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“So the idea was to not have a religious or government organization, let’s just have community… women were doing incredible things, but no one would hire them… in 2001 we started Thistle Farms…we want to be a witness that love is the most powerful force for social change, and it’s ridiculous to talk about that and not be concerned about people’s economic well-being”
Social justice issues are often more complex than a simple right and wrong answer. Becca suggests that providing economic stability alongside community was a holistic and helpful process, given the reality the women faced. When have you experienced missing an essential piece of a project at first and then realizing how it played into the whole later on? How can we be more attentive to the complexities of these types of situations? How does this idea influence our understanding of larger social justice issues?
“If you’re like me, it’s overwhelming… that is not probably a drop in the bucket for the size of the issues we’re talking about… I think stories are what help us move from compassion to action.”
When have you felt overwhelmed by a social justice issue? How does seeking out individual stories change the way you view the issue? What’s hard about hearing the stories of women who have experienced trafficking and prostitution? How do we respond to and engage in people’s stories?
“They came and served her on the warrant… and we do not get the luxury of sitting on the sidelines… we have to keep fighting these systems that do harm and trauma to women.”
Our society can tend toward the voyeuristic. We watch what’s happening and say, “Oh, isn’t that sad,” but we don’t participate in creating change. Even when we feel called to create change, many of us feel paralyzed when we begin to think, “What can I do?” How can we help one another to participate in changing our society? What can we do to put a stop to the “sad” things?
“So I want to talk for just a second about this idea that we are a global community…you can also heal a village by healing community.”
How has being part of community impacted your life? How can our community help provide healing for others?
“If you are involved in social justice work, you know the truth – you get really crappy resources and people want you to do amazing things to inspire them… remind folks that is lavish, it is beautiful… so that it’s uplifting.”
What social justice work excites you? What are our gifts and resources? How can we heal our village? Who can our community partner with to create change? What goals could our community set?
“The other thing that is so inspiring…is that love is actually good business… people want to hope with you… we are not alone in this, it is not that small.”
What stories have moved you to respond? Can the idea that love is good business change the way you see money?
“One of things I want to say tonight is that we really need to be creative and engaging in these conversations… we all still need ideas and tons of help… we needed a team of people who could understand how to get that message across and how to be creative… That never would have happened the way we did it several years ago.”
We are better when all of our experience comes together to create something new. How are you inviting those around you into conversation? How can we share our experience to create something unique?
“It is amazing to think that Dorris survived… ‘Has this been doing this my whole life?’… Older and deeper than the tide is love… we need to pool our resources and help more women to get to the shore and feel that glorious power of love.”
Where do you see hopefulness? How have you experienced the power of community?