In partnership with Rachel Cargle, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and Miir we’re giving away A Year of Rest, 365 nights in total, to those fighting for change. We’ll be sharing our recipients’ stories in the hopes of amplifying their voices and inspiring meaningful action in our community and beyond.
Here are this week’s recipients of rest as described by those who nominated them:
Ashley has made enormous contributions to her community throughout this pandemic, as both a registered nurse and activist. She has organized petitions and email campaigns to hold police and political institutions responsible for their actions and demand change, in addition to her long-standing volunteerism and activism within her community. Healthcare is not a neutral institution, and dealing with racism from patients/co-workers/leadership while knowing that this behaviour disproportionately impacts Black and Indigenous patients. All of that would be enough to nominate Ashley for a night of rest. The fact that, on top of this, she finds time to educate those around her, and support and lift up other peoples’ voices is all the more reason to give her a night of rest and stillness.
In 2008 Camille Proctor’s son Ari was diagnosed with autism. As she sought support, she realized most support groups were filled with white parents that couldn’t empathize with the social issues that affect African Americans. She vowed she would help others. The following year, she started The Color of Autism to address the needs of Black families. An African American family affected by autism faces a unique set of challenges, namely isolation. With family and friends, Proctor says, “You don’t get the support sometimes because they don’t quite understand or they’re in denial. And then when you’re seeking support groups on the outside, most of the people don’t look like you, so then they don’t understand some of the situations that your child may be in that their child will never have to experience.” Like most Black mothers, she was afraid for Ari as he’d grow older, knowing he would likely encounter the police at some point. Would the officer see that he has a developmental disorder? Would Ari understand their commands? The Color of Autism works to educate and advocate for African American families affected by autism, and they’ve created a network where parents and caregivers of color can lean on each other. Most recently, she partnered with the Netflix show, Atypical, for a Town Hall to shed light on Black Autistic Lives. Full disclosure, she’s my mom, and she deserves this because she’s helped hundreds and it’s time we help her by allowing her to recharge.
Cameron started the Black Resilience Fund to direct support to Black Portlanders affected by COVID19 and the related loss of work, income, and housing. A long-time social justice advocate, Cameron’s BRF had funneled millions of dollars in private donations to Portland’s most vulnerable population, and has been a model of mutual aid. Cameron first drew attention to BLM justice work when he staged a very long hunger strike at city hall in a few years ago. Anyway, this past week Cameron opened his office to collaborate with the Rose City Justice protest group and he was utterly exhausted and just crawled into an office closet with some blankets and pillow to sleep for a few hours before VICE media showed up to shoot a video. The guy is a powerhouse, and he deserves rest.
Drew is my co-founder of @letstalksocialjustice, a social justice forum through zoom. Our first forum was about police brutality with about 70 participants, where the NYCPD answered questions directly. We’ve also led a protest march together. Drew also creates art that uplifts Black women, allowing them to be depicted as soft and vulnerable.
Eboni is a freedom fighter. She has been an integral part of the protests in Portland Oregon as the architect behind services at the protests to help people fix car lights and pay for their tickets among lots of other things. She is also my boss as the program manager for Do Good Multnomah, an organization that houses the houseless. She works relentlessly each day to create and connect resources for the participants, and at night she protests and makes change. She took time off to go to the march in Washington this last week and had to purchase a bulletproof vest. She gets knocked down but she gets back up. She’s a leader to imitate.
Emelie is a small business owner of a fast expanding therapy practice in PDX (Sprout Therapy) where she constantly gives back to her community. Emelie is tireless and unflappable, and I’m super biased but she has gone above and beyond as my best friend to help me feel my best during several life changes and now COVID-19. Emelie works so hard to make therapy accessible and practical for everyone. She is trauma informed and whip smart and so so humble.
Faith is a proud, strong , Black woman, educator, activist, parent, and role model. She has been an educator with YES Prep Public Schools for many years teaching Theater and English for various grade levels. She has written curriculum for this small charter district for several years and centers diversity, equity, and justice in all that she teaches in the hopes of recognizing, validating and honoring the identities of our overwhelmingly Black and brown students. Her classes have always taught students to think critically about the messages they see around them and to analyze them to find the truth they contain. Showing up as her authentic self, day in and day out, would be more than enough to deserve this but her honesty, candor, and continued willingness to teach and fight just further cement it.
Jordan has worked for many years as an artist and poet, inspiring young people throughout Washington state. He works with incarcerated youth and helps them find hope through art. More recently, he’s been working with community leaders from BLM, Benton and Franklin counties, police forces in the Tri Cities, as well as the WA Governor’s office as part of the police brutality committee to bring about systemic change. He has a heart of gold and is an incredibly inspirational speaker.
Julia Coney advocates for Black professionals working in wine helping to bring attention to the need for equity and inclusion in the industry. She recently started the database Black Wine Professionals on a volunteer basis. Her work has helped change the conversation in wine.
Kimiya Factory is an organizer based in San Antonio who’s been advocating for Black Lives Matter and the indigenous people of San Antonio. An uplifting voice for our queer community and force for change, she’s the co-founder of #changerapeculture and recently started Black Freedom Factory, a data driven network to effectively build a more racially and socially just society. BFF also offers mentorship programs for grassroots organizers, community outreach, anti-racism training, and consulting. Whenever our community needs someone to speak on our behalf, Kimiya is always mentioned. Whenever there’s a protest or city council meeting, you can bet she’s there. Whenever someone attempts to spread misinformation online, count on her to come through with facts to correct and educate our city. Kimiya has been doing this work in Texas long before summer 2020 and will continue leading our community after the hashtag is no longer trending. She needs rest. She needs time to rebalance her joy. She deserves this opportunity because she’s given us so much of herself while asking for nothing in return.