Carolina’s Letter

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Dear Wayside Family,

Since I came to this country 14 years ago, I have experienced firsthand the meaning of being an immigrant in this country, with all its challenges. And during those difficult times, what has kept me going is the most beautiful sense of community, powerful organizing, resistance, strength and resilience that has been present.

Wayside was one of those spaces, that was crucial for me to come in community, resist and contribute to build an intersectional movement for the long haul. I started as a volunteer, and 3 years ago, became one of the two full time staff members. This journey has been an educational, growing experience at an individual level and as an organizer. From coordinating the programs given at the center, to building relationships with organizations and individuals in the region, building coalitions, providing organizing skills workshops on the ground, and the coordination of the day to day organizing in Richmond, we have built a resistance that comes from the bottom. Mothers, children, youth, people directly affected have organized to fight and resist, and they have shown the region how an organized, unapologetically community creates their own solutions to the situations they face.

As individuals, families, communities, and the world transforms minute by minute, organizations also transform. I have decided to resign from my position during this new stage, stepping down as co-director. Wayside and its Board of Directors will be moving in the direction of owning the land.

With a heart full of resistance, gratefulness and strength, I want to thank you all for the support you have given Wayside at every step. Thank you for supporting me as well during these past years, for beautiful relationships, for every teachable moment, and the support you have shown to communities in resistance. Please stay in touch, and you can find my contact information below.

With Love, Agradecimiento and Lucha,

Carolina Bautista-VĂ©lez

(804) 868-0191

cvelezconsultant@yahoo.com