Reflections from our November 2016 Community Brunch

January 19, 2017
2016 Community Brunch 1

[Image Description: People sitting together on the coach and floor, at the APIENC Community Brunch]

Last November, we hosted our annual Community Brunch, celebrating all of our amazing fundraisers and dedicate volunteers. Over 50 people showed up to eat home cooked food, meet new friends, and take part in our post-fundraiser raffle.

The brunch was prepared by a crew of chefs and helpers, who came together to craft a vast spread of delicious food and drink. Calvin, one of our superstar community chefs, supported the coordination of the brunch menu and effort. He shared his reflections with APIENC, following the event:

[Image Description: Our community chef coordinators, standing against the wall, talking to our brunch crew in the morning.]

[Image Description: Our community chef coordinators, standing against the wall, talking to our brunch crew in the morning]

“The kitchen has always been a safe place for me. It acts as a foster home to creativity by allowing its people to craft incredible meals while simultaneously nurturing them with an abundance of food. This was never more apparent to me than at the 2016 Celebrate Wellness brunch. Over a dozen volunteers, many who didn’t know each other, were able to come together in order to accomplish the major goal of feeding 50+ people. Nothing seemed to hinder our drive and determination (including the lack of most of our ingredients) and we were able to produce a variety of dishes, making it feel as though we were on a Food Network special.

[Image Description: Brunch crew volunteer stands at kitchen counter, preparing ingredients]

[Image Description: Brunch crew volunteer stands at kitchen counter, preparing ingredients]

“I think that the best part of the day was being able to see how people were able to pick up a plate, talk to someone in line next to them at the brunch table, and be able to sit down and introduce themselves and start a conversation. Food has always been a mediator. It brings people across different backgrounds with different stories and allows them to craft a new one together. To have been able to help coordinate something so empowering and beautiful will always fill me with joy and I anticipate the day in which I can take part in this wondrous occasion as community chef once more.”

[Image Description: The brunch audience listens to Cindy, our Fall 2016 intern, share reflections about her experience at APIENC.]

[Image Description: The brunch audience turning to listen to Cindy, our Fall 2016 intern, as she shares reflections about her experience at APIENC.]

“This experience further exemplifies the powerful work that APIENC can bring people to do, whether it is something like food service or organizing fundraisers, APIENC has given me a new outlook on life that includes a desire to serve the community I’m a part of in greater and more lasting ways. I look forward to all the incredible work I can do with them in the future!” – Calvin Ho, APIENC Volunteer

We want to give Calvin, and all the volunteer chefs and fundraisers a big thank you for all the help on this event. During the brunch, we recognized that November 20th is also Trans Day of Resilience, a day centered around the stories of trans and gender nonconforming people. Trans Day of Resilience comes from Trans Day of Remembrance where we want to remember and honor our struggles, but are shifting from tragedy to re-imagining our collective futures. 

In the next year, please look forward to plugging into more of our Trans Justice Initiative trainings and outreach opportunities. As we continue deeper, visionary, and strategic conversations, we would like to uplift community resources that support and empower trans and gender non-conforming people of color. 

“TDoR is an offering to all our trans ancestors who fought and died before seeing this moment and to all our siblings yet to come who will be freer than we can ever imagine.” – Micah Bazant, artist

[Image description: A volunteer is sitting to the left of a banner reading, "Honor Our Dead. Fight Like Hell for the Living."

[Image description: A volunteer sits to the left of a banner reading, “Honor Our Dead. Fight Like Hell for the Living.”