Today’s column will be short and sweet. Less stuff for people to read and dissect or misinterpret this way.
The response to last week’s column and announcement has been overwhelming to say the least. The outpouring of support for Taki has helped her a great deal and is something she has needed for a while. We have had a lot of donations already, from money to artwork to a logo made for the fund by Paul Sizer.
Every week or so, I will be giving an update to this case. Just to keep all the donors abreast of any changes. As of right now, some lawyers are being contacted to see if they would be interested in the case. Richard at Zeus Comics and father of CAPE has offered to run the FOL raffle alongside the CAPE one and to sell tickets for it at the CAPE table; he has also made it possible for FOL to auction some artwork off at the beginning of the Live Art Show on Saturday night. So we are very grateful for that.
The sheer volume of emails is such that answering each of them in turn is taking a great deal of time, so bear with me. In the meantime, hopefully I can answer your questions here. Donations we are looking for include just about anything you think would bring in money. Whether it be original art, memorabilia etc… those items you can send to:
Fol Empowerment Fund
c/o Ronée Bourgeois
569 Ayo st
Raceland La 70394
We are also looking for volunteers, to help at the tables or to volunteer time or expertise. Whatever you want to give! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And now on to the details of this fund to hopefully satisfy the nay sayers.
FOL Empowerment Fund
A fund created to aide women in the comics industry who are sexually assaulted or harassed by someone else within the same industry and want to press charges or make a civil suit.
Victim must be at work in some capacity in the field of comics. (i.e. retailer, creator, publisher, journalist, freelancer etc)
The accused must also work in this field in some capacity OR the incident must take place at a comic related activity (i.e. conventions, auctions, fundraisers for groups etc.)
Victim must divulge all details to Friends of Lulu, including police reports and actions taken due to incident so that the Executive Board can determine eligibility
Award will be given out by FOL after The Executive Board chooses recipient by majority vote. Depending on the need, this can be awarded in one check or several throughout the duration of the case.
Recipient must provide receipts for all monies needed or spent out of fund totaling the amount of award.
Recipient agrees if monetary damages are awarded to donate the amount given from the fund back to FOL for future cases.
Promotional costs and related expenses for the fund itself may be taken out of fund account but must have receipt of such for every dollar spent.
This fund is a part of Friends of Lulu but kept separate from general monies at all times.
Donations consisting of artwork or other items for auction or raffle can send an estimated value of work and a receipt will be made and sent to donor upon request or donor can elect to wait until time of auction and get receipt made for amount item sold for.
Paypal donations generate automatic receipts, and other monetary donations will receive a receipt upon request.
At this time all monies given to the fund will be used in Taki Soma’s civil case, paying for legal advice, representation, and any other associated fees that may arise.
The question has arisen about how appropriate this fund is to the purpose of Friends of Lulu. And in response I give you the explanation of our organization as taken from the site, on the FAQ page that has not been altered for years.
What is Friends of Lulu?
Friends of Lulu is a national organization whose main purpose is to promote and encourage female readership and participation in the comic book industry.
Among the goals of the organization are:
1. to increase female readership of comics
2. to promote the work of women in comics
3. to offer networking opportunities and general support to women in comics, and
4. to facilitate communication among women and men who share the organization's purpose.
Yes, our “main purpose” is to promote and encourage readership and participation, but among our goals we see “general support to women in comics”. Is this fund not providing support to women in the industry?
One of the original goals of FOL was to “improve working conditions in the industry for women”. And again, this fund will go a long way to accomplishing that in my opinion.
We are not trying to make this fund our soul focus; just add it to the rest of the great things this group strives to do each year. And above all else, we want to help Taki, and those like her. If a woman struggling with something like this in the industry needs support and somewhere to turn, Friends of Lulu should be the place.
When I initially talked about this fund one of the goals was the education concerning this problem and I tell you that the education and awareness will come as part of this fund by helping out these creators and opening up the lines of communication.
Okay. Short and sweet. Just like I promised.
Ronée is astounded that people can take a good thing and try to make it seem bad and will make no apologies for her passion so stop trying to make her. And Taki? Hang in there girl, we got your back.