The Language of Empire 2010
Seeds of Our Ancestors 2014
Land Rights and Climate Change 2019
Water and Food Justice 2020
The Language of Empire 2010
Seeds of Our Ancestors 2014
Land Rights and Climate Change 2019
Water and Food Justice 2020
33 years in congress.
45 arrests, and thousands of protests.
John Lewis passed away on July 17th. His legacy is an impressive one, and social media is flooded with people giving thanks for the life he led and all of the work he did for others.
There is also a movie about his life.
The following quotes are by John Lewis.
“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”
“You have to tell the whole truth, the good and the bad, maybe some things that are uncomfortable for some people.”
“I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in trouble. Good trouble, necessary trouble.”
“You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way… to get in the way.”
“You have to be persistent.”
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”
“I believe race is too heavy a burden to carry into the 21st century. It’s time to lay it down. We all came here in different ships, but now we’re all in the same boat.”
“The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in the American society.”
“There is a need for a movement of non-violent direct action.”
Artwork by Nicholas Konrad
Maria Shriver protesting for Black Lives Matter.
“So many people have said to me in the past few weeks that they feel helpless and don’t know what to do or say. I tell them what I tell myself: When you lay there in bed in the dark of night, imagine the country you want to live in. Imagine the leaders you want to rally around. Imagine the ideas that make you feel hopeful. Imagine your best-case scenario. Then, pick a lane and get to work.
Do you want a better climate? Get to work. Do you want to fight against racism? Get to work. Do you want to push for gender equality? Get to work. Do you want to close the gap in health care disparities? Get to work. Do you want a different kind of media? Get to work. Do you want criminal justice or police reform? New gun laws? Mental health parity? A more inclusive church? You know what to do.
The work ahead of us is not for the faint of heart. Every one of us must put on our thinking caps and imagine a more evolved, inclusive, and equitable world. Yes, there is a lot to do, but that is not an excuse to do nothing.”
Quote by Maria Shriver
Natalie Portman shares thoughts on defunding the police.
“When I first heard #defundthepolice, I have to admit my first reaction was fear. My whole life, police have made me feel safe. But that’s exactly the center of my white privilege: the police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbors feel the opposite: police make them feel terror. And for good reason. Police are the 6th leading cause of death for black men in this country. These are not isolated incidents. They are patterns and part of the system of over-policing of black Americans. Reforms have not worked. Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered, is one of the most progressive police forces in the country, having undergone extensive anti-bias training. I am grateful to the leaders in the @mvmnt4blklives who have made us question the status quo. And who have made us imagine, what a world could be like in which we invested in nourishing people; (in their education, healthcare, environment, shelter)— rather than putting all of our money into punishment. I’ve gotten to the age in my life, where if my gut feels uncomfortable, I take the situation as wrong. But this concept initially made me uncomfortable because I was wrong. Because the system that makes me feel comfortable is wrong.”
Quote by Natalie Portman
Seth Godin shines a light on white supremacy.
“The systemic, cruel and depersonalizing history of Black subjugation in my country has and continues to be a crime against humanity. It’s based on a desire to maintain power and false assumptions about how the world works and how it can work. It’s been amplified by systems that were often put in place with mal-intent, or sometimes simply because they felt expedient. It’s painful to look at and far more painful to be part of or to admit that exists in the things that we build.
We can’t permit the murder of people because of the color of their skin. Institutional racism is real, it’s often invisible, and it’s pernicious.
And White Supremacy is a loaded term precisely because the systems and their terrible effects are very real, widespread and run deep.
The benefit of the doubt is powerful indeed, and that benefit has helped me and people like me for generations. I’m ashamed of how we got here, and want to more powerfully contribute and model how we can get better, together.
It doesn’t matter how many blog posts about justice I write, or how clear I try to be about the power of diversity in our organizations. Not if I’m leaving doubt about the scale and enormity of the suffering that people feel, not just themselves, but for their parents before them and for the kids that will follow them.
It’s easier to look away and to decide that this is a problem for someone else. It’s actually a problem for all of us. And problems have solutions and problems are uncomfortable.”
Quote by Seth Godin
Illustrations by Meenal Patel Studio
By now I’m sure everyone is aware of the George Floyd protests that have been taking place. As someone that has participated in social justice protests in New York, I can attest to the dedication and courage it takes to participate. You can literally arrive with peace in your heart and the best intentions, and end up with your life on the line.
Please do not confuse looters with protestors. Looting is not protesting. Anyone that was involved in nefarious activities was not a protestor. (*For additional views on on the protest, as well as looting and rioting, please read my other post.)
