Leading the Movement: Women of Color and Indigenous Women Elders
We’ve convinced some elders, mentors, artists and teachers of color with culturally-rooted, ancestor-based and indigenous practices to create tools that help reveal individual and communal purpose (and ultimately, systems built around purpose). In fact, they are all women (for now) and many are queer (or lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, two-spirit). Why? Because they have learned to survive amidst a complicated intersection of systemic violence. Racism, classism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, etc. And it is by virtue of being at this intersection that they are able to see most roads, relate to most strugglers, know most of our problems intimately, and carefully lead the development of the frameworks that will truly revolutionize our lives. In short: we believe that they are the most equipped to teach everyone how to live more justly, more healthily. Yes, everyone. And their wisdom is our gateway to a more sustainable life on this planet. These women are at the center of life, and it is from this center that the most effective wisdom is born.
Baladé Black is responding to the fact that these practitioners and advocates have been invisibilized, demeaned, abused, co-opted and even killed. Also, we (the founders) are queer women of color, ourselves, and these women are our elders. In fact, the first few are in our lives.
And, while fighting to exist as a community can be rewarding and quite lovely (note sarcasm), we are intentionally flipping the script. We refuse to fight alone. In fact, we don’t even need to fight at all. You’re (the rest of the world) the ones that need us -- because your life depends on it. You need us and our elders to help solve global crises with our exceptionally unique and holistic perspectives. Just as we need our Earth, not the other way around (she can do without us as has been proven through natural cataclysm - she is still here). Taking care of us is taking care of you.
This knowledge is available and its messengers (people of color, indigenous people, women, queer folk) are accessible by all who choose to respectfully re-envision a sustainable world. The recovery of the ways of our elders is key to life in general. They have long been the un-anointed, unrecognized leaders of sustainable, radical movements worldwide and we will work tirelessly to honor their rightful social place and acknowledge their power, publicly and economically.
We intend on building a network of women of color and indigenous women entrepreneurs and organizers that will lead the way to just economic sustainability by building radical enterprises, organizations, and movements.
We, who live at the intersection of our broken social systems are, often, simultaneously the most visionary and equipped to provide more holistic solutions because we witness truth from the intersection. We are also the the most restricted due to oppressive structures and lack of resources caused by the intersection.
Baladé Black will ensure that radical, marginalized entrepreneurs are provided with the support they need to help us all reach collective economic sustainability.