Below is the preface to this week’s featured resource: Measuring Love in the Journey for Justice. Find the link to download this Brown paper at the end of this post.
Preface: A Sovereign Perspective
As this is a Brown—not white—Paper, we want to give some perspectives before you dig in. In a sovereign, self-determining perspective, we see Two Spirit people as sacred gifts. Children are treasured. Elders are respected and privileged. Womyn are beloved and respected and have power and voice. Fathers, sons, and boys are lifted up as the warriors, believers, and loyal friends that they are. Mothers, daughters, and girls are as valued as life itself, seen and treated as blessings. And all relations are sacred.
To be sovereign and free, our people need policies made of love, forgiveness, and connections.
As oppressed, exploited people of color in this work of social and racial justice, we have seen — and are seeing—children separated from their caregivers, caged in concentration camps. We are living in another era of the systemic denial of democratic civil rights. To be sovereign and free, our people need policies made of love, forgiveness, and connections. Our communities deserve health and educational equity; land and housing justice; economic independence; living wages (as in universal minimum income). Our people want restorative justice practices to replace punishment and lockup. Our communities want community organizing and advocacy, block by block. Our people need community controlled governance and accountability systems. We want civic leadership everywhere, as the right to vote goes with the rights to drive, assemble, drink, and travel.
This Brown Paper flips the script of what is acceptable as a “Paper” on its head. It is not a “formal,” research-based, finished product of the traditional type. It comes from the heart and is meant to be used—like love. It is meant to spark dialogue and provoke.
In it, we are asking ourselves, “Are we loving bravely enough?”
And “How much am I loving?” “What else I can do to be in community from a place of love?” and “How am I wielding power fused with love?”
These are the essential questions posed in our brown paper. We are excited to bring this out into the world to provoke, connect, and build with you.
We have so much to love. We love YOU because we know if you’re reading this paper, you know what it’s like to be powerless and not feel loved—and are working on bringing about more justice in the world.
We release our intentions into the universe. We want to know what your reactions are. We thank you for honoring us by your comments and discussion.
Spread your love. And, we know we are rising as one.
Download Measuring Love in the Journey for Justice HERE
Shiree Teng has worked in the social sector for 40+ years as a social and racial justice champion – as a front line organizer, network facilitator, capacity builder, grantmaker, and evaluator and learning partner. Shiree brings to her work a lifelong commitment to social change and a belief in the potential of groups of people coming together to create powerful solutions to entrenched social issues.
*After the Measuring Love Brown paper was released, Shiree’s co-author was arrested on allegations of child molestation. She addresses this in a “Letter to Beloveds” – an excerpt from her next collaborative paper, Healing Love into Balance. (which will be highlighted at NW in the coming weeks.
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