We Are Here. We Are Strong. We Matter.

During the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp, 10 youth of color came together from three Southern states to develop short films and blogs that touched on various issues important to them as Queer and Trans youth of color living in the South. One group chose to use their stores as Black Queer youth to highlight the disproportionate amount of violence in its many forms faced by Queer and Trans people of color and women of color.

From the Missouri Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown, to Marissa Alexander having to accept a plea deal to avoid a lengthy prison term for daring to defend herself in the face of domestic violence – our media has become inundated with countless examples of violence perpetrated against people of color, particularly Black communities.

During this time, we feel that it is important to amplify and center the voices of queer and trans youth of color in the fight against systemic oppression. Please listen, share the stories of these amazing young leaders, and join us as we continue to fight for justice in the South and a future free of violence.

Remember Trans Power. Fight for Trans Lives!

Today, Thursday, November 20th, marks the National Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) dedicated to honoring and lifting up the names of those members of the trans community whose lives have been taken due to racist, sexist, transphobic, and tramsmisognyst violence.

As a member of Strong Families, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is lifting up trans women of color as living and powerful members of our families, communities and movements and reaffirming our commitment to fostering a Southern RJ movement grounded in the beliefs that individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives.

SF Remember Trans Power BazantWe share this original art by Micah Bazant with you as one way to lift up the power and resiliency of trans women of color. Micah says about the piece:

“I created this piece with input from the TransJustice group at Audre Lorde Project. We wanted an image that continues to reframe TDOR as a time to honor the living as well as the dead, keeps pushing LGBTQ communities to center trans women of color, and draws attention to the criminalization of trans women of color by the police. We also wanted to celebrate love and support between trans feminine people of color of different generations and gender expressions.”

Please continue to share this image with your families, friends, and colleagues using the hashtag #fightfortranslives and let us all continue to honor the fallen and fight like hell for the living.

Yours in community struggle,

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

Atlanta TDOR Events

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil “It’s Time…”
Event Link

Thursday, November 20
6:30pm – 10:00pm
Phillip Rush Center Annex Bldg.
1530 Dekalb Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), people who identify as transgender were 28% more likely to experience physical violence than those whom are not Trans identified.

Keynote Speaker: Reverend Maressa Pendermon
Unity Fellowship Church Movement (Atlanta)
Event Sponsors: Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal
Media Sponsor: Alternative Perspectives Radio Host Betty Couvertier

Trans* Day of Resilience
Event Link

Black Is Blue FilmFriday, November 21
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Phillip Rush Center Annex Bldg.
1530 Dekalb Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

It is so important that we honor our trancestors, and especially those whose lives were taken in violence. It is also ever important that we remember how resilient we are and take a moment to reflect and celebrate. Please join Lambda Legal the day after Atlanta’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, for a Trans* Day of Resilience!

  • Happy/healthy hour – (drinks and hors d’ouevres)
  • Art exhibit
  • Film screening
  • Panel Discussion
  • Performances

First ATL screening of “Black is Blue” with lead actor, Kingston Faraday there for a question/answer following the film. Check out the trailer: http://vimeo.com/105449883

Georgia Gives Day: Support Southern Queer & Trans Youth!

Dear SPARK Family, Friends, Allies & Supporters:

GA Gives DayOn Thursday, November 13th, SPARK will participate in Georgia Gives Day and join hundreds of organizations from across the State of Georgia in mobilizing for the fiscal sustainability of our work for social change in the South.

According to Out In The South – Part Two, a survey assessing the LGBTQ community resources in 14 Southern States (2014), only 3% of LGBTQ funding is distributed to LGBTQ organizations in the South. Of the 76 LGBTQ organizations in the South, about 50% have only one or no full time staff and 55% have budgets of less than $250,000. Strong work is being done in the South with minimal resources by SPARK and others. In order to thrive, we need your help!

FMJC '14 CampersBased in Georgia, SPARK recognizes how essential it is to invest in the leadership and voices of women of color, young parents, and LGBTQQ youth of color in the fight for reproductive justice. Your financial support allows us to ensure that these voices – the ones most impacted by reproductive injustices – can bring their deep understanding of the political conditions of the South to our movements and work. Georgia Gives Day is your opportunity to demonstrate the power of prioritizing Southern leadership in Southern movements!

SPARK seeks to raise funds in our first Georgia Gives Day campaign to offset the expense of our 2nd IGNITE Queer and Trans Youth of Color Convening (IGNITE). This gathering is fully funded by SPARK for queer and trans youth of color ages 18 – 25 who live in the Southern region. IGNITE will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ youth of color from across the region to engage in dialogue, political education, skill shares, networking, and to begin to organize state level action plans on the issues that most impact their lives. Leaders attending this convening will be able to build unity with other queer and trans youth of color throughout the South while deepening their leadership skills and further preparing them to take action in their local communities!

How Can You Help?

Stand with us on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 and let’s demonstrate the power of Southern giving!