The following is a post from Dominique Whittaker.
This year, 2020, has brought societal issues to the forefront of the American consciousness — from having frank conversations about systemic racism and police brutality, to asking what diversity and inclusion means and the what the expectations of allies are. The 107IST itself has been called upon to reflect on the ways in which it has historically not been perceived as inclusive and how that can be changed going forward. Community, inclusion, and action are more paramount than ever and, while more can (and will) be done, the 107IST and Community Outreach Committee are awarding $10,000 in micro-grants to community organizations whose mission and efforts center on furthering local efforts central to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The first recipient of micro-grant funds is the Black & Beyond the Binary Collective, an organization dedicated to the advocacy and healing for transgender and gender-variant Oregonians who are Black and have lived experiences as a member of the African Diaspora. While the Black Lives Matter movement has brought racial inequality, systemic racism, and police brutality/abuse to the forefront of the conversation, Black Trans and non-binary folx are often left out of the conversation, even though they are at the forefront of every major Civil Rights movement, dealing with homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. The Human Rights Campaign reports that, in 2020 alone, more than 36 transgender or non-conforming people have been fatally short or killed by other means, and too often these stories go unreported or in some cases, misreported. This monetary award will enable them to provide deepened support for the Trans and Nonbinary community, specifically around harm reduction and suicide prevention and enable them to start providing many of the needs of Black Queer, Trans, and Nonbinary Portlanders.
How can you help support Black & Beyond the Binary Collective? They are planning a Trans Day of Remembrance Event on November 20. This is an opportunity to connect, create joy, break bread and collectively heal as they highlight those who have been lost to anti-trans violence. They are looking for volunteers for security and specifically look to white allies to redirect other white folks who show up as this event is POC only. Additionally, they have other needs, ranging from a mini-fridge, microwave, full-size refrigerators and a paper shredder. If you are interested in volunteering or donating please contact Babatunde (Ze/hir) at email@example.com.
Our greatest asset as an organization is our dedicated, empathetic, and passionate membership. If you wish you help with other outreach efforts from donation drives, group volunteer activities or want to get involved in the Outreach Committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you and connect on ways to help our community near and far. Thank you for supporting the work of these and other organizations.