Annia's Personal Statement
I hope this message finds you well. I am doing good and staying blessed. In light of my recent departure from the Brave Green Wave Trybe (BGWT), I wanted to take some time to acknowledge my accomplishments and areas where there was room to grow. I have accepted multiple leadership roles in Milwaukee, each with the purpose of creating change in our marginalized communities. It’s been a wild journey of community organizing, community care, and self love.
While holding various organizing positions within the community, I can recall when I have been at my lowest, isolated and alone and when I have been in vibrant energy. I started my formal organizing journey with UBLAC MKE alongside my mom. With the support of my nonprofit connections and a grassroots foundation, I learned how to build intentional community and create events that brought folx together. In this space, I felt the most successful. My UBLAC family is still a gem that I cherish. The Black Womxn’s Empowerment Marches of 2017 and 2018, along with our many UBLAC potlucks, were highlights of my community work. I remember the radiant energy of the Black Women’s Empowerment March of 2018 like it was yesterday; dancing in the street with African Drummer Fuju and Congresswoman Gwen Moore. I have been blessed with some amazing experiences and I have been in good company throughout my leadership journey.
In 2018, I moved into organizing with Project Infinity (PI) and the Rainbow Warriors (RW). I was able to work with folx in radical spaces doing radical things but that fire burned quickly. My intention with PI and RW was to create an anti-capitalist space for my peers and relatives to shed these heavy mindsets of value tied to productivity and overworking. I gained and lost a lot of connections during this time. I worked a lot of mediocre jobs to fund our work and I lost my home (my stability) in the process. This was the start of my housing insecurity journey. I went from helping folx who were evicted and housing insecure, to be housing insecure myself, making late payments and hustling in survival mode. I remember being evicted like it happened last night. Waking up to have birthday breakfast with my mom and then running home to pack what I could. Those memories forever haunt me. Trust me, it’s a long journey of unlearning the mindset I gained during this time. I stayed with people I called friends. I stayed with sides of my problematic family. I reconnected with my dad and family in MN. I learned what it meant to be community oriented with folx who always made sure they uprooted the community for themselves. Then, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered. I spent the summer mobilizing for housing stability and economic wealth for Black & queer folx in Milwaukee. Through my research into housing displacement and intergenerational trauma, I learned that freedom was connected to wealth which affects housing stability. In the summer of 2020, I saw the system do what it does best, divide folx to conquer our fighter energy and make us fight over funding through publicity. I have survived a lot and I am proud of myself.
In the summer of 2020, I saw the system do what it does best, divide folx to conquer our fighter energy and make us fight over funding through publicity.
Brave Green Wave Trybe (BGWT) began in 2019 and it survived the pandemic grit and then some. I am so proud of MY work at BGWT. I’ve spent the past year and half, building community, housing stability, and mapping out what intentional care looked like for queer, black folx in Milwaukee. My time, money and energy finally paid off when we created the 21st Street Cooperative and purchased the first home for BGWT members. With determination and a willingness to be fair and just, I became the first unofficial President of 21st St Coop. Since buying that house in August of 2021, I helped fundraise thousands of dollars and housed three people that were facing housing insecurity. Like me, two years ago, they were on the verge of eviction and with my support, they are now house owners.
Unfortunately, my efforts to secure housing and building community resulted in me being removed from the space I worked so hard to create. My character and integrity have been called into question on more than one occasion and it has left me feeling isolated and at times, defeated. I have learned that trauma runs deep. We each do the best we can until we learn to do better. The BGWT formed as a group of people doing the best they could. Histories of trauma robbed us of the opportunity to do better and to grow through our misunderstandings as a collective.
Histories of trauma robbed us of the opportunity to do better and to grow through our misunderstandings as a collective.
I’ve continuously grown from my experiences organizing in the Milwaukee community. I’ve gained more awareness about who I am and how my personal history of trauma has shown itself over the course of my organizing work. I have been able to integrate lessons learned over the past few years and I feel even more spiritually connected to my purpose.
This year, I’ve started my own business. I’ve modeled in fashion shows and met dope people. I gained more familiarity with my talents as a tarot reader and priestess. I have been featured in magazines, signed to a modeling agency and started to get more creative clients to design upcycled clothes for. I moved from a van, to a studio apartment, to a one bedroom. I began therapy and discovered the parts of me that needed to heal before I created healing spaces in the community. It’s only up from here for me.
Despite these trials and tribulations, I have prevailed and for those who experience similar situations, keep your head up. These moments are temporary but they will propel us towards our goal of happiness and success faster than any other path would have. It’s always my quiet supporters that are my true community. I want to sincerely thank you for the financial support, the wisdom, the tutoring, mentoring, the frantic late night calls, community dates and so much more.
With Patience & Love,
Owner of Enchanted Werk
Model | Musician | Artist | Priestess | Milwaukeean
P.S. I have decided to donate the rest of the Brave Green Wave Trybe money (2903$() towards the 1128 house (formerly BGWT) on 21st Street (via 21st St Cooperative). I just want a clean break and I want to leave BGWT in the best space I can. All donors that submitted stock unds, please contact 21st Street Cooperative for further follow up on Facebook.