Whether addressing issues of gentrification and climate change, incarcerated mothers, or sex positivity, Miami-based collective and sisterhood (F)empower aims to provide their city’s black and brown communities with the knowledge they need to implement real change.
In June 2017, (F)empower found its legs by hosting art shows – and accompanying parties – which divested from Eurocentric art and the typical male gaze. Since, its members have used these mediums to stimulate conversation and action around social issues, and particularly those overlooked by their city at large.
With a network of more than 40 members, key resource-sharing events have included Liberation Book Club, “a collective study space providing access to radical texts aiming to shift the political and socio-cultural fabric of Miami through education”; Political Education Boot Camp, “a one-day immersive educational experience in which we sharpen our radical political analysis of the world”; and 2040, “a two-day Art Basel 2018 program using art installations, performances, and panels to confront climate crisis, apocalypse, and sustainability through fashion and natural resources in our world, yet more specifically in Miami’s tropical and vulnerable environment”.
But despite the heavy subjects, the celebratory power of nightlife remains central to what they do. “Our parties are intentional,” says founding member Helen Peña, “a place for those who feel unseen, such as black and brown folks, trans folks, queer folks, to breathe freely, be playful and safe, and find camaraderie and community in Miami.”