“A Day in the Life- Eppchez”

A peek into a day in the life of Eppchez, a 2014-2015 Philadelphia QVS Fellow.

At my placement with Philadelphia FIGHT’s Institute for Community Justice, a nonprofit I support folks who are in and out of prison trying to navigate a system stacked against them. I have developed rich relationships with the participants who come through the office’s re-entry drop-in. I have taken responsibility for the projects that felt most interesting to me, including facilitating the drop-in creative writing class, and producing a staged reading of short plays written by currently incarcerated people. All this and yet I have not been surprised to discover over the course of this year that I am simply not suited to an office environment-even at ICJ, which is a best case scenario for office life. At ICJ I am out to my colleagues as a gender, I can wear my garish plain dress no questions asked, and most importantly the entire staff is committed to working against systemic oppression and embracing the complexities of intersecting identities in this work, all this compassion in the workplace and I am clear and feel called to my own work of building theater and music and poetry.

I am a multi genre artist. I know that for sure now. QVS enabled me to try and fail and flail and finally adapt my placement to fit me, but the real gift of this year has been in the space and silence to begin practicing living in the future I hope to inhabit as an artist, activist, and oddball. I am excited to be staying in Philadelphia next year to work on my own projects. I have found some wonderful communities of artists, activists and Quakers here in Philly and QVS provided a glorious home base from which to build those relationships and networks.

-Eppchez Yo-Si Yes, 2014-15 Philadelphia Fellow


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