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Christchurch Massacre: Urgent Call for Solidarity

Dear Friends,

On Friday afternoon, white supremacists opened fire in multiple mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. So far, we know that at least 49 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in an act of "extremist right wing violent terrorism." Our hands tremble with the horror at this bloodshed in a sacred space. How do we show up right now in Revolutionary Love? Through our tears, we must act swiftly.

Send a message of love and solidarity to the Muslim families of Christchurch.

We will make sure that your words are delivered to the families and survivors.

To our Muslim sisters, brothers, and siblings: We know that this news is sending waves of grief in households across New Zealand, the United States, and around the world. We mourn with you. We share your outrage. We are breathing with you. We will not leave your side. We will not forget those who were slaughtered. In their name, we pledge to rise up against white supremacy -- in our institutions, on our streets, online, in our homes, and in our own hearts.

To all who feel helpless right now: Hate on this scale feels like looking into the abyss. But we are not powerless. In the wake of recent mass shootings in Pittsburgh, Charleston, and Oak Creek, we worked with Auburn Seminary to collect tens of thousands of letters and prayers of support, which were then bound and delivered in person to the survivors and families. In Oak Creek, the books are still preserved in the gurdwara's library. Long after the media trucks leave, these physical embodiments of solidarity show the community we will not leave their side. Our movements are only as strong as our solidarity is deep.

In sending messages specifically to the Muslim families of Christchurch, we are rising up in one voice to express our grief and moral outrage. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. This massacre was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. As we grieve, so too we pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures.

The massacre took place at a time mosques are filled with people who gather for Friday prayers. It was fueled by the same hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship in the United States -- Sikhs in the gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, African Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Right now, Muslim and Sikh Americans are preparing for heightened security at our houses of worship across the U.S. this weekend. We need your support more than ever:

1. Send a message of love and solidarity to the Muslim families of Christchurch.
2. Call or text a friend who is Muslim or Sikh. Let them know they are not alone.
3. Visit a mosque or gurdwara near you and leave a sign or flowers to show your love and solidarity.
4. Donate to the victims and families of this massacre.
5. Show up to a solidarity event in your community - friends at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice have put together an event list, searchable by zip code: Click here to find an event

If people in your life are hurting right now and need this message, please forward this email to them. This is a time to take one another's hand. We hold yours.

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Fellows

Write a message or prayer of love and support to the families and survivors of the shooting. 

In the wake of the mass shootings in Pittsburgh, Charleston, and Oak Creek, we worked with Auburn Seminary to collect tens of thousands of letters and prayers of support, which were then bound and delivered in person to the survivors and families. In Oak Creek, the books are still preserved in the gurdwara's library. Long after the media trucks leave, these physical embodiments of solidarity show the community we will not leave their side. Click above to write your message. And donate to the LaunchGood fund set up to support victims and families.


#DayofEmpathy: Inside America's Prisons

On March 5, the Revolutionary Love Project joined with #cut50 in support of the National #DayofEmpathy.

The #DayofEmpathy is an opportunity to shine a light on people impacted by incarceration in the United States. Americans impacted by the criminal justice system met with federal, state, and local lawmakers to share their experiences. Family members who have lost loved ones to violent crime, formerly incarcerated people, children of incarcerated parents, individuals who have overcome addiction, and many others joined together across demographics and party lines.

Valarie Kaur's award-winning film, “The Worst of the Worst,” takes us inside a supermax prison, where inmates are held in solitary confinement for months, even years at a time. Hear their stories—then take action.

