Dear Sista Friend,
We’re rounding out the first month of the year – and I’m interested to know if you’re achieving your goals? Set your intentions? Declared your “word of the year”?
I’ve started my new year by reading a new book – called Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. The book details an aim (or one of my aims) for the year – to continue to grow in humility and use vulnerability as a strength.
Working a full time job, studying for grad school, volunteering, helping my family coordinate our yearly scholarship fund….
It can be a lot. But I’m learning to breathe, seek light, pause, think and push forward. I’m also learning to fight.
As this year takes hold and we enter into a new political era – I’d like to send you reminder.
Existing, where you do…Working, where you do…Surviving, where you do…is its own form of resistance.
We don’t all need to be on the front lines screaming, “Fight the Power!” Some of us need to hold on the to quiet strength and show that despite, despite, despite…we can continue to progress forward.
And that can happen at any age! You can be a sophomore in high school or a seasoned professional, but it is important that we use our voice to speak out for those who aren’t always able to: the disabled, the poor, the minorities of the world.
This year, I challenge you to be intentional about your resistance and using your voice.
Ways to use your voice:
- Call your local congressman and voice your concerns, hold the elected officials who represent you accountable!
- Volunteer for organizations that you deem to be in line with your values and key interests
- Continue to work hard and always do your best! You don’t always need to be “on the front lines”
I’d note that sometimes, using your voice is hard. Difficult. You may be alone in your work; isolated.
You’ll be told to be quiet, told to calm down, that fighting isn’t worth it, that the causes you believe in aren’t “worthy.”
I say: speak truth to power, be respectful but forceful and push forward. Look to our ancestors and imagine what they’ve been through. Harness their power and use it to give you strength.
One of my “mentors in my head,” Brittany Packett calls resistance “holy work.” She notes that, “Resistance is what it means to tell the truth and defend people in public, even—and especially—when it is inconvenient, dangerous, and uncomfortable.”
A quote that I keep close is from the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement Steve Biko, who was also an anti-apartheid activist, “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Keep Fighting!
Your Sista Friend,