Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Welcome Message from the Co-Founders


Welcome to the new online home of the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund!

It's a new year and we have some exciting initiatives lined up to expand the work of the RBMF. We spent much of last year building this new entity, which we hope will reframe the landscape of diversity and change in New York City and beyond. We'd like to share some of the things we have lined up for 2006. The year ahead promises to be fruitful and productive as we forge new alliances and continue to receive the support of those touched by Rashawn's life.

After last summer's amazing launch party, we've incorporated our Brighter Days event into our initiatives. We'd planned the first event with the knowledge that our communities often gather in celebration in the face of adversity. Because we recognize that these gatherings can be catalysts for change, we're excited to host a bigger and better Brighter Days event this year. Not only will attendees be connected to the work of the Fund, they'll be treated to world-class DJ's, giveaways, and much more.

Attendees at Brighter Days also reached deep into their pockets to contribute to our work. Thanks to your unbridled generosity, we are able to award the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship to a deserving student this year and continue to build the reach of the fund through our various initiatives. And after much feedback, we've paired our Scholarship with a Mentoring Program. The program will connect a scholar with an ally in the community, someone who has the training and life experience to support their academic and organizing endeavors. We hope that together with the monetary support from the Scholarship, the Mentoring Program will help to usher in a new generation of thinkers committed to the fight against racism and homophobia.

In addition, we're inaugurating an initiative called "Speak Out!" These events commit the Fund and the community at large to engaging the scholars, thinkers, and activists who shape critical thought around the impact of violence and intolerance on our communities. The first of these events, "Injustice, Intolerance, and Intersectional Identity" is planned for February at Princeton University. Drawing upon political philosophy, black feminist thought and queer theory, this panel discussion will bring together prominent activists and academicians to examine the ways in which our society enables and normalizes violence against individuals that stand at the intersection of marginal identities.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the generosity you've shown in the past. People touched by Rashawn's life and the work of the Fund are our main supporters. Please join us in the year to come by making a donation to the RBMF. Any amount counts and your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Feel free to peruse the rest of our new site. Learn more about Rashawn and see pictures from past events. Read about these and other exciting initiatives. See how you can get involved.

Join us as we build the New York City that Rashawn wanted to see.

In Hope,

Larry Lyons & Mervyn Marcano