Intentionality in 2018
New year, new ideas, new initiatives, new opportunities. These are the dialogues that we each have as we wind down one calendar year and prepare to embrace a new one.
This year, I am taking some needed time off during the next few weeks to spend time with my family before returning to the legislature. That means that email access will be extremely limited and that I may not return messages until I am back in full swing. I greatly look forward to this time with my loved ones today as tomorrow is not promised. My family is precious to me and I am fortunate to have the ability and means to take this time and enjoy it to the fullest. This break will refuel my spirit and refresh my mind to the crucial work we must do together tomorrow. (Hat tip to leaders Pernille Spiers Lopez and Peter Cook for always reminding me of the need to breathe and make time for irreplaceable time.)
My next major public appearances are scheduled in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the US. As I write this, people are taking to the streets of Washington DC to protest the atrocities happening in our government that will exacerbate our racial and class inequalities, crush the elderly and disabled, terrorize our immigrant brothers and sisters, strip away healthcare and dismantle tenuous protections for the middle class. These individuals, across all social stratifications, are united in their mission and willing to risk their health, their bodies and potential legal sanctions to make a difference. This is civil disobedience in the most urgent sense - this is what Dr. King is most known for and shapes our collective memories of his work against racial injustice. But Dr. King died fighting for a radical revolution that centered the intersectionality of race, class, gender inequalities in all sectors of American life. His final triumph was in articulating the need for a unified strategy across differences to activate everyone as participants a global conversation on equality for all.
I fully acknowledge that not all of us can push to eradicate inequalities in this particular way, but I hold an unflinching belief that we each have the power and duty to transform our homes, communities, schools, workplaces and more to actively and courageously fight for equality and human rights. As global citizens, this work is not a spectator sport, meant for someone else to do at some other time. We can leave no one behind as we build strategies to move forward. Happy new year to each and every one of you. Keep up the good fight. And remember, I am here to help you on your journey today and tomorrow.
Sunday, January 14, 2018 - Guest Sermon, "Creating a Culture of Nonviolence after the Model of Dr. King," Grace Congregational Church 8 Court Street, Rutland, VT 7:00 PM
Monday, January 15, 2018 - Presentation & Workshop, "Dismantling Systemic Structural Violence and Activating Nonviolent Power," Grace Congregational Church 9:00 AM
Monday, January 15, 2018 - Reading and commentary, "Beloved Community," Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center, Old Castle Theater 331 Main Street, Bennington, VT, 7:00 PM
Clergy from fighting back, using their power to protect us all.
Photo credit: TW Collins