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Episode 33: Starting From a Place of Social Justice. An Interview About Camp Ten Trees

Gendercast Episode 33: Starting from a Place of Social Justice: Camp Ten Tree’s Interview.

Join Sean and his fellow classmates Holly and Lor, from the University of Washington school of Social Work, for an interview about Camp Ten Trees and how social justice values and learning can be integrated throughout an organization.  Airen and Brennon will takes us through their experience with the campers and their families, what’s so special about Camp Ten Trees, and how a social justice lens is used in developing this camp’s programming. Airen and Brennon discuss how Camp Ten Trees commitment to social justice is applied to its structure, leadership, and planning, and how community building with these ideals in mind, has supported and sustained an inclusive environment for LGBTQ and allied youth to enjoy the camp experience.

Camp Ten Trees is committed to ending homophobia and gender variant phobia by addressing, through a Social Justice lens, the interconnected issues of oppression and privilege that foster inequality and thrive on keeping people divided. Social Justice includes full and equal participation of all groups in our community, where individuals are safe, self-determining and interdependent. We hold each other accountable with regard to all issues of equality, accomplished through education and advocacy. Social Justice is not an outcome, but an ongoing and evaluative process.

Guest Bios           

Brennon Ham is a queer, mixed, person of color from the DC/Baltimore area with a sharp social justice lens. He studied English and triple minored in Women's and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Studio Art at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and sometimes finds himself [still] talking like a Buckeye. Brennon works on the weekends for Cafe Flora and on during the weeks for various temp jobs around Seattle. He loves it here and was brought to Seattle thanks to Camp Ten Trees. Brennon has been volunteering for Camp Ten Trees for three years as a cabin counselor, lifeguard, and creative writing intensive instructor using the camp name Hashbrowns. He has since continued volunteering yearround by joining the board of directors and has been serving as Secretary for the past year.

Airen Lydick is a queer farm kid living in the city. Since he believes that oneonone connections and intimate community conversations are the building blocks of social change, Airen is deeply honored to be a part of Camp Ten Trees and to come together with children, youth, and other adult allies to create a “miniworld” at the camp sessions where they can share stories, make connections, and build and practice skills to take out into their communities. Airen has been a part of the Camp Ten Trees community since 2006 when he joined an organizational transition team that eventually became an advisory committee working on creating sustainability for the project and helping it on the path to becoming a nonprofit organization. Airen spent a year on the advisory committee and facilitated a 2007 retreat of summer camp volunteers and former campers that produced the language of the current organizational Mission and Values. He has also served as a summer camp volunteer (camp name Panhandle), leading the kitchen in 2007 and developing and coordinating the junior staff team in 2008. Airen is currently the executive director of Camp Ten Trees and, since early 2009, has been facilitating yearround fundraising, outreach, community building, and infrastructure development for the organization as well as supporting essential services and logistics for the summer camp sessions.


Camp Ten Trees

The Queer Mixed Happy Hour that Brennon mentions

Check in Links

The Transgender Leadership Summit

Julia Serano's book The Whipping Girl

Tobi Hill- Meyer’s tumblr and projects Handbasket Productions, Girl Talk 2011 performance

Cole from the Brown Boi Project

Meet Kai M. Green, a poet, scholar, and filmmaker. Kai’s film, It Gets Messy in Here.

Gender Justice Los Angeles 

Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice (TGI) and their Prison Mail Evenings letter writing program.

Holiday Simmons at Lambda Legal

Oklahoma 4 Reproductive Justice 

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Category:camp ten trees -- posted at: 4:21pm PDT