A Year-End Letter from Theresa Williamson to Our Supporters | Catalytic Communities

Pricey Associates of CatComm,

What a yr! As 2018 comes to an finish, I would like to thank all of our previous supporters, collaborators and associates and to give you a radical replace on every part Catalytic Communities has been up to, and the context—and urgency—we’re dealing with now.

In a sense, the yr started—in some methods it looks like life ended and commenced anew with larger urgency—with the assassination of Metropolis Councilor Marielle Franco in Rio on March 14. I was in London on the time speaking at a conference on Progressive Informality at UCL and awakened to the news. Far from Rio I might see Marielle’s face in everybody around me. I couldn’t imagine in that initial moment that she would grow to be a worldwide social justice icon, one thing she is uniquely suited to given her story and representativeness of so many marginalized groups. At the time I simply struggled with the loss of an attractive individual and unbeatable champion for our local causes. A few days later I wrote a bit for Americas Quarterly on the topic, which was revealed in full on RioOnWatch.

Our 2019 Accomplishments in Three Packages: RioOnWatch, Favela CLTs and the Sustainable Favela Community

We by no means ceased to publish informative and breaking news—over 250 bilingual articles have been revealed on RioOnWatch throughout 2018—and increase partnerships with favela-based information retailers to shift narratives about their communities, inform and improve the quality of worldwide reporting on favelas, and extensively share our Greatest Practices for Reporting. But over the next months to Marielle’s dying our group quietly targeted on laying the groundwork for our two new packages to be launched later in the yr.

Thanks to help from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, we have been in a position to research the viability of Favela Group Land Trusts inside Brazil’s legislative context, publish an essential piece in Land Strains concerning the potential of CLTs to clear up the worldwide reasonably priced housing crisis, and then deliver a delegation from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Favela CLTs have been efficiently carried out to great impact, ending once and for all the specter of eviction or gentrification within the Caño settlements. As an alternative, Favela CLTs guarantee their proper to remain in the communities where they really feel a deep sense of belonging. In truth, when the Puerto Rican delegation came to Rio, belonging turned the time period of the day: favelas with a robust sense of belonging—therefore the place permanence, id and group are more necessary than the power to revenue on the land—are the perfect candidates for a Favela CLT. The 5-day workshop introduced CLTs to 130 group organizers, public officials, technical allies and others in Rio, and the end result has been overwhelming: we finish the yr with an lively Working Group of 98 members, assembly twice month-to-month and holding workshops in communities. The Working Group—with mobilization and laws subcommittees—consists of over 30 representatives of 19 favelas and people from all related land titling authorities, authorized representatives, public universities and an assortment of NGOs. The plan for 2019? To extensively disseminate the CLT mannequin throughout favelas by way of multimedia supplies and group workshops, build consciousness and curiosity, and determine at the least one group with the willpower and qualities mandatory to pilot a CLT initiative. All this while introducing CLTs into Brazilian laws.

Simultaneously, from September to November, the Sustainable Favela Network that we mapped in 2017 was finally realized as a face-to-face network. Via exchanges amongst network members–starting with a collection of in depth intimate visits among the eight most established tasks and ending with the inspiring launch where 130 individuals got here together—it turned manifestly clear that there’s indeed a burgeoning movement of favela sustainability. That day was maybe probably the most thrilling of my 18 years operating Catalytic Communities—we’re undoubtedly onto something. Please take a half hour to really feel part of it too by watching the brief documentary we produced of the on-site visits to eight of probably the most established tasks within the Sustainable Favela Community. The plan for 2019? To interact in monthly exchanges the place community members go to each other for a full day to study, share and profit from strategic training; micro-networks by matter (e.g. photo voltaic power, sewerage, recycling, environmental schooling, heritage conservation) making use of for joint funding for inter-community efforts; and the development of a Sustainable Favela Indicator app that communities can use to self-assess and arrange.

All in all, simply in 2018, we estimate that via our three packages RioOnWatch, Favela Group Land Trusts and the Sustainable Favela Community—we instantly supported over 200 favela group organizers from approximately 50 communities. Our full network of group organizers numbers several thousand and covers tons of of favelas. Each of those organizers then supports their communities, with ripple effects reaching tens of hundreds. On the similar time, we had readers from a minimum of 100 nations accessing RioOnWatch content every month: opinion-forming organizers, journalists, worldwide improvement professionals, urbanists, researchers and human rights teams spreading what we’re learning in Rio to their communities around the globe.

