Donor Spotlight: Abra, supporter of Black & Pink | SHARE Omaha

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Donor Spotlight: Abra, supporter of Black & Pink

April 6, 2021    in
This blog is guest written by Abra, a supporter of Black & Pink.

Omaha has long needed affirmative, healing, anti-racist and intersectional housing, wrap around support, mental health, and community programs for LGBTQIA2S+ youth and young adults who are disproportionately impacted by racism, houselessness, violence, suicide rates, and carceral systems that only serve to increase trauma experiences. 
 
Black and Pink inspires me. We are lucky to have this organization with leadership in Omaha, seeking to change the experiences of queer youth and young adults in Nebraska. I am grateful to support Black and Pink National and the Opportunity Campus campaign in their collective and community efforts. 
 
Black and Pink National affirms the humanity of those impacted by carceral systems, recognizes the intergenerational racialized trauma experiences contributing to the incarceration of LGBTQIA2S+ people, and centers the talent of LGBTQIA2S+ folx throughout its organization.  I know, as a trauma therapist, the importance of survivor voice and leadership in all things that try to help survivors of trauma. Black and Pink centers survivor voice and survivor leadership in all that it does and is.
 
I am an artist and a writer...my creativity fuels my life and my work. I am lucky to be married to my wife and partner of 14 years, Lara Colton. I am a family building, anti-racist, anti-oppression activist, psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am deeply embedded in my Omaha community and am a member of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I consult in the non-profit and psychotherapy community about trauma issues and LGBTQIA2s+ issues. While I am not originally from Omaha, I have been committed to working toward a better Omaha and Nebraska for almost 30 years, through work with Giving Circles, trauma healing efforts, participation in community programs addressing the intersections of sex work, sex trafficking, racism, and queer identity. I recently experienced the joy of mentorship through Huespring, an LGBTQ+ leadership development program. 
 
I started my career with a naïve idealism and unrecognized privilege, hoping to change the experience of youth and families impacted by sexual trauma. I worked in a psychiatric residential treatment program, and quickly saw the disproportionate representation of Black, Native, and Latinx, and LGBTQIA2S+ folx in foster care, youth detention, and in inpatient settings. Often, the people “helping” were white (like myself). I noticed this discrepancy without knowing what to do about it. 
 
I now believe in all forms of reparations, without question, and I believe in giving.

I give throughout the year and respond to new requests and new efforts as I am inspired.

My giving now focuses on individuals, groups, and organizations who understand and direct efforts at the intersections of racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and violence. I give cash reparations, cash donations. I volunteer and I give non-cash contributions. I join collective giving efforts. When I first started my giving, years ago, I joined giving circles to help giving offer more of an impact. I now appreciate, through the rise of crowdsourcing and reparations efforts, that any small amount of time, money, effort, sharing, and resources given by anyone at any time can have a profound impact. I give with my Black, Indigenous, Latinx LGBTQIA2S+ friends, family, and community most in mind. I give because my uncle died from complications of AIDS during the AIDS epidemic…and because he really died from racism, oppression, and from homophobia.

I give because none of us will ever be completely healed until we are all healed.

“Black & Pink National is a prison abolitionist organization dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and liberating LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing.”  

“Black and Pink National recently launched a campaign for their Opportunity Campus in Omaha that will focus on LGBTQIA2S+ youth and young adults who are system impacted, including youth and young adults who have been impacted by incarceration, detention, foster care, and family surveillance.” 

Learn more about Black and Pink