Cycles and Blessings

Peace Community,

We trust this note finds you well! It’s been some time since you’ve heard from us. As individuals, a lot of the core group has been developing and growing in amazing ways. We also name that you are growing and shifting too, and are grateful to bear witness to one another.

As some of y’all may know, the Sister Circle Collective had its first gathering on December 21, 2012. This day marks five years since that moment. Each year we’ve discovered and rediscovered our work and how it has taken varying forms, including and not limiting, herbalism workshops, farm days, writing workshops, venting sessions, celebrations, movement classes, cooking demos, protesting, political campaigns, and campus organizing.

Each time our work took on different forms, so did the the interests of the folks who steer this work. As folks have stepped up, others have stepped down and this level of knowing is one of the reasons you could argue how we’ve made it this far. Yet we’d be lying to you that process has not also been met with pain. That we did not met all the expectations that we had set for ourselves and each other, no matter how well intentioned. Or that were not harmful towards one another. All movement work is messy, no matter the outward appearance, because we are a reflection of the collective.

In sharing these reflections with you, we want to emphasize that there is a need for the collective to stay true to one image in particular – the Phoenix. A symbol of creative energy and beauty, the Phoenix is also a symbol of the power of death and rebirth. At this stage of the game, we are naming that this is a time for the Sister Circle Collective to be reborn. We also name that we invite you all to be a part of that structured process with us.

Creating that structure, including how to accurately foster leadership development so that the collective is sustainable, is our primary focus in 2018. Hosting simple, monthly circles in a community space or home will be our secondary goal. You may catch members throwing down in conferences or events on their own though, and we hope that you’ll share events with this community as well! We’re happy to share out information to this network and support in as many forms as possible.

In the teachings of Octavia Butler, if we are truly to move from a place of understanding that honors God as change, then the SCC is blessed to have changed as much as it has. It will continue to change and grow, but with the guided practice of staying true to our origins. No matter how you’ve shown up in this collective, please known that you are seen, you are loved, and you are appreciated.

New Moon and New Years Blessings,
the SCC

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Date/Location Update – #SCCTurns3 Celebration and Open Mic!

Peace Community–

UPDATE! We have a new date and time for the ‪#‎SCCTurns3‬ celebration!

When: Saturday, December 12, starting at 5pm
Where: Mainchance, 120 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016

We will have goodies in a bazaar with amazing starting at 5pm, an open mic starting at 7pm and a dance party at 9pm to close out.

This event is open to all genders and will be a sober space. Bring the kids and tell a friend to tell a friend!

<><>CO-CREATE<><>

CALL FOR ARTISTS:
Want to share your gift of song, dance or poetry? Contact us at sisterscirclecollective@gmail.com to help conjure this space!

CALL FOR VENDORS:
Have goodies you’d like to share with the community? Drop a line at sisterscirclecollective@gmail.com and let us know what you’d like to offer.

Spread the word and see you soon!

Much love,
the SCC

Beach Day/July Circle

Want to spend a Sunday at the beach instead of being in the city? Yes you do!Been fighting the patriarchy? Well then you deserve time amongst sisters at Rockaway Beach!

For our July circle, Sister Circle Collective invites you to join us as we soak up the sun, swim in the ocean, and practice radical self-love.

WHEN: Sunday, July 26th, starting at 11am
WHERE: Rockaway Beach

**bring your beautiful smile, a blanket/towel & snacks**

TELL YOUR FRIENDS! If you want a subway buddy, comment below!
RSVP: sisterscirclecollective@gmail.com

Directions:
A train to Far Rockaway. Transfer at Broad Channel to the S (shuttle) train to Beach 90th. Get off of the train and walk two blocks along 90th to the boardwalk. Look for the green concessions building on the left (google maps Rippers- 8601 Shore Front Pkwy, Queens, NY 11693).

Summer School of Women’s Activism 2015

From our comrades at AF3IRM –

NEW YORK–SSOWA’s final session on August 1st features the study and discussion of commonality and differences in women’s struggles in five cultural contexts.

With a panel featuring human rights lawyer and activist Suzanne Adely of  Al-Awda New York, Palestine Right to Return Coalition and Arab-American Movement of Women Rising for Justice;  clinical psychologist Dr. Mayowa Obasaju of Black Women’s Blueprint, Radical Social Work Group and Standing In Our Power;  transmedia storyteller Thenmozhi Soundarajan of the Dalit Nation; psychologist Michelle Cervantes of  the Educational Assistance and Resources for the Latin-American Youth;  and a video presentation from Eastern Band Cherokee descent  Roslyn Dotson of the Tapwe Production, this session affirms AF3IRM’s commitment to transnational feminism.

