every now and then I’ll enter new spaces and be met with new ideas or feelings that make me feel a sense of urgency in purpose.
this past friday at the allied media conference I co-facilitated a caucus space with Fabian on the topic of (re)connecting to our mother tongues. Fabi and I are both im/migrants of color with complex relationships to language in our lives. we both write pretty extensively about language - losing it, healing with it and honoring it - so it was nice to be able to hold that space together.
the room was absolutely packed, especially for a lunch caucus that was 1 hour and left folks with very little time after the previous workshop session and before the net workshop session to get food. but by the size of the room and the experiences and feelings folks shared: it was really needed. it was a closed space for people of color and many folks’ stories resonated with many others. a lot of folks talked about growing up and not knowing their family’s languages and ancestry due to shame and assimilation and many feel like they don’t even know where they are from. it was a lot of really tender and raw stuff. and unfortunately we only had 1 fucking hour together (why???) so over the following days I spoke with quite a few folks who felt like we needed more time together.
the urgency I felt and the urgency other folks felt in the room was one of many testaments to me that our “movements” do not prioritize healing. that we are not moving and living as free as our “movements” and I feel such a strong pull now to continue to facilitate spaces where we can talk about trauma and affirm each other and nurture hope for healing.
the fact that there were so many folks in the room who needed to discuss this meant that there are so many folks in our movements that still do liberation work with so much hurt. my intention is not for us to do healing so we can do more liberation work. healing work IS liberation work. Ella baker tells us that the biggest thing that happens as we are working to change these systems that hurt us is the change that happens within. so I need us to believe in transformation that happens from within.
there is not a single day for me that goes by without a thought of my relationship to my motherland or desire to reconcile feelings of foreignness on both ends of the bridge that delivers me from here to there and from there to here. I am on a constant journey to finding roots and feeling grounded. I don’t believe that I can do sustainable work when I feel deep sadness. and I don’t believe I’ll ever be without sadness but I’m committed to healing so I can be present in my body again because I absolutely need to and because it’s a fucking threat when we have autonomy over ourselves again - it is an act of resistance to be present in myself when I have been taught and convinced to not only live on the outskirts of society but also on the outskirts of my own body, identity, history and ancestry.
I’ve been trying to figure out my place in ~*the movement*~ as it seems to ebb and flow as I continue to be real about my needs. and I’m reaching this place of truly feeling like healing justice is another pillar of my work.
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