Solstice Blessings Dear Ones,
Words are not seeming enough these days given how broken open we're feeling, by both the beauty and pain of life. Words clearly aren't enough when it comes to deconstructing systemic oppression and violence - the perpetuation of deep seated racism, unfolding pandemic, and continued exploitation of our precious earth. Now we find ourselves both masked and unmasked, shouting ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
We must commit again and again to not just disapprove of, but actively dismantle systems of power and privilege that oppress and destroy lives - especially black lives - and dominate our living earth. We are planting the seeds of a new story in and with the young people. A story of restoration, love in action, unity in diversity, honoring all life - a story worth living into. We each have a part to play and a responsibility to the whole. Our identities, experiences and cultures will shape the way that each of us fights for equity and inclusion. As Maya Angelou so graciously states: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
We teach our girls to know their own hearts, find their voices, and use it for good - to not shy away from uncomfortable conversations. As we reflect on our work with girls, young women, and their families, here are some ways we commit to using our power and voices to create spaces that are explicitly anti-racist and truly include families of color, particularly Black families:
- We know that addressing discrimination requires ongoing attention and care to make sure we get things right. We commit to fight harder to support our girls of color, especially black girls, and to better understand what they need.
- 3 free spaces for our "Summer Online Series" to self-identified girls of color.
- 5 reduced fee spaces for our school-year-long program to self-identified girls of color.
- We are donating a % of our annual income ongoing to the BLM movement.
- Additionally every group will have a fund, and choose what anti-racist cause to donate it to at the end of the year.
This past week marked the celebration of Juneteenth, honoring the end of slavery in the US in 1865, and Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in this hemisphere, honoring light. It is a good time to celebrate what is good, say no to what is intolerable, and hold the light of our co-liberation as central. We are humbly playing our part - listening, taking responsibility, taking action, and trusting something even more beautiful is being born amidst the chaos. We hope you’ll be with us.
In solidarity and love,
Emily & Quetzal
P.S. We did it! We finished the 2020 school year! 6 groups, over 80 meetings, 100 families... and US! (and way too much Zoom!) Thank you so much for your faith in our work and good hearts. We love you!
(Above, artist unknown - Below, us at the end of the last group of the year!)