Multicultural POC Neighborhood at Black Rock City

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The Multicultural POC (People Of Color) Neighborhood is a self-organizing community committed to co-creating a safe and inspiring neighborhood at Black Rock City in 2022 to showcase and celebrate a global culture that is naturally POC. It is being developed by POC and allies alike, and welcome to everyone.

What's been decided/updates

BIPOC ticket access

The Multicultural POC Neighborhood community is confident they can secure access (that's access, not free) to Direct Group Sales (DGS) types of tickets for BIPOC participants in the Multicultural POC Neighborhood at Black Rock City 2022. It is up to this community to define what qualifies as BIPOC for ticket access. BIPOC ticket access is not limited to participants of the Multicultural POC Neighborhood, but that is beyond the scope of this initiative.

Resources

Communications

  • Email us if any of the invite links below don't work!
  • Communications central on Discord! - Updates on camps, tickets, placement, programming, newbie assistance, logistics - https://discord.gg/5cJnCNCWGW
  • Telegram group for general updates, announcements - https://t.me/multiculturalburn (or search for Multicultural POC Neighborhood at BRC
  • Google calendar - Link
  • Visual co-creation board using Mural - Identifying shared vision, purpose, governance, fairness, partnerships - Link
  • Burning Man Hive - A virtual lobby between this community, Burning Man staff and the greater Burning Man community - Link
  • Meeting recordings - Link

References

Resources for Camp Leads

Key dates

Returning camps only

  • December: Statement of Intent opens for returning theme camps and villages in your Burner Profile
  • January: Statement of Intent for returning theme camps and villages due at 12pmPT/3pmET/7pmGMT
  • February: DGS (Direct Group Sales) allocations provided to camp leads of returning camps
  • Mid-February: Form opens in Burner Profiles for Camp Leads from returning camps to distribute DGS access

All camps

  • Late February: Placed Camp Questionnaire opens for all camps in Burner Profiles
  • Last Thursday in March: Placed Camp Questionnaire for returning camps due at 12pmPT/3pmET/7pmGMT
  • Last Thursday in March: Camp member estimates (BIPOC and allies) for all camps
  • Regardless of your placing within the neighborhood, it's highly advisable that your register/buy your ticket through the main sale if you can.
  • Main Sale Registration: March 23, 2022 12pm (noon) PDT Closes: March 25, 2022 12pm (noon) PDT https://profiles.burningman.org/tickets
  • Main Sale: March 30, 2022 12pm (noon) PDT https://tickets.burningman.org/
  • Last Thursday in April: Placed Camp Questionnaire for new camps and art support camps due at 12pmPT/3pmET/7pmGMT
  • Early June: Final Placement decisions and addresses announced
  • July: DGS allocated to new camps
  • September: Post-Playa Report opens
  • October: Post-Playa Report due
  • November: Camp standings announced to camps

