Plan B Co-op REV 2016 Statement

Plan B Co-op has some important things to say about REV:

Plan B Co-op recognizes the lack of diversity within tonight’s performer list. We acknowledge the fact that whiteness is overrepresented in our performers and, by proxy of this fact, this event will contribute to the narrative of whiteness in the audience. There have been quite a few last minute changes regarding this event and the performers herein because of this fact. Let’s talk about this.

Being spread thin as organizers and generally as human beings has left the promoting of this event limited and in some cases, neglected. We recognize that this has contributed to the whiteness in tonight’s space. We have contributed to the erasure of Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour experiences in this event.

However, under recognition of our fucked up anti-queer and anti-trans world, cancelling this particular event is also an act of violence towards queer and trans bodies. In particular, the queer and trans folks who work in the arts and are creating art. Cancelling an event where performers are paid is a vital source of income and this cannot be ignored.

With this in mind, we hope to engage ourselves (White folks) into actively combatting racism, settler-colonialism, and anti-Blackness within ourselves (White folks) and the communities we participate within. Part of our accountability to ourselves with any form of solidarity or any form of anti-racist work as an organization means that we must call in members of our own community and address these issues together.

Dear White Queers and Trans folks:

Show up. Recognize your/our space in queer and trans spaces. Recognize the systems at work and the situations presented. But recognizing there is an issue is not enough. Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour experiences, lives, sexualities, identities, their stories, cultures, expressions, art, music, love, grief, sadness, joy, pain, trauma, and healing deserve spaces, too. Bring some extra cash/change or bring yourself with openness and ideas to do other things. Let’s financially and actively support the creation of BIPOC-centered events, programming, and spaces in the ways that we can.

Don’t get us wrong – your experiences of queerness and transness are really fucking important and valid. But whiteness is everywhere and is permeating throughout and within our spaces, our movements, and ourselves. So bring some extra change/cash or ideas to share. Perhaps bring some books, literature, zines, or even art that has been explicitly created by BIPOCs to donate.

Mark this down: During the month of June, the Co-op has reserved several space bookings at an affiliated organization through Wilfrid Laurier to meet. In particular, these dates:

Thursday June 2, 2016 (RE: tri-Pride sit-in/anti-racism: open)
Thursday June 16, 2016 (RE: Anti-racism affinity discussion: closed for White folks)
Thursday June 30, 2016 (RE: Co-op programming: open)
*location TBA time frames are from 5pm to 9pm*

Show up.

Dear Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour Queer and Trans folks, and Two-Spirit folks:

Plan B Co-op will continue to work at approaching the programming we do through an intersectional lens. We have contributed to the erasure of diverse racialized experiences. We apologize for fucking up and limiting the representation of other identities and bodies.

Stemming from the conversations we as a Co-op have been having, we have reserved space bookings for further conversations during the month of June to address the internalized racism, settler-colonialism, and anti-Black racism. These conversations will shape the times and locations of meetings moving forward. Our work in navigating accountability as a predominantly White group has been slow moving and behind the scenes. This lack of visibility is also troublesome in facilitating the comfort of your experiences.

Part of our aim in supporting and establishing an alternative queer community space in Kitchener-Waterloo is to have really tough and vulnerable conversations addressing whiteness within ourselves and in this community. Plan B Co-op has been collecting portions of each event, table, and donation from community members and setting these funds aside. This funding, although limited by the scale of work we have done to date, is money to be used for BIPOC specific events.

This is not an ending of a conversation. This is only just the beginning.

In solidarity, love and rage,

Plan B Co-op KW

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