I grew up in a family and community full of dreamers and imaginers. I have worked with – and in – communities of folks imagining a world of equity and equality, of justice and compassion, and a system for living where we respect and care for our Mother Earth. She gives us all we need, and more, to sustain ourselves and care for our fellow beings.
I believe we are now in a period of re-creation. (“Re-create” is one of the “4R’s” that guide the NCCJC’s approach to climate justice organizing. Those who focus on this “R” invent and put in place new ways of doing and being and create just institutions, forms of leadership and community organization that take the place of broken cultural forms). The Covid-19 pandemic is revealing the inequities, discrepancies, and errors of the current system in which we live that separates humans from our environment and our Mother and encourages a spirit of disrespect and exclusion. We cannot separate from our Mother or harness her attributes for the gain of few in the midst of the suffering of many. Refocusing on love and respect for our Mother is the key to the re-creation of a just transition we so desperately need to survive.
I notice re-creation all around me. It’s neighbors, friends, and family calling, texting, and videoconferencing with each other to celebrate life events. It’s people in environmentally impacted communities organizing themselves in the name of health and rights as the EPA looks the other way. It’s good-hearted folks advocating for worker’s rights and getting funds to community members that have lost income. It’s people still coming to check that dear ones have what they need to eat daily and more: it’s groups of neighbors gathering food and holding food drives to support frontline communities in this pandemic. (Durham Mutual Aid, in my neighborhood, is one example of so many).
This is direct and satisfying evidence that we can support other humans with the same love and generosity, justice and care with which we treat our Mother. And from this we can create a new system.
Ayo Wilson is a member of the NCCJC Leadership Team.