A Message from Fatima Mann

A Check In from Young Adult Community Builder, Fatima Mann
Greetings beautiful beings,
I hope this message finds you with peace of mind, you’re drinking water, and taking care of yourselves. Thank you for your grace, love, compassion, and acknowledgement that these times are inviting us to reflect, pause, and transform ourselves holistically.
I wanted to share with you what I have been spending time cultivating personally and professionally with the help of the community.
Since COVID-19 hit, communities of the global majority have been suffering because their basic needs are not being met. As the Birther and Director of Community Advocacy & Healing Project, I was able to assist with the creation of a culturally mindful website that houses community based resources in various languages for people of the global majority within the Austin Community.
Unfortunately as time went on, I was made aware of a housing community called Elm Ridge Apartments, where people were not receiving food. I was informed that people were eating out of the trash cans because they did not have access to transportation to travel to places that were distributing food. Elm Ridge Apartments houses mostly people of the global majority that are on government assisted living. Residents in Elm Ridge live in a food desert, don’t have access to reliable transportation, and are not receiving consistent resources and supplies. Through connecting with Black Women in Business, Officer Erica Danielle of Region 3, the Central Texas Food Bank, and Constable of Precinct 1 Tonya Nixon, we were able to feed 110 units out of 130. Currently, Black Women in Business are still knocking on doors and feeding underserved communities, including Elm Ridge.
The world has been forced to slow down and pause, allowing people to be present and see what’s happening in the world. Police brutality and gun violence is not new under the sun, but the world is now still enough to be able to see, hear, and experience the pain that all of this causes. White supremacy has birthed a society that dehumanizes people due to skin complexion. We have recently witnessed the dehumanizing of others by law enforcement and others through the killing of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Michael Ramos. I have been working to end police brutality and gun violence for the last seven years. I have worked to cultivate experiences where we can see one another through each other’s eyes. On Monday, July 13th, 2020, we celebrated the life of Sandra Bland, a Black womayn found dead in Waller County Jail on July 13th, 2015. We worked to get a Sandra Bland Day in the City of Austin, and was successful last year.
I have also been working to keep Clyde Mutanga, a twenty-six year old person from Cameroon, Africa, housed instead of sleeping in hallways. I met Clyde while walking, he told me his story, and I have been fundraising to put him in a hotel room. Clyde experienced hardships when his car, that he was sleeping in, got a flat, then was towed, and he could not afford to get it out, and began sleeping in hallways. I was able to assist pay for a hotel room until we were able to get in contact with Clyde’s family. Clyde has family in Minnesota that he feels comfortable and safe with, so we are flying Clyde to his family.
I have also been working to curate space where people afforded white privilege can learn how to leverage their privilege to assist others. The curation of these learning spaces grew from the need of intentional, habitual, and consistent spaces for reflection, conversations, and learning how to leverage white privilege. As we begin to imagine our new world let it be a world where we have grace, compassion, and honor for our journey.
I would like to invite you all to co-create a space with me, where we will work to unpack the manners in which white privilege shows up in religious and spiritual spaces. We will read, connect, reflect, and practice how to identify and leverage white privilege within personal, spiritual, and professional spaces. Sessions will begin in September.
Thank you for taking the time to read my message. Thank you again for your grace and patience for me to step in and really get involved. I look forward to connecting and working with you in the future. Please remember to drink water, and take care of yourself.