Ahoy, all: We've made it to September! Whew.
Our big news for the month is that we have started assembling our Effing Foundation Advisory Council! I am thrilled to introduce you to our very first two Advisors, Mr.BLK of The Black Pomegranate (@BlkPomegranate) and Crista Anne (@pinkness).
(Mr.BLK; left; Ms. Pomegranate, right) (Crista Anne)
Mr.BLK holds a degree in Political Science and has a decade of experience as a dementia caregiver. This disparate background allows Mr.BLK to approach life and BDSM with a balance of clinical pragmatism and fastidious attention to care, competence and understanding. Mr.BLK blogs along with his partner Ms.Pomegranate on the site theblackpomegranate.com on matters of sex positivity and kink. Mr.BLK has presented nationally on consent, negotiation, BDSM play techniques, rope bondage and rigging and scene safety locally in Maryland and nationally for Dark Odyssey, Catalyst Con, A Touch of Flavor and The Morpheous Bondage Extravaganza.
Crista Anne is a Professional Oversharer whose main focus centers around defying stigmas surrounding sexuality, mental illness and motherhood. With 20 years of sharing her life online, she uses memoirist blogging and 16 years working in sexuality to educate on a wide variety of topics. “Internet famous” for her #OrgasmQuest, she loves to spark conversations on topics that some find taboo. As a poly, queer, cis woman, her pronouns are she/her.
I am honored and humbled that these two fabulous people are willing to lend their time and support to the Effing Foundation. Can I even? No, friends. Once again, I cannot even. (It's looking like 2017 is on track to become my Year of Not Evening, Not Even A Little.)
And what will our new Advisors be doing? Well, the Advisory Council is a group of folks with a wide range of life experiences and expertise who offer feedback to me and our Board of Directors, including helping us review grant proposals. It's a paid position because we believe that everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their time and labor, especially folks from underrepresented and oppressed groups.
This month I'll continue to talk with other potential Advisors, and I can't wait to share the news as we bring more awesome folks on board. I've also made contact with an artist who is a strong candidate to receive one of our first pilot grants. Our plan is to tap a few large donors to help us fund four to six grants on the order of $2,500 or so -- that will give us a way to build and test our grantmaking process, and then we can use the success stories to bootstrap our first major fundraising campaign. (I feel weird mentioning this since we're not into full-on fundraising yet, but: if having a big impact on an artist or educator sounds exciting to you and you'd like to become a Founding Donor for the grant program, reply to this email or write me directly at email@example.com .)
Talking with a sex-positive artist on the phone and getting to tell them, "Your work is amazing and important. We believe in you, and we want to give you money,"—I started tearing up. I have been waiting six years to be able to say that. I can't share much more about this artist right now: our Board has the final say over grants, so nothing's official yet.
I'm starting to tear up again as I write this: the Effing Foundation is a real thing, and we can DO THIS. I'm here with our Board, with Mr.BLK and Crista Anne, and with all of you. Thank you.
~Kit Stubbs, Ph.D.