Open Collective
Open Collective
December 2022 Update
Published on December 12, 2022 by Chris


please let us know what else you may request from us in terms of transparency. We appreciate your help. 

Here follows a short report that satisfies OCF’s annual request for us to answer the questions, “What did you accomplish during 2022? How did you use money?” This requirement is a good opportunity to communicate to those supporting this effort simultaneously.

To address the fact that people who have experienced domestic violence, interpersonal violence, or other forms of harm we are centering our work on do not unanimously want to identify as “survivors” or have their identity centered upon or equated to such experience(s), this update and our OC account may refer to them as “neighbors”, “friends”, etc. at times.

In 2022, as of 12/02/2022 we’ve spent money in our general fund to the amount of $5,795.32 USD. There are also pending reimbursements of at least $750-950 USD. Much of what we’ve accomplished are the activities mentioned below as they relate to our expenses.

Pending Reimbursements (at least $750-$950)
Pending “Reimbursement #86249” is for helping a non-Nebula neighbor in an emergency move. A Nebula member fronted the cash personally and is awaiting reimbursement still.

We’ve also agreed to reimburse a neighbor $100 related to many of the costs of an emergency move and up to $200 to another neighbor who’s dangerously housing insecure.

At least one $200 organizing stipend shall be approved this month.

There may be other expenses this month. [12/12/22 addition: we have set aside $600 for another neighbor who’s attempting to start a new life in the Lilac Fund project and carefully planning for it.]

General fund ($5,795.32)
In the general fund we had 27 expenses classified as the following tags: “Fundraising capacity” (1; $250.00; 4.3%), “To Neighbors” (2; $685.32; 11.8%), and “Core Organizing Stipends” (24; $4,860.00; 83.9%).

Expenses tagged as “Fundraising capacity” (1; $250.00; 4.3%)
This is to obtain a design for us to have materials printed to fundraise for this group’s work to spread the ways we’re receiving support for the work.

Expenses tagged as  “To Neighbors” (2; $685.32; 11.8%)
This is money that has been
  • Donated directly to non-Nebula people who have experienced domestic violence, interpersonal violence, or other such forms of harm 
  • Been sent the above-mentioned neighbors to their immediate benefit
  • Used to immediately benefit the above-mentioned neighbors

Expenses tagged as “Core Organizing Stipends” (24; $4,860.00; 83.9%)
These went to support Nebula members to 
  • support non-Nebula neighbors in urgent need of us to be with them in person or from afar as we co-navigate the challenges in their lives
  • meet, reflect, troubleshoot, provoke ideas and initiatives, and build consensus together at least four (4) times per month for 1-1.5 hours (sometimes just internally; sometimes with others outside of Nebula)
  • carry out in between meetings decisions we came to in meetings

Some of the topics we covered as relating to above include the below. These topics have happened to learn lessons from past work we’ve done prior to Nebula to not repeat those mistakes, as well as in response to challenges we’ve encountered in between meetings that we needed to resolve: 
  1. settling upon some common language for the work
  2. Discussing how to collectively and transparently have money accessible to the effort; setting up an Open Collective account with Open Collective Foundation as our fiscal sponsor
  3. articulate how we’ll be able to commit five years to the group, including rest periods within a framework of being on call during rest (until capacity increases enough)
  4. how to maintain internal cohesion within the group and understand each other better
  5. Trying to understand other parts of the niche ecosystem we’re in, figuring out how to relate to them, and trying to make contact with them and experimenting with collaboration with RG; broaching solicitation of volunteers, prospective members, current and prospective allies, and how to relate to them and inviting people to join the effort
  6. Consensus on how to push the work forward or pause it and hold/make agreements when capacity diminishes/fluctuates and how to look out for each other when this happens; supporting Nebula members to participate in Nebula’s non-meeting and meeting work
  7. Articulating and experimenting with how to be balance reflection and “being still” with the tsunami of needs in the work
  8. drafting our mission statement and theorizing/drafting our understanding of the roots of the problems we’re facing and what it’s going to take to go beyond addressing the symptoms (see Appendix I at the bottom)
  9. broaching how and what to solicit from each other and people outside the group to help the people we’re helping
  10. beginning conversations on how to develop movement safe houses
  11. beginning conversations on articulating different efforts and spaces (like anti-DV movement yoga, healthy relationship peer space, and men’s empowerment space) and attempting to put the pieces together to get started
  12. figuring out how to relate to the public (on and off of social media) 
  13. figuring out how to organize digital data and how to share and protect sensitive information
  14. Working on 2 designs (one for a general logo; one for fundraising)
  15. experimenting with different workflows, deadlines and priorities structures of the work
  16. etc.

The work done above we consider to be victories. Those that are not yet complete are small victories because they are the necessary first parts of bigger victories.

It should be noted that some of what we’re doing is experimental, including the way we’ve spent money in different ways. All is subject to improvement as we figure out how to build out a hopefully long-lasting effort that has been largely ignored or not supported in our networks and communities for so long.

We’ve been working on how to safely approach the tasks of finding more people whom we are not familiar with to be involved within our group or as collaborators whom we can work alongside with. We have a collaborator form drafted. Please check in on these updates or our Instagram for when that collaborator form is finally ready to be shared publicly. 

Reach out if you can help us send money to people and get reimbursed from this Open Collective account for the same amount since many situations we’re in require quite a bit of upfronting cash.

