Hi Friends,

I hope you’re all doing well now that summer is (almost officially) here. I don’t know about you, but our spring felt like a frenzy of activity even though I try so hard not to overschedule our family. So far, I have been spending more time outside, in the garden or on walks in the neighborhood, identifying our local birds and plants, seeking connections that will help me feel rooted and supported. I hope you also have time and space to slow down and feel connected to your community. Maybe upcoming Juneteenth celebrations are a good opportunity for that.

I started reading Braiding Sweetgrass a while back and then put it down for a time. I picked it back up recently and it has again shifted my perspective so foundationally. Robin Wall Kimmerer writes so beautifully, and her deep beliefs in reciprocity, abundance, respect, and restoration of our relationship with the Earth are so inspiring. She writes,

“We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honor to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgement of the rest of the earth’s beings.”

We have lost our relationship with the earth and this isolation and our harmful systems also contribute to the loss of our relationships with each other.

I want to highlight two recent articles about how our culture contributes to the burnout of BIPOC women leadership, even in spaces that work towards inclusion and equity. The first is by Chris Talbot-Heindl, who writes for Community Centric Fundraising, entitled, “Let’s Talk About How Nurturance Culture Can Improve Our Movement.” The second article, by Kerrien Suarez and Whitney Parnell (of Service Never Sleeps), called “‘We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible’: Navigating Three Black Women Tropes in Leadership” is essential reading for anyone who works with Black women in leadership roles (which I hope is most of us!). I recognized every one of these tropes acting upon women who I love and respect and I am grateful for this article for raising awareness and showing us how we can do better.

The 70th anniversary of Brown v Board took place this year and I wanted to amplify a resource shared by Anti-Racism Daily called the Segregation Explorer map. Check out your area (or anywhere in the US) to see trends in race and income by school, district, and state.

I appreciated a reminder from Anti-Racism Daily about the four levels of oppression and how to work to recognize those levels even when what we’re witnessing might feel individual in the moment. These skills take practice.

I have been thinking a lot over the last few months about how to shift beyond acknowledgement to action. Here are two areas in which I encourage you to learn and hopefully take action to engage in shifting the power dynamics in our systems.

Decolonizing and repairing Indigenous communities
- Learn — All My Relations podcast, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
- Shift Wealth — Decolonizing Wealth Project
- Shift Power — NDN Collective
- Shift Opportunity — Rock the Rez

Legacies of Slavery and Reparations
- Learn — The Cost of Inheritance (PBS special)
- Contribute — The Jamestown FoundationReparations4SlaveryThe Reparations Project
- Raise Your Voice — Redesignate Arlington House as a National Historic Site
- More Ways — Coming to the Table’s (CTTT) Guide to the Reparations Movement

More opportunities to learn:
- Esther A. Armah’s Emotional Justice
- Garrett Bucks’ The Right Kind of White
- James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time
- White Awake is offering “Radical Genealogy: Research Skills for Liberatory Ancestral Recovery” in July

Please continue to engage in advocating for human rights and against genocide. The Catalyst Project (Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation) shared a speech by Lara Kiswani at the People’s Conference for Palestine last month about the importance of organizing. The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is encouraging a Summer of Resistance. White Awake is running a summer “Study & Action for Palestine” starting June 17 (register by June 16).

My guiding values for all of this work are more and more clearly centering around Humanity. Healing. Belonging. Love. Sending so much love and hope to you during these challenging times.

Listen. Amplify. Follow. In Solidarity.

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