Call for Submissions!

Calling all creatives!!
SPARK is creating a ZINE!

Are you a writer? artist? or a photographer?

We would love for you to submit to our first ZINE!

Please send submissions to info@sparkrj.org with the subject line “zine submission”!

**queer and trans folx will be prioritized, but all are welcome to submit!

FYRE MEDIA CAMP 2017: Now Accepting Applications!

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2017 FYRE Media Justice Camp! This year’s FYRE Camp, RHYTHM NATION, seeks to hold an intentional space for movement building for Queer and Trans young people of color and cishet Black women in the South to build trust through dance. We believe we can move through this political climate by asserting our bodily autonomy and embodying a positive body consciousness to find our own rhythm within the revolution.

Click here to read more about previous FYRE Camps.

Through this camp, SPARK aims to build a base of leaders who will re-imagine and create artistic narratives for our resilience, our lives, and our communities. The 2017 cohort will focus on issues surrounding abortion stigma, sexual health and health care access all with the goal of building a base of activists across multiple identities.

This year’s FMJC is scheduled to take place from July 20 to July 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia. The application deadline is July 14, 2017All travel and boarding expenses are covered.

Click here to apply as a camper.

Click here to apply as a peer-leader.

 

Closing The Gap

On this National Youth Enrollment Day, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW remains committed to uplifting the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth of color. 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 voices to address the coverage gap.

Georgia has the fifth largest population of uninsured people in this country. And according to Young Invincibles, “up to 44 percent of the approximately 481,000 Georgians who fall in the coverage gap are young adults aged 18 to 34.3 The proportion of young adults in Georgia’s coverage gap is greater than the proportion in other non-expansion states, such as Texas (38 percent), Virginia (38 percent), and Florida (36 percent).”

It is important that the voices of queer and trans youth of color are heard in this fight for healthcare access.  Please listen, share the stories of these amazing young leaders, and join us on February 19th, 2015 for our annual statewide day of action and lobby event, Legislate This! We will hear from key leaders about pertinent public policy and social justice issues, rally with other Georgians, and educate our policymakers at the Capitol about reproductive justice.

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 stories as Black Queer youth to highlight the disproportionate amount of violence 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 Michael 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.

Highlights from the 2014 FMJC with Personal Note from Youth Leader Jordan Scruggs

2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp

2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp

By Quita Tinsley, SPARK Youth Organizer

SPARK’s 2014 Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering Media Justice Camp (FMJC), in collaboration with Advocates for Youth, brought 10 queer and trans youth of color from across the Southeast to Atlanta to reimagine and create their own media. This year participants advanced their blogging and vlogging skills and learned how to incorporate it into their activism.  The trainings included reproductive justice, digital storytelling, and the following topics: closing the coverage gap, abortion access (1 in 3 Campaign), and violence against queer and trans youth of color and women of color.

In 2011, Funders for LGBT Issues found that Georgia received only $526,783 or less than $2 per person in LGBTQ funding. This lack of financial support often means that organizations are forced to make difficult decisions about how best to serve a growing, underserved community. The SPARK FYRE program does this by providing opportunities for queer and trans youth of color from the Southeast to develop relationships, get hands on media training, and gain reproductive justice organizing and leadership skills. Importantly, it gives participants a platform to amplify their voices, lived experiences, and accelerate their activism.

The 2014 media campers produced three short videos and wrote three blogs, which will roll out later this fall.

Jordan Scruggs

Jordan Scruggs, FMJC ’13 Camp Attendee, FMJC ’14 Camp Peer Leader

Jordan Scruggs, one of SPARK’s youth leaders, was a 2013 FMJC participant and returned this year as a 2014 FMJC peer leader. “I wanted to be a peer leader because I know how important the voices and stories of QPOC lives are,” says Jordan. “We’re a beautiful, diverse, and complex community and our lives and stories matter. They deserve to be told and I believe that blogging is the perfect medium to do it.”In her spare time, Jordan runs several blogs, one of which is Jordan Ponders. As we mourn the loss of another black youth at the hands of state violence, now more than ever, we must recognize the psychological impact it has on those living at the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality.  In the wake of current events, Jordan’s recent post, “Absence of Hope,” is on her journey with mental health and depression. As a true to life activist, she uses her own experiences as a way to help others and fight for justice!

It is the voices of young people like Jordan that SPARK strengthens. To learn how to support SPARK’s FYRE Media Justice Camps, visit our website here.

Apply NOW to the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp!

2014 FMJC Post CardCamp Dates: July 24-27, 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Priority Deadline : Friday, June 13th – Applications reviewed on a rolling basis after the deadline. Space is limited.

The FYRE Media Justice Camp is a dynamic 4-day/3-night gathering of Southern lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, and questioning youth of color (LGBTQQ), ages 18-25, reimagining and creating media for our resilience, our lives, and our communities.

This year, we’re amplifying the voices of LGBTQQ Youth of color through social media and blogging! Participants will engage in interactive skill shares about reproductive justice, media justice, and artivism while gaining the skills needed to create liberatory media.

You must be able to attend the camp in its entirety to be accepted. To apply, please complete the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp online form. Please answer each question to the best of your ability. We thank you for your interest in this amazing gathering and look forward to reading your responses.