As PeoplesHub enters the new year, we want to express our unending gratitude for all the ways you, our wider community, have engaged with our work and offered your grace and support during a time of great uncertainty and struggle for all of us.
In the months ahead we plan to roll out some exciting developments that include, among other things, changes to our leadership structure and the start of my tenure as Executive Director. In this newest formation, myself, Hafidha Acuay as Managing Director, and Hope Ghazala as Program Director, will serve as the executive team responsible for PeoplesHub’s strategic direction and governance. We remain committed to solidarity economy principles and to a participatory decision making processes within PeoplesHub and in our work in movements.
This is a humbling and difficult honor as it follows a year of grieving the loss of our beloved friend, colleague and former Executive Director, Elandria Williams.
It’s important to say at this moment that no one person can replace the brilliance, spirit and experience that Elandria brought to this work or the many, many movements Elandria bridged through their vast networks and close relationships. Their presence as a passionate leader, mentor and thought partner will continue to be missed by all of us who knew them.
As such, PeoplesHub’s next chapter isn’t about my vision for the organization but rather a vision that has been shaped collectively through Elandria’s legacy, the contributions of our founding director, Sarah van Gelder, our current team, all the trainers and collaborators that have passed through our “hub” and all the traditions of popular education and grassroots organizing – especially those that stem from traditions based in communities of color, the U.S. South, a disability justice politic and internationalist perspectives.
Everyone who is now a part of PeoplesHub holds a piece of this vision and has played a crucial role in the discernment, experimentation and yes, struggle, that we’ve undergone in order to arrive at decisions that we believe will allow us greater focus and momentum as we move forward.
I want to give special thanks and acknowledgement to Hafidha, Hope and Lyre Calliope who all served as the interim steering committee in 2021 as we worked to formulate a new structure; to Marian Urquilla and Ted Rao, who both provided partnership and support in facilitating that process; to Jardana Peacock who has moved mountains to ensure we had the resource and stability needed to reorganize in the wake of Elandria’s passing; to Dustin Gibson and Cheyenna Weber who have actualized a core element of Elandria’s dream for the space PeoplesHub provides for Chronically Ill and Disabled leadership; to Niria Alicia Garcia for bringing new life and inspiration to what our Thriving Communities program can be and who it can serve; to Joe Tolbert Jr. for initiating a greater integration of spirituality, cultural organizing and political study into our work; to our new Communications Director, Danya Zituni, who has already done wonders to bring our graphics and social media presence in line with our narrative strategy; and to Marcia Lee, Halima Cassells, Rachel Plattus, Jess Grady-Benson and Jeanne Rewa, Ahmane’ Glover and all our other trainers, clinic facilitators and tech support leads whose friendship and skill we’ve relied on heavily to hold us through this past year of growth and change.
We’ll have time to share more about what we have planned in 2022 in future communications but to offer a quick tease on what you can expect...
- A renewed and deepened commitment to centering our program goals around dismantling the far right and white supremacy.
- An expansive set of new offerings that support individuals and communities to re-envision local economies within solidarity and mutual-aid frameworks.
- Continued growth in our approaches to language access, holding space for chronically ill and disabled members of our network and advancing a disability justice politic within social change organizations and movements.
- Continued development of bi-lingual trainings that provide skills for emergency preparedness for communities on the front lines of climate disaster.
- New resources and workshops at the intersection of technology, digital security and grassroots movement building.
- More robust community-building with our network of trainers and tech support leads, as well as intentional relationship-building with and recruitment of bilingual, BIPOC, trans and disabled and chronically ill leaders who want to work with us in these capacities.
- A new Artist-in-Residence program and more visibility of cultural organizing methodologies within our public offerings.
As Elandria liked to say, it’s time to go – forward, with purpose, with urgency, with the wisdom of our ancestors and with belief that a new world is waiting for us. We look forward to having you with us as we forge that path together.
Sign Up for Offerings:
- Register for our Community Care Clinic for Disabled and Chronically Ill Movement Folks happening today Tuesday, January 18th from 4 - 5:30pm PT / 6 - 7:30pm CT / 7 - 8:30pm ET! Ongoing through January - February. There is a particular reality around what it means to be disabled and engaged in movement and social justice work — please join us in creating this community care peer support space. Sign up here!
[Image Description: A peach to lavender gradient background featuring an illustration of a zoom call with multi-racial, multi-gender, disabled & chronically ill movement folks. Title is “Community Care Clinics For Disabled & Chronically Ill Movement Folks”. Text on bottom is “Dates & Times Ongoing” with link to register “bit.ly/CCCDisabled”.]
- Join us for Resilience & Restoration in 2022! As we welcome in the new year, Joe and Jardana offer PeoplesHub’s third annual new year’s workshop. In this workshop, we will explore two of PeoplesHub’s 4 Rs, Resilience and Restoration. We will focus on why resilience and restoration are necessary for thriving and healthy movements, compile a list of resilience and restorative practices that can support our visioning for the world we want and need, and resource our work to bring that vision to life. Sign up here!
[Image Description: A graphic with a bright gradient background of hot pink, reddish orange, blue and yellow. Title reads "Resilience & Restoration in 2022". Date and Time info below title is "Thursday January 27th, 4-6PM PT / 6-8PM CT / 7-9PM ET." and underneath "interpreters & captioners available by request". Photos of trainers Jardana Peacock & Joe Tolbert Jr are visible in two circles with their names above. Registration link at the bottom is "bit.ly/PHNewYear".]