An Act of Intentional Justice™
The week was July 4th. The pinnacle of summer.
My family and I had just returned home to the Bay from visiting four generations deep of family in Phoenix.The day also marked my own personal independence as I shared with The Mama Mindset Tribe how I was embarking on #SacredSummer16 (go ahead pop it into Google for the highlight reel 😉 or read on for more deets below ) aka Mama J’s Summer Mama Mindset!
Being in vacation mode, yet having no words for the injustice and madness happening in the world. Wanting to do something while knowing you and your family have worked for this special time to step away from the daily noise to pause and unplug. Then torn with the rhetorical question of how do you pause when there’s so much work to be done?
In case you need a refresher, this poignant recap by Kat Chow should suffice:
“The week began with the deaths — captured on videos that went viral — of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in Falcon Ridge, Minn., at the hands of police officers. And it raged on when — at a previously peaceful Dallas protest organized in response to those two deaths — a gunman opened fire on police officers patrolling the march, killing five officer.”
This single sentence instantly takes me back to the range and rage of feelings I felt that week. Mixed with a huge dose of personal awareness, deep sadness, unexpected connection, and ultimately, healing from the consciousness-raising these events brought.
A shattering week for an idealist…
Which I consider myself, though life has taught me otherwise. While my thoughts on the subject have been limited since then writing and reflecting has been my sanctuary. In fact, I have sat with this piece for 5 weeks now (more on that later…) and unimaginable violence continued. While many voices have risen to the surface, I am owning my responsibility as an educator, parent, and love leader to build a community where fellow mamas, soul sisters, and parents can put love central and respectfully add to the diverse dialogue that’s our collective story.
Real talk: These events re-ignited a fire under my bum. I wanted my anger to fuel my own love instead of fear. Revolutionary love. A lovelution of Intentional Justice™ ❤️ Then reality set in…
I am a mamapreneur juggling many hats and metaphorical balls with an almost 2-year-old toddler, who desires to run everywhere, jump from the tallest place she can climb (Thank you Olympics for the inspiration!), and being a silly love bug with kisses and daily requests for tickles. Yep, I’m deep into the motherhood gig and about to enter what my wife and I are reframing as the “TerrificTwos.” You might know them as the “Terrible Twos,” yet who wants to add anything terrible when we need all the JOY and laughter we can get with our current state of The Union. America. The United States of America. Home of the Brave. Land of the Free. Free to Be ❤️ 🇺🇸 and… 💔
The personal is political.
For my friends on Facebook or those who follow me on IG, I went there. I made it personal because IT is personal. I shared this…
“History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.” @maya.angelou
💔 ❤️ ✊🏽 💔 ❤️ ✊🏽 💔 ❤️ ✊🏽 💔 ❤️ ✊🏽 ❤️ ✊🏽 💔 ❤️ ✊🏽 💔 ❤️ ✊🏽
Free to Be ❤️ 🇺🇸 and… 💔
Heartbroken. Anger. Sad.
Grappling with returning to social media only to find 2 Black men’s names turned into hashtags 😢
The band-aid ripped off 💔 🌈
The videos raw. The coverage bias.
All I want to do is hold JJ close assuring her and I and us that I / we can protect her always and forever. Knowing that’s a false hope and…
Heartbroken for the families 💔
Never more aware of my privilege while simultaneously knowing it only goes so far. Reminded of a time my own father was pulled over for a broken taillight 😶 #triggered
#JaylinJackson 👣 When and how will I / we tell you, lover of life and dear soul that you and your black + brown male peers will have differing and competing stereotypes preceding and following you each day. These stereotypes are operating systemically to oppress, discriminate, and ultimately, kill 🔫
Each other. Ourselves. And…
566 by police to date in 2016. Gut-wrenching knowing that number will continue to rise based on acts we never imagined 😶 While folks may comment on your cuteness, your amazing eyes, and those curls, YOU are the rule not the exception 🌟
That F R E E D O M ✊🏽 is a constant struggle 💞 The personal is political.