“Northern is meant to break your spirit, and tear you down. It’s not about rehabilitation at all, it’s about straight up punishment. They want you to think of yourself as an animal, as not being human.” –Keishar, former Northern inmate

“I didn’t want to live. I was lost. I felt like I couldn’t do anything anymore. I wanted to give up. So, I started harming myself. I cut myself with things nearby. Break a battery, make a blade. Bite myself.” –Misael, former Northern inmate

“That first day I was free, it was happiness and confusion. I had to learn how to be a person again. I still have a problem walking, pronouncing my words. I got to learn how to talk all over again. I got to become a person again because I was an animal for 3 ½ years.”—Darnell, former Northern inmate

“Outside of work, I look at things differently, approach things differently. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Certain noises, you know like people running—when you’re in prison, people running means they’re responding to an emergency. So when you see people running, you get that jump—that I’m going to react and respond.” –Pete, Correctional Officer

“They had a rule they actually never implemented where you could only work at Northern for 3 years because of the mental stress it causes. I thought that was a good idea, but I stuck it out and stayed. The reason I stayed was because all my other buddies stayed, and I’m staying with them.” –Mark, Correctional Officer

Ways you can turn your empathy into action:

• Learn more and join #cut50 at an event near you: DayOfEmpathy.org
• Write a letter of love and solidarity to a person recently released from incarceration or a person recovering from opioid addiction: www.ReclaimLove.us

Watch highlights from an MSNBC discussion about the film:


Success! Here’s what happens when we #ReclaimLove...

Dear Friends,

Our campaign to #ReclaimLove was a success! So many of you sent in letters of love and solidarity to some of the people who most need support right now. Together we reached millions of people on social media — and your letters are still pouring in from all over the country.

Let's keep up the momentum and generate even more letters to show our love and solidarity for those impacted by the criminal justice system, climate change, the opioid epidemic and family separation at the US/Mexico border. We will continue collecting letters through March 15.

Here are three ways you can continue to send love:

1. If you haven’t sent a letter yet, you can go here to learn how.

2. If you’ve already sent your letters, please share one of these posts with #ReclaimLove and tag 5 friends who you know would be up for writing letters:

3. Or post a picture of the letter you wrote with #ReclaimLove and tag 5 of your friends.

We want to see our tables overrun with letters, homemade Valentines, and notes — so keep them coming! If you want to read the impact of letters such as these, check out this NYT story.

- Valarie, Amy, Valarie, Elizabeth, Julianna, Melissa and the Fellows of the Revolutionary Love Project


Scroll down to watch our Declaration and witness some of what we've done together...

Watch and share the video Declaration of Revolutionary Love featuring Rev. William Barber, Ani DiFranco, Debra Messing, America Ferrera, Sister Simone Campbell, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Parker Palmer, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Brian McLaren, Carmen Perez-Jordan, Michael-Ray Mathews, Sally Kohn, Tim Blessed, Deepa Iyer and more.

Watch the Video


We declare our love for all who are in harm’s way — refugees, immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, queer and trans people, Black people, Latinx people, the indigenous, the disabled, women and girls, working-class people and poor people. We vow to see one another as brothers, sisters, and siblings.  Our humanity binds us together, and we vow to fight for a world where all of us can flourish.

We declare love even for our opponents. We oppose all policies that threaten the rights and dignity of any person. We vow to fight not with violence or vitriol, but by challenging the cultures and institutions that promote hate. In this way, we will challenge our opponents through the ethic of love.

We declare love for ourselves. We will protect our capacity for joy. We will rise and dance. We will honor our ancestors whose bodies, breath, and blood call us to a life of courage. In their name, we choose to see this darkness not as the darkness of the tomb – but of the womb. We will breathe and push through the pain of this era to birth a new future.


We're collecting letters until March 15th. You still have time to send your note of Revolutionary Love to people who need to receive it.

Our activism is only as strong as our solidarity is deep—and our words infused with #revolutionarylove can spark the kind of authentic connection that binds us together. So we're sending love letters to people impacted by four of the most devastating issues facing our country: the criminal justice system, the opioid crisis, climate change and extreme weather events and family separation at the U.S./Mexico border. Read about the project and our partners at ReclaimLove.Us, and get everything you need to send your letters here.

Write a Letter


In this special episode, hear the vision and inspiration behind Revolutionary Love in Valarie Kaur's conversation with Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, the Deputy Director of Faith in Action and a leading voice in our movement.

