justusatl

Are YOU interested in supporting JustUsATL? Then volunteer to help out at our 2nd Annual Rainbow Jam!

Hey everyone!

As you may or may not know, the 2nd Annual Rainbow Jam! is steadily approaching.

This event  will be held  on August 9th, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. Rainbow Jam! is one of JustUsAtl’s biggest events of the year and we need to ensure that the event goes as smoothly as possible and is huge success. This is your chance to support JustUsATL if you cannot attend our regular meetings. Help us showcase the talents of LGBTQQA young people!

Sign up here:

 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnzCT37nXG9vdHRlMmx1elIxOGtFdWZSblQ5Z0JBVlE#gid=0

Coming THIS Friday at 6:30 at the Little Five Points Community Center, JustUsATL is hosting Criminalization and Queer Rebellion, a multi-generational conversation about how policing and criminalization affect LGBTQQA communities, how this intersects with other oppressions, and how we’ve created strategies for resistance and liberation.

We will keep in mind not only the systemic oppression of our community in the Stonewall Era, but also the statistics of today – 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQQA, and older LGBTQQA adults are twice as likely as their straight peers to live in poverty.

Join us to pay homage to Stonewall and share our own truths of criminalization and rebellion.

We’re pooling money together to provide food and drink at the event. If you, or an organization you’re part of, would like to contribute, please let us know!

We here at JustUsATL are super excited to have Bonita as one of our Summer 2013 interns! She and the rest of our team have been hard at work the past few months planning for the Rainbow Jam, facilitating our discussion forums, outreaching to new members, and fundraising for our community center. She’s written a few words about her experience with us, and is coordinating a fundraising campaign that’s live on our website right now!

My name is Bonita Okonkwo. I am twenty-one years old and I am an intern with JustUsATL.  When considering where I wanted to intern during the summer, the first thing I thought was, “Does this organization or company match my values?” In the case of JustUsATL, the answer was a very abrupt “Yes”. This organization recognizes not only their members’ queer identities but other intersections as well.

Now is a call to action for my community. In order to keep the internship program running, we rely on donations from the community. These donations go to keeping the internship program and JustUsATL alive and strong. Organizations such as JustUsATL are vital young LGBTQQA community as a whole because they us a voice that is often. With your donation, you will receive a gift as a special thank you from JustUsATL and me. My goal for the summer is $550. Even if I reach my goal, please keep donating for it all benefits JustUsATL. But please remember every donation counts.

Please take a minute to read the rest of Bonita’s page (which, by the way, offers some awesome donation incentives), and to donate whatever you can spare. We’re a grassroots organization on a shoestring budget, and every little bit helps!

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JustUsATL is a youth-organized and consensus-driven group that provides a safe space for Greater Atlanta’s LGBTQQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Asexual) young people (ages 13-28). We offer weekly discussion groups, organizer & facilitator trainings, mental health services, HIV/STI testing referrals, workshops, skillshares, and social events. Find your community and be a leader! More info at justusatl.org, and at facebook.com/justusatl.

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Just Dance! Creating Change Party to Benefit JustUsATL

Come one come all to a fabulous night of magical dancing, delicious eating, drinks (for those who are 21+), and debauchery. Sinners, saints, tops, bottoms, bears, queers, trans* folk, gay, lesbian, straight allies, all are welcome. There will be stars, there will be lights, there will be queens, kings & other queer royalty, there may be a very strange all trans noise collective making a cameo appearance. Spinning on the 1’s and 2’s will be the infamously fabulous DJ CANVAS. DJ CANVAS has been turning up the bass and scuffing up the dance floor all over Atlanta. You DO NOT wanna miss this up and coming star.

We will have artfully prepared appetizers brought to you be super star hottie Chef Lance Elijah. There will be gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

All ages are welcome!!!! Dress as yourself, or whoever you want to be.

Youth positive space! You don’t have to be 21! You don’t have to be 18! You do have to be respectful toward others!

**If driving, parking is available on Little on both sides of the street.

$5-$15 suggested donation to get in the door. NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS. Entrance includes a free raffle ticket, appetizers, and drink options including: beer, vodka-juice cocktail, sodas, & water.

Sample our premium Creating Change cocktails for suggested donations of $10!!!

And if that’s too fancy for ya, we’re offering juicy jello shots for a suggested donation of $2.

We will be holding raffles all night. We will have a ton of irresistible prizes to please all of your senses. Raffle tickets will go for $1 a pop.

All proceeds go toward benefiting an LGBTQQA youth-led community organization, JustUsATL. Founded just under a year ago, it serves and empowers LGBTQQA youth in the Atlanta area. Find out more about them at: www.justusatl.org

Some JustUsATL members are throwing a house party in Atlanta TOMORROW. All proceeds will be donated to our fine, fine organization. See you there!

