The following post is a segment from a longer piece I wrote. The full version can be found here.
Recently I became part of a national cohort of interfaith community organizers through Progressive Jewish Alliance & Jewish Funds for Justice’s Community Organizing Residency (COR). At our opening retreat we talked a lot about sustainability. What sustains you in this work? My activist advisor Paul Kivel reminds me that the abolitionist movement took 250 years. How do you comprehend that? With my COR cohort we stayed up late snuggling and talking about our lives. We shared our faith journeys. We shared our activist journeys. I left the retreat full of hope from my new connections, and I found myself continuing to seek out community organizers and ask: What keeps you going? For some it was faith, for some it was trust in the arc of the universe. Some said they simply need to be of use, no matter the outcome. Others said it’s possible nothing good may come of their work, but if they don’t do anything, then surely nothing good will come of it. They’d rather take their chances on the possibility of something.
A few weeks ago I was having a difficult day, and finding myself getting sunk in the pit of endless work. At just the right moment, a fellow COR resident from across the country sent me a text message, encouraging me to keep rocking on. This is what movement building is about.