Looking Back to Gear Up for the New Year!
Last year, around this time, we sat at Red Bay Coffee in Oakland on a beautiful afternoon and began drafting ideas for what would eventually become Novalia Collective LLC. We were brought together through our day jobs but really bonded over our mutual love for community building and storytelling. Though we both come from such different places, Vina coming from an ethnic enclave called Little Saigon in Southern California, and Odelia coming from rural Indiana where her family was the only non-white family in town, we discovered that we shared a desire to create into existence a world we wanted to live in by surfacing more underrepresented stories, supporting community building in teams and companies, and most importantly, helping people create themselves to freedom. We feel extremely grateful that we have had the support of our friends and families who have believed in us and supported us by attending our events, workshops, and trusting us to advise their organizations. Before we look forward to the new year, here’s a roundup of all the exciting things that happened this year:
January: We started planning for our women amateur storytelling showcase, this is my body, along with our friend Corinne Colgan.
February: We facilitated workshops for the showcase and met regularly with the 10 performers.
March: The showcase was a complete hit with the theatre reaching maximum capacity. (Video)
April: We began thinking through how we would like to formalize our work.
May: We researched into all the crazy boring logistic stuff that one has to do like filing for an LLC, bank account, etc.
June: We hosted an interactive dinner around building solidarity between the Black and Vietnamese communities which laid the foundation for our monthly potluck series. (Blog)
July: We finalize our business plan and our website, and prepare for a launch party.
August: We officially launched Novalia Collective at the Alena Museum in Oakland surrounded by amazing friends and supporters. (Blog)
September: We spent the month developing out our services and soliciting feedback from our networks, honoring our commitment to continuously re-seeing our work.
October: We delivered workshops on building solidarity and navigating life transitions. (Blog)
November: We took a much needed break and traveled together to Mexico City and then on our respective vacations. Vina ate Belgian fries in Brussels and slurped on oysters and sea urchin in Marseille while Odelia ate the freshest sushi and drank the best Japanese whiskey in Japan, and took a thrilling toboggan ride down the Great Wall of China.
December: We opened applications to kickoff the relaunch of this is my body and looked ahead to 2019. (this is my body)
We’re ready and coming for you 2019!