The praxis of liberation
Art by Ernesto Yerena via Amplifier Art

Defy

Defend

Demand

Declare

Divest

Dream

These are steps that I have been cultivating in my life for getting free. I have been working on this framework for a bit and decided to start sharing it earlier this year.

We defy the lies we have been told. Here are some of the lies I defy everyday:

  • That we must make a deep emotional investment in the myths of sameness, language, whiteness, gender and heteronormativity.
  • That whiteness is the primary way of informing who we are and how we think and communicate.
  • That we do not have the power to change the systems.
  • That we must wear “masks” in order to be valued – that our identities cannot be affirmed or honored.
  • That we cannot have radical and purposeful inclusion.
  • That we are not born to be free.

We defend the truth.

  • Liberation begins when we start to experience ourselves differently in the world.
  • We honor multiple truths and understand that we are experts of our own experience only.
  • We confront the worst in society and ourselves so we can experience the best, the most beautiful, the most just.
  • We decide how we live. We decide who we love. We decide what liberation looks like.
  • At the center of our lives should be balance, joy, happiness, security, support and deep relationships.

We demand transformation. In order to transform:

  • Our work needs to be strengthened, monitored, and integrated into daily life. We live our values but always are open to growing and learning.
  • We lean into learnings and complex problems.
  • We must connect and nurture a diverse group of community. Your crew of fighters, lovers, healers, nurturers, thought partners and friends.
  • We must continue to grow. If we are not growing- we are dying, and our movements die with us.
  • Fight for a future beyond the strongholds of racism, sexism, and injustice.

You declare your non negotiables for Freedom. Here are mine:

  • Believe in collective power and collective humanity.
  • Transform of our economic, social, spiritual, and political relationships.
  • Build together, drive forward new ways of being, amplify, and support each other.
  • Centering love, hope, rest and pleasure in all that we do.
  • Believe we have everything we need within and among ourselves to get free.
  • Acknowledge our own bruises and scars and do the work to heal them.

How do we get free? Divest from chains that hold us down and hold us back. Ask yourself the following:

  • What are you willing to destroy and dismantle for your freedom?
  • What does defying, defending and demanding look like in your world?

We dream together. Dream. We can not name what we don’t see. What does victory look like?

  • What are you willing to build?
  • What reparations do you require?
  • Who do you need supporting you?


Identify one hope you have for your immediate future (today, this week, this month)?

What does that look and feel like in your body and your life?

 

These are the steps that I have been working through in my life and I hope y’all find them helpful to use in your personal life or in your organization. I am still testing this framework, so I would love to hear your thoughts.
 

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