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Hello! I’m Lane, I’m twenty years old from Atlanta, Georgia, and I am a summer 2013 intern with JustUsATL! I’m excited to get to share with you some of my experiences as an intern with JustUsATL!

I have been a member of JustUsATL since around the beginning of June 2012. I initially came to JustUsATL with my best friend because we were looking for a group for trans* youth and he had been recommended to go to TransIt!, our weekly forum for trans*, gender-nonconforming, and gender questioning youth. When we showed up to that first meeting, only three other people were there, but we got a taste of how wonderful JustUsATL is and continued to attend meetings.

I was instantly drawn to JustUsATL’s values of justice, integrity, empowerment, and social change and how those values were implemented into everything they did. For a while, I continued to only attend TransIt! and the occasional JustTeens! and JustYouth! (for all LGBTQQA youth), but around the beginning of 2013, I started getting more involved with organizing with JustUsATL and attending their general assemblies on Sundays at the Rush Center. Through this, I got to participate in a lot of really amazing work that I’m very proud of. With other trans* youth, I helped develop our Trans Justice workshop that we gave at the Georgia Safe Schools Summit. I also volunteered with other JustUsATL organizers at the Creating Change conference, helped plan our First Anniversary Celebration, and facilitated our weekly forums. All of this work was truly important to me and helped me realize that organizing is a path I definitely want to continue down in my life, so when JustUsATL announced that they were going to have an internship program, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.

Being a JustUsATL intern has been a lot of work, but it’s been really wonderful as well. We’re currently busy doing a lot of work for our upcoming Rainbow Jam! event, which will be Friday, August 9th from 7-9 PM at the Arts Exchange. The Rainbow Jam! is a fundraiser for JustUsATL, but also a talent show for LGBTQQA youth who want to showcase their many skills. Last year, a number of friends and I performed as a band, and it was a lot of fun. I’m glad I get to be more involved in the process of planning it this year. I’m also getting ready to put up a fundraising page just like my fellow interns BonitaMelissa, and Elzie. I’m so excited to continue doing great work with JustUsATL, and I hope to see you at some of our meetings soon!

Come help us do the work to make our LGBTQQA YOUTH (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning, asexual) communities survive, thrive and actualize! You will have the opportunity to help build the community you want to see in the world, and also have access to resources to help you do so. You will have two weeks of training divided up throughout the summer, in addition to weekly workshops. Over the course of the program, you will gain skills in: anti-oppression organizing, grant-writing, event coordination, community outreach, grassroots fundraising, public relations, and social media. There will also be weekly team-building activities ranging from a self-defense class, to hiking, to cupcake eating!

Applicants must be ages 13-28, and identify somewhere within LGBTQQA (other non-conforming identities, such as Aggressive, Pansexual, Multi-Gender, Person of Trans Experience, etc. are welcome). Organizing experience is preferred. It is also helpful if you align yourself with JustUsATL’s mission and values.

Interns must be available 15-40 hours/week for ten weeks during the summer, June 3rd-August 3rd. Schedules are highly flexible, though there will be certain time commitments throughout the summer. You will be expected to be a good communicator, and the desire to build leadership skills through teamwork will be greatly beneficial. Interns will receive Marta BREEZE cards for program-related travel on an as-needed basis. Rideshares may also be possible. Internships are unpaid at this time.

To apply, please e-mail your application to Us@JustUsATL.org. Submit a short essay about why you wish to intern with JustUsATL (around one page is fine). Resume and cover letter are optional. Please include “Internship” in your subject line.

More information can be found on our website.

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Nothing More Than ‘JustUs’

An organized, moderated, and self-realized organization led by queer youth; yes, this type of group exists—and quite well, at that. Since March of 2012, JustUsATL has been this group and they stand as a testament to a new generation of queer youth, building and organizing for themselves.

“JustUsATL is a grassroots organization that is dedicated to creating an affirming and empowering space for the LGBTQQA youth of greater Atlanta,” says Casey Geyer, one of JustUsATL’s organizers. “We’re entirely consensus-based and youth-led because we hold that we are better equipped to interpret and organize for our needs than anyone else is.” This is partly what makes JustUsATL such a peculiar and powerful organization when juxtaposed to the landscape of queer organizations and resources in Atlanta. In a climate when and where an older generation or group usually makes spaces with resources in hopes of benefiting the youth, JustUsATL proudly swims against that current. The group is entirely run by youth, with no hierarchal positions such as president or creator.

JustUsATL operates in two main locations: the Midtown MISTER/Impact Center and the Phillip Rush Center. Additional meetings also take place at Jason’s Deli on occasion. They offer a handful of different meetings and events to cater to their membership. On their programming, Casey adds, “Right now we offer a peer-led discussion group for trans youth ages 13-28, a peer-led discussion group for all LGBTQQA youth ages 13-28, regular social events, and referrals for STI screening. We’re about to roll out a mental health program, and are currently developing a set of services specifically for HIV positive youth.”

