A request: If you value our work, please support it

Typically toward the end of the year, I put out a reminder that this site, the podcast, and our related social media work all run on direct financial reader support. We do not accept advertising and despite mulling it over from time to time, I have elected to not put our work behind a paywall. That means we offer our work freely and trust that if people appreciate the work, they will make a contribution. Here at Black Girl in Maine Media, our writers are paid, and given the current climate for writers, our rates are competitive (in some cases, significantly higher than larger and more established publications).

This year, the decision was made to move Samuel James from the status of contributing writer to staff writer. In addition to the cost of paying our writers, we pay to maintain our platform as well as the security costs of keeping the site safe from hackers. In addition, we carry a vast array of subscriptions to publications which help inform our writing and our daily social media postings. In addition to the direct costs, we have indirect costs such as taxes, an accountant, etc.

In short, while this is a sole proprietorship, it is also still a business.

We are living in extraordinary times as we find ourselves juggling the dual realities of both COVID-19 and economic disruptions, which is why I was hesitant to put out our annual reminder that we run on reader support. Already this year, we have had a number of monthly supporters who had to cancel their support due to changes in their own financial circumstances. Despite the decrease in support, I have been able to keep things going. But I am writing this because if you have the means and feel that our work has been beneficial to you, we need your support. Ideally you can become a monthly patron, but if that is not possible, consider a one-time gift. You can also consider sponsoring an upcoming episode of the podcast.

Or, if you are part of an organization or community that is looking to develop an anti-racism praxis, consider hiring me to speak to your group.

I also offer anti-racism coaching sessions. This is a one-hour Zoom session or call where we discuss current issues that you may be facing in your personal or professional anti-racism work. My work is to serve as a sounding board and resource to help you both deepen your work and navigate the thorny and messy issues that often arise in our practices. I work with clients on both an as-needed and ongoing basis. The cost per session is $125.

if you want to sponsor a podcast or book a coaching session, email me at blackgirlinmaine@gmail.com.

If you want to bring me to your group or organization, consider the following options:

Authentic Dialogues: Talking About Racism and Moving to Action

This interactive session is designed to look critically at racism in our communities and our nation by examining the roots of white supremacy and how the past impacts our present. A key goal is teaching, sharing, and learning practical tools for working in our own communities to combat racism and to start conversations on addressing racism and difference in predominantly white spaces. This session is a mixture of lecture and small-group work, which will allow participants to deepen their knowledge of racism, examine their own biases, and learn techniques for starting conversations on racism and how to be an effective ally. Prices vary based on organizational budget and, due to the pandemic, are currently being offered via Zoom.  Email blackgirlinmaine@gmail.com for rates and to book.

Tell Me the Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations

How can we speak openly and honestly in cross-racial conversations? What would such a conversation even look like? Shay Stewart-Bouley (Black) and Debby Irving (white) show us as they share racism’s impact on their lives and how cross-racial conversation has been instrumental in their own understanding of 21st century racial dynamics. Shay and Debby explore the common fears and pitfalls of cross-racial conversation that keep people isolated in their own racial groups, at the expense of personal, professional, and societal growth. They also help audience members understand how interpersonal social patterns hinder organizations from living up to their own ideals for diversity. No two conversations are alike as they step on stage with no agenda. Finally, Shay and Debby offer suggestions to create racial justice habits that can move us from isolated events to sustainable connections.

Partial list of previous hosts include:

  • Black Heritage Trail ~ Portsmouth, NH
  • Harvard University Health Services ~ Cambridge, MA
  • Colby College ~ Waterville, Maine
  • Central Square Theater ~ Cambridge, MA
  • Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry ~ Roxbury, MA
  • Marblehead Racial Justice Committee ~ Marblehead, MA
  • SURJ Southern Maine/Seacoast ~ Kittery, ME
  • University of Maine ~Orono, ME
  • University of Maine ~ Bangor, ME
  • University of Maine ~ Augusta, ME
  • Nevins Library ~ Methuen, MA
  • Natick Coalition for Change ~ Natick, MA
  • American Civil Liberties Union ~ Portland, ME
  • Bar Harbor Maine YWCA ~ Bar Harbor, ME
  • Families Organizing for Racial Justice ~ Newton, MA
  • Seattle Equity Summit ~ Seattle, WA
  • Friends School of Portland ~ Portland, ME
  • Highline Public Schools ~ Seattle, WA

Contact cynthia@debbyirving.com for more information or to book a date

These are extraordinary times as more people realize just how deeply embedded white supremacy is in our society, and since 2008, I have written boldly and plainly about racism. While the name of the site is Black Girl in Maine Media, the fact is our readership spans across the United States. Right now, we need our readers who have the means to step up to ensure that we can continue our offerings in 2021. Thank you.

In love and solidarity,

Shay, aka BGIM

Just to give you the links again, please consider a one-time “tip” or become a monthly “patron”…this space runs on love and reader support. Want more BGIM? Consider booking me to speak with your group or organization.