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From houselessness to homefulness … in Oakland

June 16, 2011

by Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, POOR Magazine

Youth skolaz in the Family Project at POOR Magazine’s Arts and Social Justice Camp build the scale model of Homefulness in 2009 when it was just a vision.
From removal to reparations … from houselessness to HOMEFULNESS

From indigenous lands stolen to budget crumbs throw-en

From affordable housing in name only to right to a roof by any means necessary …

From the cult of independence to the revolution of inter-dependence …

From poverty-pimped housing po-lice to revolutionary equity for all realized!

After 500 years of removal, gentriFUKation, anthro-wrong-ology, akkkademik studies, philanthro-pimped capitalist compromises and consumerist destruction, POOR Magazine’s family of landless, indigenous elders, ancestors, mamas, aunties, uncles, fathers, abuelitos, daughters and sons will be realizing the revolution that is Homefulness. Its first resting place is located at 8032 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland.

How did this finally happen?

Revolutionary change session launches true change

Crumbling the myth of the gift

Deconstructing donor denial

Dismantling the non-profit industrial complex …

One outcome at a time

Launched on Juneteenth of 2009, the POOR Magazine Revolutionary Change Session was a moment in herstory. It consisted of a poor-and-indigenous-people-led teach-in for conscious folk with race, class and/or educational privilege who were interested in exploring, implementing and practicing truly revolutionary expressions of giving, equity sharing and change.

At this herstoric event, poverty, in/migrante, race, elder, youth, disability and indigenous skolaz presented a curriculum on the kkkriminalization of poor peoples and public space, local and global poverty, ableism, welfare, border fascism/false borders, systems abuse, underground economic strategies, po’lice brutality, profiling, globalization, gentriFUKation, indigenous removal and more.

At the culmination of the Change Session we launched the Declaration of Interdependence and the Manifesto for Change: two documents birthed in the hearts, minds and revolutionary eyes of Mama Dee, Tiny, Ken Moshesh, Joseph Bolden, Lauren X, Maria Lopez, Kimo Akaha and other indigenous, landless poverty scholars existing on street corners, in doorways, welfare offices, SROs (single room occupancy hotels), shelters, HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) housing and cars.

The Revolutionary Change Session birthed POOR Magazine’s Solidarity Board

POOR Magazine’s Solidarity Board was formed by conscious young folks with different forms of race, class and/or akkkademik privilege whose perspectives were skooled by poverty scholarship at the Revolutionary Change Session and other teachings, action and prayer that grew from that space. From this skooling, each became interested in POOR Magazine’s analysis of reparations and resistance and began to work on decolonizing their resources. Click here to read excerpts of the Solidarity Board members’ personal reflections on race, class and akkkademik privilege in family, society and self.

Two years later, POOR Magazine’s Solidarity Board gathered enough blood-stained Amerikkkan dollaz to facilitate a “purchase” of stolen land on Turtle Island in order to begin the healings of our mama, pachamama; our communities suffering from the violence and pain of poverty, racism, budget genocide, paper trail theft and gentriFUKation; and of our children, families, ancestors and elders through equity redistribution, dekkkolonization, prayer and ceremony.

To be clear, POOR Magazine, the organization, is still po’

We just barely get by on your donations – as well as the support of our families, ancestors and friends – to facilitate the revolutionary process of poor-people-led education, media and art. But for the first time in our herstory we have the access to create and to realize a poor-and-indigenous-people-led repossession of stolen land to move away from these grids of plantations, po’lice, poverty pimps, corporate and government control and towards true liberation.

To ask permission, to cleanse, to pray, to meet, to heal …

In the ways of our ancestors, we must first walk softly on our (pacha)mama. And in this East Oakland community – where many of POOR Magazine’s family members have been gentrified out of, or currently dwell houselessly or in different forms of at-risk housing – we must introduce ourselves to the land and the people. We must ask the permission of the people of this intentionally blighted, scandalously speculated on, po’lice brutalized, long ago forgotten and poverty-stricken community to build the revolution that is HOMEFULNESS.

The first HOMEFULNESS site includes sweat-equity co-housing for four to 10 landless, houseless families in poverty; a site for PeopleSkool, a multigenerational, multi-lingual school based on an indigenous model of teaching and learning; POOR Magazine peoples’ media center; Uncle Al and Mama Dee’s Social Justice and Arts Café; and Tierra Madre Garden, where we will hopefully grow food for the whole community.

The process to realize the dream of building HOMEFULNESS will be a community-led one, with indigenous scholars, lived scholars and formally edukkkated scholars respecting and working together to create a re-mix of design, sustainability and off-grid self-determination.

Celebrate Inter-Dependence Day with your help, your time, your prayers, your equity

In 2006, the landless mamaz and babies in poverty of MamaHouse launched Inter-Dependence Day. It is a day to challenge the myth/cult of independence promoted by the lies of Amerikkkan bootstraps that work to separate and deconstruct indigenous and cultural practices of sharing, loving and care-giving. The Inter-Dependence Day of art, action, care-giving and revolution seems like the perfect way to begin a relationship with this land and community. So please save the date – Saturday, July 2 – and get involved.

For folks who are interested in supporting this powerful, poor-people-led equity revolution that is HOMEFULNESS, please consider making a revolutionary donation or becoming a monthly revolutionary donor.

For folks with indigenous or learned knowledge of architecture, building or other construction skills, as well as anybody who simply has any thoughts, please let us know if you have the time, energy and resources to add to this project.

For gardening, farming or land-cleansing skills, please let us know if you can help.

For folks who would like to perform, have a table at and/or help with the upcoming Inter-dependence Day Ceremony on Saturday, July 2, please contact us at deeandtiny@poormagazine.org.

Tiny – or Lisa Gray-Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee and co-editor with Tony Robles of POOR Magazine and its many projects and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” published by City Lights. She can be reached at deeandtiny@poormagazine.org. Visit www.tinygraygarcia.com and www.racepovertymediajustice.org

 

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