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A Garage Sale for BLCD

I led an effort in Chicago (Illinois, USA) to raise money for the Black Liberation and Community Development Workshop (BLCD). A young adult, Anne Watanabe, assisted me and inspired me every step of the way with her enthusiasm for this project.

We did an online fundraiser and a garage sale. The online fundraiser raised over $1,100 (USD), and the garage sale raised $550.

The sale was a lot of fun. Eleven Co-Counselors—two Black, two other People of the Global Majority (PGM), and seven white (including me)— were on our garage sale staff. At all times two of us were standing near the street with a sign directing people toward the sale, and two of us were in the garage. We laughed and found time for mini-sessions. Someone even wrote a song about our sale.

We had a flyer with information about BLCD and a poster on the wall with a brief description of RC and BLCD. We told our customers that their money was going toward healing and ending racism. We talked about how empowering and healing BLCD is for those who go, how we wanted to get as many people there as possible, and how the money raised would help people who couldn’t otherwise afford the full fee. We talked about RC’s number-one goal of ending racism and how important it is for Black people to get to listen to one another, heal from racism and internalized racism, and build close, lasting relationships. And we talked about how BLCD helps Black people move against racism, take RC back into their communities, and expand their leadership. Black Co-Counselors shared what they loved about BLCD. Other PGM Co-Counselors and white Co-Counselors talked about why they loved ally work and ending white racism.

Some shoppers asked for more information. Some wanted to have longer conversations about racism. Some donated money on top of what they spent on sale items. Many said how happy they were to support such a good cause.

The sale pushed me to reach out to friends and neighbors, share information about the organization I care so much about, and have conversations about ending racism. It pushed me to take on [assume] a leadership role. Having people back [support] me so well was a huge contradiction [to distress]. I got to do ally work with other Co-Counselors, not just discharge about it. It felt good to have a concrete way to be an ally to the Black people I love in my RC Community. And it was so great that we could do this work as white people and PGM together. We had fun and got closer. It opened the door to other possibilities. I am left wondering what we might be able to do next.

Cindy Dimmitt

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00