It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of the world.
For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small imperfect stones to the pile.
From Alice Walker’s “Anything we love can be saved”
The following article has been reblogged from our friends at NPR. We hope you find it as inspirational as we did!
Bob Moses is 78, but he has the same probing eyes you see behind thick black glasses in photos from 50 years ago when he worked as a civil rights activist in Mississippi. The son of a janitor, Moses was born and raised in Harlem. He’s a Harvard-trained philosopher and a veteran teacher.
Have you seen “Fruitvale Station”? If not, please stop reading this (seriously) and take a moment to make plans to go out and see it. It is probably playing somewhere close to you and, yes, it is that important of a film. The film is difficult and triggering but profoundly beautiful and timely. If you know someone like Oscar (or the thousands of others of young Black men who have lost their lives via extrajudicial killing) this film will hurt. However it succeeds in doing what mainstream portrayals of Black men almost never do by portraying Oscar as a whole, complex, deeply lovable person.
The following post has been reblogged from our friends at Grist.org and features our newest colleague Mistinguette Smith. We hope you find it as inspiring as we did!
Gastronomically enlightened Grist reader that you are, you’ve probably participated in a CSA, or at least heard of them. Community-supported agriculture is so common that in many circles the acronym needs no explanation. (Sorry, mini football helmet collectors, we’re talking about farmers who sell “shares” of their seasonal fruits and veggies, then deliver them to members when they’re ripe.) But a pint of locally sourced strawberries says you didn’t know a black man came up with the idea.
This morning we came into the IISC Boston office ready for a two-hour staff meeting and a four-hour training. We sat down, looked around the table, and began with a question not about what was on the agenda, and instead about what was present in the room. The question was: How does the Zimmerman verdict affect us and our work at IISC?
As we break bread with our friends and family, lets not forget about the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we may live free. Thank You for all that you have done. We will never forget you.
If you’re not familiar with six word memoirs, it’s a project of SMITH Magazine, which has as its mission to celebrate the joy of passionate, personal storytelling. As the SMITH folks say, it’s all about “One life. Six Words, What’s yours?”
So over here at IISC we did a little passionate, personal storytelling of our own the other day…each creating a six-word memoir in the moment.
The following post was written by our good friend David Roberts and can be found at Grist.com. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Thanks for all your work David!
Trying to change the world for the better — being an activist, social change agent, do-gooder, whatever you want to call it — can be exhausting and dispiriting, especially for young people launching into it full of energy and hope. What activists need most is … well, money. They’re all stressed about funding.
But what activists need next most is, for lack of a better term, recharging. They need to get together and relax, share stories, celebrate each other’s victories, commiserate over defeats, and get back in touch with deeper convictions and purposes. That’s what gives them the energy they need to keep going in the face of setbacks.