Thank you.

Var, aka, Chris


What We’re Doing Statement {NOT APPROVED}
Whereas, domestic violence (DV) is rooted in our society’s core values and practices and systemically incubated by a society characterized by the existence of dominator classes, inequitable resource arrangements (resource deprivation), systems that increase pain, and the incentivization of domination,

Whereas, addressing only the symptoms of DV will lead to immense failure to eliminate this injustice, 

Whereas, the elimination of DV can only be found by addressing it at its root source by the elimination of all practices of domination in our society and the true empowerment of everyone,

Whereas, the sum total of the healing that is needed is far greater than any single collective, including us, or that all governments can achieve; part of the real solution requires unleashing the immense capacities of our communities to joyously create and lovingly nurture in ways that oppressive society expertly prevents us from developing and carrying out,

Our means of uprooting DV at its core must be participating in a revolutionary process that affects all spheres of society in cooperation with like-minded people who agree to building a society where
  1. Meeting people’s needs and diminishing pain are the primary concerns of social activity. 
    1. This includes meeting our needs to unfold our potential, rather than having our talents arrested, our choices restricted, our participation and voices barred, and our dignity and positive sense of self attacked in the home, in the community, at work, in relation to political activity, etc.
  2. Stratification and situations where someone has power over another person, shall be prevented and prohibited as much as is possible. 
    1. Where prevention and prohibition is not possible, if and when stratification and situations where someone has power over another person were to develop, they could only be situational and temporary. 
    2. We do not accept the existence of “States”, the seizure of “the State” or the creation of new “States” as inevitable, permissible, situational, or temporary.
  3. Intrafamilial and social equality are pursued.
  4. Intrafamilial and societal divisions of labor are symbiotic, self-directed, and cooperative.
  5. Personal and interpersonal stability exists simultaneously with constant change.
  6. All persons are accepted as similarly human, yet are prized for their uniqueness.
  7. The dignity of each person is recognized.
{Nebula’s mission statement shall be placed here in the final version}

Our Role in the Ecosystem
Nebula is a collective of members. We are open to others joining our collective at the speed of trust and understanding.

We seek to be a space for our own members to catalyze each other to be involved in the approaches mentioned below with like-minded people we will find along the way. 

The approaches we do shall be on a case-by-case basis when capacity permits in consensus with whatever individuals or groups we work with. We cannot promise to be available to anyone who wishes for us to do any one thing, only to those whom we reach a specific consensus with. 

{Our} Approaches 
The below Approach chart is inspired by Tifft Larry’s book Battering of women: the failure of intervention and the case for prevention. Our work is guided by those who come before us and stand next to us. 

General Approach Types
This “revolutionary process” entails taking on the following three types of approaches in general:

1) Primary prevention. Changing the culture and structures of our society from being rooted in domination and resource deprivation to creating culture and social arrangements attentive to the essential human needs for (1) harmony with and acclimation to our natural environment; (2) a physiologically natural environment; (3) a healthful balance of sociality and privacy; and (4) a social life that is noncoercive in thought, expression, movement, association, or action and in which our perceived harms, conflicts, and injustices will not spiral into disputes that lay us open to external imposition and the reassertion of hierarchy and structural violence. Primary prevention is an approach concerned with how needs might be most thoroughly met to foster the highest degree of individual and collective health, safety, diversity, well-being, and empowerment.

Examples of Our Application of Primary Prevention
We hold space for our members where we reflect upon our participation and carrying out of the following, {all of us}
A. Relationship building and collaborating with neighbors and movements whose methods and objectives are harmonious with primary prevention as defined above {to the left}. Within this we are encouraging the development of other groups who would do very similar work and foster collaborative opportunities among value-aligned individuals and groups wanting to engage in this work until this ecosystem is developed enough to form autonomous networks, associations, or federations that we ourselves may join in partnership with others. {All of us in different ways}
B. Seeding our communities and neighbors with positive ideas, insights, recommendations, resources, and initiatives. {All of us in different ways}
C. Maintaining a Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs listserv for us to be able to work with other individuals and collectives interested in this work and occasionally holding space for encounters among such individuals and groups. {Chris}
D. Developing resources for collectives to do anti-DV work (such as instructional videos and maintaining resource lists). {[redacted] and Chris}
E. Developing political education to assist girls, women and survivors to participate in movement work harmonious with primary prevention.
F. Acting as a lightning rod for people to cooperate with us to make it possible for there to be a space(s) within primary prevention frameworks that socialize boys, men, and perpetrators of DV into equalitarian, cooperative, nonviolent ways of life and collective improvement (“empowerment”). {Chris}

2) Secondary prevention. Helping people who are survivors of DV.

Examples of Our Application of Secondary Prevention
A. Holding yoga and Zumba spaces that are catered to survivors. {[redacted]}
B. Helping survivors to get back into old or get into new self-actualizing activities
C. Sharing whatever resources we have to give to survivors (such as cash assistance and fundraising materials)

3) Tertiary prevention. Specifically, intervening with someone to end their violence upon someone else in an instance of ongoing DV.

Examples of Our Application of Tertiary Prevention 
A. Having one or more of our members work with neighbors (individuals or other groups) through “boots on the ground” activity to intervene in an instance of DV to stop it. {all of us}