Community Organizing and Healing for the “OuterSpaces Tour: Power in the Margins“
We continued our commitment to creating accesible (r)evolutionary healing spaces as community sponsors of the “OuterSpaces: Power in the Margins” tour. As proud community sponsors, Zenyu promoted the show by telling every single person we know (and just met), co-organized a very special community dinner and offered an incredibly epic Sound Healing Meditation for the artists, Las Krudas, Invincible, and Climbing PoeTree. All of this culminated in what many audience members say was the most powerful performance of the year at Washington Hall on Thurs, Nov 29th (one just told me that it was the best performance he had ever witnessed)! The Light and Healing that came through that night was indescribable! To bear witness to their sacred expressions of Truth and Justice through their mastery of hip-hop, spoken word, and multimedia performances (including beatboxing on a panflute…whaat?!) was truly an honor. A few of the artists have credited the power of the healing work we did with them for the magic and depth of their performance (*blush), showing again the collective power of healing in community that brings us to a place of sacred connection to our voices and to each other. We are excited to welcome Invincible, Alixa, Naima, Odaymara, and Olivia into the Zenyu family. And of course, much love and respect to our other community partners, Uzuri Productions, YouthSpeaks, Social HeARTistry Educators, Jewish Voice for Peace, and all the amazing orgs that helped to put this glorious celebration together!
Grant Site Visit from Self-Development of People Committee
“There are so many people I work with who would hunger for what you are putting together here. The vision of the community that isn’t yet, but that ought to be, is really quite beautiful. That’s what I like about Zenyu. Thank you for the privilege of hearing.”
– a quote from one of the Grant Committee members
As an answer to our prayers, we finally heard back this past month from the Self-Development of People Committee of the Presbyterian Church regarding a grant we had applied for over a year ago. We spent an inspiring couple hours on Saturday, December 1st, with the 3 members of their West Task Force (one who traveled from San Diego to meet with us) and a beautiful smattering of Zenyu Family. We gathered to share our experiences of community and healing with Zenyu. It was so moving to hear all the stories of lives transformed, lifelong friendships and relationships forged in the beautiful creative fire of community, and a deep yearning for “a community that ought to be”. At several points, there was not a single dry eye in the Temple!! April and I were once again humbled to hear and see how beautiful our Family of Light is by hearing about all the amazing work they do in the world! Thank you so much for sharing so deeply and generously your inspiring passion for justice and Spirit and why you are part of our community. We feel so honored and blessed to walk this path with you all (and to so many more of you who weren’t there tonight but who are part of the Zenyu family!). Please pray for the Highest and Best to occur in this grant situation–we really need it 🙂
Leading from the Heart Retreat
We co-organized and co-facilitated the successful Leading from the Heart Retreat, which took 16 social justice leaders from around the Puget Sound to the gorgeous Chinook Institute on Whidbey Island to teach them inner transformative practices. Amongst other activities, Zenyu led participants on a deeply insightful and inspiring Journey Mapping exercise that got all to reflect on their ancestry, our collective histories and our Highest and Best Selves. Particpants also learned about various frameworks to support cooperative collaboration, including Polarity Theory and Power, Rank & Privilege. Beautiful!
Trans* Day of Remembrance
Zenyu was humbled to lead the Healing Circle for the Trans* Day of Remembrance (TDOR) Gathering and Vigil on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. TDOR happens on November 20 of each year for Transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people along with their allies, both to memorialize those killed due to Transphobia and to call attention to the continued violence against Transgender communities worldwide. This has been a useful tool for bringing awareness and calling people to action against the ongoing invisibility of systematic and state violence against Transgender people. TDOR was a collaboration with the students of the University of Washington Q Center, Seattle University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Queer Youth Space, Zenyu, and other community sponsors.
The intention this year was, in the words of Sabina Neem, Chair of Zenyu’s Community Advisory Group and assistant director of SU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, “to do a different kind of Trans Remembrance Day. We wanted to do one that didn’t erase the reality of Transphobic violence and institutional violence that leads to the death and losses in our communities, but rather captures all of that while not re-traumatizing people. … We are really doing our best to create spaces for people to really honor those that we lost in our communities in ways that focus on ways that they lived.”
For more info, check out Lulu Carpenter’s great article at Seattle Gay News: http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews40_47/page8.cfm