To Build the World We Desire, We Must Dream Deeply Together

“Get along with your individuals … and simply take a second to understand your self for the methods during which you’re surviving a really unprecedented time,” says organizer Tanuja Jagernauth. On this episode of “Motion Memos,” Jagernauth and host Kelly Hayes focus on the work of cultivating hope amid disaster and the way activists can craft a imaginative and prescient for motion.

Music by Son Monarcas, Viriya and David Celeste


Observe: This a rush transcript and has been frivolously edited for readability. Copy will not be in its ultimate type.

Kelly Hayes: Welcome to “Motion Memos,” a Truthout podcast about organizing, solidarity and the work of constructing change. I’m your host, author and organizer Kelly Hayes. This week, we’re persevering with our dialogue in regards to the follow of hope, and the way we are able to put our hopes into motion. The primary installment of our collection on hope, that includes Tanuja Jagernauth, garnered an unprecedented response from our listeners and readers. I’ve at all times appreciated it when individuals attain out with suggestions on episodes, to elucidate what was useful, or to tell us that they shared an episode with their class or with kinfolk. After Tanuja’s final episode, entitled “Hope Isn’t A Given. We Should Domesticate It Collectively,” an entire lot of individuals reached out to say, “This was precisely what I wanted proper now.” Throughout what has been an unnerving time for many people, lots of people discovered Tanuja’s insights and recommendation to be emotionally grounding and instructive. I can’t inform you how blissful it made Tanuja and I to have labored on one thing that folks discovered useful throughout this troublesome time. And what made us even happier was understanding that Tanuja could be again for 2 extra installments. Nicely, this episode is an element two of that complete state of affairs.

Partially I, we talked about getting readability, discovering alignment, and using instruments and practices that may help us in our private follow of hope — and I do advocate circling again, for those who haven’t checked that episode out but. However we all know that hope will not be one thing we try to domesticate and hold to ourselves, and even simply share in small teams. We try to maintain ourselves fired up for the bigger struggles we face, and meaning, along with making an attempt to follow hope in our personal lives, we try to convey that hope into our initiatives, communities and campaigns. As a result of our purpose, as activists and organizers, will not be merely to really feel higher, however to convey our visions of change to fruition on the planet. At present, we’re going to speak about that course of, and the way we are able to start to actualize our hopes in our work. I’m so grateful to be joined once more by my good friend Tanuja Jagernauth, who’s a touchstone in my very own life. Tanuja is an Indo-Caribbean playwright and the operations and simply tradition director at Little Village Environmental Justice Group. She can be a practitioner of therapeutic justice with a background in Conventional East Asian Medication, and somebody I like to collaborate with on mutual help initiatives.

When I’m not sure of myself or a undertaking, or when I’m simply not seeing issues clearly, Tanuja is among the individuals who I belief most in relation to visioning, troubleshooting and reframing an issue. She is somebody I flip to after I want to determine my subsequent transfer, and even, typically, my subsequent feeling. So, as all of us grapple with an excessive amount of stress and uncertainty on this second, I’m so glad to supply different activists and organizers the chance to show to her as properly.

Tanuja Jagernauth: Thanks a lot for having me again Kelly, and thanks to all people who’s again to pay attention. So, the too-long-didn’t-read model of something that I’ve to share at this time will be summed up in a little bit of textual content from a Fb put up, truly from Mariame Kaba that she wrote on April eighth of 2020, and Mariame shares, “You need to tackle the actions that you simply do as a result of, at backside, you imagine that they’re value doing. I don’t know if the end result of what I’m doing will likely be capital F freedom or capital L liberation. I believe that the actions I take are value doing within the current as a result of they’re a manifestation of hope within the day-to-day. They remind me of my and others’s humanity.”

So final time, thanks, Kelly, I had the prospect to begin sharing the knowledge from activists and organizers that I obtained to speak to about how they’re practising hope in these instances. And final time, we centered on the necessity to embrace our discomfort and uncertainty as these experiences are inclined to comprise the seeds of our future actions and generally is a manner out of despair and hopelessness. And we additionally talked about getting clear, discovering our alignment, getting rooted in our values, and likewise finding out historical past for clues and guides and the way we would take motion as a follow of hope.

So, at this time, I’m going to be sharing a bit extra knowledge from activists, organizers, and writers about what hope and motion can appear like. I need to share a quote from Rebecca Solnit: “To hope is to present your self to the longer term. And that dedication to the longer term makes the current inhabitable.” Once I was speaking to Chiara Galimberti, she jogged my memory that what’s lovely in regards to the follow of hope is that it helps us to undertaking ourselves and our minds into the longer term a little bit bit, and it helps us to presuppose the thought of change.

So, that follow, it provides us a little bit little bit of break from the current second. And is it suggested that we spend all of our time in that area? No, however it may be a extremely useful factor to take a while and actually do the work of visioning. Albert Camus writes, “The place there isn’t any hope, it’s incumbent on us to invent it.” So, the best way that I interpret that’s we have to take a while earlier than we take motion to activate our imaginations and take a while to dream.