Camps 2022

New Economic Map
Camp Contact BIPOC % Home Base History Status Village Size
Que Viva Lorraine 90-100 California Existing Committed 40-50
Kosmic Kamels Moose, Mor 90-100 Middle East Existing Committed 30-50
Indigenous Peoples of the World Bob 90-100 Minnesota New Committed 12-20
Bossa Nova Lounge Vernon 90-100 California New Committed 10-16
Mo’ Better Burners Meka 90-100 Washington DC New Committed 20-24
OM Tribe DJ Shango 90-100 DC/Philadelphia New Committed 30-48
Congee Central Allen 90-100 Oakland, CA New Committed 10-25
Yummy Ruminations Prince 10-20 California Existing Tentative 60-80
Black Rock Academy Allen 90-100 Los Angeles New Committed 10-20
Antea Fun Leslie 90 Seattle New Committed Church of Satin 15-25
Clown Car Camp Moshe 90 Tel Aviv/Seattle New Committed Church of Satin 15-25
Arbitrarium Bill 60 Long Beach, CA New Committed Church of Satin 15-25
Scone Fuckers Kelsi 40 Reno, NV Existing Committed Church of Satin 20-25
HOH Rainforest Wilder 40 Olympia, WA New Existing Church of Satin 10-15
Otter Space Joey 40 California New Committed Church of Satin 5-10
The Second Wind Pirate Cafe Angie 40 New York, NY New Committed 12-20
Barrio Bap Tess 90-100 San Francisco, CA New Committed 10-15
The A-Hole Katrina 60-70 Austin, TX New Committed 4-6
328-500
  • Que Viva! - A camp of activists, artists and allies celebrating diversity, justice, and enlightenment through the power of interactive art and joyful action!
  • Kosmic Kamels - Kosmic Kamels Is a group of artist activist, musicians, creators, and dreamers from across SWANA (SW Asia & N Africa/Middle East and beyond).
  • IPOW (Indigenous Peoples of the World) - A camp for Indigenous people and allies from around the world to gather.
  • Mo' Better Burners - A Washington DC camp of creators, linked with Temple Mother Earth, a BIPOC wellness community center.
  • OM Tribe - A Washington DC/Philadelphia camp, featuring tribal beats, an interactive dance floor, linked with Roots to Sky, a BIPOC healing retreat.
  • Bossa Nova Lounge - A small multicultural camp dedicated to fun, community and intelligent yet irreverent conversation and music.
  • Yummy Ruminations - A camp featuring tastes both real and imagined at its Yum Cart, hosted by trained Tasteologists.
  • Black Rock Academy - A third culture Asian friendly neighborhood stop
  • Church of Satin Village - Within our camps/ village we are contributing the Yellow Oktober art car which can carry 30 people, as well as the black rock paddy wagon which can carry 4 people. We are also building a 8 foot tall 16 foot long tea time art piece on playa. We also have a huge interactivity piece, which consists of a bar, games, food service, and music. The Hoh Rainforest is an interactive shade structure that provides a restful oasis both day and night. True to the Pacific Northwest, coffee is served each morning. Water misters provide a refreshing place to rest during the day, and the moss covered forest floor is a great spot to lay and watch the twinkling stars in the night sky. The Electric Lazy sensory overload trailer runs all night trapping the weary traveler into it's sensory deprivation chamber, sending them into an inter-dimensional plane before releasing them back into the city.
    • Antea Fun
    • Clown Car Camp
    • Arbitrarium
    • Scone Fuckers
    • HOH Rainforest
    • Otter Space
  • Congee Central - Specializing in congee, an East Asian comfort food, in a Village with Mo' Better Burners and OM Tribe.
  • The Second Wind Pirate Cafe - Serving coffee to burners every morning.
  • Barrio Bap - A mix of Latinx and Asian folks co-creating a fun fusion space for folks to chill, talk, and try some new ethnic snacks.
  • The A-Hole - An art car support camp from Austin (thus the 'A').

Founding vision

The original founding message posted on September 19, 2019 in the Multicultural POC [Neighborhood] at BRC 2020 Messenger thread:

  • What if…
  • There was a multicultural people of color neighborhood at Black Rock City in 2020…
  • What if it had multiple healing ceremonies held by indigenous people from around the world…
  • What if it had Zendo harm reduction support for people of color...
  • What if it had music from around the world, with an art car connection to bring it to deep playa…
  • What if this was co-created where it emerged from the ground up vs top down…
  • What if there was a collective effort to assist those who feel there is a high barrier to entry…
  • What if it were a safe place to profoundly experience the cultures of the world, with radical self expression…