AF3IRM NYC Chapter Coordinator Olivia Canlas, law graduate working with Foreclosure Prevention and with the weekly radio hour Asia Pacific Forum, will facilitate the session.  The intent is to establish commonality in difference, to recognize the specificity of how colonialism and imperialism have impacted women in different cultures and yet understand the common trend of struggle for liberation that underlies women’s histories in varying cultural contests.

For four Saturdays, starting on July 11 until August 1st, the Summer School of Women’s Activism will be holding sessions on the history, theory and practice of the women’s liberation struggle.  Registration is still being accepted at www.ssowa2015.eventbrite.com and fees remain at the standard $40 for professionals, $35 for students and unemployed;  $80 for institutional representatives and scholarships for those who’re truly down and out but enthusiastic.  All fees include reading materials and a light lunch for four Saturdays of SSOWA 2015.

Preceding this session, participants will tackle the issue of  Militarism and the Assault on Democratic Processes with War Resisters League National Organizer Tara Tabassi and AF3IRM NYC members Joan Ariete and Leani Auxilio who have first-hand knowledge of militarization.  The July 25th class will look at how militarism runs through relations between the US and other countries but also between the US government and transnational communities within its borders.  It will discuss the militarization of the policing of communities and local application of the so-called “war on terror” and the gun lobby.  Most significantly, the class will look at the impact on women, particularly transnational women, of this odious policy.

The July 18th class on Imperialism, Globalization and the Re-feudalization of Women will be led by Patricia Ramirez and Nicole Salcedo.  Ms. Ramirez holds a BA in Political Science from Hunter College and has worked for the Peruvian government in New York City.  Ms. Salcedo has grown up virtually in activism and women’s organizing in the Philippines.  The class will look into the re-definition of “work” or “jobs” for women under the intensifying class/race/gender division of humanity caused by imperialist globalization.  The class will look into the bifurcation of “traditional” slavery into labor and sex trafficking, and its separation from labor export and legalized prostitution which institutionalize historic women’s oppression.

The SSOWA opens on July 11th with  three activist-writers – Ninotchka Rosca, Justine Calma and Veronica Agard —  leading a comprehensive study of interlocking systems of oppressions against women which have made possible the continuing “vanish-ment” of women’s issues from public discourse.  The class will look into class, gender and race and how the concept of intersectionality functions in the tri-helix of women’s oppression.

Ninotchka Rosca is a multi-awarded writer and activist, a survivor of human rights violations under a dictatorship, and a pioneer of major advocacy concerns for women.  She brought the slogan “women’s rights are human rights” to the US in 1987 and has constantly engaged in creating space for the voices and presence of women of color in the global women’s movement.  Justine Calma holds degrees from Columbia University and UC Irvine and worked with Filipino-American and South Asian youth in California for seven years.  Veronica Agard is co-founder of the Sister Circle Collective and holds a degree in international studies and history from the City College of New York.  She did her research for her undergraduate thesis at the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamerica, in La Antigua, Guatemala.  She writes for The Grio, Let Your Voice be Heard, Mic and For Harriet.

Integrated into each class is an hour of practical skills training on how to recognize, document and respond to daily sexism.  A special workshop on pod casting will be conducted by Charlene Sayo of Ms. Represent.  Ms. Sayo is a Montreal-born, Vancouver-based blogger, commentator and activist.  She is the co-author of Canada: The New Frontier for Filipino Mail-Order Brides.  She  sits on the editorial committee of the Vancouver-based magazine, The Mainlander and blogs at The Huffington Post, and Open Salon. Her work has appeared in Accent Magazine, the Manila Times, the Globe & Mail, the Feminist Current, the Philippine Chronicle, BlackHeart Magazine, and Dessert for Breakfast, and in 2012, she was featured in the award-winning documentary Status Quo: The Unfinished Business of Feminism.

Scholarships are available for volunteers and the down and out.  The SSOWA compresses almost four years of gender studies into four Saturday four-hour sessions, starting at noon with a light lunch and ending at 4 pm.  Transnational women and the woman-identified are welcome. SSOWA administrators are also open to helping those in other locations create such a pop-up school.   For more information, please contact nynj@af3irm.org.

#SayHerName

Community–

We are honored to be sponsoring this incredibly important event taking place tomorrow evening at Union Square (southside), alongside our friends and comrades of AF3IRM NYC, Yeah That’s What She Said, Black Lives Matter NYC, the Sadie Nash Leadership Project and many more.

We hope to see you then.

In solidarity,
the SCC


 

#SAYHERNAME – A Vigil in Remembrance of Black Women and Girls Killed by the Police

Wednesday, May 20 at 5:30pm
Union Square (Southside) 

Background: Although Black women are killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in our popular understanding of racialized state violence.

Join us in remembering Black women and girls who have been victimized by the police, but whose experiences are all too often relegated to the margins.

