I am facilitating the second round of Solidarity Summit. These are a series of convenings that bring together leaders from the Muslim, Migrant, Black and Indigenous communities. Communities facing similar types of cultural and political violence but that don’t necessarily know each other.
We find anti-blackness in many migrant communities, Islamophobia and anti-migrant sentiments in Black communities, and our whole society is guilty of making Indigenous people invisible. It makes no sense for these communities to distrust each other even as we are all threatened by bans, walls and the criminalization of our very existence.
Last month we met in San Diego. We visited the border wall. It is an appalling structure, a violent reminder of a system that extracts and hoards. It is a direct experience of the few vs the many. I could feel its negative power through my whole body. But I was also surrounded by an amazing group of people, people who devote their lives to making justice possible. At Solidarity Summit I could experience both the sickness and its medicine.
These are busy folks working under a sense of existential urgency. We know it is important to design and facilitate gatherings that are truly worth their time. We are placing a big bet on the power of relationship. We trust that as these leaders get to know each other they will themselves figure out ways to expand Solidarity Practice.
I get to facilitate these gatherings with two powerful women of color. Our team is led by Deepa Iyer, author of “We too sing America,” we get to work with the great Makani Themba, formerly of the Praxis Project and a wise elder of this movement. These are truly challenging times for people who stand on the side of justice. But they are also times of great possibility. These are times for coming together and experimenting our way into what must become a better future.