History

  • 2014: Project Radical Inclusion (PRI) cofounded by Laura Diamond and Neil Takemoto. Laura and I connected through the Playa City Facebook Group (applying the 10 principles to our neighborhoods) I created after my first Burning Man in 2013.
  • 2015: Laura and Neil submit PRI proposal to Burning Man to support underprivileged artists of color: http://bit.ly/pri-burningman-proposal-2015. PRI gathering at Burning Man, with three sponsored artists represented by three camp leads supporting PRI: Que Viva (Laura Diamond), Camp POC (Kristina Leath-Malin), IAMU (Roman Haferd). Laura was killed in a scooter accident a month later.
  • 2016: DC community previews ‘Burning Man: A White People Thing?’ documentary at Burning Man Global Leadership Conference (GLC).
  • 2017: ‘Burning Man: A White People Thing?’ is posted on Burning Man YouTube page: https://youtu.be/Z434B18Mdgw with 13K views. Project Radical Inclusion Panel at GLC.
  • 2018: Burning Man Global Leadership Conference discontinued, in part to be reinvented to be more inclusive than its invite-only model. Racial inclusion session held at annual Burning Man Convening at Esalen, though largely devoid of people of color.
  • 2019: Announcement of Kindling in Reno 2020. Racial inclusion petition and march at BRC. Multicultural POC Village Facebook Group and Messenger thread created in September. Heavy discussion on race at Burning Man Convening at Esalen in October where Multicultural POC Village idea is formally presented and supported by attendees and Burning Man Project. Trippi Longstocking promises dedicated track on radical inclusion and session on POC Village.
  • 2020: Black Rock City 2020 canceled. First Burning Man Diversity Forum held on April 9, Multicultural POC Village idea is re-introduced and supported by Burning Man Project staff and executives, and changed to ‘Neighborhood’. In October, Burning Man Project hosts first Diversity & Radical Inclusion Town Hall with over 500 people attending the Zoom call, and 33 Burners shared their experiences as BIPOC) in Black Rock City. Global Multicultural POC Neighborhood pilot group created on Burning Man Hive in November.
  • 2021: Burning Man creates R.I.D.E. (Radical Inclusion Diversity Equity) Stewardship Group with a mission to profoundly address the lack of diversity at Burning Man. The first group call for the Multicultural POC Neighborhood convenes on Nov 16.
  • 2022: 16 camps comprising over 500 members, 60-80% BIPOC, submit camp applications to be part of the Multicultural POC Neighborhood by April 28. The Multicultural POC Neighborhood receives access to 290 R.I.D.E. Community Action tickets on May 26.

Personal stories

Why/how am I involved in this? What’s my story?

Camp Leads

  • Mostafa Ismail: Everything in my life has led me to find you. The butterfly effect is real. At the age of 16, I attended a summer camp program called seeds of peace, which brings teens from across conflict regions, specifically, USA, UK, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Israel & Palestine, to a summer camp in Maine, to learn how to transform conflict through dialogue and community. 6 years later, at the age of 21 I started working at that summer camp, and worked there for 7 years, and for the last 5 years I’ve been managing the project in Cairo. The camp is not just a camp, its a virtual community that holds follow up programs that help the youth find their voice and discover their inner selves more and more. Last year a group of friends and I, some of which who are involved in SOP, decided to start a BM camp that brings people from across spaces of limitations within the middle east to the playa, but we extended, as our first year on the Playa, Kosmic Kamels, we were able to bring 40 humans, from the middle east, some of which are based in the MENA region, some in the US, some in Europe to the playa to create our diverse middle eastern camp. BM was a life changing experience for me. I met Neil shortly after and now I am here.
  • Lorraine/Gadget Daddy: Here to represent Que Viva. I've been with the camp (and burning) since 2015. I've evolved so much since then and love having Que Viva as an incubator for future leaders of racial justice. About me? Queer, Immigrant, Femdomme with a kink for logistics. I hear Que Viva referenced a lot and I'm happy to be here to answer questions or add more insight for those not familiar with who we are as a collective. Our individual camp mates are paid professionals in DEI work. We recognize that challenging systems of oppression when you currently exist in it is not only exhausting work, it can be dangerous. Que Viva wishes to be a safe container on Playa for burners of color to find safe haven from the whiteness of Burning Man, encourage dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and racial justice, and even offer space to grieve from the impact the pandemic has had on communities of color.
  • Les Goeres is a Choctaw Native American and Hispanic mother and real estate developer who founded a firm that invests in multifamily, urban developments in opportunity zones and restorative neighborhoods. Her developments in part provide affordable housing to lower income families. Having been a teenage single mother herself 14 years ago, she is passionate about making sure every family has access to safe housing. Being a member of the Choctaw Nation (the third largest Indian nation in the United States based out of Oklahoma). The Choctaw nations vision/mantra is “Living out the Chahta Spirit of Faith, Family and Culture” , and she tries to embody this everyday through her family, activism, and career. She currently travels the world with her family in an effort to experience as many cultures as possible. She is also an artist and an activist, and believes communities need to include diverse families. Having been to the Burn for the past 12 years - leading camps, creating art pieces, bringing a mutant vehicle - her mission is to help facilitate access and share our amazing community with BIPOC Burners. Specifically, her focus is Native American involvement, but fully believes in and is excited to see the RIDE initiative and neighborhood coming to life!
  • Uncle Vern, aka Vern Andrews: I’ve been burning since 2009, so that makes 11 straight years, if you forget Covid/2020. I’ve been deeply involved in many communities at Black Rock City. Black folks have been talking about a Village/Neighborhood since the Burn right after Michael Brown was killed. I’ve helped spread the “idea,” but now to see it near fruition is wonderful. I’ve been a member of POC camp before and also Que Viva. Laura Diamond was a friend. The kind of friend you make bloody mary cocktails for on the Playa. Time I gave something back and gained something in return: New family and friends. I’ve spoken at the GLC and get interviewed here and there, but progress has been slow. And steady. I volunteer with Census and write with Census in the Burning Man Journal. And here we are -- staring at our future. For me the Burn represents play and the possibility that we can lead the nation forward towards a more perfect union. I think that future begins in the dust.

