We're so close to the end of this expedition, we can taste it. It is surreal. We have accomplished and learned so much in the past 7 months. Though our first expedition is wrapping up- we are just getting started, know this. During our time on the water people have referred to our adventure as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We would like to respectfully take this sentiment and smash it. Just because these opportunities are hard to come by, we strive to empower the idea that most anything is possible with support. If there is one thing we have learned during this year, it's that those who identify as women have to create opportunities for themselves and for each other. Oppressed people lack opportunities made of subsistence. Providing alternative ideas by sharing as many underrepresented perspectives as possible is what we are chasing. GiveMN has kicked off for 2016 so we thought we'd share with you a few things we think are important and why we need your support to keep working towards their flourishment. We'd like to say one last time (today at least), we're just getting started. Give to the Max day is coming up and we’d like to highlight a few of the reasons we’d love your help! We are grateful to be partnering with The Wilderness Classroom again this year so all donations made now through November 17th are tax deductible.
1. Creating Safe Spaces for Women
It is our goal first and foremost to assist those that identify as female in navigating their own paths to confidence. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what this means! For ourselves we’ve found one of the biggest aids to self-exploration; the base of a safe-space! Through confidence we have found the courage to explore spaces that are questionable or down-right volatile. We need to acknowledge that for many women, our reality consists of unsafe spaces. Daily, we need to be able to navigate and take control of these volatile spaces all while defending ourselves in turn clearing safe paths for other oppressed peoples that come after us. Accomplishing this isn’t impossible without safe spaces, women before us and women today continue to prove that.
Safe spaces come in many forms. Maybe a safe space is friend-group you are a part of. Maybe it’s a dusty book you found in the library that you felt a piece of yourself in, an idea. Sometimes the first place we look for safety within are not what we had in mind. Hopefully you are able to find a reprieve in those that you call family or those in your community in places of power, but as oppressed people we know that many times this is not the case. Without this safe space, it’s often hard to tell the difference between the inner-voice that speaks out of fear and the seemingly more sober voice of survival. For all these reasons, we aim to honor, water, and protect these safe spaces when we find them. We can’t do this alone. The more support we receive, the more we are all able to give, the bigger we are able to dream and take action.
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.
Intersectionality is important in all aspects of our lives today. In order to build the best safe space, community, and resource for women we have to remember intersectionality is one of our strongest building blocks. The strongest community is built with everyone in mind! So yes, we need everyone’s help in supporting the rights of individuals, even if you don’t subscribe to the same needs or rights, even if you don’t identify as female, by learning, by listening. It’s important for us to assist by giving control of what these safe spaces look like to the unique identifying groups themselves. By supporting this, it doesn’t mean those spaces are impenetrable or unwelcome by differing identifiers, it means there is a new, rich, beautiful space for you to be invited in to explore. The support of these spaces only enriches the interconnected beauty of a community as a whole.
Intersectionality goes right along with another favorite tool we’ve found in our box: sharing as many different perspectives as possible. We feel that celebrating individuality through the promotion of underrepresented perspectives has a huge importance in promoting the rights and well-being of everyone. Role-modeling is cool! We believe you don’t have to be perfect to be a role-model, you just have to be honest, and share all the different parts of you. Why? Who knows! But let’s try it out!
3. Non-Profit Status
Another big realization of ours is that profit does not interest us. We do not make decisions based solely on profit in any way. We believe that profit has the ability to poison intention and we’d like to further remove that from the realm we operate in.
So we’ll keep this one short and sweet! Did you know the least-expensive way to file as a non-profit organization costs $400-$750 if you’re able to wade through all the paperwork yourself? This is a HUGE reason we need your help!! We’d like to apply for Non-Profit as soon as possible so we can start applying for a wider range of grants!
Community!!! Community community community!! Talk about a powerful tool. Community can be healing and hope. Community so many times is verbally interchanged with safe-space. Again, we understand that this is not the case for many. Our hope in producing these small safe spaces (documentaries, photographs, books) is to enable and inspire people to find the footing that webs to a larger community. Community community community! It really is one of the most powerful tools we could possibly hope to grow. We need everyone’s help on this one.
About that inner-voice… sometimes you recognize the slight difference in tone between fear and uncertainty juuuust on the other side of fear. Sometimes you don’t have access to a safe space, so all the choices you make just seem like they are survivalistic. Sometimes your intuition is tied to an alarm system made of the best gears you could find or heck were born with, the emotion of fear. We believe that adventuring is a great way to identify, analyze and start to reorganize your triggers. We’ve been trying it out- it’s hard! This expedition has been an exciting, eye-opening, fire-fueling experience. We are humbled by the things we learn when we commit to creating a safe space. Besides the obvious personal gains from operating within safe spaces, being able to create a safe space for someone else ESPECIALLY those who are unable to do so for themselves wether momentarily or long term is SO powerful. It’s hard to explain all that we've experienced and all that we see on the horizon in a textual, snack-size way, but we are extremely excited to share our Source-to-Sea documentary upon completion as well as start supporting other projects by those who identify as female.
With all our love,
Co-Founder & Artistic Director