Yesterday on Juneteenth, we held a glorious 12 hr celebration of our ancestors and our freedom. Despite gofundme hindering our access to these funds for whatever reasons.
We still managed to cover the following expenses from yesterday's event.
- Facilitators who were paid 300 each and will be retroactively paid additional funds when we are given access.
- Caterers, who provided individually packaged meals for lunch and dinner with various options to accommodate dietary restrictions.
- A DJ, Pa system, speakers, and a generator for the duration of the event plus one tech person to man the PA all day and attend to any issues as they came up.
- All manner of supplies that weren't donated, such as art supplies tables, chairs, ect.
- Y-WE trained affinity leaders who led volunteers and facilitated a virtual de-escalation training for all non-black allies that were on the ground as support all day.
- Candles, blankets, and other trinkets for both the ancestor's altar and the releasing altar made available to participants during the grief circle.
- A black film team to allow our participants to individually share their stories of black healing and liberation.
*We are happy to report that we fully supported/paid all-black facilitators and businesses for all of our event needs and staff.
We are so grateful to the organizations and people who supported us with donations of masks, supplies, first-aid kits, onsite medics, pastries, snacks, water bottles, fruit, our CHOP family and our recruited ally team who attended the training and showed up with gentle ferocity to hold the space and educate those who showed up to challenge the necessity of all black healing spaces.
The remaining funds will be used to cover two more event days centering healing for the black community which will take place on June 26th and 27th from 9 am-8 pm.
Again we will use the funds to cover the following:
- 15 Black facilitators for art circles, grief rituals, writing circles, herbalist, yoga, meditation, collective altar building, peace circles, orisha dance sessions etc.
- To pay a professional photographer to cover both days events.
- Art supplies, flower crown building supplies.
- film editors to piece together the healing black stories collected.
- film people for the healing black story booth round 2
- Y-WE affinity leaders to train allies and serve as support staff for the duration of both events.
- caterers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on both, days.
- gift bags to thank the facilitators.
-website and graphic designer to make information about facilitators, organizers, and events easier to find.
- and any additional related expenses that arise.
*again we will be supporting black-owned business and people with all the funds (Reparations we raised for this event).
For inquiring minds who would like to know here's a bit of information about the organizers
1. Mary Hall-Williams: I am a 25yr old University of Washington student. I study Medical Anthropology and Global Health, maintain a 4.0 and am conducting honors research on "Intentional and Automatic Coping Mechanisms in Response to Viral Black Death and Racism.
I am a former youth Pastor. I have worked in the past with African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry (AFRATH ) on community health initiatives and sustainability and gardening initiatives for youth including the formation of a community garden and art mural. As a lead teacher at The Good Shepherd's Childcare Center. As a teacher and youth leader at Medhane-Alem Ethiopian Church of Seattle. and with youth organized homeless outreach in downtown Seattle.
It's deeply irritating that we are being asked to further prove ourselves and our competence to get funds released as if our previous explanation wasn't enough.
2. Reagan Jackson (co-organizer and Director at Y-WE lead) is amazing. If you don't know about Y-WE lead I encourage you to google them and support this amazing non-profit that continues to support youth in Seattle. Further, she is an awarded author, who has penned books, facilitates writing classes, writes columns and thinks pieces, recently taught a class at Seattle University, and who believed that we could pull off an event in 72hrs and then spent 14hrs with me out on the ground making it happen.
Additionally, I would like to offer a radical reminder that black women do not owe you an explanation and that we appreciate the ways you supported not only the Amazing healing space that we made happen in 72hrs on limited energy while also working our regular job shifts and managing being human beings, but also the ways you support the black community at all times by being allies and doing the anti-racist work necessary to make the words "all black healing space" less controversial.
Thank you to those who have donated and thank you in advance to gofundme for releasing the funds instead of being a further hindrance to what we are building for our community in a time where the hypervisibility of black death and racism are exasperated and causing the black community daily emotional distress.
- Colette Mercier
- Janie Lambert
- Jesse Roth