Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's It Mean To Project Yourself?

cross posted from my Media Justice column

This weekend is the first Sisterhood Summit presented by the Black Girl Project (BGP) of which I am a advisory board member. Created by Aiesha Turman (who did a media maker’s salon with me a while ago), the Black Girl Project provides educational and community based workshops and there is a documentary out of the same name. Some of you may remember other Amplify writers sharing informationon BGP.

Aiesha has asked me to present on the plenary panel of other women of Color speaking about the them of the conference: Projecting Yourself: Standing Up, Standing Out. I have yet to really sit and think about what I want to share in the 4-5 minutes I have to speak. Although I have spent various times of the day thinking about themes that I’d like to focus on and share.

I’ll be in the fabulous company of several activists which include: Tanya Fields (@BlkGrlInc on Twitter), who is the executive director of The BLK ProjeK which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating women-led local economies in underserved and marginalized communities. DJ TastyKeish (@TastyKeish on Twitter), who is the weekend host of WBAI 99.5 FM’s Rise Up Radio on Friday nights will also be on the panel. Verneda White of Human Intonation (@HumanIntonation on Twitter), which is an organization that centers fashion, human rights, and social justice. Amplify readers may remember the collaboration Advocates for Youth did with Human Intonation earlier this year. Ghylian Bell of Urban Yoga Foundation will also be present and discussing holistic health.

To say the Sisterhood Summit will be amazing is truly an understatement. I know this because I’ve been a part of creating the summit, selecting workshops, scheduling HIV and STI testing, figuring out the use of social media during the summit, hearing about donations of food and goodies, and setting up ground rules. A majority of the workshops are youth-led and interactive. Participants will leave with new knowledge, but also with tools and media they create on this day. Workshops include topics in politics, relationships, health, social justice, sexuality, identity, and empowerment. There are still some openings for those interested inregistering (and yes this does take place in Brooklyn, NY, and no you do not have to identify as Black to register).

Some themes that come up for me during my presentation include conversations of power, resilience, revolutionary love, and asking for help/healing. When I started writing this piece I had it on my mind when I went to bed and had this great speech laid out in my mind. Of course when I’m awake, conscious, and able to write things down they are not as clear. Since we are asked to speak about how the theme of the summit impacts the work we do I definitely want to tease out the discussions of power, love and healing. Here are some things I’m thinking about including. Let me know if you have suggestions or other ideas/ways to go and I’ll definitely give you a shout-out in my presentation!

-Power is something we all have
-How I learned and discovered the various types of power I embody and own
-Ways I misused my power and how I came back from that
-What acknowledging our power means for us and our community
-How others can see the power we have
-How our core essence/qualities/identities is/are attached to this power
-How loving ourselves in a world that does not love us back as much is revolutionary
-That part of revolutionary love is to be happy as young women of Color and to survive
-Asking for help is a gift we give ourselves and others
-Asking for help can assist with healing, individually or communally
-Healing and coping are parts of revolutionary love
-Boundaries are a part of healing and revolutionary love
-Survival, love, healing and resilience are connected
-It is ok to rest

I know these are lots of thoughts to string together and I wonder if I need to include media-making as part of this discussion. And I keep reminding myself I only have at most 5 minutes! Maybe I can edit and hope that some of the questions we are asked offer me the opportunity to get to what I couldn’t share in my first statement. What would you want to hear about at a Sisterhood Summit from panelist as they discuss their work and connections to projecting yourself?

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