Our country is at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. Greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many. Tax breaks for the richest or a fair shot for the rest of us. A government that can be bought by the highest bidder, or a democracy that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.
This is the 26th official celebration of the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I remember the struggle to establish the holiday and wonder what Dr. King himself might think of what it has become.
We’ve been having a good conversation at IISC about ways to challenge and re-frame race discourse in ways that are truthful, loving, compelling, welcoming and so much more. Last week, I posted a video from Jay Smooth about shifting from a discussion about “being” to a discussion about “doing.” Let’s keep the conversation going.
The Acting Steering Committee list reads like a who’s who among U.S. civil rights and social justice activists: James Lawson, Vincent Harding, Dolores Huerta, Nelson Johnson Joyce Johnson, Mel White, John Fife, Phil Lawson, Arthur Waskow, Grace Lee Boggs, Joan Chittister, George Tinker, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Bernice Johnson Reagan, Marian Wright-Edelman.
More than one hundred Occupy Boston activists were arrested last night for acts of civil disobedience. We stand in solidarity with this local expression of the growing national effort to expose the economic injustices that have come to plague our democracy. Please contribute legal aid to Occupy Boston – donate here.
We take stances. Some are weak, some are empowered. Most often, they are habitual. There are stances that have powerfully served us but might no longer be helpful. These might be our habitual stances, our automatic postures, our best known ways of reacting. It is important to become conscious about our stance. To be awake as we take a stance. To loosen the grips of our habit. To make room for new possibilities.
I spend a lot of my time plotting the next revolution. Considering what it will take to usher forth the next movement. Preparing myself to participate. Sifting through the preconceptions of what movement has to look like. Calling forth the evolution of revolution itself. Instigating, prodding, inviting, conspiring, hoping.
|Photo by wwarby|http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/2310975386|
A friend recently relayed the following story about how some baby elephants are tamed, for cirucuses and other forms of work. As part of its training, the baby is tied it to a steel stake in the ground, strong enough to prevent it from breaking free when it tries to do so. Eventually, the elephant will give up and stop trying to escape. I imagine that this is not the complete story, but keeping with this trajectory . . . At a certain point, the trainer can replace the steel stake with a smaller wooden one, despite the fact that it would never hold the elephant if it tried to break free. An elephant trained to believe that the stake is strong will not try to break loose and run. Read More
I’m keen on redefining my relationship with “stuff.” I think it is an essential aspect of truly being in movement. Consumerism is at the heart of the challenges we face as a humanity. When was the last time you watched “The Story of Stuff?”
I have no intention of becoming a monk, so as long I have to buy some stuff, why not be as conscious as I can about it? A BIG reason why I like this IOU Project.
|Photo by RandomChu|http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomchu/251646898/sizes/m/|
Just yesterday in a meeting of the Senior Associates at the Interaction Institute for Social Change, Gibrán Rivera made a comment about the ways in which being too fixed with an identity prevent us from getting to a place of liberation. I’ve heard him talk about this before – and am challenged by it every time he says it.
|Photo by hangdog|http://www.flickr.com/photos/hangdog/23172852/sizes/m/|
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about the constructive engagement of conflict – called Stay! Stay! Stay! It was some thinking sparked by reading the beginning of Bernie Mayer‘s new book “Staying with Conflict“. I’ve been reading more of that book this week – and thinking as well about the work IISC is doing to become an anti-racist, anti-oppression, pro-liberation organization. (And yes, we do know that’s a mouthful!)