To share our beliefs that circle process is a governance process that can be used to support the contribution of all community members in all of the aspects of life in a community: governance, problem-solving, addressing harm, celebrations, learning, grieving, sharing, visioning, healing, etc.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Simply put CACIQUE Inc exists to teach, practice, and make available the practice of self-governance through the circle process. Beginning in the City of Chicago and spreading throughout the entire country. Doing this with emphasis on Queer, Communities of Color, and the Underprivileged. All while respecting and protecting mother earth and her life force. Recognizing and respecting ancestral work/planes in the process and rooting our work in deep spiritual centering and practice. While promoting the culture and history of the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora and celebrating the Taíno influences.
WHAT MAKES YOU QUALIFIED? WHERE AND WHO HAVE YOU TRAINED WITH?
Rafael Feliciano is an IFA / Yoruba Priest and has been deep in spiritual work and practice for over fifteen years. Rafael is a community activist and organizer, formerly homeless (twice), and HIV+ advocate. He has held elected office and is a trained Circle keeper. He is currently completing his studies in Restorative Justice and Non-profit management. Rafael considers himself a student of Dr. Syra Pinto of MassCircles.
Our CACIQUE Community
Cacique Taino Inc welcomes everyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, preferred gender, race, color or creed. We do give space and leadership priority to Black and Brown & LGBTQ+ individuals and are working towards creating a space where the most marginalized and oppressed in our community are leading and self governing through the circle process. Ally-ship is always welcome and working with non Queer POC will also be part of the work in the community.
Why did you choose to focus/emphasize on the Queer POC community?
Thirty-nine percent of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color, including 15 percent who identify as Latinx, 11 percent as Black, two percent as Asian Pacific Islander, and one percent as Native American. This is more diverse than the overall U.S. adult population, which is 65 percent white. The higher representation of people of color in LGBTQ communities is in part related to age. With increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people, younger generations are more likely to be out as LGBTQ. Younger people are also more likely to be of color, which is the main reason that a large proportion of people of color identify as LGBTQ. From service provision to movement building, there is a need to respond and adapt to a new generation in the U.S. that is more diverse than any previous generation in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
At the intersection of two marginalized identities, LGBTQ people of color often face stark disparities:
One in five youth in the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTQ, 85 percent of whom are people of color.
LGBT people of color face high rates of unemployment: 15 percent of African American LGBT adults are unemployed, as are 14 percent of Latinx LGBT adults and 11 percent of API LGBT adults—compared to 8 percent unemployment for the general population.
Gay and bisexual men of color continue to make up the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S., with Black men accounting for 39 percent of 2014 HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, and Latinos accounting for 24 percent.
This why we at Cacique Taino Inc were founded and created by POC Queer folk so we can self govern and with sovereign logic improve outcomes for the most vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ communities of color, that will lead to system-wide change that will improve outcomes for all communities.