I’ve been all talk and no action for months now on restarting my blog. After a week of decompressing in the Philippines, I’ve decided I need to set some goals. Like a good organizer 😉 I’m not talking a workplan mind you…
- Post at least 3x weekly
- Write about spirit at the intersections of identity
- Focus on the Oregon experience
- Have fun!
Ok, now that I set goals, time to get to work!
I loved legos as a kid. I had this huge tub of those classic multi-colored blocks in my bedroom. I’d pull them out and root around with my hands as the legos made that crashing sound that only small little pieces of plastic can make. My two best friends would come over and together we would build epic castles and towns complete with colorful streets, schools, fire stations, and homes. We’d mix in little green army guys, a transformer here and there, and build towers with poker chips for good measure. At the end we had our masterpiece. We spent hours, even days, putting it all together. Then it was time for the real fun. Breaking it down!
We would gather up all my stuffed animals, balls and other poor toys, and hide around the corner from my bedroom floor. Then we would take turns without looking and lob the toys at our masterpiece. We could hear the crashes, and excitedly guessed what we may have toppled. Was it the castle? Did we knock down the invading green army guys? After a few rounds, we’d all swoop back in making ambulance siren sounds, and go to work on repairing the broken buildings and caring for the casualties. This cycle repeated for days.
I have three kids, and I’ve watched each of them break a lot of toys. Sometimes it is on purpose, sometimes it is purely accidental. It seems though that there are a lot of lessons.
I can not trust a system that is not willing to protect people of color. – From a friend and organizing colleague in Portland, Oregon
My communities of pastors, human rights activists and neighbors are reeling from the news this evening that Zimmerman was found not guilty for the killing of young teenager Travyon Martin in Florida. A culture clash of values at work, wrapped in a racialized media blanket and a desensitized American public that persistently dehumanizes people of color while fueling fear and militant individualism. Why we need to keep coming together. From those I love — Continue reading
Have you ever heard the term movement activist? It isn’t something I was very familiar with until a few years ago. With the help of my colleagues at the Western States Center and friends who continue to organize post-Seattle WTO for convenings such as the US Social Forum, I’ve found myself thinking, feeling and acting out of a deeper “movement building” framework.
I appreciate how the idea of a “movement activist” links us to the historical struggle for social justice. How the concept of movement binds us in solidarity with the oppression that communities beyond our communities experience, and calls us to find common ground. In fostering this common ground, I recognize that there is an ongoing effort to establish consensus around the roots of the problems our communities face. As one of my wise mentor-colleagues said, diagnosis determines therapy (thanks to the late Rev. Dr. Bill Jones).
A final note is on the being an activist, and how in this context of movement building, we are called to find ways to continue the work for a lifetime. How are we able to sustain ourselves? What is our support system? In working to change the social order, with institutional forces aligned to protect themselves and undermine efforts at transformation, how do we grow and adapt?
And I’m not sure how I feel about this Knoxville UU Ad Campaign. I wish this story would come out without having to advertise.