The following content was originally distributed through IMPACT Silver Spring's March 2017 e-newsletter.
Courage Lives Here: Confronting the Racism That Divides Us
Please join us at our annual IMPACT NOW event on May 4th, where we will begin a community conversation on the impact of historical and structural racism on inclusiveness and quality of life for residents in Montgomery County. In order to understand our present condition, we need to understand our past. At this event, we will explore how historical and structural racism connect to today’s challenges, and perpetuate disparate outcomes for communities of color.
You can register and read more about the event by clicking here.
Please consider sponsoring the event so that we can continue to make it free and open to the entire community. Thank you for your support!. To sponsor IMPACT Now!, click here.
Newly Formed Cooperative
IMPACT one of our core values states: We support a local economy, placing the highest value on local capacities, resources, and talent. We know that a connected, competent community has a strong economy that works for everyone.
We are privileged to live out this value by supporting local micro-entrepreneurs who are part of IMPACT’s Micro-Entrepreneurs Circle.
The members of the Circle recently organized as a co-operative called Montgomery Community Association & Investment, LLC to provide each other mutual support, and to undertake business ventures together that they wouldn’t be able to shoulder individually.
The members of the budding co-op were very busy in February. Take a look:
On February 8th co-op members attended a workshop on “Co-operative Decision-Making” presented by the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED). The workshop was held at Red Emma’s, a well-known workers cooperative in Baltimore.
On February 21st the co-operative’s board met at Takoma Park restaurant El Paraiso. The location was intentionally chosen to support a local business and fellow immigrant entrepreneur. Restaurant owner Salvador Hernandez met with board members, and shared tips from his own small business journey. Board members plan to continue the practice of meeting at locally owned restaurants.
On February 23rd co-op members met with Clara Tellez who was visiting from Zitacuaro Michoacan, Mexico (she is the mother of one of the co-op members). Clara is a long-time member of Sociedad Cooperativa del Oriente RL in her home country. The co-operative movement is vibrant in Mexico which has some 15,000 co-operatives. Clara shared wisdom from her experience effectively forming, growing, and sustaining a co-op.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of narrative communication in human history. We’ve used it to relay stories of historic figures; to impart morals and values; and to connect with our loved ones. Stories help us understand complex issues--they help us digest hard truths. When done well, they help us do all of this and allow us to see parts of ourselves in the story. The latter is what transpired on Saturday, March 11th at Kaldi’s Social House in Silver Spring.
IMPACT, along with residents Meghan McCoy and Alexa Spencer, held the first of a series of quarterly storytelling events that will focus on intersectionality--the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
Kaldi’s Social House, which is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, graciously donated its enclosed rooftop. The space helped to foster the connected-ness that we busy Americans rarely have time to nurture. The program included four storytellers sharing stories of growing up as a biracial woman; being a Jewish historian fighting to uncover historic racism; living as a Black, self-proclaimed nerd in Minneapolis; and using trickery to gain wisdom (read from a West African storybook) respectively.
Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to tell their own stories in small groups. What sprouted from this event and especially from the small groups was an understanding that humans are wonderfully complex and that, with a bit of intention, we can be vulnerable and share our lived experiences across several lines of differences.