Invitation to Apply and Participate: 18-Month Health Equity Curriculum

Image collage of CLHE program

We invite interested organizations and community groups to apply for the Community Leaders in Health Equity (CLHE) program!  It’s an 18-month intensive, coordinated equity and health equity curriculum that is devised & conducted by Transformative Alliances LLC and funded & organized by The Colorado Trust (a health equity foundation).  The program spans the state of Colorado, focusing on the connection between anti-oppression principles and health (in)equity with a particular concentration on racism, classism, sexism, nationalism, and language oppression.  We think it’s a phenomenal opportunity!  Be sure to apply before or by Friday, February 21, 2020.  More information about CLHE can be found here.

This is the second round of CLHE.  Ultimately, The Colorado Trust will choose seven (7) organizations from across the state, each of whom will be responsible for recruiting and supporting 12-14 participants to join (in addition to 2 organizational representatives).  This 18-month program includes multi-day convenings, workshops, ongoing project work, and more.  The goal is to use the lens of health equity to support the growth of a group of individuals with strong ties in the community and an existing interest in equity to gain a deeper, more meaningful analysis of power, privilege, and oppression as it relates to their communities and themselves.  Additionally, it is intended to give the group of leaders a set of tools to be able to better apply and act upon this knowledge to support and implement health equity changes in their communities.

Applicants do not need to have their group of 12-14 participants identified in order to apply. Grantees will receive specific instruction, guidance, and support in recruiting their group – which should reflect a prioritization of people of color, immigrants/refugees/asylees, people who are living in poverty or have low incomes, women, lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer people, people who are transgender or gender non-conforming, and people with disabilities.  

Applicants may be a single organization or a collaborative group of organizations from the same region of Colorado. Collaborative groups are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given priority consideration. 

If you are interested in applying for the grant, here is a link to the informational webinar recently conducted about CLHE. The Request for Applications (RFA) and all of the subsequent details can be found here.  Again, be sure to apply before or by Friday, February 21, 2020.  We hope you will consider joining us!

The Zombie Apocalypse: Where We Are Right Now

Barely contained zombie arms extending out from behind two large wooden doors that read "keep clear" and "do not block doorway", photo by digitalstorm

Dara Burwell, Coffee Shop

Dara Burwell

I understand why people are afraid of zombies.  I am afraid of zombies.

But, no supernatural/superhuman element or condition need be present for people to be that kind of terrifying.  We, on our own, without the aid of morphing into zombies, vampires, werewolves, or any other altered form, are a truly and remarkably terrifying species.

Just being as we are, mindlessly conducting ourselves, we wreak an engulfing havoc upon one another, and as it is, the entire natural world.  Going about our lives thoughtlessly enough, cruelly enough, frozen and self-involved enough that we are, in our current state of living, indeed zombies.

Profoundly dangerous. Generation after generation after generation.

The only other point of convergence I share with zombie enthusiasts is that we need a cure.  Or, more precisely, we must remedy ourselves. For the spiritual reasons that called us into human existence, I believe we began this way by design.  But for the shot term.  We were always meant to achieve freedom, healing, and transcendence – for ourselves and for the infinite entwinement of All Existence, whose pulse we share.  We are overdue.  And we cannot continue on this way.  There is no need – not the slightest cause – for this suffering.

The solution we seek is here – is now.  Has been here – has been now.  Over the centuries of human existence, through the efforts of our ancestors extending back and back and up and up through and beyond us, we have constructed that solution.  Continue to construct it as we construct this world.  There is a completely different paradigm.  A different, zombieless way of life.  Like a parallel universe.  No mirror image to this one, but real.  And we must learn how to be powerful enough, whole enough, complete enough to step into it, or to bring it spilling into and over our existence.

This does not require being superhuman, though we can be that.  It requires only, so far as I can tell, that we bring our whole and integrated selves.  Be willing to give up the scraps, the anchors, the things we use to squeeze out pleasure and get by for something much larger and more transformative. This is no easy task for a species created and mired in a preoccupation for survival at all costs, even when much more is available to us.  But our sense of powerlessness is so great that we persist on this way.  Surviving.  And our survival mechanisms focus on the immediate – often brilliant for a flash or a momentary stretch – then increasingly deadly as we use them exhaustively for all the wrong occasions and all the wrong reasons.  And instead of protecting us, instead of helping us to survive – they produce the very poison we seek to escape.  Becoming a key source that undermines our survival and wellbeing, personally, familially, globally – impacting All Existence.

Oppression’s Essential Guide to Nowhere: Poking Holes in the Roadmap to Success, Part 2

A weathered wooden ladder extending into the sky, but connecting to nothing, photo by Yury Shirokov

Dara Burwell, Coffee Shop

Dara Burwell

Models promoting the guarantee of middle class success (including the middle class’ guide to upper class status) typically work as follows:  You are in a boat with 100 other people trying to reach the same island.  They are your enemies.  Or, at the very least, they are your human, but not as human as you, competitors who may or may not serve as stepping-stones during this process. Remember: if you must work with others, do so during the beginning of the journey, not the end, and at the lowest possible rate.  The island is so far away and such a treacherous and under-resourced journey that only one or two of you will probably get there.  In the case of especially staunch work ethics and rule following, perhaps up to five will arrive.  But- don’t worry- there is something about you, something about YOU in particular, that is exceptional.  So even as you watch people by the dozens fall and be pulled over the edge of the boat by systemic and preventable snares, people who will subsequently flail and drown in the water, you have to keep your eye on the ball!  Your determination must be intact, and you have to concentrate on getting to that island.  Nothing else matters.  Resources are scarce, so it doesn’t make sense to share, and it can’t be helped if other people are knocked out of the game.  Negotiate friends, partners, children, love, spirituality, self-care, and health so that they do not interfere with your objective.  And don’t worry.  When it’s all said and done, this is for them, too, even if it doesn’t appear that way.  Once you get to the island, you will have the chance to become your best self (maybe), and will be in a much better position to help others (so long as it doesn’t threaten what you perceive to be your own interests).  No matter your circumstances, if you work hard enough and follow the rules, you will arrive.  Work, work, work.  And, then worked harder.  Make sure you don’t deviate from the course.  You’ll get there!  Perhaps alone.  But, you will get there!

Fine print: This boat is operated by Privilege Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Invisiblized Privilege and Dominance Holdings.  First and business class seating are available at an extra cost.  Insurance option booklets are available.  If you are aware of our specialty menu, you already know how to proceed.  All participants are required to sign the Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement (known as the “Agreement”), which protects our company even in instances of extreme negligence or assault.  Privilege Inc. may refuse anyone service at any time, and is not responsible for disillusionment or displacement experienced by participants who arrive on our island (which, incidentally, is undergoing massive erosion due to military testing). Read More