To my family (chosen and given),
With my heartfelt gratitude, I would like to thank Ignite NC and the Southern Visions Alliance family for this opportunity. When I think about my journey that brought me here, growing up as a poor, black, miseducated, mouthy little girl raised by a single mother in the middle of Philadelphia’s most violent years. It astounds me the conditioning and craving I inherited to build community. Ignite NC, SVA, Durham, and North Carolina has served as my community since moving to my Granma’s House in Durham, directly after finishing grad school. This community has granted permission for this non-Southern native to join you in turning up on the state. To join you in building black futures. To join you in fighting white supremacy, anti blackness, capitalism, xenophobia, transphobia, and so many of the systems of oppression that penetrate our everyday lives. And now to join you in getting free by becoming the Co-Director of Ignite NC alongside the irreplaceable, revolutionary, mystifying, human Holden Cession. I’ve been blessed to learn and build with Holden for a little over a year, and couldn’t be more ecstatic and ready.
We ask that our community continues to support us, and care for us, as we carry on impacting this state in old ways and new ways. Constantly evolving and reflecting. Constantly resisting and developing. Ignite NC is rooted in revolutionary work, which makes us inherently black, inherently queer, inherently Southern. We do this in the name of Pauli Murray, Ella Baker, Zora Neale Hurston, Nina Simone, Afeni Shakur, Maya Angelou, and all of the freedom fighting spirits held in North Carolina.