Who We Are
A conglomerate of awesome, where sport meets theatre in a throw-down against the patriarchy. It’s philanthropy with a twist of the wrist.
SLLAW : Saint Louis Lady Arm Wrestlers denounces White supremacy and the systemically racist practices that lead to societal ills like police brutality. We share a collective belief that Black Lives Matter and recognize that we have, at times, allowed our whiteness to stand in the way of doing our best work. We acknowledge that this has caused harm to others and to that end, we put forth the following plan in order to guide us towards a more intentionally anti-racist path:
1. Rewrite our mission statement, beneficiary application, and any other documents to explicitly reflect that we seek to provide reparations to Black and marginalized communities.
2. Scrutinize the media we share to ensure it better reflects the communities we raise funds for and amplifies marginalized voices.
3. Commit to educating ourselves on the qualities and practices we perpetuate within our White organizational structure, as well as engaging with anti-racist and police abolition education among our membership.
4. Ensure that at least one of our three yearly bouts amplifies and financially supports a Black-led/Black-focused beneficiary directly addressing racial inequity, police violence, and/or abolition in St. Louis.
5. Execute accountability check-ins at group meetings to maintain alignment with the aforementioned practices.
Saint Louis Lady Arm Wrestlers began in October 2013 as a philanthropic performance troupe dedicated to raising money for local organizations that serve women. Over time, we expanded our beneficiary application to explicitly ask organizations whether their services serve trans women and non-binary folks. Part of our natural expansion has also been to raise funds for organizations that serve Black women and gender and sexual minorities, as well as featuring performers from these groups in our shows.
As a feminist organization, we seek to engage intersectionality and strive to be ever more anti-racist.
Moving forward, we dedicate ourselves to examining both our internal and external structures and take responsibility for the ways in which we have collectively and individually remained complicit in racism. We strive to explicitly engage with St. Louis about the realities of Black oppression. We are aware that as a predominantly White, AFAB (assigned female at birth) group of individuals, we have a duty to use our privilege toward the dismantling of White supremacy.
Originally posted on SLLAW's Facebook page on June 11, 2020.