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BWB NEWS 02/04/2016

Community Grant Winner Update: HerStory

Making Herstory is a community-centered, youth empowerment organization that provides a safe space for its members to explore topics of social justice and their own rich, personal herstories. We pride ourselves on being a grassroots organization, led by women of color with workshops centered around women of color feminism and ethnic studies. We are the only organization within the Oklahoma City metro area designed for high school students to cultivate a critical framework to speak on social justice. Our staff and members use each workshop to ask questions, bounce ideas off one another, and explore topics with open and investigative minds.

In the three years we’ve facilitated this space, our members hosted panels at college level conferences such as OU Mosaic and Take Root. They were interviewed and featured in the OKC Gazette and partnered in a research study over our space. They participated in protests and developed their own campaigns for social justice. They explored the neighborhoods and world around them with a critical, social lens and discussed the visible effects of socioeconomic injustice vs justice. Our members have come to know themselves at deeper levels through group discussions, activities, and speaking arrangements.

For those who desire to design a space like ours, it’s important to remember the things we pride ourselves on and our social justice mission. Our founder, Lena Khader, and staff members are extremely intentional in the ways we facilitate, as well as the community members we allow into the space to interview members. We keep the integrity of the group in tact by asking members for their votes on which topics they’d like to discuss, encouraging them to construct their own presentations for the conferences we attend, and enforcing community agreements that they came up with for group interactions. It is essential that the members feel safe discussing their personal narratives and herstories in spaces centered around them.

In many ways, our community has become a small family. We support each other to dream, create, and become without limits. We encourage members to question everything, voice their opinions, respect one another, and delve deeply into each topic we discuss. Our members often tell us how appreciative they are of this space and its impact on their personal and academic lives. As staff, we are also grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to invest in this space.

We are thankful to our members for trusting us and continuously trusting the process. Although we are in our third and final year of programming, our mission will live on in our hearts and presence — we will forever be Making Herstory.

Shoutout to staff members Angie Tran, Elena Ojeda, Rivers McKenzie, and Tory Kappel for their involvement with Making Herstory and support of our members.

With love and light,
Anna Lorena Bauman — MH Public Relations Chair




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