Monday, May 30, 2005

Take Action: Lend a Hand

Rashawn Brazell Collective
Key Developments and Action Items

7 Exciting Ways for You to Get Involved:
· Learn about the RBCPlanning listserv
· Attend the next RBC meeting
· Lend a hand at AVP’s posting events
· Submit your Rashawn-inspired art to our exhibition
· Join a Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship committee
· Contact a vendor to donate goods/services to the fundraising auction
· Become our vendor liaison

New Listserv
The Rashawn Brazell Collective has created a separate listserv for members committed to attending monthly meetings and being active on a committee. Through this action we aim to:
· Reduce the number of e-mails subscribers to the RBCollective group receive.
· Facilitate communication amongst members interested in serving in an administrative capacity.
· Provide members interested in supporting RBC efforts in a non-administrative capacity with well-defined avenues of action on a regular basis.

The RBCPlanning yahoo group will serve as an administrative resource for RBC members who express an interest in being involved in the planning and execution of future events and initiatives. For information about joining the RBCPlanning yahoo group, please attend our June meeting. The RBCollective yahoo group will continue to serve as the primary site for receiving updates on the police investigation as well as notification for all Rashawn Brazell-related meetings, events and initiatives. To join the RBCollective yahoo group, click here.

Note: Posts to both listservs must be directly related to the Rashawn Brazell case. Neither will be used for personal reflections, announcements for unrelated events, etc. Moderators aim to keep your inbox free of clutter by promptly removing of such posts.

RBC Meetings
The collective will meet on a monthly basis to do planning, reporting and decision-making. Our next meeting will be held in the first or second week in June. Heru Khuti of Black Funk, this month’s facilitator, will post the time, date, location and agenda of the meeting shortly.

AVP’s flyer campaign
The reward for information leading to the arrest of Rashawn’s murderer(s) is now set at $15,000. Basil Lucas of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP) invites you to help notify the public of this added incentive by distributing flyers at our upcoming posting events.

In addition to the sites recommended by the NYPD (The Warehouse, Escuelita and Down Time), we will be posting the new flyers at locations throughout the city that we deem most conducive to soliciting tips. Because flyers cannot be posted on lampposts or other public property (fines will be levied), volunteers will be instructed where and how to post flyers.

To volunteer, please contact Basil Lucas at Flyers and guidelines for posting will also be made available in the “files” section of our yahoo group.

“Art in the City” exhibition
Photographer Bernard Morisset is currently planning an installation that gathers all of the art generated in response to the murder of Rashawn Brazell. The exhibition welcomes the work of RBC members and non-members alike and will be scheduled to coordinate with this summer’s pride events. If you are interested in submitting any medium of visual art, or in assisting in the planning of this exciting event, e-mail Bernard at

Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship
The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship will be hosted by the North Star Fund (, and offered annually to a college-bound student of African descent who resides in New York City and exhibits commitment to the fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression.
We will need members to be involved with the “marketing” of the scholarship (i.e. liaising with schools/guidance departments to disseminate information and solicit applications), as well as a selection committee to review applications.

If you are interested in serving on one or both of these committees, e-mail Larry at

“Brighter Days” Fundraising event
The first fund-raising event for the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship will be held this summer. Titled “Brighter Days”, the party will celebrate Rashawn’s life while generating the funds to sustain this annual tribute to his memory. Two notable DJs have agreed to spin gratis, graciously aiding us in our goal to raise $5000 with this no-cost event.

We also plan to hold a silent auction during “Brighter Days”, which requires us to solicit donations from vendors in the area (restaurants, retailers, publishers, etc). Donations might take the form of autographed copies of books from authors, gift certificates for goods or services, etc. We are relying solely on the work of RBC members to contact potential vendors. To receive informational materials on our official letterhead for use in securing these donations, contact publicist Mervyn Mercano at

Also, a vendor liaison is needed to keep track of our efforts to secure donations, and to extend our thanks to vendors following the event. Mervyn will be posting a more detailed job description for the vendor liaison position to the listserv shortly.