Habari Gani? Ujima!

Today, on the third day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility) which is to build & maintain our community together & make our brothers’ & sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together. 

Today’s reflection and call to action comes from our Organizing Coordinator, jay. 

during the first shelter-in-place order, other people were introduced to the idea of mutual aid, but we’ve been showing up for each other. collective work and responsibility is woven into blackness. we look out for each other. we check in on our neighbors.  we make sure everyone eats around us. your baby is my baby when we share space– we make sure all of our kids are safe and have what they need. when one of our lives is taken, we all mourn.  we all act.  it’s not only the way we have survived for 400+ years, it’s what keeps us moving towards liberation. and all the work we do, all the showing up, doesn’t involve police, doesn’t involve cps, doesn’t involve all these institutions because all these institutions were built to work against us.

part of being responsible to our communities is keeping our communities together.  we know all too well our communities don’t function if all the families in those communities are fractured.  to continue our work, we all need to be whole. right now, we are working on a blind removal bill, ab 656, in california.  

in 2020, black children made up only 5% of the child population in california but they made up 21% of children in foster care. a blind removal would mean that social workers and judges would decide to remove children from their homes without knowing their race or other identifying information. the team at parenting for liberation supports ab 656 because we support black families. we support because we believe in our strength together.  we support because we look out for our babies. 

today, i encourage you to take some time to write down three things, just three things you can do to uplift your community. 

here are some ideas:

  1. check in on a neighbor you haven’t heard from in a while
  2. make some seed bombs & toss over the fence  into an empty lot in your community (a little messy and very fun!).
  3. encourage your kids to think up some ways they can contribute too! Like hanging out with a younger kid in your community, making a plan to handle conflict with siblings so they can move towards reconciliation after they get into it.
  4. Collect winter supplies from community for neighbors experiencing houselessness.

it could be anything– think of something you are passionate about and share it with your community!  

we can give you the first one! below is a link to a site you can record messages to send to your assembly members to urge them to vote yes to ab 656. we know that the real work is in us, not policy. this bill is a means of harm reduction so we can make sure our communities are as full and as strong as they can be as we move towards liberation for us and our kids.

let them know why you support ab 656 and support keeping black families together.

this kwanzaa, let’s make a commitment to each other– our families and our communities.  we know we can, bc we already did and we still do!

jay brissette

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