Although we're in the midst of holiday excitement and gift giving, we also wanted to take time to focus this month's blog post on community care in action. We want to share some of the community-led organizations whose work we admire, engage with, and/or contribute to all year.
We hope you’ll join us in this vital work. Click through to get involved with these organizations, consider gifting a donation to one of these orgs in honor of a friend or family member, and join us in Asheville on December 15th to honor the Burton Street neighborhood through art and community.
Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust
Garden Party is proud to collaborate with the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust, a community-led effort to address the injustices of urban renewal and the increasing cost of living in our area by establishing permanently affordable residential, commercial, and community spaces that empower Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and low-to-moderate-income residents to build social, economic, and cultural capital.
On December 15th, ABCLT will unveil a portrait of Mr. Clifford Cotton, grandson of E.W. Pearson, known for developing the Black subdivision that we know as the Burton Street Community, which thrived well into the 20th century. The portrait was created by our friend, artist Amar Stewart. The Before The Bubble Burst: Honoring the Legacy of Burton Street event will honor the legacy of the Black communities that have often existed in a bubble and that ultimately become vulnerable to bursting as systems of oppression work to push them out of our current collective. It will be held at Tracy Morgan Gallery on Dec. 15 from 6 - 8 p.m. with refreshments from Crocodile Wine and Gan Shan West. Tickets are free and can be reserved via the link above.
Following the event, Garden Party will carry 50 limited-edition prints of the portrait by Amar Stewart. We've teamed up with Asheville Fine Art Printing to offer this limited run, in which 100% of the proceeds will go to ABCLT's Burton Street Fund to support legacy residents and new homeowners.
Appalachia has been overlooked in the cannabis movement for far too long, all while prohibition continues to endanger millions of people in our region. Garden Party is working to change that in collaboration with Legalize Appalachia, a North Carolina non-profit focused on equitably legalizing cannabis and supporting folks who have been harmed by the war on drugs via cash aid and free therapy pilot programs, as well as cannabis advocacy and community education.
Garden Party and Legalize Appalachia's vision is an Appalachia that is thriving with safe access to cannabis and the enormous social, economic and environmental benefits that follow this green shift, while at the same time, taking action to ease the harm done by a century of prohibition in the South.
Garden Party co-founder Tarleton Walmsley is a founding member of the Legalize Appalachia board. She was instrumental in the making of the zine Cannabis For All, Y’all: A Guide for the Prohibition South and organizing the Cannabis Club film screening at Different Wrld this fall.
In 2020, Garden Party joined The Floret Coalition, an anti-racist collective of small businesses in the cannabis and cannabis-adjacent space supporting and funding equity-oriented actions via monthly donations and social campaigns. Together, 100+ members have collectively contributed $270k to Black, Latine, and Indigenous-led organizations. The harms of the war on drugs are pervasive in these communities, and our goal is to support the many needs that impact their health and happiness.
We appreciate their model of a fixed monthly financial commitment (rather than a percentage of certain sales) because it ensures that we contribute to Black, Latine, and Indigenous-led organizations each and every month.
Racial Justice Coalition
The Asheville-based Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) is a broad-based alliance of individuals and organizations committed to addressing systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence against Black people and those most impacted by poverty, criminalization, and mass incarceration.
Through grassroots-led organizing and community collaborations, the RJC seeks to achieve and sustain deep equity by building power to those historically underrepresented, dismantling policies and institutions that uphold racism, and reimagining a community where justice exists for all people.
We stand in solidarity with RJC and use our platform, both online and in the shop, to connect community members with their work and amplify their message.
Carolina Abortion Fund
Carolina Abortion Fund operates a confidential, toll-free helpline that provides financial, practical, and emotional support to callers in North and South Carolina trying to access abortion care. Support is available to all gender identities, races, ages, socioeconomic status, sexual orientations, religions, abilities, place of origin, citizenship, and all other physical or social defining factors. CAF works directly with clinics to provide grants that fill the gap between what patients can afford and the full cost of the procedure.
This pro-abortion and pro-choice organization works in partnership with reproductive justice organizations locally, regionally, and nationally to support families access to parenting, abortion, and adoption as valid reproductive options. CAF is an active member of the National Network of Abortion Fund.
When Roe v. Wade was overturned, Garden Party donated 20% of the weekend’s sales to Carolina Abortion Fund. We also put their toll-free number stickers by the door, a seemingly small act that opened space for deeply personal conversations and community connections around abortion.
Join us in 2023 and beyond
Equity, social justice, and community care require consistent action, year after year. Our values at Garden Party require us to take action against injustice, even when financial and emotional resources are limited.
We invite you to join us as we work collaboratively to support marginalized communities in Asheville and beyond. Let us know in the comments which groups and individuals we should connect with in the coming months and years!