continue the conversations that came forward
- A transformative justice process began within a partner organization, between the leadership of the organization and BIPOC folks on staff.
- A response team stepped forward from the white caucus group to deeply study and respond to the demands presented at the People’s Assembly.
- A white caucus participant stepped forward to co-anchor a twice/month accountability space as a place to take action (see below for more info)
White Folx Anti-Racism Accountability space
One of the outcomes of the August Race-Based Caucus spaces has been the creation of a twice-monthly “Accountability Action Hour” — a space for white folx to follow through on commitments to racial justice by dedicating time and labor to calls for action. The space is currently being held by Shlomo (Solace) Pesach, one of the participants in the caucus, current FIRE Fellow, and a powerhouse visionary leader, and Darcy Ottey (who is not so bad herself)..
the details :
- every other week, 11:00-12:30 PST
- first Sunday and third Tuesday of the month
- next meetings: November 17th and December 6th
- please come ready for action!
please register here:
(please sign up for both if you plan on attending both)
What is an accountability hour?
An “Accountability Action Hour” is a dedicated space for personal anti-racist action within a community container — it is designed for accomplishing our goals and tasks and to-do’s for racial justice. On the calls, we begin in dedication and ground together somatically, then mute ourselves and work alongside each other for an hour, with a shared Google document containing our respective list of anti-racist to-do’s. The shared Google document allows for partaking of the tasks and actions others are taking, as borrowing from another’s work is welcome!
Solace explains their inspiration for the space: “there is palpable energy and relational fabric in the Youth Passageways White Caucus, and I want to support the ongoingness of that field — our work as white folx — towards stronger relationships, crisper vision, and deeper accountability. anti-racist praxis is lifelong work; embodied, emotional, spiritual, relational, and political work. and, we need to push the agenda and the tangibility of our work. I want to be alongside you, yes, in the socio-emotional and cultural healing, but also together in practical work of liberation. This means dedicating ourselves to contacting representatives, re-distributing money, signing petitions, researching policy, making calls. This means showing up for the calls for justice that continue to summon white folx to applying political pressure.”
FIRE fellowship update (include photo from 2020 accomplishments doc?)
The Foundations in Resilience Education Fellowship (FIRE), a Youth Passageways partnership with The Ojai Foundation, has launched! The FIRE Fellowship is a pay-it-forward, immersive learning journey designed to weave together spirituality, social justice, nature connection, and leadership.
FIRE found its shape in the ashes of the Thomas Fire that burned through Ojai, California in 2017; it emphasizes resilience training for a small cohort of emerging young leaders with a demonstrated commitment to serving the social and ecological movements of our time.
After an extensive review of many inspiring and heartfelt applications, we selected the inaugural FIRE Fellowship cohort. We are so excited to be underway with our inaugural cohort. This year, 13 young leaders – organizers, activists, artists, healers – have come together to build with one another to gain practices for long-term transformation and healing, and provide meaningful service in their communities. In a collaborative design process, the FIRE Guide team, Guardians, and fellows are continuing to adapt the curriculum and design to meet the ongoing changes brought by COVID, uprisings, and more, with creativity, relevance, and meaningful action.
Invitation to Partners – Youth Passageways is Launching a Solidarity Fund
“Spirit always invests in relationships first in order to make the changes needed…Social will is what lifts the world.” – Orland Bishop
In these times of pandemics, uprisings, and fires, we must support one another as best as we can. Part of our work as a growing, deepening community is transforming the way money works in society, helping resources to flow in support of all of Life. As a growing, deepening network coming together on behalf of our young people, the time has come for another step toward mutual support and care for one another. Launching a Solidarity Fund is one such step.
The idea is that we will put together a document sharing the work, and the needs, of a small group of partner projects/organizations from within the Youth Passageways network. This document will then be shared widely with potential partners and allies to invite support for these individual and collective efforts over the coming months.
There are of course many valuable funding initiatives, from gofundme to reparation funds. The idea is that this is one more – offering the gift of thinking and living like a circle. Learning how to share resources, work for equity, and liberate wealth is essential for all of our futures. We suggest that this type of fund will support partners to see their common and complementary goals and stand stronger for and with our youth, to know there is enough for all, and show up in that spirit. Such a story will let people learn more about the network and some of its partners, give a sense of our relevance, and the need for true essential work in these times.
We do believe that together we are stronger and in this way there is no competition. Everyone’s work and challenges are more than deserving of support. Part of our prayer and action is to know that sharing resources is sharing energy and love, and is part of the healing so needed. We see a community where everyone stands in dignity with what they need, and everyone stands in dignity with what they have to give.
Please join us in this ceremony and together, may we not only fund our projects but perhaps even more, may we build community and liberate wealth to reach the places and people where it is to be used well.…for our youth, for the children, for our future.Those who have requests, whether it be for funds or resources of any kind, and would like to participate, we ask you to share a short proposal by solstice, December 21st. For more information, go here.