Let’s Get Free – Together.

People in power do not desire justice. They desire power. This is my general experience as a survivor activist, community organizer, and healing justice practitioner.

If we are to change anything for the better, we must cultivate a community that desires justice and that’s what I want to do.

A diverse group of protestors stand on the steps of the capitol with their fists raised in the air.
Black Lives Matter Protest 2020

I want to connect dope ass people to liberatory ideas so that we can all get free.

Justice doesn’t just happen. I am writing this after attending the Ingham County Board of Commissioner’s Law & Courts Committee meeting via Zoom to give public comment on the unfair outcome of an RFP process. The Village Lansing earned the highest score but the RFP committee unilaterally chose to set the scores aside and make the final decision by a vote.

Derrick “DJ” Knox, Jr., chairman of the Michigan Poor People’s Campaign, said he believes the delays are indicative of the differences between people who are most affected by violence in Lansing and those who are removed from the most traumatizing impacts of it.

“When you’re in a position of privilege, that affords you the opportunity to be able to wait out things like this that are literally life-threatening,” Knox said. “Here, we literally see lives that are being impacted by the funding that isn’t being made available because there is no real sense of urgency.”

“You see the different worlds at play here. A world that can wait for Advance Peace funding and programming … and then another world, our world — that usually reflects the BIPOC and poor populations — that needed this stuff yesterday.”

Weber, J. (2022, June 1). As county readies Advance Peace recommendation, community members lament delays. The Lansing State Journal. https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2022/01/05/advance-peace-nears-second-recommendation-some-lament-delays/9089075002/

The committee unanimously voted the nomination through anyway. The nomination has to go through two more votes so if you’re interested in showing up to ensure that effective, community-based gun violence prevention is brought to Lansing, connect directly with The Village Lansing on their social media channels.

Can you imagine the time we could reclaim if we didn’t have to show up to countless meetings to ask people in power to keep their promises?

Now don’t get me wrong. I will show up but I don’t want to have to show up. Ya dig?

Change happens best through our relationships with other people and I want to help people get what they need to make change possible. I want to read about big ideas and imagine the world differently with others who are ready to take risks in order to create safe(r) spaces for us all.

The people that I love the most are changing the world. They are designing new ways of being in relationships, planning ways to seed transformative justice, offering healing and care for all bodies, putting their lives on the line to interrupt violence, and creating art that tells the inspiring stories of our ancestors and our contemporaries.

I want to discover new people to learn from (that’s you, and you, and probably you too) because there’s no reason to create a culture of stars and experts. Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn.

More than anything, I want to use my influence and platform to help people get free because when we are free, we can heal and when we are healed, we cause less harm to those around us.

When we are healed, we can reshape the culture of violence we are all living in.

Culture is not shaped by laws. It is shaped by people.

The central focus of my work will not be begging people in power to be just. I want to spend my time with dope ass people who want to reshape the world with me because among other things, dope ass people:

  • create mutual aid projects to address community needs
  • keep one another safe without relying on police or prisons
  • prioritize care for self and their community
  • practice self-accountability and seek repair

Dope ass people have influence where tangible change is even more possible: in their homes, where they work, and within their relationships.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get a look at what I’m learning, what I’m building, and what’s coming next. I’ve already started a few projects that I think you’re really going to love. Think of this as mutual aid but for learning.

Don’t get me wrong. I will still hop on a Zoom call or head to a committee meeting to demand just actions. I just want us to also build a future where our children don’t have to do it as often as we do.

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