RAGE is closed the week of September 6th, 2021. Here's why ...

In recognition of the need to listen to our bodies and honor our spirits, the Race and Gender Equity Project is closed the week of September 6th, 2021. It is a time for us to reflect and replenish as we move toward the end of the calendar year. We hope to have a week off every season to practice what we preach, claim a more restful rhythm, and engage in the personal practices necessary for self-preservation. These weeks of rest will be in addition to other necessary paid time off.

Image: A Black & white photo of Audre Lorde with the words “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare" (Audre Lorde).

The intersection of work and rest

At the Race and Gender Equity Project, we constantly interrogate the intersection between work and rest. While we recognize the significance and value of our work, we also uplift the importance of taking care of ourselves individually and collectively. This concept is deeply rooted in our core values of anti-racism and healing justice.

"Healing justice acknowledges and addresses the layers and layers of trauma and violence that we have been living with and fighting for generations. And, it asks us to bring collective practices for healing and transformation INTO our work" (Tanuja Jagernauth).

We are not resting up so that we can do more, or re-charging so we can work harder. We are "resting to push back against and dismantle the systems that want us all dead if we are not producing for its wealth" (Tricia Hersey; @TheNapMinistry).

Image: An Instagram picture of a tweet on a black background that reads "It's more than a self care thing. This is political. This is collective justice. We are not resting to do more. We are resting to dismantle and push back against systems that want us all dead if we are not producing for its wealth. I need us to get this.

We also take this time off to push back on some of the work practices that we have adopted that are rooted in racial capitalism and white supremacy culture. This rest is not performative. It is purposeful.

We look forward to continuing to explore the ways we can make our workplace more affirming and intentional. We will continue to take care of each other and take care of ourselves. We will continue to challenge and support you as you do the same.

We would be remiss to enter this brief period of rest without honoring the labor and struggle of Black ancestors. While many people know about the emergence of the United States' national Labor Day as a response to the Pullman Strike, we don't acknowledge enough that after the strike, conditions for the Black Pullman porters didn't change. Black folks of all genders continued to experience traumatic and oppressive conditions and averaged 400 hours of work a month (20 hour days). We uplift the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters as the first Black union and acknowledge their role in collective bargaining (learn more). We also realize the legacy of 8-hour workdays is archaic. Unfortunately during this time of working from home (or living at work), many people are not afforded the opportunity to disconnect from the workplace. Thanks to technological advances, we are often expected to be readily available to respond at a moment's notice. Many of us, especially Black women and girls, unwillingly succumb to racist tropes like Black Superwoman and believe we must work twice as hard to get half as far (Stacey Ault).

If we don't rest, we are robbing ourselves of the capacity to dream, innovate and create. We gently challenge us all to take time to re-imagine, demand, and create more restful and liberatory workplaces.

Finally, the intimate one-on-one work we do with young people is not "work" to us. If you are part of our youth community and need us, text us. If we don't have the capacity, to support you at that time, we will do our best to find someone who will. Thank you for asking us if we have the bandwidth to talk, and for following through as we support you in building an entire team you can reach out to. We don't want to ever be the only person in your network. We have built a village.

Rest well friends.

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Image: Epiphaunye Crystals

In honor of the winter solstice and the great conjunction, we launched our very first RAGE Healing Mini Grant on December 21, 2020. The purpose of the grant was to support young people on their social entrepreneurship/healing journey. We believe youth innovation and creativity can be a difference maker for children and adults throughout our community.

Thanks to unexpected gifts from Black Womxn United and Psychologists for Social Responsibility we planned to fund two grants; after our community stepped in, we were able to sow a seed into the healing business of six young people. Winners were decided by a committee of RAGE youth & student volunteers.

Keep reading to learn more about each of the winners, and most importantly patronize their business and support them on their journeys!

Epiphaunye Crystals

Aunye Scott-Anderson is the founder of Epiphaunye Crystals, a crystal shop that grew from Scott-Anderson’s desire to share her respect for crystal energy, after she made the conscious decision to stop taking pharmaceutical drugs to solve ailments that could be treatable with meditation, crystal healing and intentional breath work. The crystal’s energy is manifested through her designs, created to hug and display the crystal's natural beauty.

