Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Supporting the Homeless and Kicking Class! Support Queers for Economic Justice!
QEJ Close? Never.
Yet a year ago, the recession had QEJ by the throat. Facing a significant deficit, a leadership transition, and a diminished foundation base to help QEJ stabilize and move forward, QEJ confronted the very real possibility of closing.
A year later, QEJ is here -- growing, stabilized, and redefining what it means to do transformational economic justice, class, and poverty work through a queer and gender non-conforming lens. And we have you, our community, to thank for it.
You proved what QEJ has always believed; A community invested in the work of social change will be committed to funding that work. Our community understands that a recession created by the same systems that QEJ seeks to hold accountable (until they are dismantled), cannot be allowed to shut down the only queer economic justice organization in the United States.
QEJ is back in force. Actually, we never left.
In the last year, as QEJ faced its challenges and came through to the other side, we have had some truly significant successes. In the last twelve months, QEJ has been the queer social justice voice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , brought our queer economic analysis to Occupy Wall Street, been instrumental in helping organize LGBTQ community and union members to fight for a living wage in NYC and have begun to create a queerly classed and raced labor and workers anti-bullying campaign. In short, we have been redefining the way that economic justice, sexual orientation and gender identity activism happens.
We have expanded from working in four shelters to eight, and by the end of the year, we will be operating in ten shelters. Nationally, QEJ will again lead the economic justice institute at the Creating Change Conference in Baltimore, continuing to be the engine nationally that is defining the queer agenda thru class and race. In 2012, QEJ will launch Survival Economies, a radical new lens that centers queer immigrant, HIV positive, homeless, women, workers and elders in a innovative model, based in class, that outlines a fresh paradigm for radical justice work in the moment of a Great Recession.
Not all of our work has been uplifting. On October 1, a member of one of QEJ's support groups, Yvonne McNeil was murdered by the NYPD outside of the shelter in which she resided. QEJ has been working to help shelter residents grieve and heal from this murder while also working systemically to address the police violence that is real and present in the lives of homeless queer and gender non conforming people. Working in close partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless, the Center for Anti-Violence Education, The Anti-Violence Project, and the Audre Lorde Project, QEJ is pushing the district attorney's office to complete an independent investigation into the use of deadly force against Yvonne, as well as examine the mass raid and arrests in the same shelter a few weeks after Yvonne's murder.
Here's where you come in.
QEJ makes minor miracles with the resources that we have, but without support from our community, what we can do and how we can respond is limited. Your gift of $50, $100, $250 or $500 will help ensure that our work continues to grow and expand strategically.
We also understand that for some people, giving $500 in one lump sum is beyond their means. But, a gift of $45 a month translates into more than $500 a year. In fact, 22 monthly sustaining donors at QEJ, with an average gift of $40 a month, together give more than $5,000 a year to QEJ. Small gifts add up into big change; You can also join us by becoming a monthly sustaining member at www.q4ej.org/donate
Also, for ANY NEW DONOR TO QEJ, any gift of $35 or more will be matched by a generous anonymous donor!
Together, we can center the most invisible and impacted in our work to create a just and vibrant world.
Brandon Lacy Campos
PS Your support is what keeps us alive and strong, our year end appeal has already raised more than $11,000 from generous community members. Help us continue to grow by making your donation at www.q4ej.org/donate.