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Rectangular banner with dark blue background depicting a night sky with stars and clouds. In the center are screenshots of a zoom event with many smiling people. Yellow text reads THANK YOU

Thank you for being on this journey with us. Sharing this inspiring series of events to celebrate the interconnected solidarity that forms our movement has been a true source of joy for me and SJF staff and board! An extra special thank you to those who came to our events and to those of you who gave. (You still have a chance to give, if you haven’t yet!) At any rate, I’m so honored to be part of this movement community.

Our Grantee Panel and Annual Celebration!Screenshot of SJFs Development team goofing off on zoom while holding houseplants on their heads

We started with Movement Solidarity: A Grantee Panel, highlighting the work of 5 incredible grantee organizations. It’s always important for us to uplift the work of our grantees and this panel proved why. We heard from Nisha Jae Newton with Black Liberation Collective, ID in Boise, Clare Stumpf with ShelterJH in Wyoming, Randy Ford with Lavender Rights Project in Seattle WA, Fatmah Worfeley with Momentum Alliance in Portland OR, and Mady Sandoval with the Foundation for Youth Resiliency and Engagement (FYRE) in Omak WA.
A couple of days later on Saturday we came back together with a breathtakingly inspiring collection of artists, authors, educators, organizers, and leaders at our Annual Celebration. Hope you all have a chance to review our digital swag bag (program) to learn more about the speakers.

What Did the Celebration Look Like?

We started with a powerful piece by poet and organizer Ebo Barton who also closed the event for us. Our MC for the evening, Andriana Alexis, guided us through the hour and a half of programming with joy and presence. After Andriana led us through an intentional Land and Labor acknowledgement, our second poet and organizer, Troy Osaki, helped us stay grounded in the complexity and gravity of the movement work. We were honored to have Dean Spade, notable author, teacher, and organizer, give us an overview of solidarity and mutual aid.

Our Development Director, Burke Stansbury, offered us a review of SJF over the last year and introduced our new Interim Executive Director, Valériana Chikoti-Bandua Estes. We premiered our new storytelling video, Solidarity Toward Liberation, by filmmaker Sara McCaslin. Featured in the video were Elisheba Johnson and Inye Wokoma representing Wa Na Wari, Daysi Bedolla Sotelo representing PCUN, and Tonya Wilson from Freedom Project. We then came to Sian O’Faolain, Co-Director of the Giving Project Network, who gave an incisive talk on the movement building capacity of Giving Projects beyond SJF’s five state region. After a short opportunity for participants to digest all they heard, Babatunde Azubuike, Executive Director of Black & Beyond the Binary Collective, brought us all home with a pitch that described xir movement journey and the importance of resourcing movement work. It was a packed evening that was incredibly filling.