I’m actually impressed by Poka Laenui. He’s a number one voice for Hawaiian independence and a world advocate for Indigenous individuals. And he put collectively a doc referred to as “Processes of Decolonization.” And in that doc, he shares the teachings of Virgilio Enriquez who’s a Professor of Psychology and an advocate for the integrity of native wisdoms. Professor Enriquez calls the dreaming state of decolonization truly essentially the most essential for decolonization.

On this course of, he recommends all prospects must be explored and debated. You’ll want to seek the advice of with the individuals most impacted by the problem that you simply’re engaged on and permit area and time for concepts to generate different concepts, so that you simply finally construct a basis, a strong, clear imaginative and prescient that may actually information any future motion. And he actually cautions people to not minimize this course of brief by simply leaping to motion. I do know that typically that’s what we do when issues really feel actually pressing, however there’s a possibility to press pause and ask, “Have we actually fleshed this out sufficient. Have we brainstormed sufficient? Have we thought-about all the probabilities and actually created a transparent concrete imaginative and prescient?”

I need to invite us all to consider what if we thought in regards to the issues we create as alive. I do consider the issues we create as dwelling issues. So, for those who settle for that concept and need to entertain that concept, you don’t need to drive your concept out into the world earlier than it’s time. Fascinated about birthing a human being, proper? You’ll want to give that human being sufficient time to gestate earlier than you beginning it.

One other picture that is perhaps useful is I take into consideration individuals who develop issues: vegetation, timber, fruits, greens, issues like that. You don’t need to simply plant a seed or something within the mistaken sort of soil. I’m not a gardener, however I examine it. I take heed to individuals who develop issues, and I actually admire them. However what I do know from them is you want to take the time to domesticate the soil that one thing goes to develop in for the factor that you simply’re making an attempt to develop in it. So, if I’m making an attempt to develop a succulent, a desert plant, I would like that soil to be proper for that succulent.

It must be aerated. It has to incorporate sufficient drainage, proper? It’s going to be a little bit bit sandier, so on and so forth. I’m not going to plant a succulent in the identical soil as I’d plant a basil plant. So, anyway, you need to take the time to ensure you’re cultivating the imaginative and prescient that’s acceptable to what you’re making an attempt to create. And I do know that this goes in opposition to a few of our coaching and a few of our upbringing that basically invitations us to follow urgency.

However again to the teachings of Professor Enriquez, once we don’t take the time to totally visualize fully what we’re making an attempt to create, the objectives that we finally set, they is perhaps shortsighted. And our measure of success could also be probably materialistic, probably unrooted in our precise values. So, you actually need to make certain the imaginative and prescient you’re creating is deeply rooted in your group, your individuals, your values, your imaginative and prescient.

It’s essential within the means of dreaming to make it possible for the parents most impacted by a problem are concerned actively in that course of. So, we’re not going to perpetuate colonialism and White supremacy dynamics by dreaming up a dream for one more group of individuals or for one more individual with out consulting with them. I actually need to make certain we make clear that. So, we’re together with the individuals most impacted by a problem as we do our dreaming course of towards the creation of a imaginative and prescient.

And typically that is going to imply we now have to teach ourselves and educate each other. Loads of the those who I spoke to, they talked in regards to the energy of schooling and it made me consider one thing that Mariame Kaba at all times says, which is, “Preserve studying.” I like the follow of standard schooling, which is rooted in the concept that each teaches one. So, utilizing the language of Paulo Freire, we are able to all tackle the function of a progressive educator. And in some circumstances, we actually have to.

The thought rooted in standard schooling is that every of us is the knowledgeable in our personal lives. And sharing our lives, sharing the experiences of our lives with each other can construct intimacy. It could possibly construct group as you’re constructing a collective sense of imaginative and prescient collectively. And I actually simply need to take a second to shout out individuals who maintain area for storytelling, permitting individuals to come back collectively to share the complexities of their lives and to be witnessed and to be affirmed.

KH: Holding area for storytelling, and for individuals to share the complexities of their lives, is a deeply underappreciated facet of motion work. I’m somebody who can simply fall into the lure of being so task-oriented that I can neglect that nourishing our souls, and replenishing ourselves emotionally can’t be an afterthought. There was a time in my work, for instance, when my mates and I’d do marathon prop builds, or have lengthy, aggravating conferences, and our manner of balancing that stress and that output was to exit consuming afterwards. I’m positive plenty of activists can relate to this sample, and I’m not saying it’s unhealthy to exit consuming with your pals and co-strugglers after a tough day’s work. There’s nothing mistaken with that. However wanting again, I can see how, in some methods, we had been treating our humanity as an afterthought. And it was an afterthought that didn’t embody everybody, since not everybody was going to hit the bars or wherever we went. It’s not that we didn’t deserve or want that area for letting off steam, processing, laughing, celebrating, or making pleasure collectively. We did. However everybody within the group wanted that, and we additionally weren’t making area for it in a structured, intentional manner. Since then, I’ve discovered that we have to create these sorts of retailers inside our organizing containers, along with no matter else occurs exterior of them.

