Kristen Jeffersis creating the Black Queer Feminist Urbanist Festival, Summit and School
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For my Maynard Institute Colleagues and Fellows:
--Keep up with us as we build out The Black Urbanist
--Get the newsletter early and often with bonus reporting content
--Include your mailing address and get a holiday card from us!
--A special shoutout in the newsletter and podcast as a #MaynardMaven
Public Lecture-- Podcasts & Interviews
Study Hall-- Live and Recorded Classes
At the moment, this tier contains our pilot for content geared towards White accomplices and abolitionists and allies, but it will transition into a voucher into the Teachable powered full-fledged school later in 2021.
About Kristen Jeffers
My (late) dad was a key influence in me being interested in the city. We used to bike around our working-class neighborhood, walk to the neighborhood ballpark, and go downtown to all the festivals. He also took me to more school buildings than I would care to share. In essence, I grew up with a love of architecture, streets, trees, buses, trains, and lots of other things in the environment. Oh, and my mom and dad grew up on farms and took me there to visit. I respect and even like the country. But I love the city. They both encouraged me, especially my mom as a middle school teacher and lover of libraries, to read, write, and tell my own story. Mom is also to thank for my love of craft.
I've traveled across the U.S. and Canada telling those stories of cities and helping others share theirs too. I've contributed to several major urban planning and city living publications.
But we can't ignore that there are very few places that allow BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized groups the opportunity to tell their story or even just live and breathe, without censorship, concern, or assimilation.
I'm often the lone Black woman on the stages and leading the workshops. I'm not alone when I walk through the government offices, nonprofit cubicles and even just downstairs to the hotel lobby or the security desk and see faces like mine, but without the same amount of respect and power I've been given.
I set a New Year's Resolution/Intention at the end of 2019 to center these Black women, queer, trans and non-binary people in my urbanism work, starting with creating a digital support network, independent of any organization or government or company.
In the pre-pandemic part of 2020, I launched a survey of Black women to gauge their experiences and to see if I would be able to do the things I want to do in a city, in their particular city. I've revamped it for 2021 and it's available for everyone here to share their experiences and their thoughts around the same questions. On October 1st, during the inaugural Black Queer Feminist Urbanist Summit and Festival, I will be releasing some of this data and recommendations that it's generated.
In June 2020, as I processed the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and the increased awareness of Black Lives Matter, I began a book club where we read Chocolate Cities: A Black Map of American Life, in two sections:
- One for those who identify as Black, indigenous to the Americas and other people of color, which was available free-of-charge through Mighty Networks.
- And another for White allies, accomplices and abolitionists that's still accessable right here on Patreon, starting at the $40 monthly pledge level.
I thought I'd be done teaching the club in a few weeks, but I realized there was so much more to share, teach and learn. And I've had a lot of fun creating for those of you who have been loyal Patreons, especially those at the book club level, for the past few months.
But, I need to make this work for me and this all needs to spark joy and liberation.
Therefore, going forward, I will be putting a lot of my energy on producing an anniversary event each October that achieves the following:
-- Adds to our Black Queer Feminst Urbanist curriculum
--Allows us to celebrate ways that cities create, uplift and provide for Black women, queer, trans and nonbinary people.
--And holds metro areas and insittutions accountable for the ways they have pledged to do better in the past few months.
Pledging here at any level will give you access to that summit. (Festival/summit treasure chest will incur an additional charge for those pledged at all Public Lecture levels and the monthly Study Hall level).
Focusing on producing one big event, with evergreen content available year-round and fun celebratory activities will allow me to remain motivated, as well as motivate the team that you who have been Patreons at some point and time have already built.
I also want to publicly thank those of you who have allowed us to to acheive these goals and initiatives in 2021:
- Collecting information, reviewing existing media and literature and presenting reports on Black women, queer, trans and non-binary folks urbanism. You'll see this on October 1 when we release our first report of the K. Jeffers Index for Black Queer Feminist Urbanism
- Building the existing book clubs into the Black Queer Feminist School, where I'll present short courses on books of Black Queer Feminist Urbanism book cannon like Chocolate Cities, Black Urbanism in general, Black women leaders and using craft to address issues in environmental sustainability. Patreons who pledge at the Study Hall level get automatic entry into this new school. The school will offically relaunch during the summit in the month of October.
- Re-launching The Black Urbanist Radio Show for Patreons at the Public Lecture Level, with lots of conversations, panels and archived talks.
- Providing critical monthly support as we continue to weather the Covid-19 pandemic and traveling to in-person conferences, lectures and workshops is unfeasible. Your subscriptions/donations aid in helping me build an endowment and base level of funding so that I can provide this information for people in need, without putting my own self and business in dire need.
And encourage you as we still aim to achieve these goals:
- Cultivate brave and healing spaces for Black women, queer, trans and non-binary folks.
If you're reading this and you're interested in sponsorship as an institution, group purchases of the school curriculum, making a major gift to endow or support access to the school for others, or booking me for a panel, workshop or keynote speech, please email me directly at [email protected] so we can discuss what that kind of financial support will look like for you. Otherwise, I encourage individuals here to pledge at the plan that makes the most sense for you.
I'm so glad we are all still here and alive and I am glad to be here to provide us all something to continue our growth through the Covid-19 pandemic and as we evolve ourselves as individuals and dismantle oppressive systems.