We hope this message finds you well despite the happenings of late. It is for that reason we are reaching out. In addition, we want to provide an update on current events and possible future activities for all members of Cuddle PartyTM MN, both past and present.

 

Over the past two weeks we have seen inexcusable police brutality in the killing of George Floyd, answered by protests and then riots and destruction of property in Minneapolis and St. Paul. There is always room for protest against injustice in our society, especially for protest against inequality and the racism experienced daily by our sisters and brothers of color. The legacy of oppression that has existed in the U.S. has gone on for far too long and in far too many places. It is so ingrained in our society that the everyday microaggressions that some people face are ignored, overlooked and even denied by those in positions of power and privilege. Trauma that results from these experiences builds over time and cannot be tolerated forever – it will eventually boil over. The senseless and brutal killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers was the tipping point at this time.

As the facilitator of Cuddle PartyTM MN and a person who has lived in neighborhoods surrounding Lake St. for most of the

years I have lived in Minnesota, I, Candessa, am heartbroken to see the destruction that happened. At the same time, as a community activist and someone who has a worked endlessly to address racism and its effects over the past 30+ years, I support constructive and peaceful efforts to bring attention to oppression and discrimination and to be part of creating radical change that MUST happen. It is important for us to actively be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Please consider doing what you can to be active in efforts to create change at whatever level fits for you.

 

The first bit of news relates to the location at which we've held recent gatherings. As you may know, yoga studios in Minnesota are allowed to reopen on June 10, 2020. However, that won’t be possible for Open Minds Fusion Studio. Open MInds, from which we rented space, located on Lake St. in South Minneapolis, was looted and partially burned during the recent protests against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd. It will not be reopening in the near future. The owners of Open Minds Fusion Studio, Koreen and Angela, have been gracious hosts over the past two years. We have all enjoyed the opportunity to relax and share non-sexual touch in such a tranquil space.

 

This is a devastating loss not only for the owners, but the community as a whole. And, it's one that we at Cuddle PartyTM MN feel acutely. Our hearts go out to Koreen, Angela and their staff for the distress they must be feeling about the destruction of their business and the beautiful space that has been such a labor of love.

 

We are confident that there are many people in the Minnesota Cuddle Community who share our feelings and beliefs. We also believe that there are people who would like to offer assistance to Open Mind Fusion Studio in this time of need. Before the protests, Open Minds Fusion Studio had already experienced loss of income due to COVID19, so the additional loss of the physical location is especially painful. In an effort to support Koreen and Angela, we are asking our cuddle community to consider donating funds to aid in the rebuilding of their business.

 

Please donate whatever amount of money you are able and moved to contribute. No amount is too small and will be appreciated. All the money you donate will go directly to Koreen, the owner. For more details about the studio, go to www.openmindsfusionstudio.com

A note from Candessa:

We here at the Cuddle PartyTM MN community will be keeping you informed about what our future holds. We are going to try to send out weekly notes to our members. If you have needs that our community can help with, please let us know. Hopefully we will be able to gather together and embrace each other without fear soon. Touch is a vital part of our health and well-being and we have been without it and each other for far too long already. Remember to have compassion for yourself and for others in this really stressful time.

 

Please stay safe and well.

If you have questions/concerns, please email Candessa at cuddlepartymn@gmail.com .

 

Hugs,

Candessa and Cuddle PartyTM MN organizers

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Open Minds Fusion Studio Destruction