One instance, from my very own work, consists of Mariame Kaba’s Poetry as an Anti-Violence Intervention curriculum. On a current organizing retreat, I walked members of my collective by means of the curriculum, and we held a poetry circle — a dialogue of Pleasure Harjo’s Bourbon and Blues. It was my first time main the train, and I rapidly seen that the format gave individuals the power to easily touch upon the poem itself, or to grow to be extra susceptible, and relate the fabric to their very own lives or the work we do. As our youngest member mentioned of the expertise, “I didn’t count on it to be that deep.”

We additionally talked in regards to the ways in which trauma can impede our imaginations, and the way stopping to interact with this poem collectively was a manner of coaxing our minds to play, which is crucial to any visioning course of. To inform tales collectively, to play with phrases collectively, to discover {our relationships} to the struggles we have interaction with — all of this enhances our capability to domesticate hope and take significant motion in live performance with each other.

TJ: I need to share a quote from Paulo Freire from his ebook Pedagogy of Hope. “One of many duties of the progressive educator by means of a critical right political evaluation is to unveil alternatives for hope it doesn’t matter what the obstacles could also be.” Nikki McKinney, who’s a youth organizer with Avenue Youth Rise Up, shared that in Nikki’s follow, they might invite younger individuals to come back collectively and to study collectively.

And plenty of instances, Nikki shared, younger individuals would present up and they might present up with a way of hopelessness. And they’d truthfully ask, “How is that this all supposed to vary something?” That was an enormous query that Nikki heard from individuals quite a bit. And over time by means of collective schooling, standard schooling, actually inviting individuals to honor the experience of their very own lives, individuals finally noticed the imaginative and prescient that they had been all making an attempt to work towards. And people younger people had an opportunity to take part in creating the imaginative and prescient.

And so, Nikki says, “It’s not about convincing others to see your imaginative and prescient. It’s extra so about educating people sufficient to the place they’ll see the imaginative and prescient in their very own lives, by means of their very own notion, as a result of no one’s taking a look at it the identical. We’re all completely different.” Constructing on that concept, Kristina Tendilla shared that for Kristina, with the ability to have interaction with their very own historical past was actually essential by way of later with the ability to construct a imaginative and prescient.

Kristina shared that it was actually useful to her to be in areas that encourage creativity, that encourage vital considering, and expansive considering. And Kristina actually has plenty of gratitude for the individuals in her life, not simply within the schooling system, however simply individuals in her household and group who created areas that affirmed her experiences. And shifting ahead, Kristina was capable of go forward and affirm the tales of others. Such a work is so essential.

The Hope Praxis Collective, they really took a really comparable strategy to schooling, and they’re a corporation that focuses on transformative justice in Milwaukee. And what they seen was that there was simply plenty of confusion of their group about what transformative justice was. And so, they noticed that chance to get all people clear. So, they determined to begin doing public schooling about transformative justice and to be a useful resource for organizations which are fascinated by options to battle and violence that exist exterior of the state.

One factor that they shared that I actually appreciated was that they wished to only begin small after which develop greater. And I simply actually liked that strategy. Beginning native, beginning with the individuals that you simply’re in group with. So, utilizing schooling, partaking in schooling, standard schooling rooted within the lives of your group can actually assist create that imaginative and prescient that may take you towards motion.

One factor that Kristina Tendilla shared with me is that our visions typically start with our wishes. So, a query that Kristina would pose to individuals is: “What world do you want?” And I like that query. And for these of you listening, who’re fascinated by how do you even start this means of dreaming? That might be a extremely good query to ask.

I additionally need to share a world-building train that I used to be fortunate sufficient to listen to from Kristiana Rae Colón, who’s an abolitionist, playwright, and the co-founder of the Let Us Breathe Collective. It’s attention-grabbing that the world constructing train that I’m going to share, Kristiana was sharing this within the context of playwriting, but additionally, we are able to use such a exercise as we manage and as we create initiatives with our comrades.

So, the train from Kristiana is as follows. Kristiana says, “Breath, get into your physique, think about a world with out police, with out prisons. Visualize it. You may consider that as small or as massive of a scale as you need. So, maybe take into consideration a globe with out militaries, a nation of blocks with out squad automobiles, a county with out a sheriff. Take into consideration the truth that plenty of communities already dwell inside abolition. There are particular neighborhoods like Winnetka that you simply don’t see police patrolling the best way that you simply do on the south aspect of Chicago.”

“So, once we give it some thought, abolition will not be that far-fetched of an concept for some as it might be for others. Think about if all communities obtained to expertise the absence of harassment, the absence of policing. What would that scent like? What would that sound like? What conversations would you overhear in a world like that, in a group like that, in a block like that? Preserve respiratory and picture what this might be like. Attempt to see your self transfer by means of a world like that.”

If in case you have some paper and a pen, you possibly can “make a listing of 5 sounds that you simply conjure if you think about a world with out police. Make a listing of 5 smells you’ll encounter on this world. Make a listing of 5 textures or stuff you may really feel in your pores and skin. Make a listing of 5 stuff you may style on this world. What do you need to eat in a world with out prisons and police? Make a listing of 5 individuals that you really want with you on this world.” And once more, that may be a world-building train from Kristiana Rae Colón, a playwright, and co-founder of the Let Us Breathe Collective.

And I actually love that type of train. It will get us concrete, and it might set us up very properly for finally taking motion and making our plans for motion.