If the loss of their lives matters;
If the grief of their families matters;
If the impunity with which all Black lives can be taken matters;
Then we cannot allow these tragedies to remain unmarked, silenced and forgotten.

This vigil is being held the evening prior to May 21st, a national day of action to end state violence against Black women called by BYP100.

Sponsoring Organizations:
African American Policy Forum
BYP100
Black Lives Matter NYC
Justice League NYC
The Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Stop Patriarchy
One Billion Rising
The Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform
BK Nation
Judson Memorial Church
The Precedential Group
The Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression
CONNECT
Donkeysaddle Projects
Brooklyn NAACP
AF3IRM
Yeah, That’s What She Said
Black Trans* Women’s Lives Matter
The Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform
Empowering Women of Color at Columbia Law School
Sister Circle Collective
the Revolutionary Communist Party
Sadie Nash Leadership Project

 

Get Involved!

It’s a new year and a new era of organizing with us.

BGP SS 2014

If you are in the New York City area and would like to be more involved these are the areas we have for you to plug in to. This is a fluid list!

  1. Community and Campus Outreach
  2. Media (social media, graphic design, photographer/videographer, press, etc)
  3. Logistics (event planning, coordinating, fundraising)
  4. Political Education

Things we’re looking for include,

  • Initiative
  • Attending general events
  • Good communication skills
  • Present at a least two organizing meetings
  • Read over suggested literature (ex: essays, chapters of specific book, sharing pdfs)

If you’re interested – please head over to complete this form and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Never Forget – On Islamophobia in a Post 9/11 World

This article originally appears here – http://www.lyvbh.com/2014/09/11/never-forget-islamophobia-post-911-world/

by Veronica Agard

 

September 11, 2001. Thousands of lives lost in an instant, millions more affected forever. Calls for war eventually became a call for a war at home. As I’ve previously written, we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to the “post” “-isms,” we’re supposed to have moved beyond racism, sexism, and classism, and all other social stratification. Yet, thirteen years later, a recent attack reminds me once again that we’ve got a long ways to go.

RELATED: America’s ISIS Strategy

Linda Sarsour is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York. A radical woman, community organizer, and activist – I had heard of her through my own organizing circles while working at the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP). The amount of respect she commands is something I aspire to not only as a woman, but just as a human being. However, a lot of people will not be interested in any of that while news continues to stream images of the Middle East in continued turmoil. When she walks in the streets of New York, people won’t see beyond her beautiful hijab that adorns her crown. Mild disapprovers will shoot a glance, but bolder folks will shoot racial epithets and hateful words at her and others like her across New York City.

Earlier this month, someone took their prejudice to a whole new level.

Her attacker, a 45-year-old man named Brian Boshell, was drunk and harassing Sarsour and a colleague. When they told him that they would alert the authorities if his harassment continued, his words mutated into physical violence. As the New York Daily News reported, at first, they called to report that he was loitering around their office, located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. By the time Sarsour had to call a second time, she did so while she and her colleague,  Kayla Santosuosso, were being chased by Boshell. He continued to shout hateful words, throw near by objects at them, and threaten to behead her.

Eventually, cops made it to the scene, and Boshell is rightfully facing charges of aggravated harassment as a hate crime, and some others. Yet – there was another layer of trauma to be had. In this post 9/11 world, the New York City Police Department did not respond to Sarsour’s call until 40-45 minutes later. In those 40-45 minutes, she could have easily been attacked again, or worse. Yet, it seems that a call about an Arab woman being attacked does not warrant the same timely service and speedy protection. At the intersection of being a woman of color and practicing Islam, her cry for help was devalued by a system that is supposed to protect all.

The very same activist community that originally introduced me to her work was outraged. They called for an investigation to the response time, and that the officers be looked into to see if they had any other incidents of delayed responses. The outrage reached NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, the latter of whom was in agreement that the police did take “inordinate amount of time based on the nature of the complaint.” But what about the people who record moments like this? What about citizens who call for help and never hear a response from officials until it’s entirely too late.

RELATED: Learning from 9/11 Mistakes.

As #neverforget is flooding your news feeds and timelines, I leave you with this. Never forget the lives lost in the attacks on the Twin Towers. Never forget the first responders of this fateful day. Never forget the service men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. But never forget who is bearing the brunt of all of that hatred. Never forget all of the lives that have been destroyed and upheaved in the Middle East. Never forget the lives of those who face Islamophobia on the daily here in the United States and abroad in other Western nations. Until we can acknowledge that prejudice, and provide tangible remedies beyond more “sensitivity trainings” and installing body cameras – Linda Sarsour – and all of us who are deemed “undesirable” in this institutionally racist system –  will have to continue to look over their shoulders in fear from the state and from their “fellow” Americans. Never forget that we all shouldn’t be living in fear of our lives for simply being who we are.

 

Sources:

The Guardian

News 12 Brooklyn

NYDN