We at the Boston Women’s Fund believe strongly in the value of perpetual learning, and we value the knowledge and lived-experience of those who are closest to a challenge. Our Getting Proximate Conversation Series is a public learning space where the people most impacted by an issue in their community can share their experiences and help us all deepen our understanding.
Through the Getting Proximate Conversations, anyone can learn alongside us and explore if and how they want to be involved in supporting the work grassroots leaders are pursuing in their communities.
Every Getting Proximate Conversation, from the topic down to the promotional language, is designed with approval from and in collaboration with our featured grantee partners, special guests, and panelists. Along the way, our guests may use language or share ideas that differ from your own —that is exactly the point. To hear a perspective that gives you insight based on their lived experience, to open yourself to the idea that even while working on the same issue, and sharing a lived experience, culture, race, or ethnicity, there is not a monolithic approach or way of thinking.
Social issues are complicated, especially when steeped in hundreds of years of sexism, classism, and racism. It is my hope with this next series of conversations to recognize the tensions within movements for change while also creating a pathway to discovering common ground, so we can walk together toward the systems change we are all seeking. We invite you to join us as we learn from the experts and explore how we can be better allies to communities and leaders that have been persistently excluded.
Natanja Craig Oquendo
Our Spring 2023 Getting Proximate Series Features Three Conversations
May 30 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Zoom
Moderated by Chastity Bowick, with panelists Vella R., Milaun C., and A.V.
Meet Our Moderator
Chastity Bowick is an award-winning activist, civil rights leader, and transgender health advocate. Chastity began her own transition early at the age of 18 when she moved to Boston to safely pursue her gender affirmation process. After surviving domestic violence and survival sex-work, she proudly obtained a Master’s Certificate in Non-Profit Human Services Management from Clark University.
For seven years, she led the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts INC, the leading crisis agency for transgender communities in Massachusetts. She is now the Community Engagement Director at Massachusetts General Hospital's CARE Research Center.
Chastity serves on several boards, including the Boston Women’s Fund, and was formerly a board member of the Massachusettes Transgender Political Coalition and Trans Resistance MA.
Chastity has been recognized for her dedication to community activism with awards from Fenway Health, the 2022 Ad Equity Project, Mass Now, and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, among many others. (Read Chastity’s full bio here.)
About The Conversation
Sex workers* come from an array of backgrounds and life circumstances. Many sex workers do openly choose sex work from a variety of options available to them. Others live in situations that do not allow for such choices, and these are the people most affected by harmful policies. We’re creating space to hear from those most impacted.
*sex workers is the term of choice shared by our featured panelists and their community.
June 15 - Join us for “Naming the Harm: Sex Trade Survivors Speak Out,” a conversation moderated by Audrey Morrissey, Co-Executive Director, My Life My Choice. 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Zoom. Additional information to follow.
June 20 - Save the date for a conversation on the I AM bill led by youth leaders and moderated by Senator Liz Miranda. 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Zoom. The I AM bill is supported by the MA Menstrual Equity Coalition and would provide access to free menstrual products to all menstruating individuals in schools, shelters, and prisons. Learn more at www.massnow.org/IAM.