KH: I’ve talked beforehand on the present about organizing as a world-building course of. These of us who imagine within the want for transformative change aren’t merely making an attempt to tweak this fucked up world we live in, we try to construct one thing totally new. I used to be truly speaking to Ruthie Gilmore about this lately because it pertains to storytelling in tv exhibits, which I like. Everybody who is aware of me is aware of I like TV. I most likely watch an excessive amount of of it. I like TV, and I’ll inform you, I additionally love historic dramas. The costumes, the dancing, the battle scenes — I’m a sucker for all of it, from Jane Austen ripoffs to Vikings wars. However I additionally love fantasy exhibits which are set in fully completely different worlds with their very own made-up histories and legal guidelines of nature. And to me, it typically feels, with a few of these historic exhibits, that naked virtually no relation to precise Vikings, or no matter historic figures they’re depicting, just like the writers had an entire different world in thoughts that they simply didn’t take the time to construct. Possibly they by no means absolutely dreamt up that world, or possibly no studio would pay them to make a present about it, in order that they crammed new tales into outdated worlds the place they don’t match or belong. As leisure goes, that’s normally superb, since most of us watching both don’t know or received’t care a lot in regards to the deviations from actuality. Professors and historical past buffs may get aggravated, however most individuals received’t care. However I do typically marvel how a lot better a few of these tales would have been, in the event that they existed in their very own worlds, on their very own phrases.

In the true world, when the tales we inform don’t join with the realities of peoples’ lives, or how they perceive themselves, that may be an issue. They might dismiss us out of hand, or worse, resent us, as a result of they don’t assume we recognize what they’re up in opposition to. Generally, we have to invite individuals on a journey with us, to remake the world, such that our visions can finally make extra sense to them. Jail abolition, for instance, sounds scary to lots of people, as a result of of their minds, they’re making an attempt to map the absence of prisons and police onto this society, because it exists now. A society the place it might be laborious for them to think about feeling secure. But when we invite individuals on a world constructing journey with us, to think about a world the place everybody has well being care, the place everybody has meals, a spot to dwell, and help networks to faucet into, in the event that they really feel unsafe or want an intervention, the thought of not having prisons begins to appear much less far-fetched. If we give individuals the chance to take part in creating microcosms of that world, or securing insurance policies that transfer us towards it, we may help them to see that our visions are attainable, and likewise, value inhabiting.

TJ: Kristina Tendilla shared extra knowledge round making a imaginative and prescient and the dreaming course of. And he or she advises, “You need to join your private imaginative and prescient with the collective imaginative and prescient, with different individuals.” So, once more, to one of the best of your capability, join your work to others. Kristina shared, “Having a imaginative and prescient can hold us grounded in ensuring that the communities that we’re constructing usually are not recreating methods of oppression of their smaller areas.”

And I believe that that is so related to what plenty of teams are actually combating and grappling with proper now. Kristina shared, “There’s been so many instances the place I’ve been both in myself or working with a bunch. And if I wasn’t specializing in that imaginative and prescient, then it was straightforward to really feel burnt out or really feel like, okay, we’re getting into the fitting course.” So, that imaginative and prescient will be that information, that compass to ensure you can come again to time and again. So, it’s nice to articulate it. It’s nice to get it down on paper earlier than you even do a factor.

Juli Kempner, who’s an organizer with Survived & Punished in New York, says “Hope for me is the imaginative and prescient. It’s a prelude to a way of one thing higher, one thing very completely different, one thing most definitely very radical. It entails prospects. It entails creativeness. After which, to a sure extent, it entails a plan as to how are you going to get from level A to level B as a result of in any other case, we’re human and we run out of hope.” So, that is our segue into making a plan for motion.

What this implies is we spend a while, we get artistic and we construct a plan now to really attempt to notice that imaginative and prescient. Kristina shared, “I believe that constructing a plan, we now have to grasp, we’re unsure if it’s going to work out or not, however we strive. After which, we ask every single day, how do your on a regular basis duties or actions line up nearer towards your imaginative and prescient?”

That’s essential as a result of it helps us hold grounded. And it might additionally assist us deal with emotions like burnout and pessimism. So, I undoubtedly need to shout out to all of the planners on the market. And I do know that there’s debate round course of versus construction versus taking motion and what’s the work. I actually need to invite us all to actually embrace planning as a part of the work, intentional community-grounded planning as a part of the work. Our work wants a container. And we’re actually as soon as once more, so blessed proper now, y’all, that there are such a lot of toolkits obtainable to us to assist us construct higher containers.

I actually need to advocate, for those who go on the Barnard Middle for Analysis on Girls’s YouTube page, you’re going to see movies from Dean Spade on tips on how to do a few of this work collectively in a extra liberatory manner, on resolution making, on mutual help, on tips on how to speak about cash. As soon as once more, I need to elevate up the In It Collectively toolkit, a collaboration between Interrupting Criminalization and Dragonfly Companions. It’s simply chock-full of concepts and steering for tips on how to construct that container.

I need to say about planning, particularly if we’re working to make plans that we’re hoping result in cultural change and finally PIC [Prison-Industrial Complex] abolition: Our plans are going to vary. Change is the one fixed, lifting up Octavia Butler. So, we do need to make plans which are versatile and which are adaptable. It’s A-OK.

