in case you didn't know: we out here, shining and thriving!

Hey there everyone! We hope y'all doing good, staying warm and cute! We are excited to get back into talking with y'all and letting you all know what we are up to! We gonna kick it off with a check in question, as we always do in our programs! Our check in question for the day is a staff pick:  what's the last best movie you've seen? 

Here are some of the staff answers: 

Karla: The Incredibles 2, it was really good! It starts right where the first one ended, so it's a great pick up. It was good to reminisce on my childhood. 

Shaniece: The Hate U Give, the movie was good! I cried like the whole movie, and I honestly could relate to it in so many ways.

Emily: Rafiki a queer Kenyan movie. Was really great to see and shout-out to Amandeep for taking me.

 
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Here's what we have done so far this Fall 2018!!! 

YOUTH HIGHLIGHT! 

Ahlam was a previous youth participant in our LEAD cohort, the Youth Equity Collaborative & now is currently our intern in partnership with METRO and OMSI !

We asked our youth Ahlam Osman about what she wants adults to know about youth organizing, and she said, “I want adults to know that we’re hardworking, and that we care a lot about the things happening in the world. Some people talk about low voter turnout among youth, but youth (especially youth of color) are doing a lot of organizing. Youth of color are doing this work, but we’re not represented; a lot of white youth are the ones getting the recognition as changemakers. I invest a lot of my time because I care about about anti-blackness that exists in the Muslim community, white supremacy, systemic racism, and environmental justice - I wanna create change: change narratives, and change people’s beliefs on how they see youth.”

FOLLOW AHLAM ON INSTAGRAM! @ahlamaay

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If you want to support youth like Ahlam, donate to us through our Give!Guide campaign! Give!Guide is a Willamette Week project that seeks to inspire young people under 35 to participate in year-end giving. Last year we raised over $8,000 - help us get to $10,000 in 2018! 🤑 You can donate by going to this LINK for Give Guide! 

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THE LAUNCH OF OUR NEW PROGRAMMING in FALL 2018 & BEYOND

For the first time ever, in Fall 2018 MA launched 2 black-led issue based cohorts that explore the scope of blackness, liberation and beyond! The two cohorts are: Reproductive Justice & Youth Education Justice Cohorts, who work together collaboratively to decolonize, celebrate, and advocate on issues of education, sexuality, gender, race, reproductive health and blackness. All participants at all levels including the advocates, coaches, program managers and director are black. Shaniece Curry, the program manager of YEA! Cohort shares her excitement about YEA! Being a black-led cohort, “YEA!: What I’m most looking forward to is seeing our youth work towards their vision. In our first cohort meeting we spent a lot of time discussing what is everyone’s idea of education justice or liberation as it relates to the Black community. It was very clear that racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, etc are all recurring issues across our education system, but particularly rampant in Oregon as a result of our State history and continued displacement and disenfranchisement of Black bodies. I am excited to see the ways in which our cohort uses their collective to begin identifying avenues/resources to address these problems. 

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Momentum Alliance co-created a youth of color housing justice cohort with Unite Oregon, CAT, OPAL and Metro. This cohort will collaboratively work with Unite Oregon’s adult cohort to be an intergenerational cohort that will explore housing justice, transportation, gentrification, displacement, and organizing community action. Fatmah, the Program and Advocacy director and coordinator of the Housing Justice Cohort in southwest corridor (PDX) says,"I'm really excited that I'm finally doing work and organizing with my black Muslim community that I grew up with. We are gonna being so much noise and I can't wait to see how our youth organize and build for their people."

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Together with Latinos Unidos Siempre, Multnomah Youth Commission, OPAL’s YEJA, CAPACE’s TURNO, and Momentum Alliance, the Youth Equity Collaborative  brought over 40 youth to attend the Oregon Students of Color Conference held this year at Western State University! Staff members were joined by 20+ youth for our “Intersectional Approach to Fuckboys” workshop! Thanks to Oregon Student Association for planning a wonderful conference! Ps: we showed up so loud, so proud and sooooo melaninated! We was hella cute!

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Okkkaaayyy! We outta here y'all! This is us as the Youth Equity Collaborative being mad cute! We love y'all, we appreciate y'all! Please keep showing up for us, and we promise to do the same!  