Listen to the Podcast


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Join America Ferrera, Rev. William Barber, Debra Messing and more as we rise up in Revolutionary Love

Dear Friends,

Happy Valentine's Day! We just released THIS one minute video featuring some of the voices in our movement reading our Declaration of Revolutionary Love —

Click here to WATCH the video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We invite you to SHARE this video on social media today. You can also share why you are inspired by this declaration and how you put Revolutionary Love into practice. We are showing up on Twitter for a "Heartstorm" at 9am PT / Noon ET and throughout the day. Sample posts below! Use the hashtag #reclaimlove so that we can amplify you!

When you post, you will join a broad coalition of activists, artists, and faith leaders who are exercising their voices in this movement, including those featured in this video — America Ferrera, Rev. William Barber, Ani DiFranco, Sister Simone Campbell, Carmen Perez, Debra Messing, Parker Palmer, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Brian McLaren, Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Rev. Michael-Ray Matthews, Sally Kohn, Tem Blessed, Deepa Iyer, and more.

The video directs folks to www.reclaimlove.us — and shows people how to put love into action. We've already generated hundreds of cards and letters to some of the people in the country who most need our solidarity. If you haven't sent a card yet, click here.

Together we are reclaiming love as a force for social justice! Tag us at @revloveproject @valariekaur so that we can thank you! And may you feel surrounded by love today, in all the forms that it comes.

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, Melissa, Julianna and the Fellows of the Revolutionary Love Project

 

Spread the Word!

Let's flood social media today! Use a sample post below, or write your own with the hashtag #reclaimlove. We are showing up on Twitter for a "Heartstorm" at 9am PT / Noon ET and throughout the day. Find more sample posts and images in this toolkit.

I'm so proud to join @valariekaur @AmericaFerrera @RevDrBarber & a powerful coalition of activists, artists, faith leaders rising up to #ReclaimLove as a force for justice on #ValentinesDay. Sign the declaration to join us! www.reclaimlove.us @WeAreLoveArmy @RevLoveProject

Click to Tweet

Our movement  is only as strong as our solidarity is deep. Sign the declaration & recommit to #revolutionarylove as a force for social justice. Then send a #Valentine to some of those who most need our love & solidarity right now. Info here: ReclaimLove.us #ReclaimLove 

Click to Tweet

“Love is the choice to enter into labor—for others, our opponents & ourselves. In the face of the fires of injustice, I've seen labors of love deliver us. In this era of enormous rage, #revolutionarylove is the call of our times.” @valariekaur #ReclaimLove ReclaimLove.us

Click to Tweet
 

Sample Posts for Facebook and Instagram:

Happy #ValentinesDay! I am so excited to join THIS broad coalition of artists, activists, and faith leaders who are making a declaration of Revolutionary Love. We are making a vow to ground our lives and our social justice work in the ethic of love. Here's how to join us: www.reclaimlove.us. #ReclaimLove #LoveArmy #ValentinesDay

“In the face of the fires of injustice, I have seen labors of love deliver us. Revolutionary Love is the choice to enter into labor — for others who do not look like us, for our opponents who hurt us, and for ourselves. In this era of enormous rage, when the fires are burning all around us, I believe that #revolutionarylove is the call of our times.” - Valarie Kaur www.ReclaimLove.us #ReclaimLove #LoveArmy #ValentinesDay

Today we #ReclaimLove as a force for justice! Thousands of us are sending cards of love and solidarity to children separated at the border, recently released prisoners, climate refugees and people recovering from opioid addiction. Our heartfelt words hold the power to spark real human connection — to see one another as family, honor our collective pain, and call forth our enduring strength. Want to send a revolutionary #Valentine too? Go to: www.reclaimlove.us. #ValentinesDay #RevolutionaryLove #LoveArmy

Click to share the campaign on Facebook
 

 

Above are some of the cards we are sending out today! Sending a card is a simple act, but it can mean so much to someone who is suffering. A little bit of love, in the form of a note, can spark the human connections that save us. That’s why we’re writing cards to put love into action, and we hope you will too. We have already begun to send a flood of love notes to some of the people who most need to feel our support and solidarity right now -- people impacted by mass incarceration, the opioid crisis, climate disasters, and family separation at the U.S. border with Mexico. We will collect and sort the notes and deliver them into the hands of someone who needs your solidarity. We invite you to gather with your friends, family, students, and children to write cards together. We deliver any card sent between now and March 14th.

