We met out goal!!
Initially, the Open Yoga (OY) Project online classes were meant to replace one stimulus check for an undocumented family in New York.
Guess what?! We did it!
Why did the OY Project choose this particular action? There are many reasons why, but at the core of it is my family history. As an immigrant to the U.S. my grandfather received government support. This felt like what I could and needed to do.
Then, some reflecting:
The process of learning how to teach online was a big one! It was wonderful to have so many supportive and familiar faces in class. After some processing, I realized that I deeply missed the active + tactile nature of a movement or art class. How could I bring this into the process of sharing a movement practice? After some writing and discussing and staring at the ceiling, I realized I wanted both myself and participants in class to have a more tangible sense of what they are offering.
I have spent some time working in detention centers for undocumented young folks so, I reached out to the contacts I know. What do the young people need? What can I do? And, where do those two questions come together?
What I found out:
In addition to the big, big desire to feel safe, students want to feel cared about. How can I do this when I am not allowed to enter the building? I sought out some of the trusty young people in my life, several of whom have lived in detention centers or who have family members with this experience. We discussed.
What we came up with:
Tentatively, being called "Art for Immigrants," we are donating the OY Project funds to create art kits with personalized notes and drawing + writing prompts (created by other young folks) to send to ICE detention centers around the U.S. We are currently partnered with 2 centers, one in New York and one in Texas. The first round of kits will be sent out at the end of June 2020.
Updates Coming Soon!
Want to be involved?