Follow Epiphaunye Crystals on Instagram or their website.

Suave Art

Luis Garcia with Suave Art's intentions are to create art for the community in order to inspire youth and showcase a healthy art form of self-expression. Garcia proposes to organize and teach spray paint art classes. Luis has a first hand experience and knowledge of struggles and tough circumstances youth face daily and strives to motivate and provide the tools and resources necessary to self-heal through art.

Follow Suave Art on Instagram.

The Sistaaz Collective

Nyabingha Zianni McDowell’s organization The Sistaaz Collective believes in the healing of Black Women. McDowell incorporates a number of different aspects to her business that hold space for transformation and growth. McDowell believes that revolutionary self care, radical self love, and the diaspora of self discovery are essential to a healthy mental, physical and spiritual state of being. With the money from the grant, McDowell plans to aim to create A Black Woman's Guide to Self, fleshed out in different chapters with real life stories, advice, tools and strategies. Nyabingha also offers one of a kind, handmade jewelry.

Follow The Sistaaz Collective on Instagram or their website.

Sanando Linaje

Lupe Renteria Salome provides personal development coaching and co-creates spaces for young people to recognize and acknowledge the areas for growth and healing to build-self awareness. Renteria Salome envisions a consistent space that serves as a bridge for inter-generational wisdom exchange between elders and youth for transformative healing. Salome is working towards a group coaching cohort in 2021 where she plans to provide stipends to young people committed to self-work and also compensate the elders for sharing their knowledge.

Follow on Instagram or go to her website.

The Original Goddess

Liza Bustillo is a holistic healer aiming to assist and spark others on their self-healing/conscious journey through card readings, reiki sessions and other healing forms. Bustillo aspires to become an Holistic Psychologist and a well-rounded healer.

Follow their Instagram and website.

End Game Clothing

Tazia Bost is the founder and CEO of End Game Clothing. Thier brand was founded on life struggles, meaningful lessons, and a drive to never give up. With a will to change the mindset of others, Bost desires to encourage others to not give up on fulfilling their purpose in life and not lose sight of their personal ambition. She stated in her own words that "although it may be a hoodie to some, it can be a changing force in the mentality of others."

Go to their website.

The RAGE Project thanks every single applicant for sharing their business dreams and visions with us. We are convinced YOUth are what YOUth need. We also encourage you to support these young healing entrepreneurs by shopping in their stores and marketing their services on your own social media sites. Finally, this mini grant made way for the RAGE HEAL Fellowship. A healing, entreprenurism and leadership program for Sacramento's youth social entrepreneurs. To donate to the fellows, or help fund future mini grant winners, please click here.

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Updated: Jun 22, 2020

When Carlos first came to live with us he was about 16. A friend of my son’s, he had a long history of family and housing instability and had been recently kicked out by his mom. As his informal host, I thought I did everything “right.” We already had a strong relationship; I met with his mom, laid out house rules and talked about his plans for the future. 

What I didn’t take into account was the influence of all the systemic factors he battled on a daily basis. As a black woman, I understood the impact of racism, poverty and the other oppressions Carlos had to navigate. Understanding alone doesn’t prevent us from experiencing the harm.

As a young black man, there were concrete ways these frames played out in Carlos’ everyday life. He couldn’t get a job due to his felony, and even though he had a roof over his head and food in his belly, that wasn’t enough to prevent him from making money the way he knew how. Carlos also battled mental health issues due to childhood trauma; aside from anger management classes, there were very few resources for young black men to engage in healing. Finding housing was just the beginning of the support he needed. 

Carlos stayed with us on and off for a few years. I heard rumors he had been getting in trouble and didn’t want to bring any negative traffic to our house. So, without giving me a lot of details, he decided it was time to move on. A few months later he was arrested for a robbery, and after a few probation violations and some new charges, served a couple of years in prison. He would call periodically. I thought of him often. 

When Carlos was preparing for his release from prison, he struggled with finding a place to go. He paroled to a relative’s house and almost immediately showed up on our doorstep. He said, “There was too much going on over there Mama Stacey.” We hadn’t communicated as much as we would have liked while he was gone, but there was no way we were going to have him on the streets.  Continue reading here:

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