I personally actually love the follow of thoughts mapping. So, on a clean piece of paper, you get your whole wild concepts out. You place within the middle of your piece of paper in a circle the factor that you simply’re making an attempt to do, after which linked to that middle purpose or middle concept or middle want, you make your self take into consideration, “Okay, what is that this going to take? And what am I considering? What are my fears? What are my hopes? What are the duties?” And when you get all that wild brainstorming out with your self or with ideally, a bunch of individuals, then y’all can return and determine, “Okay, what’s the primary motion? What’s the second motion? Oh, this concept must be damaged down much more. Let’s go forward and break it down.”

In order that what you ultimately create is a listing, a considerably linear checklist of all of the actions you’re going to take. After which, y’all can go into your calendars and map it out in your calendar so that you simply may be capable to construct a six-month plan that may hold you accountable, that may hold you shifting alongside the journey towards attaining a specific purpose. It’s simply actually essential to get all this stuff on a calendar. And I do know that some individuals is perhaps listening to this and rolling their eyes. That’s actually okay. I say strive it anyway. [Laughs]

After which, after getting this written up, out of sight out of thoughts is actual. I do know that’s actual for me. So, put up your imaginative and prescient, your plan, your work plan, no matter you need to name this. Publish it some place the place you and your crew can see it. And go forward and designate a rotation of individuals to be the calendar steward or the calendar fairy who will be like, “Cool, let’s verify in on our timeline.” You don’t need to set one individual as much as be that individual. It could possibly get sticky.

However one of many issues that I need to additionally share is that it comes right down to having practical expectations and your planning instruments may help you actually like, when you’ve created that massive brainstorming checklist and also you truly attempt to map it onto a calendar that may truly make it easier to prioritize and say, “You understand what? We brainstormed a phenomenal plan and a phenomenal set of issues that we actually need to do, however checking in with our precise our bodies and the precise period of time we now have this yr, let’s be selective. Let’s be discerning.”

KH: When Dean Spade was on the present in March, we talked about how burnout, which is one thing lots of people have skilled up to now couple of years, is about greater than exhaustion. For lots of people, along with being worn out, burnout is tied to battle. Individuals’s boundaries might have been violated, or they could have crossed their very own boundaries, for the sake of the trigger, or the group, and really feel indignant or regretful about doing so. Individuals can really feel focused, blamed, deserted, underappreciated or misunderstood, and when these emotions get sure up in exhaustion, we get what lots of people wind up characterizing as burnout. One factor I’ve seen, as new teams and formations take form over time, is that only a few organizations put time, coaching or follow into addressing battle. Usually, the work of processing battle will not be thought-about till a bunch is on the snapping point. By that point, most individuals usually are not in a charitable temper and the talk could also be spiraling into new depths of severity on social media. At that time, teams typically begin reaching out to orginizers like me, asking if we all know anybody who can average an organizational battle, and the reality is, these persons are normally busy, as a result of so few individuals have gotten the coaching and battle is so inevitable in just about each group.

TJ: In your plans, I believe it’s actually essential to plan for battle to come up, plan to deal with it. Plan for the time that it takes to actually acknowledge and maintain a little bit little bit of course of for small conflicts. Plan for durations of relaxation. Take into consideration your plan — again to our work is a dwelling factor, make your work seasonal. It may be seasonal. You would not have to be working collectively at a summer time tempo all yr lengthy, proper? Embrace winter.

I dwell in Chicago. And within the wintertime, our our bodies, they naturally simply need to transfer at a slower tempo. What would it not appear like to actually honor that tempo? What can you continue to get completed collectively throughout a “slower time”? That may be a extremely lovely time to get some relaxation, take a while to replicate, take a while to debate, do extra of these inside actions at a time when possibly individuals aren’t as eager to be getting on the market within the climate.

Plan to make errors. Plan to apologize absolutely for them, after which plan to pivot and take completely different actions. Plan with readability about roles. Plan with readability about boundaries and clearer expectations. Plan as transparently as you possibly can. And this does actually invite us to have a little bit extra intimacy with each other round our precise capability and what’s actually occurring in our lives. Plan with the concept that this undertaking that we’re engaged on, or this group, this will not be eternally.

If we do determine to carry onto the concept that our initiatives and our formations are alive, we are able to additionally maintain area for the concept that all issues which are alive do die. And essentially the most lovely factor you are able to do when one thing is dying is to permit it to move on with as a lot dignity and beauty as attainable, honoring it in all of its complexity.

When it comes to teams and formations that take care of cash, don’t go away anyone in debt. Don’t go away anyone holding the bag of debt. So, plan to speak in regards to the cash stuff. It’s undoubtedly laborious, however you do need to do it. We try to construct an entire new world. We actually do must be brave and speak about stuff that we’ve been programmed to keep away from or invisibilize or delegate to professionals or no matter it’s.

And this is a chance to additionally take into consideration the administration of a bunch, take into consideration the operations of your group or your undertaking. We don’t all need to have tons of administrative expertise and operation expertise. However it’s actually superior if extra people can tackle that labor. So, what meaning is sharing the labor of who units up the Google Calendar invitation with the Zoom hyperlink included, who does the assembly reminders? Actually ask yourselves like, is there a sample to who’s taking that labor on?

