In this time when a health pandemic sits as the backdrop to a mighty upsurge of action and awareness around the centuries of violent oppression of Black, Brown, Indigenous and other People of Color — our hearts and minds are with the grief and anger for the ongoing suffering of marginalized and oppressed people. The call to dismantle the systems of oppression this country was founded upon has echoed for generations, and our hope is that the time has finally come for structural change.
As a predominately white organization, we at the School of Lost Borders have been in deep conversation, feeling into the pain and complexity of all that is arising now, and sitting with the difficult mirror of complicity this moment is holding up. For billions of people, dealing with oppression from unjust systems is nothing new. However, understanding and challenging these systems is often new for those of us most advantaged by them. Many of us are now beginning to acknowledge and respond to past feedback we have previously been unable or unwilling to receive, and are learning to understand things we have been conditioned to ignore. Dismantling white supremacy is a huge task, and it needs the critical contributions of white people. This requires humility, surrender and a willingness to change — three things our work at SOLB has long taught.
As guides and as an organization we are committed to exploring and understanding how we can do our own small, but necessary part in the great work of laying down white supremacy and other systems of oppression. We recognize along with so many others that we are centuries late in this task. And we know that doing our part means more than words in a newsletter; it requires action, individually and organizationally. We are creating a team to move this work forward in both the School and in our lives.
We are committed to sitting with the discomfort this inevitably brings, and to truly listen to those who have not been heard or honored for far too long. This commitment also includes our continued walk in solidarity with the land and Indigenous people. We cannot ignore how abuse of the land and First Peoples is not separate from the culture that perpetuates racism and systemic inequity. Even sitting with all this pain, we are heartened by the internal dialogue here at the school. We are listening deeply for how our work can best move in solidarity with the movement for racial justice, how the land and ceremony can be more accessible to marginalized people, and how our organization can welcome and reflect more diverse voices and leadership.
We will continue joining with the many voices calling for justice, balance, care, inclusion, belonging, and peace in this moment of transformation. May we do collectively what we have helped so many to do individually over the years: Let die the structures and ways of being that do not serve life, and courageously embrace the next layers of truth, care, and interrelationship that await our deeper living.
We invite you to help keep the momentum of the movement going by donating to:
- Black Lives Matter blacklivesmatter.com
- Movement for Black Lives m4bl.org supporting local Black led grassroots organizations
- Equal Justice Initiative eji.org committed to ending mass incarceration, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights
- Or a local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) led effort in your area
All of us at the School of Lost Borders