Our Voices Heard: Icarus @ the Arcus Center Global Prize finals

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. Agustina Vidal, our Resource Development Coordinator, and Elliott Fukui, an Advisory Board Member, presented stories and ideas from the Icarus community and engaged in reflective dialogue and relationship building with social justice organizers from around the globe.As a member of Icarus, you already know that emotional distress and mental health issues can affect anyone, no matter where they live or how they look or what their identity may be, so you probably won’t be surprised to hear that our stories of struggle and hope resonated with many. It seems that mental health systems and societies across the globe continue to marginalize, shame, and otherwise degrade people who give expression to emotions and experiences that challenge the status quo. Icarus reps created community in Michigan in the limited time provided by offering a space to share and honor private (and public) struggles in the emotional realm, just like we do wherever we find ourselves. We are so grateful for this experience and look forward to building upon the collaborative energy in Kalamazoo.Here’s Agustina & Elliott’s fundraising presentation if you’d like to check out our work and the warm response we received — it was only 20 minutes and we covered the social justice aspect of our mission + vision but didn’t get into our personal lives, choices, and variety of ways in which we conceptualize our emotional experience. We think it’s got a lot of good information about our current work and programs and worth sharing. Watch the video here.