Work for Wages, Basic Universal Care Fund, and LMS's Emergent Disability Justice Framework
Our Vision Towards a Black Trans Universal Care Fund
LMS is manifesting a disability justice model where we build practices to untie wage from productivity. We envision a system where we offer an equal universal base fund - what our Vision Steward is tentatively calling 'The Living Fund' - across multiple years to our core practitioners. This would fully fund our health and thriving needs within capitalism (i.e. housing; medical care; child care; food; transportation; rest; etc). We want to do this without attaching those funds to how many hours have been worked, the amount of work that has been done, or the expertise level of that work. With this universal care fund model in place, we would replace money as a transaction for work with relationships of commitment, care, accountability, care exchange, and trust; where we trust each other to show up to our generative practices to the best of our capacities/abilities. In this type of mutual care ecosystem, we hope to be able to dream deeper into anti-capitalist indigenous economic justice models; to ask questions such as: "what is an economic system where money is replaced with bartering?" Or - "in the absence of money, and with the reality that so many members of our community navigate varying forms of disability, how do thrive through scarcity by exchanging care practices with and for each other?"
LMS values work in the form of choiceful generativity. We disavow the ways in which money’s attachment to (state-legitimized) productivity breeds non-choiceful participation in work and generativity, and the larger impact of this on the health of poor Black communities. We believe that when people’s health/care, survival, and thriving needs are fully met without pre-conditions of productivity, we are able to show up more expansively, more creatively, and more autonomously in how and what we generate for/with/by each other. Even better, we are able to truly rest without worrying about scarcity. We are able to heal and be well. This is especially true for Black T/GNC/ENBY folks who disproportionately navigate limited economic access in a racist and trans-antagonistic world.
LMS is not there yet. We do not yet have the funds to manifest this disability justice vision of a universal care fund for our practitioners or to sustain our commitment to choiceful generativity. For now, we are naming our intent and taking slow steps towards the practice.
If you apply for a generative role within LMS and we consent to move forward together, we will collaborate to refine the scope of work so that it is in alignment with your body’s abilities and needs while still meeting LMS’s own needs. We will settle on deliverables that are feasible for the time span of this role - making room as-needed and as available for flexibility and adaptability. To navigate through exhaustion and prevent burn-out, we will foster a relational dynamic where there can be proactive in communication and honesty about limits and needs for rest. If some of the projected working hours need to be used for rest and self-care, we can talk through that. We are figuring out how to balance liberatory practices with the reality that generative work needs to be done to nourish LMS; we are grateful to dream with you in this formative process.