Vulnerability as Strength: Letter from our Interim Executive Director

Vulnerability as Strength: Letter from our Interim Executive Director

At the start of 2018, we celebrated MA becoming an ALL women and queer trans people of color staff under 30.

This dream became a reality for the first time in our 6 years of existence. We know we have to do better at including and supporting our most excluded youth. We began to plan for a new year of prioritizing social justice issues like anti-Blackness, rape culture, disability justice, and healing for youth of color. Being a nonprofit entirely staffed by young women and queer trans people of color in this racist, heterosexist, transphobic, and capitalist world is not easy.

MA supporters amazed us with Willamette Week's 2017 Give!Guide

Momentum Alliance would like to give a huge thank you thank you THANK YOU to the 100+ people who donated to our Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign at any level and to every single person who liked, shared or told someone about our campaign!

Because of your love and tremendous generosity we were able to raise an impressive $8,436!!
All to help build youth power!!

We love you all and can't thank you enough.

-MA Crew

Exciting changes at Momentum Alliance!!

After more than seven years at Momentum Alliance (MA), I am writing to announce that I will be leaving this extraordinary organization to pursue new adventures. As one of MA’s founders, it has been honor to support MA as a participant, Coach, Youth Director and now Executive Director. Thank you to all the young people, staff, Board members and supporters who have given me opportunities to learn, grow, lead, and heal over the years.

It is my pleasure to announce that MA’s staff and Board of Directors has selected our very own Emily Lai as Momentum Alliance's Interim Executive Director, effective November 10, 2017! For those who don’t know Emily, she is a 27 year old Scorpio of Taiwanese descent. Emily first joined MA in 2015 as a program participant, and has served as MA’s Program & Advocacy Director this past year. Her favorite MA memories from 2017 include helping to pass HB 2845 Statewide K-12 Ethnic Studies, MA’s free Social Justice camp, and MA’s racial equity partnership with Metro. In Emily’s words: “I am deeply passionate about youth organizing, policy making, and social justice. I am excited to support MA’s staff, partners, program participants and board members!”  

Emily’s transition offers exciting new opportunities to two staff members: Karla Castañeda (22) and Fatmah Worfeley (19). We are thrilled to announce that Karla and Fatmah will be MA’s new Program and Advocacy Directors. Karla has been with MA since she was 17 years old, and has 5 years of organizing experience. She helped launch our issue-based advocacy cohorts: Reproductive Justice Youth Advocates (RJYA) and Youth Education Advocates (YEA!). Karla has worked on campaigns including Tuition Equity, Measure 88, and Measure 97. Fatmah has been involved with MA since she was 18 years old, starting off as a participant in YEA! And then becoming our Youth Equity Collaborative Manager. Prior to working with MA, Fatmah was the Student Body President of PCC - Sylvania where she worked to decrease tuition, implement a Muslim prayer room, and create a student role on the Board of Directors.

Thank you again to everyone who had supported me and this organization, I’m excited to watch MA continue to grow and make change in our world.

Love,

Vanessa Dominguez

 

Fatmah Worfeley, Emily Lai and Karla Castañeda

Fatmah Worfeley, Emily Lai and Karla Castañeda

Vanessa Dominguez and MA's 2017 Board of Directors

Vanessa Dominguez and MA's 2017 Board of Directors

With community support, Momentum Alliance helped make DACA Renewals possible!

On September 7th, Momentum Alliance rolled out a fundraiser with the hopes of raising enough money to cover the reapplication fee for 40 DACA recipients.
With your help, we were able to surpass our sizable goal of $20,600 and raise an astounding $27,308!

During this process, we came face to face with the harsh realities that:
1. Many people thought they qualified for reapplication but did not due to their DACA expiration date.
2. Many people who did qualify to renew their DACA were afraid to do so because the application requires a current address, which they felt increased their risk of detention with the current adminstration.

As a result of the tremendous outpouring of community support, Momentum Alliance was able to support 35 people by providing them with the full $495 needed to reapply for DACA by the October 5th deadline.

As of October 12th, we have a remaining balance of $9,607.01 that will be restricted to use involving or supporting work with undocumented and DACAmented communities.

We are so so grateful to every person who donated to and/or shared this fundraiser with their networks. This level of community action is what keeps Momentum Alliance going!

Hiking with Momentum!

