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Our experiences as the 2014 FIERCE-ly Elemental Bowl-A-Thon Interns!

My experience as a BAT Intern – Bree Yearwood

Let me start this off by just saying: “nothing I imagined it to be was what I actually experienced.” Being a Bowl-A-Thon Intern was one of the most amazing Internships I’ve had at FIERCE. The internship enabled me to increase my skill levels while discovering a new part of myself.  Now I am more interested to be more professional while incorporating my creativity and ideas. This internship was more than an internship, but in a way a sort of spiritual journey for myself – yeah I know that was deep right?

We don't need 1000 cops!

FIERCE Youth Organizer Testimony to the NYC City Council Finance Committee

My name is Robin. I’m a youth organizer apart of FIERCE, an organization for LGBTQ youth of color dedicated to community empowerment. I’d like to thank the Committee on Finance, and the chair Julissa Ferreras for allowing me to testify. I’d also like to thank the organizations here that are speaking in solidarity with me.

Safety Begins & Ends with Us: A Collective Response to Violence

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dear New York City,

As pride month ends we want to remember and mourn the recent waves of hate violence and police violence across New York City, from the West Village to the 79th precinct in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. With history as a guide, we expect hate violence against our communities to increase in response to the recent LGBT victories. The hate violence and police violence that has occurred raises the question: How are we creating mechanisms of response, safety, and accountability, within our communities that do not further criminalize or police our collective bodies? Increased policing does not create safety for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Transgender, Gender Non Conforming, and Queer (LGBTSTGNCQ) people, especially when Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people, Youth, and People of Color (POC) are among the communities often targeted and harassed by police.

Justice Committee: Statement In Solidarity with the Family of Kimani "Kiki" Gray and the East Flatbush Community

The killing of 16-year-old Kimani “Kiki” Gray is a terrible tragedy on a long list of injustices perpetrated by the New York Police Department (NYPD).  The Justice Committee sends love, strength and solidarity to his family, friends and community.  We echo Kimani’s community’s calls for an independent investigation into his death and the indictment of the officers who killed him.

 

We are deeply troubled by the fact that eyewitness accounts tell an entirely different story than the one put out by the NYPD.  Sadly, we are not surprised.  In so many other cases the same has happened.  The NYPD puts out their side of the story, painting themselves as heroes and criminalizing our loved ones and later on witnesses, discovery and/or civil suit testimonies prove otherwise.  The cases of Malcolm Ferguson and Ramarley Graham are just two examples.  Too often media outlets and Commissioner Ray Kelly imply that those killed by his officers were criminals; they had records, were suspected of being involved in a street organization, or were in possession of weapons or contraband.  Even if these accusations were to be true, they do not warrant the death penalty.  In spite of what their actions would suggest, the police are supposed to uphold the law.  They are not supposed to act as our loved ones’ judge, jury and executioner.

Connecting Our Roots

An update on FIERCE's National Program

In 2009, FIERCE launched our National Program with a LGBTQ Youth of Color Organizing Summit in Dallas, TX and the release of Coming Out, Stepping Up, which highlighted the needs of LGBTQ youth—as identified by LGBTQ youth.  The report spoke to the voices and issues largely left unheard in the mainstream LGBT agenda and provided solutions and recommendations on how to tackle these issues through LGBTQ youth-led organizing. 

 

 

FIERCE’s national program is centered around supporting LGBTQ youth organizing as a strategy for creating change and developing LGBTQ youth leaders in broader social justice movements.   This year, we have made important strides in this work. 

Wanna be in a FIERCE Zine?

Call for Submissions

Submit your work to be featured in a collective FIERCE zine!


As the Media intern, I (Mackenzie) am starting an exciting project to make a FIERCE zine made up of submissions from FIERCE members and other LGBTQ youth of color.

 

What's a zine?

A zine is a small circulation self-published work of original and/or appropriated (taken for one's own use, often without permission) texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.

 

This FIERCE zine will be a print publication (also available online) by LGBTQ youth of color, for LGBTQ youth of color- both within and outside of NYC.  This zine will highlight FIERCE's work, stories and reflections from LGBTQ youth of color about their experiences, resources for queer and trans youth, and photography, art, and poetry.

 

This is a great opportunity to share your experiences as an LGBTQ youth of color!


You can submit your work either electronically to mackenzie [at] fiercenyc [dot] org or drop it off in person at FIERCE to Mackenzie or Manny.

 

The deadline to submit is November 30th.

For more info on content guidelines and how to submit, send me an email.

I'm excited to see what ya'll send in!

Community Love in a Time of Need

Post-Hurricane Sandy Update from FIERCE

Hi FIERCE Members, Supporters and Allies:

We hope this email finds you safe after Hurricane Sandy hit our city and region in such a big way.

As community organizers who intersect a lot of very marginalized communities, we know that our friends, families and communities are particularly vulnerable after natural disasters.  We recognize how this storm has impacted our communities- some of us lost power and heat, some of our homes have sustained damage or been destroyed entirely, and many people have been without access to services that we depend on. As a community that deals with homelessness on a daily basis, the impacts of this are particularly devastating. For example, we were notified that the Ali Forney Drop in Center in Chelsea is completely destroyed and will not re-open in the immediate future.  We recognize this is a resource for many queer and trans youth in NYC and mourn this loss. 

FIERCE Webinar!

On September 26th, 2012,  I had the opportunity to participate in FIERCE’s first webinar alongside two other active members Ana, My, and one of the Co-Directors Krystal Portalatin.  With the amazing support of Rusia Mohiuddin during this webinar, we spoke about our soon-to-be released toolkit, our leadership development model, and the different leadership development programs that we offer here at FIERCE such as the Education for Liberation Project (ELP).

Turning Back the Clock:

Private Development is Still Not an Acceptable Solution for Pier 40

On Tuesday, June 12 at 7pm, I walked into the Community Board 2 Waterfront Committee meeting expecting to see a room full of at least 100 or more concerned residents, business owners, community members, youth organizations and elected officials.  I was shocked and dismayed see only about 40 faces.  The topic at hand: a public hearing about the Hudson River Park Trust’s interest in opening the Hudson River Park Act to allow for changes that would enable the Trust to do such things as issue bonds, pursue mixed-use development, and to offer extended leases with the hopes of generating income for the park.  Only a few short years ago, this was a topic that generated passionate opposition from West Village community members, who organized a united front to stop mega-private-development from reeking havoc on the park and community.

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