Thank you for visiting my firstgiving page. I often tell participants that they don’t necessarily need to change what they are doing, but rather the context they are doing it in. This is one thing that my time with Prax(us) has taught me. I learned that I can exist for the streets instead of on them. I see HartCore, our Community Organizing Program, as a space where youth can redefine parts of themselves, their communities, and the world. One such shift I recently experienced with a young woman in case management occurred around the desire and ability to see herself as a survivor rather than a victim. She realized that identifying as a victim of trafficking might mean that she was powerless and unable to help herself, whereas identifying as a survivor reclaims her power. She is wise, has many reasons to be proud, and has much to offer the world.
Prax(us) has given me an opportunity which has allowed me to reclaim my power, grow, and bloom. I came onto staff 15 months ago with very little academic knowledge of trafficking or anti-oppression work. I had experienced homelessness, drug addiction, and witnessed exploitation, which the people at Prax(us) told me can’t be shown. Prax(us) assisted me in becoming a more professional leader - discovering my inherent talents and resiliency. We have been doing intentional skill building and liberation efforts with our participants. The Alchemists, HartCore’s lead organizers, have facilitated two Know Your Rights Trainings, created and distributed a Zine, and threw their own fundraiser.
I would like Prax(us) to be able to offer one of them the same opportunity that was offered me in becoming a part of staff. This firstgiving campaign is our chance to provide one youth with a new context in which to live and operate. This is your chance to make a difference in one youth’s life that can then make a difference in another thousand youth’s lives. Please help us, and donate generously, so that we may move closer to becoming constituent-led.
In doing Anti-Oppression work I have learned what it means to be an ally. Good allyship is backing up the people who are doing their own liberation work with the resources that you have. I invite you to help us build a bridge from street life to a meaningful career. I invite you to be an ally to one of our youth. When pan handling, if I was handed anything larger than a $1 bill it made my day. That’s all I am asking all my friends and family for today. Please help me make my day.