Over the past 3 years, Black Lives Matter DC has grown from an idea hashed out by a small group of relative strangers in the basement of MLK library to a leaderful ecosystem of artists, activists, organizers and healers committed to liberation. We’ve shut down highways and built communities of love and support all in the name of Black Liberation. Over time, our core programming has expanded from monthly weeks of action to weekly Black only healing sessions, monthly coordinating meetings & open houses, and regular multi-racial gatherings.
While we’re all volunteers, none of this work is free. We need your support to continue and expand our liberatory programming.
Now that an explicit white nationalist is in office and a known white supremacist is running the Department of Justice, our work and our growing ecosystem must continue to expand in its scope and depth. We must continue to actively and publicly resist along with taking the long view. We must be prepared spiritually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
Why We Need Your Support
As our ecosystem grows our financial support system must grow as well.
We need funds to continue our radically accessible commitment to providing healthy food from Black owned businesses, paid childcare at every event and having ASL interpreters at our monthly gatherings. On average, our monthly open houses attract 300+ people and costs us $1,000.
Secondly, we need resources to make sure we have the emotional and spiritual capacity to show up and move forward in the movement as our highest selves. Supporting the work of our healers including renting space weekly for Black people to process racial stress, and to learn skills to break the chains of internalized oppression via Emotional Emancipation Circles, and affirming our humanity & love for each other by starting our week with joy via #BlackJoySunday (all while creating accessibility by offering free childcare) is essential in sustaining our well-being and activism. Our weekly healing spaces cost on average $3,150/month.
Lastly and most importantly, we need funds to support the emerging leadership of our ecosystem move through the world. As Black people in a city facing the ravages of displacement and economic disinvestment, it’s difficult to do the work of liberating your community while figuring out how to pay rent and feed yourself. We need your help to ensure that lack of gas money or health insurance doesn’t stop the work from moving forward. Supporting our emerging leadership, including our new logistics team, reimbursements and stipends costs on average $2,700/month.
A large part of our work including meetings occur at the home of two of our Core Organizers. Their home is known throughout the community as the Freedom House. There is an average of 2 meetings held at the Freedom House per week. In addition to providing temporary or emergency housing for our own organizers, organizers from all over the country stay here when in town. As a result all of the costs of maintaining the home are much higher for everything from utilities and food to printer ink and paper. Currently, these things are paid for by the two core organizers in addition to paying the rent in one of the nation’s most unaffordable housing markets.
The Future of BLM DC
We’re building a self-managed network of transformative pods. A transformative pod is where people come together to transform the current context in which they live. Black Lives Matter: DC is one such Pod that we’ve built. Within pods, we practice mutual aid and encumbrance; learning to support each other and becoming stronger together. We desire to create and sustain autonomous communities where we can provide the things the state can’t or won’t.
The costs of maintaining the physical & emotional space needed to foster this work are high.
We believe in the principle of Ubuntu, that the individual is inseparable from the community, that we’re all an individualization of a communal experience. We seek to abolish hierarchies of authority and power over each other within our community so we can all be fully powerful together. This means building and acting according to shared values and having processes for accountability & reconciliation if/when folks act outside of those values.
We believe relationships built on mutual aid and shared values are essential for community self-determination.
We believe that such a network could build a world capable of holding multiple worlds.
With your support, we can build the ecosystem capable of bringing about liberation!
Help Fund the Work Today!