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To Work on Our Power by Violeta Ligrayen Yañez

November 25th, 2020
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Since 2018, Working on Our Power (WOOP) has been incubated in the Ubele Initiative as a Transformative Leadership training programme for trans*, non-binary and cis women of colour activists throughout Europe. We are currently finalizing our second rounds of programmes and have trained 58 organisers, activists, healers and facilitators from 11 different countries in 2020. 


At its essence, Working On Our Power wishes to transform lived experience of racial and patriarchal oppression into visionary work that supports movement building throughout and beyond Europe. With this intention, WOOP has facilitated a form of pan-European movement tapestry and a space for cross-border conversations that we hope can contribute to sustaining a movement of cared and nurtured activists. 

This year, because of COVID-19, WOOP had to remove our in-person retreats and deliver our programmes through online platforms. We’ve offered our training in two formats, one 8-week programme with 1-2 workshops a week and one 4-full day programme over 2 weekends. This has allowed participation across different other commitments. As such, our training is structured through 6 curricular themes; Community Organising, Intersectionality as Practice, Accountability and Justice, Transformative Leadership, Movement Building and Sustainability. We’ve offered participatory workshops, panel discussions, creative and healing workshops, guided meditations and yoga, illustrated workbooks and a virtual party/hang-out space.

“In light of the global pandemic and the many challenges it brought our programmes, we saw a need to be creative with our content. We decided to illustrate our workbooks and workshop slides to create more engaging content and this process birthed some beautiful representations of the traditions WOOP draws and learns from - Queer Black Feminism and Critical Pedagogy.”

As the year ends, Working on Our Power will transition out of Ubele after a fruitful 2 year incubation. WOOP is preparing to step out of the nest and slowly start building what will become an organisation with intersectional values at its core. We truly thank Ubele for the collaboration and the strength it has brought to Working on Our Power.


About the author

Violeta Ligrayen Yañez is a community organiser, activist and facilitator, currently located in Copenhagen. She entered WOOP as the Training Organiser in 2018 and has been committed to the project and its development ever since. Violeta comes from a grassroots-activist tradition where she has cultivated analysis, tactics and solidarities. She works at the intersections of feminism, anti-racism and queer issues and has extensive experience in organising that centres Queer and Trans* communities of colour. Violeta works as an independent consultant, committed to supporting grassroots movements with cultivating accountability, transformative leadership and intersectional praxis as a way to build people power from below. Currently finishing her Masters in Gender, Migration and Social Justice, Violeta seeks to contribute with analysis and methodology rooted in experience, systems frameworks and community involvement.

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