Stand and Deliver
We knew this would be a difficult year within a political climate that challenges our principals of democracy and decency. The pace of attacks on our community and deregulation of social and environmental protections is unrelenting. Our hearts go out to the families in Texas as they contend with an environmental disaster of historic proportions. This is a moment when we really need strong government; however, our confidence is at a historic low.
We are experiencing the dismantling of critical government infrastructure at a time when we need it the most. Our legal protections and social justice norms are overtly and covertly being undermined on a daily basis. The volume of dehumanizing rhetoric is blowing out our collective eardrums and the doublespeak leaves many of us with a constant knot in our stomachs.
Burned into our collective memory are the events in Charlottesville. A hooded shadow on our nation looms, reminding us of how far we have to go to create the America our children deserve. I found myself providing my children with the historical context of the torch lit march. The hatred fueled by clean cut, polo-wearing Nazis that culminated in many injuries to innocent bystanders and the death of Heather Heyer. Much was said and written about the administration’s response to the white supremacists in Charlottesville. Clearly, the response should have left no room to remain on the sidelines.
We owe it to ourselves, our parents, our children – and all of the generations to come – to stand up and speak out against the events in Charlottesville, and all of the on going attacks on our humanity. Although we appreciate their efforts, we cannot leave it to the late night talk show hosts to lead the way. We must be as equally unrelenting as the onslaught of discrimination, bigotry, and dehumanization that we face. We must resist the fatigue of negativity and double down on our commitment to realize our democracy. We cannot make excuses for not showing up in our critical daily work.
To be blunt, we must…
- Stand in the work of social justice everyday. We cannot sit down – and those of us with privilege must stand taller than we have in the past.
- Stand together and never acquiesce to what we know in our heads and hearts to be unjust.
- Be true to the facts. Teach our nation’s true history so we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Share our stories in the context of race, gender, sexuality, and origin to inspire the justice and inclusivity of the future.
- Have faith in our imagination to create new solutions.
- Defend the most vulnerable among us.
- Never lose focus on keeping our children and families at the center of our work.
- Not sugar coat the situation – justice is more than one life’s work. It will take all of our collective talent, resources, and commitment to facilitate.
At Safe Passages we are more than committed – we are implementing the counter narrative to hatred and bigotry. We are actively challenging institutional and internal oppression with concrete strategies. We owe it to our children to love them and make every effort to implement solutions that empower them to lead a just society. And, at this critical moment in our nation’s history, we invite you to join us. We are currently seeking ambitious, talented, and courageous applicants for our AmeriCorps program. We have opportunities for Service Leaders to affect real and lasting change in marginalized communities that need it most. This is a chance to support our children, strengthen our communities, and invest in our future. Please spread the word, because it takes all of us to propel our community forward.
Josefina Alvarado Mena, Esq.