AF3IRM NATIONAL: This year, AF3IRM Summer Schools across the country have gone virtual. The schools will look at the gendered character of the struggle to contain the pandemic: from the front lines of health care to the nurture lines of the home to the support lines of groceries and supermarkets. For young people, the uncertainty of whether schools will reopen in the fall looms. Under COVID-19, activists and organizers have quickly adapted to the changing landscape of what it means to organize under lockdown and challenge systems of oppression and community in quarantine. The Summer School of Youth Activism (SOYA) and the Summer School of Women’s Activism (SSOWA) are linchpins for building a space where feminist theory and praxis meet.
In Los Angeles, Bay Area, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest AF3IRM Chapters created the first-ever joint School of Youth Activism (SOYA) titled, the Personal is Political. With over 40 students, the school provides a foundational primer on feminism, reflecting on student personal experiences and organizing. “Resilience is, despite everything going around you, finding a way to center yourself, be okay, and fight,” Ailyn, age 15.
In Iowa, the Monsoon Violence Protection Program and AF3IRM 7th Annual SOYA, Planting Seeds for a Revolution, will be hosted online and begins on August 1. As activists, we meet unprecedented times with creativity. Plants sprout roots when they are traumatized. This year’s school draws from the unique character of Iowa, teaches grounding tools, systems of oppression, and will culminate in a final organizing project. The students will consider what it means to flower revolution in a politically repressed state, a public health crisis, and from their homes– by studying disability and global youth-led movements.
Registration is currently open for the 9th Annual SSoWA, Plague, Pandemic, and Habitat: Right to Safety, Right to Live, hosted by AF3IRM New York City. The school runs two hours for four consecutive Saturdays: August 22, August 29, September 5, and September 12. SSOWA places in a historical context both the significance of gendered struggle and its willful neglect in how we view pandemics and the survival of the species. From the beginnings of shamanic wisdom to the disenfranchisement of female healers to the restoration of women to their rightful place of power in the healing of humanity, SSOWA seeks the fundamental lessons to propel us to a new post-pandemic world.
It is time to join the fight for a feminist collective future!