Allow me to introduce Garnet Prose + Projects, the new name of my business, which encompasses copywriting, communications, and project management. You can now go to garnetpro.com for an overview of services I offer, my professional background, etc. Building a separate home for my “for hire” work means I can dedicate this platform (amiworthen.com) to my personal writing, which has pretty much been the case anyway. The Garnet site hopefully provides more clarity for someone who might be interested in working with me. Maybe that someone is you! If so, it’s easy to contact me.
As you can read on garnetpro.com, the name Garnet Prose + Projects is in honor of my maternal grandmother, as Garnett is one of her family names. Marjory Goar, who I called “Mudder,” was a dynamic person, engaged in life through travel, dance, horseback riding, yoga, and her family.
Of particular inspiration to me is the fact that she wrote a book and got it published while she was in her sixties. Entitled Marble Dust, it is a work of historical fiction about the life of Elizabet Ney, a celebrated German-American sculptor who broke barriers for women during the 1800s.
When I imagine the legacy I’d like to leave, I often think of Mudder. I am grateful that this treasured ancestor lived to be 98 years old and was able to see my career bloom.
An added layer to the choice of the name Garnet is the fact that garnet is known as a stone of truth and commitment, both of which I practice in my work.
As I share the garnet graphic, I’ll take a moment to thank my sweetie Jason Krekel for helping with the Garnet Prose + Projects logo! I’ll also note that our band, Krekel & Whoa, is playing a set at 8 pm this Friday, June 28, at the Grey Eagle as part of their 25 Year Anniversary Kick Off Party. There’s no charge to attend this celebration.
We Were There
In the context of my personal writing, naming my grandmother has me grappling with the difficult parts of my family history. Most of my ancestors on my mother’s side lived in the south – including Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Virginia – during slavery, and the ensuing era of lynching and racial terror. As a white family, history has been on our side in terms of building wealth, comfort, and safety. While we did well materially (overall, as far as I can tell), what were the layers of our entanglement in oppression?
My recent visit to the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, had me face the fact that it is possible that I have ancestors who witnessed lynching or other cruelty, and maybe even participated in it. As Resmaa Menakem outlines in My Grandmother’s Hands, the historical trauma of witnessing or inflicting pain likely lives in my body. Even if some of my ancestors resisted the evils of their day, none of them could have escaped the horror of what was happening.
The brilliant Alexis Pauline Gumbs talks about the cyclical nature of time, and how healing ourselves can create healing forward into the future, and simultaneously back through our lineages. I carry this idea as I navigate my work with whiteness.
Turning from history to present day (which has its own share of horrors), below are two fundraisers that I encourage you to support. We cannot underestimate the power of community care and supporting each other. Truly, the liberation we want is collective.
Support Families Impacted by ICE
On June 12, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) made two arrests in Hendersonville, NC, one of which violated human and civic rights. A team is working to raise $18,000 to meet the immediate needs of the affected families, cover funds needed for possible bail, and pay for legal expenses. Click here to make a donation, and then share that link with others.
Our team’s message includes, “What we believe is: Violence anywhere should be decried. Police and ICE collaborations are violent in our communities. Violation of human rights is criminal and constant in our communities. We do not support violent criminal intimidation and abuses, and the biggest offenders are ICE: children in camps, preventable deaths, sexual assault.
Systems that thrive of off and profit from the violence inflicted on us need to be abolished. These systems do not keep us safe. What we have learned is that it is community that keeps us safe. If we want to feel secure, we need to be in community and organize together. Being isolated and reliant on systems designed to harm us keeps us alone and puts us in danger. Stand with us by donating to support affected families and sharing with your networks.”
Also, tell NC Governor Roy Cooper to veto HB 370 via the petition in that link or by calling 919-814-2000.
Support A Visionary
Tamiko Ambrose-Murray has been a part of the fabric of my life in Asheville for years. She has consistently appeared at centers of community activism and art, contributing her talent, vision, and passion over and over again. I have been deeply moved by her work. In her role as Co-Director of Asheville Writers in the Schools & Community, she helped launch Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovenes, which is one of the initiatives in Asheville that gives me the most hope. In her role as a consultant through Ambrose Consulting, she has helped guide some of Asheville’s key institutions towards greater equity and empathy. She is also a writer we need to hear more from.
There is a fundraiser underway to help make it possible for Tamiko to take a much deserved and needed sabbatical. We can only imagine the riches that will come from her having time to focus on her writing and health. Click here for the GoFundMe page, which also has a link to a Patreon page and other donation platform options.
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