The Heart of the Matter (Hearts for What Matters)

By January 20, 2017Knowledge is Power

Today, The United States gets a new president. I see people expressing trauma and tragedy – for good reason. I think of all the values Mixte represents, the work we do and all the people who continue to experience oppression. Feelings of sadness are more than justified, but I don’t want us to feel helpless anymore.

(Thanks for the beautiful photo above at Shaper Studios, Pierce Kavanaugh.) 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with some of the most justice-driven revolutionaries in San Diego. Their passionate hunger for unity and unrelenting commitment to making our world more humane has impacted me deeply – perhaps in a way I’m just recognizing right now, as I write this.

I’ve spent most of January getting to know our newest extension-of-staff client: The San Diego Organizing Project. Executive Director Kevin Malone told me recently,

“Nobody went to sleep on November 8 thinking tomorrow, we’d have to be revolutionaries. Now, we do. Every voice matters, and every voice must shape a world where everyone has enough.” 

This year we also began working with the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, where I met Executive Director Penny Newman. Penny is a woman who led local mothers, like herself, in San Bernadino more than 40 years ago to fight corporate polluters that were making her children sick. She started this organization and has remained relentless in pursuing justice for her community.

Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) Executive Director Diane Takvorian has been a mentor to me for many years. Since she began EHC, she has empowered countless residents to fearlessly demand polluters take responsibility for their impact on historically neglected communities in San Diego and Tijuana. From grassroots research to expose unreported air pollution to launching a free, bilingual leadership-empowerment curriculum, she has never wavered from her commitment to justice for those who need it most.

Diane has fought for justice for more than 35 years.

So has Penny.

So has Kevin.

And Mixte represents them.

So how can I feel helpless with these people surrounding me?

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, I ask myself how I can have a voice for things that matter. First up –  the San Diego Women’s March on Washington, this Saturday morning. You can meet us at The Local (1065 Fourth Ave) at 8:30 a.m. before we march at 10 a.m.

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When the march is over, San Diego will still be here. You and I will still be here. But we will have changed, and how we change is up to us. I hope we change for the better. I hope we unite with others who feel silenced and oppressed to lift up and come together.

I encourage you to ask yourself what you’re most passionate about and where your voice can have the most impact. If you need a place to start, click here for some ideas of where you can donate your time, your voice or your money to have a real impact beyond what’s comfortable.

This is my pledge to get uncomfortable, to stop lamenting the past and to embody a voice for justice — just like the revolutionaries surrounding me have.