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What do you mean by "people of color"?
The term "people of color" means all non-white people, nothing more and nothing else. We expand more on how we use this term in the "What is our ideology?" section below.
What do we do?
We work to protect, nurture, and heal ourselves and fellow writers of color in this book publishing community. We work to create an inclusive organization where all of us can be unapologetically ourselves without fear of the White Gaze. This mission, both broad and precise, allows us to be flexible in taking on any challenge. It also allows us to treat new ideas, and new members, seriously. Our campaigns will be decided as a community.
Some examples of work we can do is: use a restorative justice framework to hold writers accountable for bad representation in published or upcoming novels. We can hold fundraisers to support struggling writers of color. We host community-building events such as #BecomeAnAgent.
What don't we do?
We do not focus on discussion, debate, or education for white people. There are many other resources available for that. We are an activist organization that works for a diverse range of people of color. As such, we do not follow respectability politics. In protecting and nurturing ourselves, we are fully aware that many of our campaigns will test (and break) the approval of Whiteness.
We do not engage in long conversations with white writers if we choose not to. We do not hold campaigns without clear demands, targets, and/or objectives.
This means we don't do: educational campaigns or awareness-building campaigns.
How do we operate?
The details of our fundraising strategy can be found here.
What is our ideology?
We use "people of color" simply to gather up people with a kind-of-similar struggle in order to build power. We hope to resist the erasure of Black and Native peoples by operating on an intersectional understanding of power, oppression, and privilege.
"Intersectionality" is a term created by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a Black woman who is a leading scholar in the field of critical race theory. This term is used to describe how many forms of oppression can interconnect and be inseparable. For example, a rich light-skinned East Asian man can be simultaneously oppressed in one system (racism) but privileged in another (gender, color, socioeconomic class ($$) ). Intersectionality also describes how one system (racism) can operate differently upon different people (Black, Native, Asian, Latinx.) Here is an article that explains this complicated idea in greater detail.
Realizing this anti-Black and Native-erasing foundation of USA racism, we focus our anti-racist work against anti-Blackness and against Native erasure. Any person of color who is uncomfortable with this does not need not join.
One way we can do this: Some of Our Voices will resist using the term "people of color" whenever it is possible to be more specific about which people we are talking about. If a community member engages in anti-Blackness, a restorative justice framework will be used to hold them accountable, and to heal the harm done.
How do we hold ourselves accountable?
We work to be as transparent as we can. Our meeting notes, finances, decisions, and processes will almost always be either shared with all members of Some of Our Voices, or public. The authors of all of our posts will be named unless there is a good reason not to (such as concerns about safety).
You can also contact us with any questions.
Questions we can ask ourselves: "Who is taking up the most space? Are the majority of us light-skinned? Whose voices have we not heard? Who is doing what labor? Do we see unsettling patterns? Have we affirmed each other lately? Have we laughed with each other lately?"