#FueltheFrontlines Spotlight: WHEN WE RISE producer Bruce Cohen

We are nearly a week away from Astraea’s Fueling the Frontlines Awards in sunny Los Angeles, California!

On May 25th, 2017 at the Ace Museum, Astraea will honor the frontline activists who are leading the new era of #resistance: Patrisse Cullors, Jennicet Gutiérrez, Bruce Cohen, Jorge Ramos, and Paola Ramos.

The night will also feature a special ensemble performance from Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Opera, co-authored by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon––a production that was made for times like these!

Have you made plans to spend a memorable evening with us? If not, a limited number of tickets are still available. Get yours today.

Today, we excited to introduce you to 2017 Fueling the Frontlines honoree Bruce Cohen, who passionately believes in the intimate stories behind our queer liberation.

Academy Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen is renowned in Hollywood for producing nuanced films about everyday people, including our LGBTQI movement forbearers. In addition to an Academy Award win for American Beauty in 2000, Bruce was nominated in 2009 for his work on Milk and again in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook. Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, tells the story of Harvey Milk, the celebrated gay rights activist who became the first out elected official in California, thus paving the way for queer civil servants across the country.

In 2017, Bruce once more teamed up with Black on Black’s creation When We Rise, an epic television miniseries that tells the story of the first forty years of queer movement building in the United States. From Cleve Jones and Roma Guy to the Daughters of Bilitis and ACT UP, our community’s history is dramatized in six episodes that are masterfully staged by some of the greatest LGBTQI directors––including Astraea grantee partner Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie) and Van Sant.

Join us in honoring Bruce for his commitment to queer artistic collaboration and his championing of on-screen resistance on May 25th.

Get your tickets today.

Center for Media Justice

The Center for Media Justice fights for racial and economic justice in a digital age by advancing communication rights, access, and power for all communities harmed by persistent inequality and oppression.

The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) fights for racial and economic justice in a digital age by advancing communication rights, access, and power for all communities harmed by persistent inequality and oppression. Launched in 2009, CMJ envisions a future where under-represented communities have the power to create the media and communications environment they need to win justice in a changing world. The Center for Media Justice recognizes that inadequate access to communication technologies speeds up and worsens racial discrimination, expands the carceral state and surveillance structures, and further criminalizes Black, migrant, indigenous, LGBTQI, and low-income communities. Centering the power of narrative within movements for racial and economic justice, CMJ houses the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net): the largest formation of constituency-based organizations that collaborates for communication rights, access, and power. Since 2008, MAG-Net members have successfully collaborated with partners across movements to win open internet protections, reduce interstate prison phone rates, block destructive corporate media mergers, and modernize low-income Lifeline programs that connect millions of low-income households to faster broadband service.

#FueltheFrontlines Spotlight: Activist and trans organizer Jennicet Gutiérrez

Have you made plans to attend this year’s Fueling the Frontlines Awards yet? Please join us on May 25, 2017 at the Ace Museum in Los Angeles as we honor the frontline activists leading the new era of #resistance: Patrisse Cullors, Jennicet Gutiérrez, Jorge Ramos, and Paola Ramos.

We are organizing at the moment to mobilize our communities because the new administration came out heavily attaching the immigrant community. We want to make sure we have a plan in place to protect and defend.

Jennicet Gutiérrez

Tickets are selling quickly; get yours soon.

Today, we are excited to profile translatina activist and 2017 Fueling the Frontlines honoree Jennicet Gutiérrez.

Jennicet believes that her struggle for liberation began with her birth in Tuxpan, Jalisco, México, which was unaided by a midwife. In the three decades since then, she’s fearlessly advocated for her fellow trans people of color. An organizer with Los Angeles-based Astraea grantee partner Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Jennicet works to end the deportation, incarceration, and criminalization of immigrants and all Brown and Black folks. Recently, Familia has successfully campaigned to terminate Santa Ana County Jail’s contract with ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), thus ending the inhumane detainment of immigrants.

In June 2015, Jennicet received national media attention and created a critically important platform for undocumented LGBTQI people when she bravely interrupted President Barack Obama’s LGBT Pride Month Reception speech to draw attention to the growing numbers of LGBTQ people being forcefully held by the United States. “I spoke out to demand respect and acknowledgement of our gender expression and the release of the estimated 75 transgender immigrants in detention right now. There is no pride in how LGBTQ immigrants are treated in this country and there can be no celebration with an administration that has the ability to keep us detained and in danger or release us to freedom,” she wrote in the Washington Blade the next day.

Currently, Jennicet and Familia are tirelessly working to end the deportation of Valeria de la Luz, an undocumented transwoman, through the #FreeValeria campaign.

Proceeds from Fueling the Frontlines benefit LGBTQI grassroots activists like Jennicet who are doing brave and bold work in the United States and around the world.

Get your tickets today.

Unable to attend the Awards? Still want to celebrate the intrepid spirits of grassroots activists? Donate a ticket so that a community member can attend this inspiring event. To learn more, please contact Loran Hamilton at lhwarner@astraeafoundation.org.

