FYRE 2021- Saturn Rising: A Guide to the RJ Universe
SPARK’s annual FYRE Media (virtual) Conference is Saturday, July 17! This year’s theme, “Saturn Rising: A Guide to the RJ Universe”, centers the multiple facets or “rings” of Reproductive Justice as well as the various ways organizations and individuals organize and advocate around reproductive justice and other social justice issues. This year, join community members as they showcase their knowledge, skills, work, side hustles, etc. in a one-day virtual conference-like format! This one-day “conference” will feature multiple 45-60 minute workshops that you can attend (or not attend) based on your interests! The full conference schedule will be released a few weeks before the event so you will have time to plan your day! In the meantime, please see our tentative schedule below! (all times are in EST)
SPARK’s FYRE (Fierce Youth Reclaiming and Empowering) program develops the civic leadership of queer, trans, and gender expansive youth of color living in the Southeast in the reproductive justice movement. Our FYRE Media Justice Camps provide opportunities for Southern queer, trans, and gender expansive young people of color ages 18 – 30 to design, develop, and create their own media resources. Past camps have featured photography, dance, theater, creating zines, and more! Off the heels of our powerful JusticeNOW2020 Conference, this year our virtual FYRE Media Justice Camp Conference will feature community members who incorporate media in their organizing and movement work. This is an opportunity to engage with not just one, but several media forms.
FULL RUN OF SHOW
10:00 AM Welcome & Wellness Plenary
The Antidote: Trauma-Responsive Yoga and Social Justice Imaginings
The Antidote is an immersive workshop that uses yoga, creative expression, and meditation to promote embodied liberation. Workshop participants will investigate white body supremacy and how it results in race-based trauma. Through the use of new and age-old body-centered practices, we will explore how our bodies are the central location of freedom. This workshop will include movement, courageous conversations, artistic expression, and laughter and invite participants to imagine and create a more just society from the inside out.
11:00 – 12:15 PM Session I
Abortion Access and Abolition 101
By participating in this session, participants will receive information about how to talk to people in their communities about the connections between recent (and non recent) calls to defund police departments and why we must increase abortion access. This skillshare will specifically take up matters of police violence as matters of reproductive oppression, especially in the South, considering the history of chattel enslavement.
Intersections of Our Lives and Shaping the Narrative
In Our Own Voice
How the intersectional political priorities of women of color communities inform media and political strategies to advance Reproductive Justice. This 90-minute workshop will include both a presentation on updated field data around Black women, AAPI women and Latina Women’s political priorities and feature skill-share and interactive discussion around how what we are learning about our communities’ intersectional political views helps us develop advocacy strategies and shape effective narratives in the media. This workshop is intended to be interactive and activate a critical conversation about what we are collectively learning as we shape strategic media narratives that shift power, change culture, mobilize communities and influence policy-making.
12:30-1:30 Session II
Dinners Away From Home – Asian Immigrants and Their Food-based Healing and Community Building
White supremacy polices every single aspect of marginalized people’s lives, even the food we consume. America loves Asian food, the sanitized and Americanized version, of course. As a queer immigrant from China, I felt the most hostility when Americans who express disgust at my cultural dishes. What is the solution then? Well, for me, I just cook more of those and invite my immigrant and POC friends over for dinner! As international students at a PWI during the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, we find comfort in building a safe and resilient community around our beloved cultural food. To us, food is resistance. Food is love. Food is home. Today, I want to tell the collective story of resisting hate and growing familial bonds with a chosen family away from our countries, and share a few simple but authentic recipes with y’all to try out at home.
Trauma Response and Crisis Care for Movements
Lamont J Loyd Sims
This wellness practice encompasses a guided meditation on spoken word/poetry writing focusing on bodily freedoms, especially for people of color who experience gender and sexual difference. Participants are invited to ‘scan’ their bodies while deep breathing for a few minutes, then speak or think about the information that their bodies are communicating. Participants will leave this session with knowledge on creating in ways that affirm their bodies, deepening our connections with our bodies to grow solidarity around reproductive justice.
1:30-3:00 Lunch (stipends provided)
3:00-4:00 Session III
Writing Love into the World — The Erotic, Rebellious Poetry of Miriam Alves
Using the poetry of radical Black Brazilian elder Miriam Alves, the workshop thinks through the power of the erotic and rebellion as a means for dreaming/creating/writing new worlds. The goal is to think about where, when, and how our love manifests despite constraint and limitation as we move towards writing loving reflections of autonomy guided by ungovernable, disobedient aesthetic choices. It’s a space to think more deeply about what our love changes in the world, and to have our words and thoughts validated by each other. Participants will get a chance to write what’s on their mind, share their work (if they want), leave with the knowledge of a brilliant poet and hopefully a clearer understanding of what they want the world to look like. No pre-existing knowledge required, just an interest in reading and writing poetry.
Creative Writing: Fluid Forms:
Looking to strengthen your writing techniques? Want to explore how to say what you mean, and write how you speak? In this class on written form, we will look at the ways in which the writer can utilize the best words in the best order or nonorder. We will explore various writing forms to break down the way words and ideas are constructed, emphasized, and utilized as a vital part of finding the author’s intent and unique voice. In our seminar/class/workshop we will read the work of older poets like June Jordan, Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes. As well as more contemporary poets such as Danez smith, Morgan Parker and Javon Johnson. After reading, analyzing and reflecting on their work. We will write short poems, short prose, six word stories, poetry in long form, haikus, assonance poems, and or nonsense prose to make creative space for our voices to emerge. The aim is for participants to walk away with a wide range of written ways to express themselves and what they mean.
4:15-5:15 Queering RJ & Close
7:00 Wellness Plenary
Vinyasa Yoga Flow, with liberation-focused affirmations
I’ll be leading participants through a vinyasa yoga flow, trying to build heat or fyre (corny lol) and make space for deep releases throughout the flow. I’ll also be working through affirmations that apply to reproductive justice and liberation.
**CONFERENCE WILL BE HOSTED ON ZOOM—LINK WILL BE EMAILED TO REGISTRANTS ON JULY 16, 2021**
**MEAL STIPENDS WILL BE PROVIDED TO REGISTRANTS**
REGISTRATION OFFICIALLY CLOSES JULY 16, 2021 @6PM EST