Listen as we discuss the origin of Public Allies Twin Cities, how my involvement with the organization has coincided with key movement moments over the past decade, and the impact that bringing together a BIPOC community of youth leaders has had on us and our communities.
“New friends and colleagues Beth Zemsky, 53, and Kierra Johnson, 36, discuss their advocacy work at the intersection of the LGBT, feminist, racial equality, and body liberation movements.”
This episode will challenge you in ways that are perfectly timed for the movement moment we are currently moving though. Whether you’re new to movement work, a lifelong activist, or transitioning from one form of movement work to another, Valarie offers us up her deepest wisdom, in a way that will speak directly to yours, no matter where you are in your journey.
In times of crisis, systems are disrupted enough for real change to happen – for people to see and hear things that were invisible to them before, to experiment with new behaviors and ways to show up for each other, and to shift structural aspects of interactions that significantly heal and alter the system. In short, intentionally utilizing the disruptive aspects of a crisis presents an opportunity to accelerate systemic growth and change.
There is broad acknowledgement that we are living through an unprecedented time. It is a time of crisis. For many of us and our organizations, also a time of trauma. When things are so hard, how could this possibly also be a time to focus on diversity, inclusion and equity concerns – particularly for those of us who have not previously prioritized these things?
As organizers, we know that our work is built on relationships, interconnection and focused on making significant systemic change. Why then, is it sometimes so hard to explain what we do? In this video Beth describes the difference between a movement and a campaign and how they are used to motivate involvement and build power.
On February 11, 2020 Beth joined Alfonso Wenker and Trina Olson from Team Dynamics as their first ever guest on their podcast BEHAVE to talk about movement building.
While we talk about Cynthia’s experience primarily within the context of the education system, we also reflect on how the practice of restorative justice can provide a vital foundation for much of the social justice work we do. We also discussed how institutionalized power and privilege in the pursuit of justice often results in prioritizing the peace and comfort of those in power rather then well being of the community as a whole.
I am honored to receive this award and recognition. And at the same time it is a bit odd and awkward because this recognition is of me and my work, when as an activist and an organizer, I think of movement work in the context of us. It is our work, our accomplishments, our losses, our joys, our dreams, our movement for justice.
With the context of impeachment and the 2020 election as backdrop to our conversation, we deconstruct what passes for “leadership” in current political arena versus what we believe our movements need to create a transformed future.