We are emerging collectively from a historic year of loss and learning in the U.S. that changed all our lives through intersecting crises rooted in white supremacy and racial capitalism, from the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, to continued state and organized violence in the face of movement’s uprisings in defense of Black lives, to prominent threats on democratic practices including disinformation campaigns, voter suppression, and the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, DC.
We are also viscerally experiencing the false divides of manmade borders, how our lives and futures are linked globally, and how US imperialism and capitalism maintain and deepen inequities across the world – 85 percent of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in countries with high- and upper-middle-incomes, while less than 1 percent of doses have been administered in countries with low incomes.
Crises provide opportunities for change: As Septima Clark said, “I have great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.” At the same time, white supremacy and capitalism push us to move forward with a false sense of urgency to quickly get back to “business as usual.” From the pandemic, all it wrought, and all that happened concurrently, we have experienced the chaos of grief, uncertainty, and massive change.
We can and should take the opportunity to honor these experiences and move forward with intention, to think together about what these changes mean, and to process where we’ve been and where we’re going.
In that spirit, we are launching a multimedia project, “As We Re/Gather”, cultivating conversations and contributions from across movement to accompany us all as we emerge from this historic period of loss and resistance. Over the next several months, we will share and amplify stories and strategies to support our communal healing and understanding of this political, spiritual, and cultural moment to inform our continued action toward building a world where no more lives are lost to systemic racism, greed, and oppression.
We’ll hear from folks like adrienne maree brown, writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute; Makani Themba, Highlander Board Co-Chair and organizer, writer, and strategist; Hillary Holley, Organizing Director of Fair Fight; Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project; Greisa Martinez, Deputy Executive Director of United We Dream, and many more.
We also invite you to share your stories with us – what you and your communities have experienced, what you’ve learned, what you need others to know – as we begin to come together again as people and communities that have been transformed.
Follow the stories here and on Highlander’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, and share the hashtag #AsWeReGather to join the conversation . For more information or to participate, contact Elizabeth Wright at email@example.com