"As we search as a nation for constructive ways to challenge racism and white supremacy, it is absolutely essential that progressive female voices gain a hearing."
- Bell Hooks
I write this message to you, dear Willie Mae family, with a combination of sadness and hope in my heart. As an African-American woman, I am deeply saddened by the senseless violence and recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. Today, the message is as urgent as ever - Black Lives Matter.
Looking back to 2004, when we created the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, I recall our shared vision. We were fiercely committed to building a camp that nurtured creative expression, and also addressed head-on issues relating to race, gender, queerness, and economic oppression. WMRC vowed to nurture and uphold these ideals in a respectful, empowering, educational, and solution-oriented space.
As the new Co-Executive Director/ Director of Artistic Programming, I am filled with hope about our collective WMRC future. I am proud to lead Willie Mae towards a year-round expansion of programming focused on sound, identity and music technology while holding fast to our bedrock social justice roots.
At the end of this letter, I have included some helpful links to inspire dialogue and ignite change. I would like to close with a call to action that’s similarly spirited to our purpose at Willie Mae. In the words of Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, “We gotta stop looking for easy answers and instead join the hard work [...] This is a marathon that no one wants to run.”
Now’s the time.
LaFrae Sci (she/they)
Co-Executive Director/Director of Artistic Programming
Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
26 Ways to Be In Struggle Beyond the Streets by Multiple Collaborators
For George Floyd: Fire by Adrienne Maree Brown
The Pandemic is the Right Time to Defund the Police by Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic
Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t Understand the Protests? What You’re Seeing is People Pushed to the Edge by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Times
Pushing Back Against Habits of White Supremacy in a Crisis by Kad Smith, CompassPoint