Actually verify your group or verify your self if that labor is commonly simply being taken on by a Black or Brown femme. Actually ask, how can we share the load of holding this container? So, I would like our plans to contain sharing the load and creating the container collectively. So, I do know there was plenty of stuff, however that is all of the stuff that I believe is basically essential to consider earlier than we leap into taking motion. So, thanks for entertaining me on that half.

Taking motion rooted in our hopes is one in every of simply essentially the most lovely issues we might do. And so, hopefully, we’re on the level we now have a imaginative and prescient, we now have our individuals, we now have our container. Now, let’s get to work. So, as we begin excited about taking motion rooted in our hopes, rooted in our visions and our desires, I would like us to carry onto the concept that there’s at all times one thing we are able to do. Quoting Paulo Freire, “Hopelessness and despair are each the consequence and the reason for inaction and/or immobilism.” Once I talked to Chiara Galimberti, she shared with me that when she thinks of hope, she conjures the picture of a spring, a kind of coiled-up metallic issues. And I liked that picture. There’s expansiveness there, however there’s a lot potential, after which there’s motion in there, proper?

There’s at all times one thing we are able to do. We will at all times push on that spring and discover potential power. Hope Praxis Collective shared with me, “Hope is one thing you do, and it’s one thing that’s been practiced so long as violent methods have been round.” And I’m so grateful that they shared with me this, “Even when we reached that timeframe inside which we aren’t capable of reverse issues anymore, there’s nonetheless issues to work for.” So, they shared with me the picture once more of a hospice care sort of state of affairs.

So, they are saying, “Even when we attain that stage, excited about local weather change, excited about any state of affairs that we’re impacted by and noticing, even when we get to the hospice care stage the place one thing is dying, we are able to nonetheless make issues higher in that point for the people who find themselves nonetheless right here and round us. There’s at all times methods to make issues higher, and there’s at all times ways in which we are able to maintain one another.” We will go searching proper now and already see everybody round us deserving so a lot better than what’s being provided.

The chance there’s that we are able to come collectively and create that for each other. Once I was speaking about motion with the parents I interviewed, Kristina Tendilla shared with me so correctly that as we take motion, “we have to needless to say issues will not be okay” finally. Honoring the concept that issues will not be okay even when we do take motion, it’s truly actually anchoring for Kristina.

Due to this fact, the necessity for individuals to be part of the motion and maintain each other mutually, no matter manner they’ll, that’s going to maintain our group collectively. That’s going to maintain our hope alive collectively. So, what I’m making an attempt to say is care work with each other is motion. We have to invite different individuals into this work. And I’ll speak a little bit bit later about what people needed to say about sustained motion.

KH: I can actually relate to what Kristina needed to say about how the concept that issues won’t be okay will be anchoring. My perception that all the pieces I’m doing is worth it, come what might, is completely important to my follow of hope. I’m absolutely able to envisioning the world I would like, however I’m additionally able to imagining worst case eventualities, and to be sincere, I accomplish that a lot analysis across the local weather disaster and the far proper that, if I didn’t imagine the battle was an finish in itself, I’d most likely lose my thoughts. However I get away from bed every day understanding that the mutual help we follow, the insurance policies we battle for, the individuals we work to get free, the relationships we construct, and the artwork and pleasure that we make collectively, are all value dwelling for, and preventing for, right here and now. As a result of my hope will not be just for the longer term. It’s for the current. It’s for our expertise of one another, it’s for the that means, goal and love that we embody as we transfer by means of the world. It’s for all of the issues we make attainable by doing so, and I’ll inform you, I’ve been round lengthy sufficient to know that the impacts of schooling work, therapeutic work, organizing and motion will be downright incalculable.

However as Tanuja jogged my memory, even with one of the best of intentions, we do must be cautious as we follow solidarity.

TJ: As we’re speaking about taking motion, I actually need to elevate up a reminder with all of the love in my coronary heart that every one motion will not be equally superior, particularly for those who’re excited about your actions, “supporting or serving to others.” We actually need any motion that we take to be actions of solidarity and never charity. And it’s actually essential going again to taking the time to teach ourselves and one another, study the distinction between solidarity and charity. There’s quite a bit truly on the market that has been written.

Kelly, you your self contributed to The Solidarity Wrestle. It’s a phenomenal anthology about what solidarity seems to be like in follow. However some issues that I’ve gathered over time from good organizers I’ve been capable of work with and witness and study from is the ability of listening. Start by listening. When people got here collectively to create the very first Therapeutic Justice Follow House on the U.S. Social Discussion board in 2010, I imagine it was, precept quantity one in every of our shared agreements was, “We start by listening.”