May 20th  we took 9 young people for a hike on the Old Salmon River Trail in Mount Hood National Forest! Thanks so much to Maclaine from Northwest Youth Corps’ Outdoor Ambassador program, who partnered with Momentum Alliance to find this awesome location and provide transportation for us! We will be going on a few more hikes in the metro area coming up soon, so keep an eye out for all our fun summer activities!

Youth Equity Collaborative, because youth ARE capable of making change.

Part of Momentum Alliances’ programing includes convening a Youth Equity Collaborative once a month with four other partner organizations: Multnomah Youth Commission, Oregon Student Association (OSCC), CAPACES/TURNO/LUS and OPAL-YEJA.
The Youth Equity Collaborative is a youth-led social justice driven collaborative, that encourages youth to take action and promotes them being at decision making tables for issues that affect them, because youth are capable of making change.
The Youth Equity Collaborative identified something that they wanted to prioritize for themselves and their communities: Self Care! To highlight this, they hosted their first ever Self Care Day on April 1st at the APANO Jams space!!

Youth Equity Collaborative at 2016 Oregon Students of Color Confrence

Youth Equity Collaborative at 2016 Oregon Students of Color Confrence

Reproductive Health Equity Act Lobby Day

The Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA)is the first bill Momentum Alliance officially endorsed! RHEA is a bill that establishes sexual health care coverage for Oregonians regardless of immigration status, gender identity, insurance type, and income level. On February 28th, MA staff & youth leaders joined the Pro-Choice Coalition in lobbying for this bill in Salem. MA staff led energizers for over 400 lobby day participants, facilitated workshops on intersectionality, and spoke at the rally.

Here are some of the highlights from that amazing lobby day!

2016 MA Youth Education Advocate! Gloria Pinzon’s rally speech about the importance of affordable access to post-partum care for low-income families: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4Lg8mj7UH0ubFpjQXc0V3o2OWM/view?usp=sharing

MA staff Llondyn celebrated his 20th birthday at RHEA Lobby Day by closing out the rally with an improvised but powerful speech on healthcare barriers for trans people of color and women of color: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4Lg8mj7UH0ueHM5STRhQlg2dU0
Check out the news coverage of the rally that quotes Llondyn here!

In the spirit of giving appreciations, we would like to appreciate the BRAVE Coalition at Western States Center and Zeenia Junkeer from Pro-Choice NARAL for providing MA youth leaders the opportunity to advocate for this amazing bill and for getting Llondyn a birthday cake.

 

Coming Out of the Shadows: Undocumented + Unashamed Rally

On Monday, February 27th, members of the undocumented community, with support from Momentum Alliance and other allies, gathered outside of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) building in Southwest Portland. Jhoana is a community organizer with Oregon DreamActivists and was a speaker at the Coming out of The Shadows rally. After the rally, we asked her about her experience as a speaker and as a participant.

What do you think made this Coming out of The Shadows rally successful?

J: I think it was successful because our community, especially our speakers, felt empowered and fearless by facing an oppressor (in this case ICE). The rally was also a success because at the end of the day, no one was arrested by the police or ICE. It was great to see so many community members and organizations coming together to show solidarity. Seeing this solidarity made me feel that my community had and has my back.

What lesson(s) did you learned from the event?

J: One lesson that I learned was to be able to recognize that not everyone has the same privilege as I do, since I am a DACA recipient. Having DACA made me realize her privilege and how those who don’t have DACA and are undocumented need more resources and support. As an organizers I  also realized how much fear there is in our community and the reactions of those around me.

What’s next for you?

J: What is next is to continue the fight by sharing my story and to keepencouraging DACA & Undocumented people to speak out, as well.  I will continue to encourage folks to show up in the spaces where decisions about their lives are being debated or talked about. I also believe that allies need to continue to show up at rallies like this and speak up when injustice is happening. I will continue my community organizing with a community led group called Oregon DreamActivist which will focus on 3 areas: Educate, Advocate and Escalate.

(Shout-outs and more photos here.)

Learn more about our Coming Out of the Shadows rally from local + national media coverage:

http://koin.com/2017/02/27/undocumented-immigrants-share-stories-at-ice-building/

https://www.apnews.com/843bfd368b1549b6beae3e9983fc7b46/Undocumented-immigrants-stage-a-rally-by-federal-building

http://katu.com/news/local/rally-for-undocumented-people-planned-at-portland-ice-building