The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.
This month, the Icarus Project got to bring the story of our organizing to an audience of organizers and students at the 2015 Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership finals at the Arcus Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The tragedy at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston is another event demonstrating the relentless racism against Black people, who are disproportionately targeted by police brutality and social violence. White people must participate in fighting racism and ensure that dialogue about this event centers the experiences of being Black in anti-Black America. These racist murders at a historical site of Black resistance are indeed also about mental health.
The Icarus Project has long been associated with the Mad Pride movement, though individual members may or may not associate themselves with the word Mad, or feel any particular sense of pride in relation to experiences of what might be called madness. Organizationaly, The Icarus Project has edged away from the language of Mad Pride, in an effort to be inclusive of those who may not identify as Mad.
This week for Throwback Thursday I’m dredging up an old post from when I was the Icarus representative at a SAMHSA meeting in Washington DC and we made a bunch of new movement friends. This was around the time of our 5th anniversary and we were in the midst of a lot of interesting organizing on college campuses, working out of the office at Fountain House in New York City, and using the language of Mad Ones and Mad Pride a whole lot. Icarus has always managed to stay on the outside of the government money non-profit world, trading some amount of legitimacy and exposure for keeping our messages radical. This is an interesting post because it documents the confluence of a bunch of activists who have yet to end up in the same room again. I wonder what the future holds? http://www.theicarusproject.net/herding-mad-cats%20