YK’s 365 Release: Day 14

I love the work that I do. I give trainings and talks on anti-oppression to people all over the country.  I get to have discussions around race, sex, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and all forms of oppression, within the framework of being an agent for change. It is my job to challenge people, to offer solutions to problems within their organizations, and to facilitate real, tangible movement.

I entered this because when I was doing work as queer youth organizer of color, people started asking me to give workshops on community organizing, multiple oppressions, coalition building, forming a common political analysis, etc. As with everything I do, I try anything and everything without hesitation.

It turns out, I was a natural. Believe it or not, I’m hilariously humorous when it comes to defusing tension, I am uncompromising when it comes to holding people accountable, and I have a creative knack for writing curriculum that is apropos and on-the-fly. More importantly, people came up to me after my first workshop, which was to 300 people, to tell me that I changed their lives. Wow. Hearing that I changed people’s lives was tremendously moving, and fantastically humbling.

Since that first workshop, over 15 years ago, I have given hundreds of workshops for hundreds of organizations, groups, institutions, schools, to audiences of varying ages, backgrounds, races, socio-economic statuses. I am an independent trainer, housed under a collective called Freedom Trainers.

The content and outcome of my work are something about which I feel profoundly passionate. I care about whether the people in my workshop understand racism. I care about whether they understand privilege, classism, ableism, imperialism, homophobia. I care about whether they feel like they have the tools to bring to their constituents. These are all issues that affect every single person, so to me, it is paramount to have the tools and analysis. How can we fight racism without the analysis or without the language to fight back? How can we dismantle classism without knowledge of its history and deep-seated toll on our communities? All of this is my work. How can I not love it?

When I give my workshops, I have a favorite poster paper I use to present. They are basically gigantic post-it notes. These are every presenter’s dream because you can stick them anywhere and everywhere without cumbersome tape sagas. I used to vie for them at conferences when I was presenting. How nerdy. These presentation packets are not inexpensive, they run an average of $50 for 25 pages or so. Meaning each page is close to $2. Can you imagine?

So for day 14 of my 365 Release I am giving away something I have kept because once again I have been hoarding. I will release them to a fellow trainer. The reality is, wherever I go to train, they provide me with whatever I need so there is never a need to hoard. Whether I have the most glorious implements to deliver my workshops or not, I will always be able to change the world one mind at a time with what is inside my heart and head, and those are the only tools I really need.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

2 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 14”

  1. […] Day 14 (9/21/10): post-it presentation board […]

  2. […] a secondary part of my daily activities (see Day 14 for my anti-oppression work, which is my primary passion) I fix Macs. I started because I started […]

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