Blog: Analysis & Reflections

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.

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.

LGBTQ youth of color interrogate equality and how we create change

This year, FIERCE attended the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in Baltimore, MD. Not newcomers to the conference, FIERCE has maintained a consistent presence for over six years, striving to create space and build capacity for LGBTQ youth-led community organizing.

My Creating Change Experience 2012

I have so much to say that I don’t even know where to start! Creating change was epic and the high light of my 17-year-old life! I remember looking at myself in the hotel room mirror and wondering if my mom was going to notice a change in my physical appearance from my experience and growth in wisdom that had occurred during that week. There were many factors that contributed to that feeling and the biggest one was for the first time in my life I was treated like an adult and was seen as an equal to members and staff of FIERCE who were significantly older than me.

Summing Up: Creating Change Conference 2012

As I stepped out of the crowded cab and onto the pavement in front of the Hilton, the scene looked mildly familiar.

A few queers huddled outside for a smoke, while others arrived in yellow vehicles periodically, just as we had. Every city, each hotel, same feeling. Muddled excitement was in the air even though it was Tuesday and attendees were few in number.

 

I’ve been to the Creating Change Conference through a few different avenues. First, through impromptu 13-hour-drives, sleeping on hotel carpets, fundraising/scrapping/university funds for social and academic learning, and finally as a member and workshop facilitator with FIERCE.

 

Creating Change with LGBTQ Youth

Strengthening our Movement

I would like to share some of my experience at this year Creating Change Conference that took place at Minneapolis, Minnesota.


I had very unique experience. During, the preparation meetings, I was able to build some really strong teamwork skills, explore many techniques about curriculum development, workshop group facilitation, and media and networking communications.

Thanks for an Amazing 2010!

Wishing You a Sweet & Joyful New Year

Dear FIERCE Supporters:
 


Can you believe that 2010 is almost over? What a milestone year!
 
This year, FIERCE celebrated a historic birthday and ten years of building the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color. Since 2000, hundreds of queer and trans youth have found a political home at FIERCE. These young leaders believed, as current FIERCE members do, that LGBTQ youth must take leadership to address the violence and challenges we face, because we cannot afford to wait for things to get better on their own.
 
Today, FIERCE is proud to be one of the few organizations that empowers LGBTQ youth of color to take action and create the better world we yearn for and imagine.
 
As we wrap up the year and reflect on our accomplishments, we want to appreciate all of you, our amazing supporters! Thank you for your dedication and care through the years. We're so grateful for everything your love and encouragement has helped us achieve.


We hope you'll continue to support FIERCE into the next 10 years by making an end-of-year gift now. Click here to donate online
or you can mail a check to: FIERCE, 147 West 24th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY, 10011.

Future Fridays // Cooking with Krystal

It was a first-of-its kind cooking class with Krystal, a workshop that's part of our Youth Development Program at FIERCE. I went because I like cooking and the atmosphere of friends preparing meals together.  I got to have that and so much more during the event. There were new and familiar faces, so many faces that we had to get more chairs for the conference room, where we went over why we were having this workshop. Workshops at FIERCE all have a purpose: to be fun and informational and sometimes both. I didn’t think this event would be informational. But I was surprised what I learned.

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