Warmly,

The 2017 Fueling the Frontlines Host Committee

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project

Launched in December of 2017, the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project formed in response to the invisibilization of Black LGBTQIA migrants’ experiences of being undocumented, queer, and Black within migrant narratives, immigration justice, and racial justice movements.

Launched in December of 2017, the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project formed in response to the invisibilization of Black LGBTQIA migrants’ experiences of being undocumented, queer, and Black within migrant narratives, immigration justice, and racial justice movements. BLMP recognizes that their community lives in a space where racism, xenophobia, misogyny, trans/homophobia, policing, detention & deportation, and criminalization uniquely targets the daily life, wellness, and safety of queer and trans Black migrants. They envision a world where all Black LGBTQIA migrants and their loved ones have housing, bodily autonomy, health and the ability to travel freely with dignity and safety. Working at the local, regional, and national level to face multifaceted & intensifying attacks on their communities, they organize community and movement building events around the country to reduce isolation, create support systems for trans and queer Black migrants, and build leadership and local power to defend Black LGBTQIA+ communities. Comprised of and led by an intergenerational yet mostly youth steering committee of  13 queer, trans, women, undocumented/under-documented, and 1st generation migrants, and with three network-leads in California, D.C., and Houston, BLMP is leading trainings and community gatherings throughout the US South, West, Midwest and Northeast; in particular, with trainings focused on transformative community organizing, healing practices to address trauma, and know your rights trainings when dealing with police and ICE.

View their mini documentary: https://youtu.be/hmyvvc91BCs

#FueltheFrontlines Spotlight: Black Lives Matter’s Patrisse Cullors

We are nearly a month away from this year’s Fueling the Frontlines Awards at Los Angeles’ Ace Museum! On May 25, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, Astraea will honor the frontline activists and cultural changemakers who are leading the new era of #resistance, including PatrisseCullors, Jennicet Gutiérrez, Jorge Ramos, and Paola Ramos.

When we say ALL Black Lives Matter, we mean Black trans folks! We mean black queer folks! …’We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’

Patrisse Cullors, quoting June Jordan

Tickets are limited! Get yours today!

This week, we are honored to profile 2017 Fueling the Frontlines honoree and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, artist, organizer, and freedom fighter Patrisse Cullorsbecame involved in grassroots activism as a teenager. During Patrisse‘s youth, her 19 year-old mentally ill brother was incarcerated and tortured by local law enforcement. “Growing up with this visceral experience of policing really shaped my organizing work,” Patrisse told Fusion last winter. “There were no organizers knocking on our door telling us to join a movement. There were no hashtags for social media. There was a lot of despair.”

Ten years later, Patrisse created the organization Dignity and Power Now, which pursued and won civilian oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department––a victory that brought justice to her family while protecting countless others.

Watch Patrisse’s Fusion interview in its entirety:

In 2013, Patrisse, with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, co-founded Black Lives Matter as a response to the enraging aquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. What began as a hashtag soon became an urgent call to action against police brutality and criminalization in the United States. Black Lives Matter has since expanded into an intricate network of 30 local chapters and thousands of determined activists fighting anti-Black racism worldwide.

Patrisse has received many awards for her organizing and movement building, including being named a “Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century” by The Los Angeles Times. Her memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press.

Support Patrisse and others like her who are during brave and imperative work. Get your tickets to Fueling the Frontlines today.

Unable to attand the Awards? Still want to celebrate the intrepid spirits of grassroots activists? Donate a ticket so that a community member can attend this inspiring event. To learn more, please contact Loran Hamilton at lhwarner@astraeafoundation.org.

Join us in Los Angeles May 25th for Fueling the Frontlines!

The Astraea Foundation and our Host Committee invite you to a powerful night of art, music, cocktails, food, and friends. Join us Thursday, May 25 at Ace Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The Astraea Foundation and our Host Committee invite you to a powerful night of art, music, cocktails, food, and friends. Join us Thursday, May 25, from 6:30 to 9:40 pm PST at Ace Museum in Los Angeles, California as we honor the frontline activists and cultural changemakers who are leading the new era of #resistance.

This year’s luminary honorees include:

  • #BlackLivesMatter co-founder, executive director of the LA-based organization Dignity and Power Now, and queer author Patrisse Cullors. Patrisse resists by demanding a world where Black bodies and dreams can thrive and where state-sanctioned violence against Black people is abolished;
  • Activist and founding member of Astraea grantee partner Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Jennicet Gutiérrez. Jennicet resists by fearlessly challenging authority on the status of queer and trans immigrants and actively organizing to end the deportation, incarceration, and criminalization of our communities;
  • Univision anchor and critically-acclaimed journalist Jorge Ramos. Jorge resists through his intrepid, in-depth reporting and forthright commentary on human rights, immigration, white supremacy, and other issues that directly impact our LGBTQI communities;
  • New York City Council Spokesperson Paola Ramos. Paola resists by fighting for the sanctuary and equity of immigrants in NYC. Previously, Paola worked as Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign to ensure that migrant voices were heard.

