“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth- – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“You don’t fight racism with racism. The best way to fight racism is with solidarity.” Bobby Seale
Hello Monitor readers,
This has a been an easy January for hibernating and preparing for another interesting roller coaster year of navigating through our pandemic perils of COVID 19 prevention and intervention, repairing racial disparities and inequalities, and acting responsibly regarding climate change on our on beautiful planet. January also has been a month of saying the mournful goodbye to our known and unknown s/heroes, friends, and family members who graced and gifted us with their talents, teachings, smiles, and their love of life and their desires to make our world a better place for all creatures, great and small.
I want to repeat George Takei’s thoughtful and truthful quote from last month’s issue: “These days, a premium is being placed on whether White kids might feel bad about their own heritage after learning about things like American genocide, slavery or internment. But no one asks what it’s like for minority kids to learn about these things. When I was growing up inside internment camps, my parents tried to shield me from the horror of what was happening. I even recited the Pledge of Allegiance daily from a classroom inside the barbed wire. ‘With liberty and justice for all,’ I said, not grasping the irony.”
I ask you to ponder and reflect on his words. Does it make sense; does it ring true or false to you; what buttons do his insights push within you? Please read his words slowly and maybe, when you are feeling ready and able, start talking with your families, neighbors, and/or friends about the truth of his quote.
I recall another quote that pushed a few of my buttons regarding dismantling our current ‘isms’ policies and structures such as housing redlining, job discrimination, and the awful wealth/salary gap. It was Upton Sinclair’s great Depression-era statement that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Although, it made sense to me, it took weeks for it to ring true for me and months for me to accept it as a truth that upholds our dysfunctional status quo. However, since first digesting Sinclair’s words decades ago, I now use this quote to ease my frustrations and anger about people and lawmakers who cling to outdated thinking and who intentionally cultivate divisive fears and false narratives that perpetuate discriminatory systems, threatens the breath of Mother Earth, and encourages profits over people.
I also use the power of solidarity and working with others for self and collective healing and cultivating joy and understanding with compassion.
Dr. IRINA FURSMAN and
Minnesota Innovation League
This month I asked Dr. Irina Fursman to share about a group that I started engaging with during the critical and unsettling times of 2020.
We have been in a culture that has traditionally viewed leadership as “top down” practice, where empowerment is something we are given permission to activate rather than execute as followers, not leaders. Having this mentality not only creates distrust within an organization, community, or business environment, but within ourselves, which ultimately stifles creativity, productivity, growth and abundance. The need for a paradigm shift is more apparent than ever, especially as we exit one of the largest global crises in decades.
We need a fundamental shift in the dynamics of power by addressing the very idea of leadership and how public services are designed and implemented. This shift is going to require the will and the capacity to bring together and engage experienced, new and future leaders from all sectors to unlearn, co-create and ultimately build the trust needed to effectively address our interconnected challenges. It is going to require a “league of innovators” and the operational supports they need to discover new ways to harness and utilize their collective resources.
In early 2020 a group of over 20 cross-sector leaders started such a league. With the stated mission of “cross-sector collaboration for equitable and just public service delivery,” and nearly two years of learning from and engaging with each other, the Minnesota Community Innovation League is now poised to convene and support current and future community and public sector leaders to work collectively to improve the services needed to address our shared challenges.
For more information, contact Irina at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, now Part Two of ‘The Green Dawn by Kieran Morris
In her novel, “Parable of The Sower,” Octavia Butler wrote: “All that you touch, you change. All that you change changes you.” The quote speaks to the immense power of small interactions, of proximity and detail, the way that every thread of life is woven together to create a bigger picture that we each interpret in our own way.
And yet, hope is never totally absent. In following these issues through my professional and personal lives, I have seen practical change, and spiritual growth. I have seen thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to feeding families, protecting and providing for the unhoused, and creating balances and protections against colonialist threats facing communities.
The revolution in the information age is a beast with many heads. The movement has no singular name or brand. It argues with itself, it is flawed and imperfect, spans party lines and demographics. And yet it provides access to food and community, a place to vent your sorrows, a ray of unconditional love for the little guy. It shares with itself, and if you look hard enough, it’ll show you a seat at the table, no matter who you are.
At the heart of all of this, I have ubiquitously noticed one thing. Rather, many things, many delicious, beautiful, green-crowned, growing things. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, trees, mushrooms and vines. In a very direct sense, produce grown by the community, for the community provides a source of nutritious food, grown with your people’s needs and sensibilities in mind. More broadly, it creates a natural gathering space through the establishment of a garden. Here, people share knowledge and preserve culture. They invent and improvise ways to grow in a changing climate, ways that just might save lives someday, if supply lines break down as they are wont to do.
… Part three, the conclusion of “The Green Dawn,”continues in the March issue. Kieran can be reach at email@example.com
A CLOSING ASK
I normally end my column with please send a note to our Governor and Lt. Governor to halt and stop operations of Pipeline 3. We do have alternative green and clean resources, assets, and methods other than relying on our depleted fossil fuels. Please also send a note to lawmakers to pass the Voting Rights Bill, which should be a no-brainer if we are a democracy or a republic. Likewise, urge lawmakers to support legislation that will assist and support all Americans, regardless of if they live in the rural, urban, or suburban areas. Without getting too political, it is safe to say that the top 3% of the wealthiest people can afford to take home 1% less earnings for a few years for the benefit and greater good of all people in America, which would also have powerful positive ripple effect globally. Thank you.
Stay optimistic!! Happy Year of the Tiger!!! Have a fruitful Black History Month!!!!
Rest In Peace
Archbishop Desmund Tutu, bell hooks, Betty White, Bob Saget, Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, Calvin Simon, Cheslie Kryst, Christian Cabrera, Clyde Bellecourt, Dick Halligan, Donald Berry, Dwayne Hickman, Fred Parris, Howard Hesseman, Jessie D Jordan Cashmyer, Louie Anderson, Maria Ewing, Marilyn Bergman, Max Julien, Meat Loaf, Michael Lang, Moses J. Moseley, Ronnie Spector, Rosa Lee Hawkins, Sidney Poitier, Sister Janet Mead, Vachik Mangassarian, Wavy Navy Pooh, Yvette Mimieux …..
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, & Surrounding Communities...
May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities…
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!!!!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! Get Your Vaccination Shots and Booster Shots if you feel comfortable doing so!!!
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