Rad Care is a project, a framework, a methodology, a way of being of the Conspiracy of Geniuses. We are queer, trans, people of color, mixed race, indigenous, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, etc. We are mostly activists, artists, survivors and healers.
Rad Care was started in 2013 as Radical Care. In 2014, Radical Care was a workshop at the Allied Media Conference. In 2015, it was shortened to RAD Care to be more accessible to a diversity of people as well as to be more clear about the focus on accessibility and decolonization while further defining radical as to get at the roots and/or be the roots. Rad Care was it’s own fiscally sponsored project through Allied Media until 2020, at which time we made the realization that the work was really becoming the same. We are artists who are healers; we are healers who are artists.
Rad Care is about changing our culture to make accessible space for those who are currently marginalized from the movement. Rad Care is about decolonizing the oppressive structure that permeates our movement. It is a methodology that focuses on the way we organize sustainable movements. The struggle, the movement should not create a need for self-care. The movement should function as our self-care. The movement should feed our hearts and souls because it is about our liberation, our freedom. It is about the embodiment of the struggle. It is about moving our bodies and other methodologies that remove the trauma from our bodies.
Recent publications whose contributors were primarily white cis people that appropriated this language are actually the polar opposite of what radical care actually is. Starting with the fact that the publication costs money which most trans people of color, most of our Black and Indigenous family won’t have access to. It is an example of the self masturbatory academic colonization of our movement that takes away our power and ability to self-define.
*please find our old site on archive here.
What we do:
RAD Care stands for Radical Accessible & Decolonizing Community Care. We are led by those most disenfranchised i.e. QTPOCs who also have disabilities, have HIV, have Hep C, who are also sex workers, are active drug users, are homeless &/or participate in street economies.
RAD Care is working to provide better services to those most disenfranchised by society by creating leadership and economic opportunities. We are working on collaborations with medics and other community groups to increase mobile outreach with a syringe exchange, HIV/Hep C testing and some basic medical care. We are working to create income opportunities for individuals within these populations to do this outreach work. We are also looking into incorporating more decriminalization advocacy. We create and facilitate trainings and workshops. Our workshops and trainings center around anti-racism/anti-oppression, decolonization, safer sex/ health relationships/ consent, consensus, inclusive organizing and transformative justice.
Why we do it:
Rad Care came out of thesis work performed around Trans Sexual Health with a focus on barriers to access. Earlier stages included a website specific to trans health. While research has become less of a priority, Rad Care still holds the possibility.
Below is the conclusion:
Social support models of community care are integral to increasing the lifespan of individuals with intersecting identities. Research shows the disparities of trans, queer individuals as well as sex workers and drug users and their access to HIV testing and healthcare, although little has been done about these disparities. Individuals/communities affected rarely have input privilege on a national nor local level about changing the systems that impact their lives. Current research has overlooked sociocultural impacts of stigma and access. If a person does not expect to live for seven years then why should they care if they have HIV. Research has not addressed gatekeeping nor access to funding. Furthermore, individuals are expected to educate their providers and community centers on cultural competency for free while also impoverished. Conclusion was unilateral that focusing on community driven solutions is imperative. Addressing the basic needs of individuals is required before access to ongoing health care and regular HIV/STI testing. A focus on economic justice is necessary for equitability within the solution and for the solution to work. Solutions that were created are Rad Care and Embodied Meta Praxis. Rad Care is a fluid theory about how to address these problems and create resiliency through Embodied Meta Praxis. Embodied Meta Praxis is a community based participatory research methodology that is rooted in an advisory board of spokespeople for the communities that have a vested interest in the research.