Many of the protestors that participated will arrive home safely and others will need some form of legal, financial or medical assistance. Please stand in solidarity with these individuals, as well as the organizations that support them. I’ve listed donation links below by city.
If you are not able to make a donation, please post something supportive on your social media accounts or write a letter to congress. Anything that will raise awareness.
And if you feel unsure about what’s happening, these social media accounts might be of interest to you.
You are welcome to post additional social media accounts and organizations in the comments.
I’m just encouraging everyone to take some type of positive action. (If they haven’t already done so.)
The world is a very small place. We are all connected. If we ignore, misuse or abuse each other (or the planet) we are only hurting ourselves. Let’s rise to help one another. You have the freedom to do it in your own way.
A better world depends on a better collective consciousness. And that depends on each one of us taking responsibility for our part in that collective. If we want the world to change, we must change first.
Think of new ways to be and new ways to help. The possibilities are endless. And if nothing comes to mind, just support those on the front lines. That’s always a great place to start.
Sending love and support to everyone during this time. I know we’re all hurting in different ways. Let’s continue to be compassionate and courageous, and calm.
Fear, stress and blame is not where we want to focus. I always remind myself of this quote, “Where your attention goes, it grows.” Keep your mind and energy on what the world needs right now.
Empathy, peace, love, creativity, patience, compassion, ingenuity, encouragement, support, healing, well-being, understanding… Let’s root our actions and thoughts in what we need most.
Donating to protestors in Minnesota:
It’s my understating that Minnesota Freedom Fund is fully funded right now and wants donations sent to the following organizations;
Donating to protestors in other cities:
For all the cities I missed, you can check this website and scroll down for a city near you.
And if you need bail support or have questions, you can call the National Lawyers Guild directly 612-444-2654
The wolves in Colorado were hunted to extinction in the 1940s. There is now an opportunity bring them back. Please visit the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project for more information. If you feel moved, please sign the Action Letter here or make a donation here.
“Re-establishing wolves in western Colorado could connect the entire North American wolf population from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan through Canada and Alaska, down the Rocky Mountains into Mexico. It would be difficult to overestimate the biological and conservation value of this achievement.“
– Dr. L. D. Mech, biologist
I stumbled upon Caitlin Cimini’s account on Instagram this week. Too cute not to share! You have to see her videos of Janet & Stephen. I can’t get enough of those two. Little moments of happy-smily-bliss watching them romp around. It’s instant happiness for me. Here is a link to her account: @boochaces Go see those videos! …And here is a link to her website too: www.ranchorelaxonj.org
Another account I found (while on Caitlin’s page) was Sammantha Margaret. Wow. Really stunning photography. Her work is absolutely excellent, very top-notch. I will link to her Instagram page as well: @sfisherx
Included in this blog post is a selection of photos from Caitlin Cimini’s Instagram page, and Sammantha Margaret’s photo of Stephen is the top image. Visit her website to see more of her photography. You’ll be so glad you did. www.sammanthafisher.com
I was sitting on a stretch of cushy green grass, looking at a landscape of Napa Valley hills. Noticing the contrast of color. Summer (and forest fires) took the green out of the hills. They were now a rusty camel color. My mind jumped to my to-do list. I began to think about what this Sunday’s blog post would be about. I thought I would share Elizabeth Gilbert’s (she’s the writer of Eat, Pray, Love) recent Instagram post about Nia Wilson. Or maybe I would share the work of the artist that painted Nia Wilson’s portrait? Or maybe I would share both? But then I started to think. About the sexism, racism, ageism, classism, and all of the other -isms. About all of the trauma, fear, ignorance, hate, confusion and injustice people have to face in their lives. And then my mind jumped back to the presence of stillness. To the beating of my own heart. To the air I breathe. To the bird taking flight from a tree branch across from me. To the wind dancing on my skin. To the amazing feeling of being alive and witnessing a miracle. To the pulse of the Universe. To the feeling of simply being. Simply being breathed. Simply feeling life live life. Without judgement. Without drama. Without a story. Just aliveness. Just surrender to all that is. I suddenly fell into a state of Grace and appreciation. I went from worry and fear to kindness and acceptance. Not passive acceptance — but unconditional love. The power of the truth in this moment. The power of stillness that is always waiting for us… just beneath the surface.
Link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Nia Wilson post:
Link to Nia Wilson information:
Link to support Nia Wilson’s investigation & family:
Link to Sarah Green’s Instagram account:
“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”
All quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh