This week at Blues Union

Virtual Union: July 2

Civic Engagement: Your Voice Matters (7:00-8:00pm EST)

with Jen Delk

Most of us learned how a bill becomes a law from School House Rocks, but no one really explained how this works at the local level. Your vote is your voice, but there are issues that aren’t going to show up on your ballot. Elected officials are making decisions year round. Let’s talk about how to make Civic Engagement a conversation instead of letting someone speak for you.

Virtual Union: June 25

Movie Night: “Bessie” (7:30-10:15pm EST)

This week, we’ll be watching “Bessie,” a biopic about Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, starring Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith and Mo’Nique as Ma Rainey. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3704352/

We’ll be using https://twoseven.xyz/ to watch the movie together. Before movie night, create an account and download the plug-in. You’ll also need to have an Amazon account, but won’t need it to be a Prime account.
(Apologies to anyone in Canada who was hoping to join; the movie is not available there)

**Schedule**

  • 7:30-7:45 – Gather and say hi
  • 7:45-9:45 – Watch the movie
  • 9:45-10:15 – Hang out and chat

**Donations**
If you’d like to send money somewhere this week, we’ve kept our donation pool open for the Okra Project’s Tony McDade and Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Funds, which provide free therapy to Black trans folks ($175 raised so far).

Suggested donation of $5-15: https://paypal.me/pools/c/8q36HyNMeQ

Learn more about the Okra Project’s other work: https://www.theokraproject.com/

Virtual Union: June 18

Celebrating Pride & the Blues (8:00-9:30pm EST)

Tonight we’ll have a community-participation celebration of queer/LGBTQIA+ blues artists! Come join the fun here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88326020362?pwd=VVg0WVI5aU0vV1B1M1pSM0JzMEZNdz09

**How it’ll work**
1. *Anyone who wants to* chooses a queer blues artist that they want to highlight. Sign up here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HbbDMnx70Nm2tB6Gw5g_r2HTIS6FseKrIJDaO7XZ3PQ/edit?usp=sharing
(That link has a list of queer blues artists and links to their Spotify page, to get you started if you’re not a DJ. If you have a fav who’s not on there, add them!)

2. Pick 3 songs by that artist and add them to this Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Vp6viCEZDlJBXjRuzphRp?si=gaAKYv3JQeSc1GRlpfP5ng
If want a second opinion on if it’s blues, ask Jenn Martinez or Amy Blank. If you need help adding the song to the playlist, ask Jenn.
Do this before noon (ET) on Thursday.

3. Choose a sentence or two to say about that artist — what you like about their music, about them, something about their life or importance, etc.

The night of Blues Union, Julie Brown will play through the songs everyone chose, pausing for each artist’s intro. When your artist is up, you tell the community your sentence or two that you’ve prepared. Everyone can dance to the songs or just tune in to listen.

**Dress up!**
If you have an outfit you had wanted to wear to pride, feel free to wear it and/or post a picture to this Facebook event.

**Donations**
All proceeds will be split between to the Okra Project’s Tony McDade and Nina Pop Mental Health Funds, which provide free therapy to Black trans folks.

Suggested donation of $5-15: https://paypal.me/pools/c/8q36HyNMeQ

Learn more about the Okra Project’s other work: https://www.theokraproject.com/

Virtual Union: June 11

Sustainable Activism Discussion (8:00-9:30pm EST)

This week, we’ll take some time to read Grey Armstrong’s article, then we’ll brainstorming be ways we could make something from his list a long-term, sustainable action that becomes a part of our lives. Then we’ll choose and commit to doing one of those things. This will take place on Google Meet.

Rough schedule:
– Welcome
– Take time to read (or reread) the article: https://obsidiantea.com/2020/05/31/feeling-helpless-about-police-brutality-things-you-can-do/?fbclid=IwAR1r9FhqT7JS4cr81EephHZylmTuoLhS1q7VgIQrqwe2BCDvaiVmmqFEP_g
– Discuss the article
– Set actionable, personal goals based on the article

Next month, we’ll have a check-in event to see how it’s going and further support each other.

Rough schedule:
– 8-8:15pm Take time to read (or reread) the article: https://obsidiantea.com/2020/05/31/feeling-helpless-about-police-brutality-things-you-can-do/?fbclid=IwAR1r9FhqT7JS4cr81EephHZylmTuoLhS1q7VgIQrqwe2BCDvaiVmmqFEP_g
– 8:15-8:45pm Brainstorm ways for making different ideas in his list something we do long-term (discussion)
– 8:45-9pm Choose an action, share with the group

Next month, we’ll have a check-in event to see how it’s going and further support each other.

Virtual Union: June 4

This Thursday, we’ve got an extra special set of live music from Willie J. Laws!

Mike Sonder will kick it off with some DJed music, then Willie J. Laws will play for about an hour.

DJ set & video on Zoom (starts 9pm EST): https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89949236006?pwd=RTFuVnR1ZWhTOEc0N2wwZnhWVXVxZz09

Live music stream on Facebook Live (start 9:30pm EST)

Suggested donation $7-27: https://paypal.me/pools/c/8pHsPFor2q

All proceeds go to musician & DJ.