Artist Support 2021

On February 21st my wallet was stolen with my passport in Brooklyn, and soon after things began to slowly unravel. After being laid off due to Covid, I was guaranteed a return position at my part-time. With that as security, I used unemployment to support myself and anyone else I could. During quarantine, tensions between myself and a past living mate resulted in targeted aggression. Having no real training in addressing appropriative and racist behavior, it didn't end well. Besides death being wished upon me and my family, personal items were damaged and designer samples ended up "missing" resulting in a debt of 4K. Having never received the first stimulus, I was unprepared for this obstacle but was honest with the designer and publication of the error and assured them of my attempt in resolving everything. At this point my unemployment was starting to expire, I needed to find new housing and I was now surviving off the generosity of close friends and family. Besides working to raise money for others, I avoided assistance myself feeling unworthy. Instead of the immediate comfort of financial security, there were offers to collaborate instead. 

Dealing with tactless lawyers expressing, "We can drag this thing out, you should just take the money when we first offered." I admitted defeat, even after it was established I was wrongfully terminated. Because of my situation, workers can no longer be reprimanded for discussing their wages amongst each other. The attorney appointed to me was more ecstatic for the win than I was, " I know you didn't intend to be a martyr, but they learned a lesson with this case!" That wasn't my intention, and I'd rather be making money than a small lump sum. In standing up for a team I was loyal to, steady part-time work was revoked. Those allocated funds were subject to an immense tax cut and the rest went immediately to bills, living expenses, and other individuals.

I've made it a point in reaching out to those with privilege, and each excuse has been unique but nothing beats, "My family agrees reparations are important, but we've run out of giving money." Although valid, it is not something you want to hear from a family with a net worth in the billions. This past year I found myself wanting to do more and extend myself to the best of my ability, regardless of the societal limitations, lack of financial support, or tangible resources.  By looking outside of myself and striving for radical change, it has resulted in back to back blows to the wallet and mental wellbeing.  I never anticipated negative repercussions in enforcing boundaries and speaking up. After being fired for advocating hazard pay by a reputable "high end" brand, damaged and stolen property from a hostile roommate, and no room for sustainable savings due to growing debts. I am still without steady work and awaiting payment from past work.

Selling clothing has kept me afloat, but with my storage unit being two months past due and rent being the same, I have lost that stream of potential income to another debt needing resolve. I am thankful for the deep generosity from those able to afford it, but even that runs its course. I have been patient to a fault while awaiting callbacks and trying to survive off $128.00/$145.00 a week. It would be deeply moving to receive assistance in getting back on my feet, settling looming debts, assisting family members too afraid to ask for help themselves, and anything else worthy. Like everyone else, I am deeply bereft and only wish to receive a portion of solid comfort to continue on this uncharted journey.



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  • Ellen Fitzpatrick 
    • $50 
    • 5 hrs
  • Matthew Raymond 
    • $50 
    • 18 hrs
  • Anunay Swaroop 
    • $100 
    • 23 hrs
  • Michael Kushner  
    • $20 
    • 1 d
  • Travis Kent 
    • $10 
    • 1 d
See all


Michael Umesi 
Brooklyn, NY
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