And so, we need to ask for those who’re an individual with place of energy or relative privilege, ask: “How are you going to present up in service to these most impacted by a problem and actually pay attention?” And I don’t know the place everybody’s coming from. So, I actually do advocate: try statements and rules on the market which were round for many years. So, try the Jemez rules for Democratic Organizing. Try the Sins Invalid Ideas of Incapacity Justice. Try the Combahee River Collective Assertion, a pillar of Black feminism. Try the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona from the Zapatistas and different statements and manifestos from communities which are practising resistance to White supremacy and capitalism, hetero-patriarchy, ableism, and all these methods of oppression. And once more, I need to elevate up, like we live in an unbelievable time. We now have entry to Mariame Kaba’s ebook of essays, We Do This ‘Til We Free Us. We now have Ruthie Gilmore’s writing. We’re so blessed with so many texts proper now that may assist us get our minds and our work grounded in PIC abolition.

And we are able to at all times shift our work, pivot our work to get to the actually actual root of what’s occurring. And once more, please think about the individuals most impacted by the problems. I take into consideration local weather change and I see lots of people actually embracing environmental justice and local weather change work and so forth and so forth. And I simply need for all of those individuals to recollect, we can not speak about local weather change and never speak to the individuals most impacted by local weather adjustments on this nation and overseas.

A lot extra to say about this, however I’m going to say it lastly and one final time, we actually want to point out up and pay attention and study from the individuals most impacted by the issues which are occurring. And if I could, Kelly, I simply need to elevate up for example the current abortion clinic fundraiser that Mariame Kaba participated in, and that simply occurred. So, Companions in Abortion Care on April seventh. They posted on Twitter an ask to the group to assist fund their clinic. They arrange a GoFundMe, and their purpose on April seventh was to boost $250,000 for a community-funded clinic.

And on Might third in their GoFundMe page, Companions in Abortion Care, they up to date the fundraiser and so they shared the message, and I keep in mind that day and so they acknowledged, “We’re indignant, upset, and deeply saddened by the leaked SCOTUS draft resolution that overturns Roe v. Wade. This has solely made us extra decided to open our clinic as quickly as attainable.” And yeah, simply remembering that day. I do bear in mind simply feeling and noticing that collective sense of shock and horror and the beginnings of despair once we all noticed that leaked draft resolution.

However then, on Might 17, Mariame Kaba then dropped a Bonfire fundraiser that provided 4 completely different t-shirts that had been designed by Anna CF. And the t-shirts learn, “Let this radicalize you,” and “Not one minute of peace.” The Let This Radicalize you t-shirt is, after all, a phase of Mariame’s personal phrases, “Let this radicalize you somewhat than lead you to despair.” And Mariame invited people to purchase the shirts and take photos of themselves of their shirts. And that grew to become only a lovely joyous occasion on Twitter, proper?

And Mariame additionally bought embroidery that learn, “Hope is a self-discipline,” and posters that learn, “A world with out prisons,” and “Jail will not be feminist.” And so, in that, Mariame invited individuals into an motion they may take, invited individuals in to unfold these ideas and these concepts that we actually have to see affirmed and repeated time and again within the face of despair. After which, 20 days later, as a result of a collective lovely response, on June seventh, Companions in Abortion Care introduced that that they had surpassed their purpose of elevating $250,000.

It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. In a single month, they met their purpose and surpassed it. And that’s the energy of collective motion. And that’s additionally, I wished to elevate that instance up for example of somebody taking constructive, artistic, generative motion and bringing others in to help and actually present solidarity with a undertaking that’s put collectively by topic consultants who’ve completed the labor of visioning and dreaming and doing this work in a grounded type of manner.

KH: Seeing that clinic fundraiser come collectively was deeply inspiring. I used to be grateful to Mariame Kaba for providing us small actions that we might take, like tweeting or donating or shopping for a shirt, and the chance to see how these actions can culminate into one thing a lot greater. A brand new abortion clinic goes to exist as a result of so many people, in so many locations, grabbed onto this story and this mission, in our personal small manner, and contributed. I believe there’s a extremely essential lesson in that. An abortion clinic will likely be exist, not as a result of one individual did one thing heroic, however as a result of an entire lot of individuals, in an entire lot of locations, took no matter small motion they may, as a way to urge it into being. I would like us to consider all of the methods that may look, as a result of we now have the potential to create a lot collectively, and we now have a world to construct.

Proper now, we’re experiencing an excessive amount of erosion and collapse, by way of the norms and methods we’re used to. These norms and methods had been at all times oppressive and dangerous, however proper now, the worst of what this society has to supply is being ramped up, and plenty of us are scared. It’s okay to be scared and truthfully, it is sensible to be scared. Nevertheless it additionally is sensible to be hopeful, as a result of our creativity, {our relationships}, our braveness, and the care we lengthen to one another are all manifestations of human potential, simply as absolutely as the rest is. And as Tanuja emphasised, this can be a time to immerse ourselves in these relationships, and in that potential.

TJ: It is a nice time to get along with your individuals principally. So, get along with your individuals, maintain area for no matter is developing, whether or not with a facilitator or with each other. And I actually advocate the Clearing Circle that’s in Fumbling In direction of Restore written by Shira Hassan and Mariame Kaba. The Clearing Circle can give you a quite simple construction in which you’ll be able to maintain area for naming what hurts, naming what you would like was completely different, appreciating each other, and something you shared with one another and speaking about subsequent actions.