Stewards

Stewards are simply people looking to contribute a minimum of 1 to 2 hours a week to this initiative

  • Wabi-Sabi / Ranger Wobbly Flips: Wabi-Sabi, Wabi for short, first attended Burning Man in 2012 where as a virgin, she led her pod of Kostume Kulters not knowing what to expect but ready to participate. In 2013, she brought her college mentor and together, they did build week and burn week together. She also created Jobs for Burners and the Jobs for Burners Career and Job forum that year. In 2014, she joined up with the Black Rock Observatory and the Desert Wizards of Mars and helped bring a giant telescope to the playa. She helped produce the Solar Telescope project at Figment that year and coordinated volunteer scientists on playa who lectured on all things spacey throughout the week. In 2016, she drove cross-country with Balloon Chain and in 2017 became a Black Rock City Ranger. Off playa, she lives in Bushwick, NY where she tries to figure out how to bring the magic of BRC to her everyday life. Born on the upper east side of Manhattan to Honduran and Puerto Rican parents, opening up opportunities to BIPOC folks and ensuring the safety, happiness and mutual understanding of all humans sets fires in her soul and she hopes to create more opportunities for BIPOC artists and creatives to explore everything the world has to offer.
  • Neil Takemoto: I have always had a passion for living in the kind of community where there is a steady, reliable access to a flow state of bliss, joy, meaning and deep connection - a kinship among neighbors. Car-free. Local businesses. Truly affordable housing downtown. Green building. Co-ops and community ownership. Heart connection and conscious dance events in the center piazza, which I catalyze here in DC on a regular basis. How do I/we get there? I live by this principle: Projects are primarily designed, governed, and where feasible owned by communities. My day job is developing a cooperative, Be The Change Cooperative, to enable communities to design, govern and own their own community development, including a BIPOC community center in Washington DC called Temple of Mother Earth. In 2013, Laura Diamond of Que Viva (see History) reached out to me through a Facebook Group I created after my first burn (2013), Playa City, applying the ten principles to our own neighborhoods. I was in awe of the diversity of Que Viva, and their kinship approach to providing access to underprivileged artists of color to BRC. The role I really prefer in all this is also my burner name, catalyst.

Glossary

A glossary of Burning Man terms