As a fledgling organization, there are needs and goals to be met. Despite being fairly new, they draw in a steady and faithful bunch of queer youth. Casey adds, “I’ve met more trans and queer young people since JustUsATL started meeting than in any other period of my life.” This serves to show how JustUsATL has filled a void in queer youth representation and spaces. However, there is always room for growth and expansion. “We’re in need of all kinds of community support. We need folks to donate, to volunteer, and to help spread the word about us,” says Casey.

As 2013 is starting, JustUsATL has its’ eyes set on the future, which is brighter than ever. Noting this progression and reaction from the community at large, Geyer says, “One thing that sticks out to me in particular – we’ve had a number of counselors step up to volunteer their time to our mental health program, which is a marvelous opportunity. We’ll spend the next few months developing that in more detail, but we already have the groundwork laid to start offering both group and one-on-one counseling services.” On what JustUSATL has directly in it’s future, Casey notes, “Ultimately, the future holds a youth-directed, consensus-driven JustUsATL drop-in center. It’s just a matter of time and funding.”

And by the looks of it, JustUsATL is sure to meet that mark.

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Cookies and queer kids: Here’re some photos of JustUsATL youth enjoying cookies and having fun at forums and special events over the past year! Darius, a member who works at Great American Cookie Company, brought us his own JustUsATL cookie cake creation, and the rainbow pride flag cookies were made by JustUsATL youth organizer Lance for our Just Dance fundraiser party this past spring.

We are still accepting applications for our summer 2013 internship program! Applications have a rolling deadline, but be sure to get in your application by May 12th if you would like to intern with us over the summer, or it may be deferred to our fall 2013 internship program.

Come help us do the work to make our LGBTQQA YOUTH (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning, asexual) communities survive, thrive and actualize! You will have the opportunity to help build the community you want to see in the world, and also have access to resources to help you do so. You will have two weeks of training divided up throughout the summer, in addition to weekly workshops. Over the course of the program, you will gain skills in: anti-oppression organizing, grant-writing, event coordination, community outreach, grassroots fundraising, public relations, and social media. There will also be weekly team-building activities ranging from a self-defense class, to hiking, to cupcake eating!

Applicants must be ages 13-28, and identify somewhere within LGBTQQA (other non-conforming identities, such as Aggressive, Pansexual, Multi-Gender, Person of Trans Experience, etc. are welcome). Organizing experience is preferred. It is also helpful if you align yourself with JustUsATL’s mission and values.

Interns must be available 15-40 hours/week for ten weeks during the summer, June 11th-August 6rd. Schedules are highly flexible, though there will be certain time commitments throughout the summer. You will be expected to be a good communicator, and the desire to build leadership skills through teamwork will be greatly beneficial. Interns will receive Marta BREEZE cards for program-related travel on an as-needed basis. Rideshares may also be possible. Internships are unpaid at this time.

To apply, please e-mail your application to Us@JustUsATL.org. Submit a short essay about why you wish to intern with JustUsATL (around one page is fine). Resume and cover letter are optional. Please include “Internship” in your subject line.

More information can be found on our website.

The LGBTQQA youth organizers of JustUsATL are proud to invite you to celebrate our organization’s first anniversary on Saturday, May 25, 2013, from 6-9 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center (1530 DeKalb Avenue, Suite A, Atlanta, GA 30307).

This all-ages event will include a dinner buffet with drinks for adults over 21, games for children, a meet-and-greet for teens, speeches and performances by youth, and more!

Don’t miss local LGBTQQA youth as we present through performance: the motivations we have for doing the work that we do, our vision for a better world, and our strategic plan for how to get there!

Suggested ticket donations: $3/child, $6/youth, & $18/adults.

By becoming a donor for $40 or sponsor for $100, you receive free gifts from JustUsATL. Donations fund our weekly forums, mental health services, and special events—and help move us closer to our goal of having our own drop-in and office space!

Please visit the JustUsATL website at justusatl.org to RSVP, get a ticket, or become a sponsor!

Second Annual Rainbow Jam!!

Help a queer youth-run organization open their community center, and be highly entertained in the process! All are welcome!

This Friday, August 9th, JustUsATL hosts the 2nd annual Rainbow Jam! a LGBTQQA youth variety show. The show will …feature incredible comedy and drag performance line-ups (including a special guest, pro comedienne Angela Miller!), in addition to up-and-coming poets, dancers, singers, and visual artists.

Refreshments for the evening will include a variety of sandwiches from Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, appetizers and sides from Doc Chey’s Noodle House, rainbow-themed desserts, and plenty more. We’ll be providing beverages for all ages including margaritas (alcoholic and virgin), cocktails, beer, sodas, and juice boxes.

Bring all your friends! Bring all your family!

https://www.facebook.com/events/400078640098105/