Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Monday, June 4, 2012
It is our experience as or with oppressed, victimized, or marginalized people that drives us to do our part to facilitate change.
The challenge with oppression being the foundational motivation for our work, is that often we find ourselves stuck in the mindset of the oppressed and the victimized.
Despite our desire to grow, expand, and create change, we find ourselves unable to step out of our hurt, pain, frustration, and fear to a place of liberation.
While our lens as or with oppressed people shapes the foundation of our work, it cannot be the sole framework in which we work.
In order to be successful in our work, we must also be able to guide ourselves and others through a clear lens of what change looks like. We must be able to share a vision of what liberation looks like beyond the state of oppression.
This is especially important for those of us in leadership. We owe it to those we speak on behalf of to move beyond our oppressed identity and lead from our lens of liberation.
If we allow ourselves to learn from and work through our oppression, we will find ourselves in a place where we can truly lead.
Our oppressed identity often serves as our drive to fight our way through, but fighting alone will not win the battle to creat change. We must push through to liberation and discover a clear vision of change. It is from this vision that our leadership should emerge.
I challenge my colleagues in the movement to join me in moving beyond our identity as the oppressed and victimized to discover our liberation and clear vision of change.
Yours in Solidarity,
My Voice for Now
Saturday, June 2, 2012
I believe if more of us that are in leadership roles, formally or informally (we have a lot of gate keepers without titles) would step outside of self and allow ourselves to lead from our collective experience, our movements would be further along.
One of the things that may be the hardest thing to fight in our work, is the call of the ego. When we step into leadership roles, our work is no longer solely about us, it is about the broader mission and vision of change we have for our communities.
As leaders we have to push ourselves beyond our ego to lead and guide for the collective good. This is a very important aspect of successful leadership from my lens. We cannot continue to silo ourselves and our efforts, we cannot move a mountain alone. Other perspectives, experiences, and strategies outside of our lens are needed for progress to be achieved.
In the paraphrased words of Iyanla Vanzant, "Just for today, allow yourself to challenge your lens of leadership, lay down the I, pick up the We, and be lead by the broader mission and vision of change we have for our communities.
Yours In Solidarity,
My Voice for Now
Friday, June 1, 2012
Since starting this blog and accepting new and different leadership roles professionally and politically, I have found it difficult to live up to my desire to provide a new progressive voice as a black gay man fighting the pressure to "PLAY" politics as a means of creating change."
However after two years of experiences within the partisan political system, the non-profit progressive movement community, and most recently the political side of government; I feel I must shake loose my self imposed gage order. I am being driven to share my thoughts and reflections in hopes of helping my community move beyond divisions and old strategies that have not and are not moving us forward.
I am not here to throw stones or share negative thoughts about individuals or organizations, but I am here to share insight and reflections that may indeed aid in fostering a community that has a unified vision of change through empowerment, education, and mutual respect.
I believe in the old saying, that too whom much is given much is required, and I have been given so much. Therefore I am required to move beyond the structural, prescribed, and often assumed boundaries of the systems in which I exist and share my voice.
So to those that support me and those that throw shade; the voice is here and it is just getting started.
My Voice for Now
Saturday, February 18, 2012
In reflecting on the passing of vocal legend Whitney Houston I continue to go back to the label of "The Voice". Whitney Houston has been called the voice, not only because of her vocal talent, but also because how she used her vocal talent to do things musically that had never been done before.
This led me to the reflection of how powerful the gift of voice is and how we so often take the gift of voice forgranted in our lives.
I'm not simply speaking of voice in the vocal sense of the word, but I am using it in the active sense. Being in a position to have Voice and utilize your Voice to inform, educate, or influence is a powerful thing and one that we, especially in Washington, DC and in politics, take forgranted.
We must be reminded, that there are people all over this world, while they have the physical biological function of voice, have no Voice in their own lives.
So many people, in so many ways, live their lives without the opportunity to fully own their lives by giving Voice to their very existence.
I am reminded and challenged today, to not forget the blessing it is and gift it is to have Voice in my life, my community, and the world around me.
Let us not take our Voices forgranted.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The picture is today's page from one of my daily devotionals, thanks Iyanla.
The opening statement was "The greatest service I can offer is ... Resisting the tendancy to be resistent".
This applys to all aspects of our lives, but I find it so very applicable to the present electorial and legislative politics of the US.
Sadly, majority of those who currently serve in our legislative and executive bodies at the state, local, and federal level are not there to advance what they are for and accomplish something, but they are there to be resistent to what they are against.
They are like pieces in a game of chess, primarily advanced in a defensive posture only willing to take the risk of a proactive strike when victory is guaranteed.
If our elected officials were willing to come to their roles from a lens of "for-ness instead of constant against-ness, we might be able to realize some needed progress towards issues that face us all regardless of partisan politics.
The realities of life and politics, you only get back what you put out. So it should be no surprise to us that our legislative bodies can seem to rarely produce meaningful legislation these days, they are really trying. What they are trying to do is stop the other guy. And so that's all were ever going to get RESISTENCE.
Until we elect a new generation of elected officials that come to work and get something done FOR their constituents.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
When I think about the energy that it takes to hate and the underlining motivation that feeds that hate, I am certain that foundation is based in a lack of love for ones self.
If people truely loved themselves as much as they profess, they wouldn't spend the life energy it takes to promote hate.
Today I was out enjoying an amazing fall day in DC. Riding my bike on the National Mall and there walking along with the angriest face was this guy with a Stop Marriage Equality Sign.
It just hit me, could you really be that happy with yourself if on a beautiful day like today, you wouldn't allow yourself to enjoy the day and get in touch with your surroundings, but rather spend it promoting division and hate.
If more people spent the time that they spend hating on other people working to love themselves, our communities would be a much better place.
Refocus your priorities. Focus on your path the self love and liberation and stop spending so much energy trying to force me to not love myself and live my truth.