Innovation, Open Dialogue, and Safety.
That's what I feel when I reflect on my recent experience at the Regional School for Feminist Movement Builders, jointly organized by JASS and the Feminist Center for Racial Justice in Mexico City, which took place from August 27th to September 1st. JASS draws inspiration and is shaped by key ideas such as power, intersectionality, feminism, and feminist popular education to shape their worldview and to encourage everything they do to transform it. On the other hand, the Feminist Center for Racial Justice focuses on the majority world as geography from which to build feminist imaginaries of "race," bringing together research fields that have evolved in parallel, from feminist theories of power, protest, and change, to critical studies of race and migration. During that week, we shared impressive perspectives and I greatly enjoyed learning from the shared experiences. 📚💭
✨ Inspiring Methodology
The methodologies applied at the School not only deviate from the conventional, but also invite deep introspection, urging us to question, learn, and continuously evolve. One of the most revealing was the "Monster House" 🏠👾, a powerful pedagogical tool that challenged us to evaluate and confront the complex power structures that oppress us and, moreover, how we sometimes unconsciously become complicit in these same structures.
Although its original name was "The Master's House," from a feminist perspective, it was decided to rename it as the "Monster House." This change was neither casual nor merely aesthetic. By speaking of a "monster," we allude to a conglomerate of oppressive systems: patriarchy, which subjugates women and perpetuates restrictive gender roles; capitalism 🌍💰, which prioritizes profit over human well-being; structural racism 🤎🖤, which marginalizes and dehumanizes people based on the color of their skin; and sexism 👎, which perpetuates male supremacy at the expense of other genders. These structures, among others, are what make up this "monster," an entity that oppresses, limits, and denies us freedom.
Thus, the "Monster House" became a space for reflection where we were challenged to unmask and confront these systems, to understand how they interact with each other, and how, through intersectionality, we can chart paths to dismantle them. It was an invitation not only to recognize the "monster," but also to understand that the fight against it is multifaceted and requires the unity and solidarity of all. 🌈✨.
In these five days, I accumulated an invaluable amount of pedagogical tools that will enrich my work at AFRORESISTANCE and in the promotion of human rights, gender equity, and the rights of diverse communities. *📖✍🏾
Inclusion and Respect
Perhaps one of the most impactful moments was how, amidst my own insecurities and traumas, I found a space of love and respect. A reminder that regardless of our history, race, or gender identity, we all deserve to be heard, respected, and valued. 🌹💪🏾
Towards the Future
From AFRORESISTANCE, our perspective is ambitious and transformative: we advocate for the need to amplify follow-up programs that connect our communities after such intense experiences like school. We envision futures where resources multiply and are shared, strengthening our understanding and action in the face of activism's challenges. We recognize the urgent need to strengthen leadership training, especially for Black women and Afro-descendant trans individuals, who often face double, or even triple, oppression.
🌍🔗✨ The memory of the school still resonates within me, and one aspect that stood out was the profound focus on healing. The hotel, more than just accommodation, transformed into a refuge for self-care, understanding, and renewal. This emphasis on healing is vital because in the activist realm, we often get lost in the tide of causes, forgetting that to continue, we must also take care of ourselves. Healing, then, becomes not only an act of resistance but an imperative for the sustainability of our struggle. Additionally, from AFRORESISTANCE, we propose spaces for continuous dialogue, where successes, challenges, and learnings are shared; strategic alliances that amplify our capacity for action, and mentoring programs that weave intergenerational bonds, ensuring that our legacy endures and strengthens over time. 🌸✊🌿 The Regional School for Feminist Movement Builders has been a revolutionary space that challenges and expands the boundaries of our understanding and action.
At AFRORESISTANCE, we are committed to carrying this transnational work forward, with the certainty that together, we will transform the world. 🌍✊🏾🖤 Because as we say in AFRORESISTANCE, we will not rest until all Afro-descendant Women are FREE. ✊🏾🌍🌟