As I sit to write this post about #WhyIMarch, I am aware and acknowledge that I have been silent on this platform–the place I call home to connect my current musings for all things love + intention when it comes to loving, learning, and living in Berkeley/Oakland, CA since my Post-Election Invitation.
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3 Steps of Intention Justice™ to Speak Y(OUR) Truth
Beloved community is formed not by eradication of difference, but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. -bell hooks
Dear Loved Ones…
From besties to followers, this is to YOU!
From near to far, this is to YOU!
From friends to foe, this is to YOU!
To ALL are family, this is to YOU!
✔️Mixed Race Family 💕✊🏽✊🏽✊🏻💕
Saturday, January 21, 2017 marked a new starting line.
A day in which millions of women + girls: grandmas + mothers + daughters + sisters + aunties + boys + men allies took to the streets to have our voice heard and our physical presence seen in major and rural cities around the U.S. and the world. In fact, take a look for yourself and use it as a reminder of how powerful we are together on those days when your faith may waver. Amazing, right?
Just as quickly as my family marked our calendar to “hit the streets” that day, I was reminded of a when Jaylin was first born less than two and half years ago when a presumed safe protest didn’t even feel like an option with a newborn. As you will recall, Tamir Rice was shot by a police officer after carrying a toy gun in Ohio on November 23, 2014. This just on the heels of the deaths of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, and Laquan McDonald at the hands of police officers, so folks took to the streets. Now in hindsight, we can see these markers of tragedy and dissent as the formation of what we now know as the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fast forward 6 months to June 2016…
The Orlando shooting happen AND our entire country was rocked to our core to has been labeled as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. As a Black queer mama of a two-mom family, this incident hit too close to home. Here’s what I shared back in July with the Mama Mindset tribe:
While I was taking this small, deliberate action each day, my world / our country was shaken with the Orlando shooting as my birthday week was coming to a close. I’m still figuring out how to put into words the roller coaster of feelings felt as details and stories surfaced. With each one, it became clear how easy that could have been my wife and I just a few short years ago. There’s a lot I could say and yet none of my thoughts are formulating into readable sentences, so politics aside, I hope you’ll take a moment to read the poem I wrote: LOVE feels like a Revolution ❣
Here’s what I know for sure: Prior to the Orlando shooting, I had this grand vision of how my family and I would spend SF Pride. And then, I began second-guessing any public event with large crowds. I mean, we now had someone bigger than ourselves to protect–Jaylin. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I / we would allow one person focused on hate to put me / us back in the closet during one of my favorite SF weekends of the year.
While my wife and I teetered back and forth on what was best for our family, ultimately, we choose to march with a contingency of queer families. This act of Intentional Justice wholeheartedly was a reminder of how many millions of people support not just the LGBTQ community, yet also my / our families. It was electrifying and emotional walking down Market Street hand-in-hand with my wife as I carried Jaylin (and at one point, breastfeeding! #MamaJuggle ♥ )
Click here to view my favorite candid captured from the day.
I share this because the Women’s March in Oakland was not the first time my family and I had taken to the streets, so I’ll end where I began–Saturday, January 21, 2017 marked a new starting line.
Beyond Identity Politics
Since the transformational experience of writing an autoethnography for my master’s thesis, I have been grounded in intersecting dimensions of my identity–I am a Black queer mamapreneur and wife, daughter, sister and friend. I am comfortable naming these aspects of myself because it allows for a reclaiming while being upfront on my positionality. In solidarity with the Women’s March Unity Principles, “Recognizing women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. As Dr. King said, ‘We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.’ Our liberation is bound in each other’s.”
In the days following the march, I have been drawing on the strength of the millions women and girls, men and boys, and families who took the streets and the countless more who there in spirit or virtually supporting. With that energy comes momentum, momentum to speak Speak Y(OUR) Truth. Not sure what that looks like? Well, here are…
3 Steps of Intentional Justice™ to Soeak Y(OUR) Truth:
- Add Your D.C. Officials (your House Rep + Senators) to Your Contacts 📇📲Took less than 5 minutes. They need to hear from YOU 📞☎️
- Set a reminder (daily/weekly) to call ⏰
- Learn more about the Women’s March Unity Principles and pick your Top 3 issues.
Need Some Inspiration?
What follows are the Top 3 Issues I will be focusing on during the coming weeks and months of 2017.
- ENDING VIOLENCE: “Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.”
- REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: “We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”
- WORKER’S RIGHTS: “We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers – including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers – must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage.”
Thank YOU in advance for raising your voice!
I’d love to know…Why YOU did or did not march? Please share your thoughts below in the comments…