Examining Ourselves: A Community Conversation

Examining Ourselves: A Community Conversation


A Conversation on Anti-Oppressive Needs, Organization in Non-Hierarchical Communities, and the Mad Rights Movements

In this gathering we will examine the organizational structure of Icarus-NYC and how we, as an organization, can better meet the needs of our community. Even within group and organizations that are critical of the mental health system, we are not immune from perpetuating the same hierarchical and oppressive dynamics which reflect existing inequalities in society. This includes the Icarus Project and our events. Icarus was originally founded as an anti-oppressive mutual aid collective, and based its organizational structure upon anarchist and non-hierarchical leadership dynamics. As an organization, we seek to center the voices of historically oppressed and marginalized groups, like the POC and the LGBTQ communities and individuals with limited economic means. We want to make ourselves more accessible and available, by examining the general needs of our community, which needs remain to be met, and which community members might not feel as comfortable speaking up and having their voices heard. We will critically examine our leadership structure and seek community input on how we might improve and grow.


  • Reading of community agreements
  • Overview of history of Icarus Project
  • Overview of organizing structure, introduction of Icarus organizers
  • Difficult points and tough situations, open discussion
  • Anonymous Feedback via paper survey
  • Future directions

TRANSPARENCY: Though we are committed to collective liberation and are a mixed race collective, our history has traditionally brought in white, middle class people. In order to protect Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) from tokenization and psychic harm, we as a collective commit to prioritizing the needs of QTPOC in our public events and promoting QTPOC leadership in our collective. We acknowledge the emotional labor that QTPOC may perform in these spaces, which often go unrecognized. Therefore, we want white cisgender people to independently undo racism, gender binarism / sexism, while remaining accountable to QTPOC. We are currently engaging in an ongoing process of integrating these goals internally within our organization, among our mixed race organizers, and within the structuring of our external events. *

ACCESS ISSUES: The space is accessible for wheelchair users but does not have a bathroom for wheelchair users. We use mics to support people who are hard of hearing.

Bluestockings is wheelchair accessible, with no steps or platforms, and wide aisles between shelves. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible. There is a Starbucks two short blocks down the street with an accessible bathroom (at Allen and Delancey). Metered street parking is readily available in the blocks surrounding Bluestockings. Bluestockings is not a scent-free space, but we encourage visitors to please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space.

And then we’ll hang out for a little while and be gone until another month. Make sure to sign-up for the mailing list at the event or email nycicarus@gmail.com.

NYC Icarus FB event

NYC Icarus website

DATE: Aug. 7th, 2019

TIME: 7pm

LOCATION: Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, Manhattan

Hope to see you there! Mad love, Icarus Project NYC