This week I’m running late and ended up not donating on the exact days, but I’ve assigned each charity I donated to a day anyway :)
2/7 – I have a particularly big place in my heart for orgs that help abused children. Misssey is an organization devoted to helping kids in danger of or subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. They started in Oakland when Oakland was identified as a major locus of child porn and street prostitution of children.* Nola Brantley, Adela Hernandez Rodarte, Sarai T. Smith-Mazariegos, and Emily Hamman were working in a youth assistance program called the Scotlan Center, and witnessed the impact of this on the kids of Oakland. They started Misssey to be a surivor-led and survivor-focused organization. Not only are they striving to help these kids either get out or stay out of sexual exploitation – they are working to change the narrative about their circumstances. Broadening the conversation from “child prostitute” to “victims of child sexual abuse” is critical, and decriminalizing children’s engagement is paramount to their healing. Misssey offers advocacy, case management services, referrals, mentoring, and foster youth programs. They are amazing – and bonus, their new Executive Director, Holly Joshi, is super kickass and served on Kamala Harris’ Human Trafficking Task Force.
2/8 – Black Women’s Playwright’s Group is a group whose mission is to “support and promote the work of our members as well as provide leadership and advocacy on critical issues within the theater world. ” They have monthly meetings, offer critiques to members, and do a lot of interesting experimental work using alternate media (like SMS) to explore the boundaries of theater. They also offer programs for the families of incarcerated people and residents of group homes. It’s very interesting stuff! Follow them on Facebook.
2/9 – Continuing on my arts kick, Sistagraphy is a collective of black women photographers that started in 1993 in the Atlanta area and expanded to 100 members. They’ve done over 50 amazing exhibitions in the past years, and while their blog has not been as active in the past 2 years, their Facebook feed keeps updating with current exhibitions and events.
2/10 – Here in Houston, Community Artists’ Collective (or just thecollective.org) is the brainchild of two artists, one of whom ran a gallery and one of whom was a college professor of the arts. According to their terrific website, Michelle Barnes and Dr. Sarah Trotty organized this group to “meet the needs of the professional African American artists and with a special sensitivity to African American women artists.” They offer educational programs like after-school events and classes for children, as well as Saturday classes and workshops in art appreciation for adults. Check out their quilting events, but don’t stop there! They support and promote African-American art events of all kinds, and host many exhibitions at their gallery in Houston’s Midtown area. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
2/11 – Do folks know I love drums and drumming? I LOOOVE drums and drumming. So I was extra happy to see I could donate to Ayodele Drum and Dance. They’re based in Chicago (I’m so jealous) and have events for kids, teens, and adults. This year they are an Arts Org in Residence at the Chicago Cultural Center, so they have a bunch of free events. (DOUBLY jealous.) Their site is fully updated, but also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
2/12 – All right, so this charity does not focus specifically on serving black women and children, but really, how in the WORLD could I not give to the Hurston/Wright Foundation?? Seriously, if I even need to say what this charity is all about, you need to go to African American Writers 101. Check out their programs and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Next week I’ll post the charity I donated to yesterday, since that takes me back out of the arts arc I started in this post.
*Note: This is a touchy topic for me, which is why the rest of the post focused on arts organizations.