WHY DID CAVP & BSEEDZ CHANGE OUR NAMES?
For some time, we have been approaching this beautiful and powerful moment in our organization's history, as we have evolved over the years from a purely direct service emergency hotline called DataCall in 1986 to the vibrant social justice, grassroots, community-owned and movement-building organization we are today. Over the years we have changed our vision, mission and structure, but we have been missing a name that reflects who we are today.
After a process of deep listening to our community for the overarching values that guide our work, we have arrived at new names that hold the spirit of who we are: SURVIVORS ORGANIZING FOR LIBERATION (SOL) & BURIED SEEDZ OF RESISTANCE (BSEEDZ).
Name changes in our LGBTQ communities are often a sign of regaining power, announcing our arrival and expressing fully who we are and what we stand for. Changing our names comes at a time when we choose to stand for what we believe in - resistance and liberation.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOL AND BSEEDZ?
BSEEDZ (led by and for LGBTQ youth) and SOL (led by and for intergenerational LGBTQ survivors) are complementary halves of a whole organization. We are fully integrated phases of movement building, as we recognize that neither can exist or operate in silos. Although CAVP held space for BSEEDZ during the last six years, BSEEDZ simultaneously transformed CAVP, providing the leadership that allowed SOL to emerge. Both SOL and BSEEDZ commit to holding space for each other, creating a multi-generational community where we can all learn and be taught from any aged person, from our babies to elders. We stand together, representing the cycles of sun & moon and phases of resistance & liberation necessary for our LGBTQ communities to thrive.
At SOL, we identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer SURVIVORS of the violence and oppression that we fight. We begin here because we carry the lived experience and wisdom about the best way to transform the cultures, systems and institutions that harm our communities. We create chosen community and family to survive and thrive together, tapping into inter-generational resilience, healing both the lineage of ancestors who have come before us and the future generations who will follow us. We also know that we must cultivate our imagination in order to survive - for it is within our imagination that we create our alternate realities, that we manifest and internalize the lives we deserve and seek.
At SOL, we ORGANIZE our communities, bringing more and more people into the movement for safety, justice and liberation for all queer and trans people. We organize for the world we want to see, where gender, sexuality and our identities are no longer policed, medicalized, criminalized or repressed with violence. Our practice of organizing is holistic, folding in direct support for survivors, policy/institutional change, building alternatives, shifting culture and honoring our spirit-wisdom traditions.
At SOL, we are working towards LIBERATION. We envision a society where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and queer people have the power to determine the conditions of their own lives, are celebrated for who they are, take responsibility for each other’s safety, and live their lives free of violence. We understand that our liberation is deeply interconnected with the liberation of ALL oppressed people, and we center the leadership and wisdom of survivors at the intersections of these communities. We bring our full creativity and passion forward to building beautiful alternatives to the current systems that were not designed by or for us. We use art, culture, spirit, music, movement, dancing and dreaming to realize our vision for interconnected communities that hold each other with fierceness and gentleness.
WHY BURIED SEEDZ?
Since 2009, BSEEDZ has been organizing with queer and trans youth locally and across Turtle Island, creating their own legacy by organizing, creating art, building up skills, power, and leadership in order to tell our own life narratives. The name Branching Seedz of Resistance comes from a collective thought from BSEEDZ founders. However, in 2015 our collective ideals would transform further as BSEEDZ entered into the next phase of its cycle.
January 26th, 2015 marked four months that 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Normalista School had been disappeared in Mexico. This same day, Denver Police profiled and murdered Jessica Jessie Hernandez, a 17 year old queer Mexican@, eldest sister of 5 sibling and beloved community member. At this same time, our communities had already lost at least six trans women of color to state, police, and hate violence in the first month of the year alone. In the face of this violence, BSEEDZ came together, reflecting on the resilience of queer people of color worldwide, finding inspiration in a old Mexican proverb that read: "Trataron de enterrarnos. No sabían que éramos semillas" which translates to “they tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds”. With this proverb the BSEEDZ collective envisioned a future where we continued on the humble path of resistance that our ancestors planted onto us. BSEEDZ commits to survive, thrive, and continue on fighting with love, fire, and light and the nourishment of our spirits, minds, bodies, and souls. We are Buried Seedz of Resistance and liberation survives within us.
ARE SOL/BSEEDZ STEPPING AWAY FROM THE WORK WE HAVE BEEN DOING?
SOL and BSEEDZ are keeping all of our core work that our communities have entrusted us to do. Our direct support and advocacy for survivors via our 24-hour hotline will continue. Our training and workshops to push for greater access and change within the systems/institutions which survivors navigate will also continue. Our organizing, leadership development, culture shift through media/art, violence prevention and healing work with queer and trans youth will also continue.
What our communities can expect is a stronger centering of inter-generational organizing as a core strategy to address the root causes of injustice that are facing our communities.
WHAT CAN I DO TO SUPPORT LIBERATION WORK FOR QUEER SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE?
+As we roll out our new name, you will see us turn up on in new places. Please follow us in all the social media you use, and be sure you are on our email list.
+Like us on Facebook.
+Join our 500 for $5 campaign to help keep our critical work moving forward!