So, get along with your individuals. And I’d invite you to make use of that as a template for an area that you simply maintain for each other. And don’t shrink back from something that you simply’re feeling and experiencing. And for those who’ve by no means held an area like this, please do it with others. It’s a extremely nice alternative to follow your facilitation expertise, follow your container-holding expertise, and actually be current with each other.

I believe, on this second, I’m going again to this concept that the trail we’re on is a extremely lengthy street. And as soon as once more, it’s actually essential to take heed to the individuals most impacted. Kelly, thanks for doing the episodes you’ve completed already on how people can present up in solidarity with trans youth on this second, I believe it’s actually essential to be listening to these tales and taking any constructive motion you could that’s within your wheelhouse, and within your capability, and within your skillset towards what is required.

After which, I’d say, give your self breaks as wanted as properly. I don’t assume that our brains and minds and our bodies are constructed to course of all of this tremendous, tremendous properly, particularly contemplating the truth that we’re nonetheless in a pandemic. So, please enable your self the time and area that you want to course of to take a break from social media and to do no matter it’s you want to do to get clear. Keep in mind your values and imaginative and prescient. Keep in mind the long-term work that we’re all doing collectively towards a world with out policing and prisons.

And also you do what you possibly can, however once more, as a lot as attainable, attempt to get along with your individuals, attempt to get with the individuals that you simply share values with, that you simply share belief with. Attempt to carry on checking in on people who find themselves impacted by all the pieces that’s occurring to one of the best of your capability. It truly is quite a bit to handle. It has been quite a bit. It will proceed to be quite a bit. And so, we actually do have to honor the tempo that’s going to really work on your physique and on your being.

And within the subsequent episode [of this series on hope, which will air in August], we’ll speak a little bit bit extra about that and what that would appear like. And there’s so many instruments and assets obtainable to us, and I simply take into consideration completely different individuals who do completely different therapeutic modalities in group. There’s simply so many alternative choices.

KH: As we wrap issues up, Tanuja had one final message she wished to share with people who find themselves hurting or frightened on this second, because the Republicans proceed to put siege to the electoral system, and we proceed to await the reversal of Roe.

TJ: I simply need to say one thing that not all people has the chance to listen to from others, and that’s that your expertise of this second, no matter you’re experiencing, it’s proper and it’s actual. And I would like you to honor no matter it’s that you simply’re feeling and experiencing. Your journey, your manner into the work of liberation will likely be distinctive to you. And that’s okay. To the extent that you simply’re ready, don’t neglect your individuals. Don’t neglect to attempt to join with these individuals that you simply share values and a imaginative and prescient with, whether or not by means of direct communication or by means of books, by means of writings.

Reaching out can appear like messaging any person, however it might additionally appear like choosing up a ebook that evokes you, or that reminds you of the higher world that we’re all working to construct, and the higher world that folk have been working to construct for hundreds of years at the moment. And simply bear in mind any motion that you simply take is a part of that. And also you come from a protracted line of resistance and survivors. And simply take a second to understand your self for the methods during which you’re surviving a really unprecedented time.

KH: I discussed earlier within the present that my collective did a poetry circle round Pleasure Harjo’s Bourbon and Blues. The poem is about Harjo’s time in an Indian Residential College, the buddies she made there, and the way they resisted the violence of assimilation. The poem resonated with members of my group in numerous methods, some extra literal than others. Personally, as somebody who has survived a number of issues, I discover the closing strains of the poem particularly significant. Harjo wrote:

We had been wild then.

I’ll at all times keep in mind that evening far south

Of city the place we sat on the bar after our escape.

You had gone to struggle and grow to be a painter, poet and singer.

I used to be a poet, mom and I used to be studying tips on how to sing.

We talked historical past, heartache, the blues and what it means

To be an artist with nothing to lose, as a result of we misplaced all the pieces,

right here, on the fringe of America.

That poem makes me weep, and it additionally makes me hopeful, as a result of it jogs my memory that we now have the capability to outlive these methods, to interrupt freed from them, to chase our desires and fulfill our potential. Amid the mass shootings, the overthrow of the electoral system, the pending fall of Roe, and the unvented grief for thousands and thousands of lives minimize brief — our capability to rogue, and resist confinement, untimely demise and subjugation remains to be there. God is aware of the state has tried to rob individuals of it, however they’ve by no means succeeded. It doesn’t matter what horrors they’ve visited on individuals, we resist, we dream, and we battle. So let’s get with our individuals. Let’s speak about historical past, heartache, music, and what it means to be organizers and activists who can face the world bravely, as a result of we now have already misplaced so rattling a lot “right here, on the fringe of America.”

I need to thank my good friend Tanuja Jagernauth for becoming a member of me once more to speak about placing hope into motion. I additionally need to reiterate that these episodes are a really collaborative effort, that includes insights from quite a few organizers and activists who Tanuja interviewed, and I wish to lengthen my because of them for contributing to this episode and for all that they do. Tanuja will likely be again in August for the third installment of our collection on hope. We now have another episode of this, our fourth season, which can air subsequent week. I additionally need to thank our listeners for becoming a member of us at this time, and bear in mind, our greatest protection in opposition to cynicism is to do good and to keep in mind that the great we do issues. Till subsequent time, I’ll see you within the streets.

Present Notes

You may study extra about Tanuja and her work here.