A workshop to teach LGBTQ+ Juneau residents how to build a support structure is coming later this month

David Abad demonstrates pod mapping inside Black Moon Koven in Juneau on Oct. 13, 2022. (Photo courtesy of David Abad)

A workshop in Juneau later this month will help LGBTQ+ people learn an intentional approach to getting the support they need.

The strategy is called “pod mapping.” It involves visually drawing out your community so you’ll know where to go for different needs.

Organizer David Abad works for AWARE, Juneau’s domestic violence support organization. He says approaches like pod mapping can help in moments of crisis.

“When I’m experiencing trauma, or when I’m experiencing anything, who do I turn to?” he said. “And I just wanted to see who I turned to.”

AWARE is hosting the workshop with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Juneau. While Abad works in violence prevention, he says the workshop will address harm reduction, too. In other words, when something does happen, it’s important to know who you can turn to for help. 

Abad says a pod — pod as in community — map can have friends, family or more official resources.

“Another aspect of this workshop is to identify local resources and or national resources, if that’s more comfortable,” he said.  

But those resources may not be accessible for everyone in Juneau. 

“Maybe it’s, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to this local resource. I’ve done it, I’ve gone to it, it’s not a resource. I don’t feel safe,’” he said.

And for some people in Juneau, Abad says it can be hard to find the right resources at all.

“Juneau can sometimes be pretty limiting, and it gets compounded with other things,” he said.  “Maybe they’re queer friendly, but they’re not maybe POC friendly. And then having those multiple identities can maybe impact someone’s experiences. ” 

Abad says this pod mapping can help fill those gaps by giving a clearer sense of who in your community you can go to for support, before it’s needed. 

The Mapping and Building Intentional Support Systems Workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Douglas Library.

Yvonne Krumrey

Local News Reporter, KTOO

Juneau is built on hidden and assumed layers of power and access, influencing how we interact with identity, with the law and with each other. I bring you stories of the gaps in access to power, and those who are working to close those gaps.

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