I love you Boston — and the Mass area. This is true for many cities that showed solidarity in protest. With more mass organizing meetings to come — today was beautiful. Really. There is hope and love. We marched in solidarity with family, comrades, women, whites, people of color, and students. We marched with lesbians, transgender, gay, queer, straight, and children who were being taught love and acceptance. We cheered for women’s rights and their reproductive rights. We marched against white supremacy, pay inequality, rape, and mass incarcerations. We marched because the state nor religion can tell a woman about her reproductive system. We marched because Black Lives Matter. We marched because love trumps hate. 125,000 marched and protested because we do not respect the least popularly elected president in history. We marched because no means no. Sexual assault is what weak men do.
I just got off the phone with the CEO of Power of Self Education (POSE). I am excited that we are having dinner soon to discuss how Janette and I can further join her in community organizing. POSE sponsored the school to prison pipeline forum which I was able to take part in. I am excited to partner with her moving forward as we change the world one community at a time. Here is the video. I show up around 56 minutes.
This past Saturday I sat on a panel addressing community needs and the school to prison pipeline. I was thrilled to face a packed room full of people who gave up their busy Saturday wanting to be change agents. I am excited to further this work and partner with the Power of Self Education in taking action. The narratives and thoughts from the panelist and those who attended were moving. I am excited to be part of what happens next. I is a crucial piece as we contemplate the challenges of mass incarcerations, race, and education in our communities.
As one can see below, it was cold. In truth, I think it got down to -15. It was bitter cold this past weekend, as Janette and I joined a friend to work at a kitchen. As we continue to engage in community work, the realities take shape. Case in point; we are working with folks on the street that would rather stay in the cold and either die — as some recently have, or experience the brink of it. I asked our friend whom we volunteer with why they do not want our help at times, and he said they do not trust us. I have been thinking about our levels of comfort since. How we continue to fail people because nobody checks in on others. Homeless folks do not want a shelter. They would rather freeze to death because society decides worth. We reject each other every day. Class division is real. Seeing a man dead under a bridge is real; he would have lived if he accepted our help; but we continue to let this happen. At times I think Janette and I are getting closer to giving up what little wealth we have to live a life greater than comfort. Can we? I am not sure. But this world in its current status is not cutting it.
On Saturday February 20, I will be a panelist discussing the school to prison pipeline, as part of the educational community forum, presented by Power of Self Education. I will offer my expertise on matters of race, education, and societal inequalities. I am excited about this conversation, and how it might challenge the community of Haverhill and those surrounding it to take action against the inequities that places young men of color in prison. See information here.
If you know us ( Janette and I), you know that we believe the GREATEST lie preached is gradualism. We do not operate that way since it promotes stagnant behavior and complacency. Over spring break we are furthering our community efforts by volunteering time and action to be community organizers. We hope to gather folks who will act in a fashion to identify community issues and needs in a way that people will give their free time to eradicate social ill, vice, and hunger.