On 18 February 2023, Queerstion Media hosted a TBPoC Leadership and Wellbeing Bootcamp for Trans-Black People of Colour (TBPoC) in Stockholm, Sweden. 10 trans diverse individuals, refugees and migrants from 3 cities in Sweden, Eskilstuna, Södertalje, and Stockholm participated.
Goal: The main aim of the event was to provide TBPoc migrants and refugees with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to strengthen their leadership and to collectively and sustainably organise their communities for positive change. The highly interactive participatory full-day training was designed using an approach to “Learn, Share and Strategise” and facilitated by two TBPoC expert coaches with a refugee backgrounds.
The main expected outcome of the event was to ensure that the 10 TBPoC refugee participants were equipped with relevant and adequate toolsets, skillsets and mindsets to strategically and sustainably lead and organise their activism.
The sessions were divided into the three parts highlighted below.
Session 1: Leadership and Movement Building
The first session of the boot camp focused on developing leadership skills among the participants. The facilitators guided the participants through various activities and discussions, which helped them to identify their unique leadership qualities and how they could use them to inspire and create change within their communities. Participants learned about different leadership styles and strategies for building movements, which they could apply in their personal and professional lives. This session was particularly helpful for participants who had not previously considered themselves leaders or had not been given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
Key issues participants highlighted in this session:
- The need for more representation and visibility of TBPoC individuals in leadership positions.
- The importance of recognizing and valuing different styles of leadership, including those that are more collaborative and community-oriented.
- The challenge of balancing activism and leadership with personal and professional responsibilities.
- The need for more resources and support for TBPoC individuals who want to take on leadership
- roles within their communities.
Session 2: Community building
In the second session, participants learned about community organizing and how it can be used to create positive change within their communities. The facilitators discussed the importance of collective action, building coalitions, and creating spaces that are safe and inclusive for everyone. Participants were encouraged to share their experiences and learn from each other, which helped to build a sense of community and solidarity among the group. The session was particularly useful for those who wanted to create change within their communities but were not sure where to start or how to mobilise others.
In the second session, participants learned about community organizing and how it can be used to create positive change within their communities. The facilitators discussed the importance of collective action, building coalitions, and creating spaces that are safe and inclusive for everyone.
Key issues participants highlighted in this session included:
- The challenge of building coalitions and working collaboratively across different communities and identities.
- The importance of creating safe spaces for TBPoC individuals, especially in areas where there may be limited resources or support.
- The need to prioritise the most marginalised members of the community and ensure that their voices are heard and valued.
- The challenge of balancing community organising and activism with personal and professional responsibilities, as well as the potential for burnout and emotional exhaustion.
Session 3: Wellbeing- Individual & Collective Care
The final session of the boot camp focused on wellbeing focusing on individual and collective care. The facilitators discussed the importance of self-care and how to prioritise mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Participants were encouraged to think about ways they could implement these practices within their personal and professional lives. They also learned about the importance of creating supportive networks and building collective care practices within communities. This session was particularly helpful for participants who may have felt overwhelmed or burned out by their activism or community work.
Key issues participants highlighted in this session included:
- The challenge of prioritising self-care and managing mental health, especially in the face of discrimination and marginalization.
- The importance of building supportive networks and communities, and the potential for collective care practices to help alleviate some of the burdens of individual care.
- The need for more resources and support for TBPoC individuals who may not have access to mental health services or other forms of care.
- The challenge of balancing personal and community care with activism and leadership responsibilities, and the need for strategies to help manage these competing demands.
Feedback from participants
- “I felt seen and heard and was able to connect with others who shared similar experiences. It was a transformative experience.” Betty
- “The leadership session was eye-opening and gave me the tools I need to become a better advocate for myself and my community.” Williams
- “Learning about community organizing was empowering, and I feel more confident in my ability to create change within my local community.” MG
- “The self-care and collective care session was especially important for me. As TBPoC individuals, we often face so many challenges and it can be hard to prioritize our own well-being. This session helped me understand the importance of taking care of myself and my community.”Dari
- “The event was so well-organised and facilitated. It was clear that the organisers truly cared about the well-being of participants and creating a safe and supportive space.”
Resilient leadership–some of the participants who took part in the leadership and wellbeing bootcamp.