Together we will celebrate these leaders whose commitment, passion, and work inspire others and meaningfully advance LGBTQI justice in our communities and around the world.

Read more about the honorees and buy tickets on our website. Don’t miss these inspiring movement leaders. Get your tickets now!

Your purchase supports Astraea’s endeavors to provide critical resources to LGBTQI grassroots activists and organizations across the globe.

Can’t make it to Fueling the Frontlines? Still want to play a critical part? Sponsor a ticket so that a community member can attend.

Be the first to know about Fueling the Frontlines developments! Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest on our current and forthcoming honorees and performers.

Thank you for fueling our movements!

Warmly,

The 2017 Fueling the Frontlines Host Comittee

(in formation as of April 12, 2017)

Alice Y. Hom, co-chair
Mónica Taher, co-chair

Lynn Harris Ballen
Casey Bloys
Kelly Bush
Ilene Chaiken
Ryan Li Dahlstrom
Maria De La Cruz and Shawn Hogedorn
Melissa Etheridge
dream hampton
Jamison Herbert
Seana Johnson
Moez Kaba and Bjorn Lundberg
Mahdis Keshavarz
Isis King
Eric Kranzler
Robin Coste Lewis
Alec Mapa
Ellen Page
Paulette Pantoja
Katina Parker
Leanne Pittsford
Jenny Pizer
Alan Poul
Katrina Schaffer
Maria Shtabskaya
Mitchell Singer
Naomi Sobel and Rabbi Becky Silverstein
Corece
A. Sparks
Chip Sullivan
Tristan Taormino
Marquita Thomas
Jacob Tobia
Melanie Torbert
Christine Vachon
Linda Wallem
Doreena Wong

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Thanks to everyone who attended the event! We were grateful to have everyone in the room.

View event photos

Blackbird

Blackbird believes in the power of everyday people to organize and solve their own problems given the adequate space, resources, and tools.

Blackbird believes in the power of everyday people to organize and solve their own problems given the adequate space, resources, and tools. Blackbird’s mission is to work with Black organizers, organizations, and Black people interested in organizing and social justice work to build durable, sustainable movement infrastructure, and identify best practices in moments of crises. They aim to facilitate national interventions on criminalization, incarceration, state violence, and the inability of Black communities to access their fundamental human rights. Blackbird’s strategy centers collaboration throughout local, national, and international communities. Locally, they provide rapid response and capacity-building support; nationally, they work to foster strong networks between Black-led, indigenous, and people of color movements; and internationally, they connect leaders within the Movement for Black Lives to leaders of Black movements in locations outside the U.S. such as Brazil and South Africa in order to learn and strategize with each other.

Ella Baker Center

With a base of incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and their loved ones, the Ella Baker Center distinctly uses their membership program as a way for anyone anywhere – but especially those who have been harmed by the justice system – to join the movement to create a safe and just nation.

Since 1996, the Ella Baker Center has fought to challenge police violence and advance a human agenda in the U.S. With a base of incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and their loved ones, the Ella Baker Center distinctly uses their membership program as a way for anyone anywhere – but especially those who have been harmed by the justice system – to join the movement to create a safe and just nation. Members organize through a process of Truth and Reinvestment: telling the truth about the impact of our country’s long history of racial injustice, building the power of those who have been harmed, and engaging them as leaders to redirect the country’s criminal justice approach from punishment and prisons to the investment of resources in redemption, growth, and support for individuals and communities. The Ella Baker Center works at the local, regional, and state level in California to end mass incarceration and push for the investment in healing over punishment; increase policymaker commitment to re-allocating public criminal justice resources towards community-based prevention, treatment, and reentry services; and engage families and communities in building new models of community safety grounded in economic opportunity and alternatives to incarceration.

India Davis

India Davis, a choreographer, trained acrobat, aerialist and pole dancer, combines physical feats with multidisciplinary art forms to illustrate the breadth of her inspirations.

India Davis, a choreographer, trained acrobat, aerialist and pole dancer, combines physical feats with multidisciplinary art forms to illustrate the breadth of her inspirations. Skilled in moving image and writing, her visionary work has been shown both nationwide and internationally and is guided by themes of multi-dimensionality, spirit, and the link between legacy, timelessness and the body. India Davis is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Topsy-Turvy Queer Circus; the company’s sold-out shows have been annually featured in the National Queer Arts Festival since 2013. In February 2016, Davis completed a month-long solo exhibition of performance and visual art entitled From a Place with no Space or Time shown at two Oakland venues: Qulture Collective and The Flight Deck and featured in Bust magazine. In June 2016, she conceived, directed and starred in PARADISE, Topsy-Turvy’s first full-length narrative production that featured an all LGBTQ of color cast. Davis teaches aerial, pole and acrobatic classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She recently co-designed Destiny Arts Center’s groundbreaking new Queer Emerging Artist Residency program.