I wrote this in Morocco at the UN climate negotiations while trying to process a way forward after the election. Much of this has evolved into what I’ll be carrying forward with me into 2017.
It’s time to break down the silos that divide us and build an intersectional progressive movement.
It’s time to share what we know.
It’s time to figure out what’s working and ditch what isn’t.
It’s time to learn from our mistakes and share what we’ve learned.
It’s time to set aside organizational agendas.
It’s time to think critically about the assumptions we’ve made and where they might be leading us astray.
It’s time to organize. It’s time to mobilize. It’s time to act.
In 2017 I’ve resolved to make time for more self-reflection in my work as an activist. The above list is a distillation of where I’m at, but it’s also an oversimplification. For the full internal monologue – and in an effort to be more public with my self-reflections as 2017 kicks off – here’s the (mostly) unfiltered version of what I want:
I want to write. I want to share what I know and talk about my experience as someone trying to create change in the world. I want to ask critical questions and go beyond the first obvious answer. I want to question norms and the tired ways of campaigning that haven’t outright failed, but certainly haven’t gotten us far enough, fast enough.
I want to be a real person. I want to help others follow in my footsteps and then choose a different path if they so desire. I want to question things. I want to make mistakes and learn from them. I want to learn from others. I want to figure out how to do good better.
I don’t want talking points. I don’t want organizational agendas. I don’t want vanity metrics or memes or useless petitions. I want something more substantial than that.*
I want human connection. I want stories about why we do what we do and how we do it and how it breaks down and the biggest mistakes people have made and the biggest surprises.
I want your secret recipe. I want you to open your books. I want you to share everything you know, because we’re all in this together. This isn’t about one person or one organization, it’s about all of us.
In 2017 I’m going to try and do a better job remembering that.