About the Campaign:
How do we define cultural equity- a concept that promotes the equitable access to the arts, cultural dialogue, and social empowerment activities for disenfranchised communities- for transgender women of color? As we've reached an era of heightened visibility, and a hyper-vigilance of transgender people as both equality is promoted socially, and restricted in various parts of the country in legislation; who defines our culture? How do we celebrate it? How do we gain access to it? Who holds it, and who gives it away? How do we restore it's impact? How do we embody it?
Despite statistics, transgender women of color are the richest people on the planet. We make something out of nothing. We are beautiful beyond belief. Our resilience is gold- it's our currency that holds us to survive. We have a culture that is rich in dialogue, in willpower to thrive, and we innovate popular culture without credit, without prestige, and without acknowledgement. We are more powerful than our minds can digest. Yet, we are vulnerable to marginalization, being disenfranchisement, and face the highest forms of discrimination on the planet from income equality to housing equality to simply taking the bus without harassment. We battle being under resourced, under represented, and under funded.
The Kween Culture Initiative was birthed in January 2018 by transgender cultural strategist, Aria Sa'id, in hopes that there be a platform to usher cultural equity, dialogue, and access towards the ongoing celebration of the contributions of transgender people at the intersection of social justice, culture, and artistic endeavors. In addition, the project hopes to continue seasonal support for gaps in equitable access to resources, to include peer based legal education workshop series, and free legal assistance clinics that sponsor gender affirming government documents.
Most nonprofits are birthed from a gap in services for communities- from HIV prevention, to healthcare, to social justice and organizing, and incarceration. This project, however, is birthed with the aim that cultural equity, cultural empowerment, and social empowerment for Black and Brown transgender women and queer communities of color, is absent.
It is birthed with a growing hope that this project will serve as a vehicle to the inclusion of transgender artists, social change makers, writers, filmmakers, musicians and cultural icons birthing concepts to life from dialogue, storytelling, showcasing, and increasing access to our history through collaborations that foster artistry, empowerment, leadership, and most importantly, equity.
About Kween Culture Initiative:
Kween Culture Initiative’s Mission is to advance the cultural equity and empowerment of transgender women of color through arts, culture, and social change.
Transgender women of color experience higher rates of violence, harassment, suicide, and discrimination. Transgender Black and Brown women also face a wide range of systemic and social barriers in accessing employment, housing, and healthcare.
The public assessment is that transgender people are marginalized, disenfranchised, and live in extreme poverty and disparity.
These factors co-exist with a spirit of resilience, creativity, and truly sophisticated contributions to the arenas of arts, culture, social change and social justice that is unmatched by any other community. The Kween Culture Initiative seeks to celebrate the deep profundity of transgender culture through activities that empower social change, cultural dialogue, and the arts.
What Are We Raising Funds For?
The launch of Kween Culture Initiative will begin with literary arts showcases, social empowerment programming, and artistic opportunities by/for transgender women on topics that intersect with concepts on dating, intimacy, sexuality, violence, and culture. The series will be hosted in San Francisco, CA and Oakland, CA. Funds will be used to produce the event (location, promotion), compensate writers and cultural workers, and provide food at each event. The series will launch in August 2018.
Prior to the launch, funds will be used to support the development of the project (project support) as a whole, from the development of the website. Funds will support community led programming with a social empowerment framework, and other programming that fits the mission of the project overall.
Why Is This Fund Important?
The truth is, it is extremely difficult for Black transgender women led projects to get funded. When I pitched my cause to wealthy friends and family, there were constant questions of viability, need, and apprehension to provide financial support without pre-existing "grant funding". The paradox is that in order to obtain grant funding, projects have to prove "good financial health" and "liquidity". Typically, this impacts eligibility for grant funding for projects without an existing donor base.
Funds from this campaign will provide seed funding to begin an effort that I pray grows bigger than I am dreaming now. Seed funding will set the project to a trajectory to cultivate the leadership of Black and Brown transgender women in spaces that we typically don't have access in. Seed funding will bring more involvement from other transgender women in the formation and implementation of the project. This fund will start opportunities for cultural enrichment, celebration and empowerment.
This ask is for friends and trans adjacent sugar/splenda daddies and sugar/splenda mommas and to donate anywhere from the price of tomorrow's latte to next week's Gucci bag to a cause that I believe our community will find worthwhile very soon.
About the Founder:
is a LGBT Public Policy Advisor, Cultural Strategist, Writer and the Founder/Director of the .
Aria is humbled to be a 2018 recipient the to the transgender and Gender nonconforming community of the Bay Area and the state of California.
Please visit: www.ariasaid.com for a full, detailed bio and for more information.
Kween Culture Initiative is fiscally sponsored by Social Good Fund (501c3). Donation is tax deductible.
Please email: [email protected] for more info!
Photo Credit: Cultural Preservation effort as featured in The Advocate magazine.