The Threats that Lie Forward

The networks we’ve been building for almost 20 years took on a new dimension by way of the Favela CLT and Sustainable Favela Network launches and RioOnWatch this yr. And they’ll take on a completely essential dimension in the coming yr.

Within the lead up to Brazil’s October elections, we revealed a collection of articles on RioOnWatch concerning the elections and, later, particularly analyzing how such an extreme candidate was elected. As you recognize, Brazil’s incoming president’s main coverage proposals in the direction of favelas are of repression, whether in the direction of land rights in treating occupations as ‘terrorism,’ or in encouraging extrajudicial killings by police. In accordance to him, “the poor are only worth it for their votes… Only birth control [through sterilization] can save us from chaos.” He has proven a robust tendency in the direction of decreasing press freedoms, even because the election and extra lately this week prior to taking office, and has expressed his dissatisfaction that the army regime in Brazil “did not kill 30,000 more,” which means he believes issues can be better right now if the group and civil society organizers at the time had been killed along with the “Communists” and sympathizers who have been tortured and assassinated by the regime.

Meanwhile, we aren’t just concerned concerning the new president. Rio de Janeiro State’s incoming governor has spent a lot of his time between being elected and taking office sourcing deadly weapons and arguing that police must be free to kill with impunity. He has been actively pursuing including snipers to Rio’s policing and sourcing drones with facial recognition software.

We must continue drawing inspiration from Marielle’s reminiscence and not buckle beneath the pressures that lie forward. The new political state of affairs poses vital threats to three key threads mandatory to human progress: human rights, democracy and the surroundings. Brazil might not have the strong institutions to stand up to such threats, all the whereas group institutions increasingly present their potential to increase democracy. Aware of all this, in December, as an extension of RioOnWatch‘s actions we established a help group amongst favela-based communicators who face heightened danger from the incoming administrations and might be supporting them actively by means of face-to-face and international solidarity networks in 2019.

We Want Your Help

We have now thus positioned ourselves strategically to supply important help to favelas in 2019. With three strong, trust-based networks of group organizers, working on all the things from sustainability tasks to land rights and grassroots communications, we will probably be in a position to monitor how communities are being impacted by insurance policies of the brand new administration while simultaneously responding with strategic info trade, coaching, and most critically—solidarity networks.

We have now essential work ahead of us. However this work, extra impactful and necessary than ever, is in danger.

We merely will be unable to reply effectively if, as well as to the political uncertainty we are working in, our monetary stability is unsure too.

As of now, we’re at $3182 in month-to-month donations, having slowly constructed up over the previous two years. However we must transfer quicker. Please give a year-end 2018 contribution and then help us reach $5000 in month-to-month contributions by March 1, on the path to our full $10Okay objective by the top of 2019. Having carried out this, we could have a safe base from which to not only provide on-going, full-time help to favela organizers on all the fronts described above, but to increase on these packages by pursuing basis and other types of help for these further initiatives from a place of stability.

In order to reach this aim, we’ve established a special fundraising web page for this political moment—Stand With Favelas—and hope you will not only be a part of however unfold the phrase, maybe sharing a personal e-mail with a handful of close pals you assume will probably be sensitive to these points.

Please take the time now to give.

Lastly, chances are you’ll take pleasure in the brand new factsheets we’ve prepared summarizing every of our three packages linked to under: RioOnWatch, the Sustainable Favela Community, and the Favela CLT program.

From the underside of my heart, as I close out this unimaginable, intensely making an attempt yet fantastically gratifying yr, I thanks for taking the time to learn this by means of and present your solidarity in whatever means you’ll be able to.

All the time grateful to be doing this work, and to you for serving to us do it,

Theresa Williamson
Founder and Government Director
Catalytic Communities

P.S. We’ve got acquired mileage donations to run three Rio Raffles amongst our recurring donors (month-to-month, quarterly or annually will probably be thought-about, as long as they sign up for recurring donations): one once we reach our preliminary aim of $5000; a second at $7500, and a remaining Rio Raffle at $10Okay. At every of these factors you’ll have a chance to win for each $10 in recurring donations you’ve given to date, for a trip for 2 (journey + lodging) in Rio de Janeiro.