I am a Black queer mama raising a Black daughter with @steph732011 making us a #transracial family 🌈 Our voices + actions matter ✌🏽️💖
Posted to IG on July 8 via @mamajlove1
Then I paused. I let my words be heard. Be felt.
Using my voice to make the uncomfortable relatable. Sharing my thoughts to create connection.
With love. With Intention. With Understanding. With Openness to the Discomfort.
And then I allowed the magic of our family sacred summer time #NoReservationSummer16 unfold and wrap me with ease knowing I was enacting what I believe in and have dubbed as Intentional Justice™: small, deliberate and incremental action each day. While it could simply be dubbed summer vacation, the intentionality was set in late May 2016 while camping under the stars. So, what is #SacredSummer16?
What is Sacred Summer or #SacredSummer16?
Simply put, it’s Mama J’s Summer #MamaMindset. Let me share what I mean:
- Name It: I desire to feel the way I want to feel by summer’s end. Letting go of the urge to be doing always. Space to reflect on the first half of the year. Space to curate. Space to integrate thoughts + lessons into Mama J’s plan for the remainder of the year.
- Frame It: Summer is a sacred time for the Roth family. We are intentional about using the time to be present with one another as we honor the priceless time we have together as a family, who loves sun, water, good food, and adventure.
- Claim It:
- Ease + Fun = Joy!
- #NoResevationsSummer || Take on each day with a love and zest for the freedom of choice we have to create our own fun and adventure with you guessed it…no reservations!
- My Biz Bliss List: My Top 3 business desires that I will be working on during July + August
Ultimately, this will be a time that I release the pressure to always be connected. To be sharing daily on social media. To be present with my daughter, wife, extended family, and friends. To be independent while interdependent with my loves 😍
I took my own advice to be present + appreciate the abundance (Oh, so G O L D E N) in my life. Mama love.
A privilege I do not take lightly. A privilege not available to all. A privilege to be silent while more voices rose to the surface. Mama love.
I focused on what was essential: Being still + present with lots of mama love.
Inspired by the constant ebb and flow of the ocean and now well-rested and rejuvenated, I am recharged to enact the Intentional Justice™ work I believe in by taking small, deliberate action each day to Be a Lovelution Mama! So in giving myself a 6-week Sacred Summer I loved my soul like a mama. You know that giving and unconditional way it’s “assumed” we all received, yet often need to learn how to give to ourselves. It can no longer be someone else’s problem.
We mamas + soul sisters ARE the solution!
It begins with each of us as individuals–learning to love ourselves as we uncover more of ourselves–while figuring it out together. So…
I want to be part of the solution. I believe the love from US mamas is…
Social Justice. Mama Love. Equity. Mama Love. Inclusion. Mama Love.
First, let’s start at the individual level with YOU.
While I could easily continue to have no words or choose to let my above post be enough, I also know that the best way I can be of service is to share recommended small, incremental, and deliberate action YOU can take TODAY!
3 Recommended Steps of Intentional Justice™
1. Sign the Black Lives Matter Pledge here.
It begins by stating… “Guided by love, we continue to stand together for justice, human dignity and our shared goal of ending all forms of state violence against Black people.”
I signed it AND I hope YOU will join the movement if you have not already! #blacklivesmatter
2. Listen to the inaugural episode of NPR’s Code Switch podcast below:
3. Consider and reflect on your own racial privilege. And, yes, we all have a race!
None of us our without privilege. We each have a responsibility. To #NameItFrameItClaimIt
I’ll be re-listening to the podcast myself since initially listening I’ve been yearning to write a letter to Jaylin (a new blog series starting this Fall) responding to each episode to share my own experience as it relates to childhood and what I have learned, re-learned, and unlearned since that memory.
Each of these an act of justice. An act of healing.
Simple. Personal. Soul to soul. Deliberate. Sharing along the way as it feels right.
Knowing that we ARE in the struggle together.
I leave YOU with the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. our visible hero who stood on the shoulder of many…
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
♥ Much love. Be love. Beloved. ♥
Please share in the comments below⇓
How has this summer shifted YOUR #MamaMindset ?!