Get all the info you need to write your card
 

 

If you are looking for a meaningful Valentine's gift for your sweetheart or friend today, please consider giving them a #Beloved200 membership — your beloved will receive special invitations and sneak previews into our work AND a beautiful postcard with original art. Make a $15 monthly donation in their name here.

Click to join the Beloved 200


It's Valentine's week — let's #ReclaimLove

Dear Friends,

We are staging a cultural intervention this Valentine’s Day! As we weather a constant barrage of cruel policies and hate crimes, it becomes easy for us to mirror the vitriol we are fighting. So together with a broad coalition of artists, activists, educators, and faith leaders, we are making a declaration of Revolutionary Love this Valentine’s Day. We are rising up to #ReclaimLove as a public ethic and force for justice.

Will you join us?

First, sign the Declaration of Revolutionary Love. The greatest nonviolent social movements in history were rooted in the ethic of love – love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. They showed us that love is more than a feeling. Love is sweet labor – fierce, bloody, imperfect and life-giving. A choice we make again and again. By signing, you are renewing your vow to anchor your life and activism in the practice of love.

Now, put that love into action. Use our toolkit to write a Valentine or love note to some of the people in our country who most need our solidarity right now

Send a card to:

  • A child and family who were separated at the US/Mexico border
  • A recently released prisoner returning to their lives as citizens
  • A climate refugee made homeless by fire or hurricane
  • A person recovering from opioid addiction in West Virginia

We will deliver your card through advocacy organizations working directly with these communities. The idea is to spark authentic connection and solidarity through relationship-building.

We wanted to make this easy, so you can find information and the signup to get everything you need to send your card at ReclaimLove.us. Sign up to get the toolkit to create and mail your card using our templates and prompts. You can send your own note or use an online service that will create and mail a card for you. We partnered with the online service MyPostcard so that our first postcard writers can create and mail their first card free! (Additional cards are just $1.99).

Are you a teacher, faith leader, or organizer? Gather people together and host a Valentine writing party using our free toolkit – in classrooms, houses of worship, or living rooms. We will deliver any Valentines and letters sent between now and March 14th. Use the hashtag #ReclaimLove to post a picture of you or your gathering on social media.

We are proud to lead this campaign with our partner #LoveArmy. For the last two years on Valentine's Day, we joined #LoveArmy and more than 60 organizations to mobilize thousands of people across the country to gather in person and online to reclaim love as a force for social justice. Last year, the campaign reached more than 14 million people and held 200 live events across the country. We believe our movement is only as strong as our solidarity is deep. So this year, we are going deeper with this letter-writing campaign. We are excited for you to join us.

Stay tuned for more updates during this week of Revolutionary Love. Thank you for laboring together to birth the world we long to see!

- Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

Above are some of the letters and postcards already sent to families who were separated at the US/Mexico border. Our partners at Bay Area Border Relief tell us that such letters play an important role for families healing from the trauma of separation. So they will help us get thousands of Valentines and notes of love and solidarity into the hands of children who need them. Are you ready to write one? Click here to get a toolkit with address details, downloadable postcard images, and more.

Get the Toolkit Now

Watch Valarie Kaur, America Ferrera and Rabbi Sharon Brous discuss what it looks like when women warrior lead and the role of love and sisterhood in our movements, especially in the context of #MeToo and #TimesUp. May this conversation at last year's Revolutionary Love Conference offer a deep breath. And to sign up for the 2019 Middle Collegiate Church Revolutionary Love Conference, click here.

Watch the Session


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Breathe, Push and MARCH...

“The parts of the [civil rights] movement we recognize so well now were not born from a single decision, but a complicated and messy evolution of ideas and spirits, coming together after a long, hard struggle to triumph in moments when the odds seemed the longest.”

– Andrew Aydin, co-author with Congressman John Lewis of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series MARCH

Dear Friends,

The first Women’s March in 2017 was led by four co-chairs. This month, the Women’s March convened a Steering Committee of 32 diverse women leaders to help guide policy goals and moral vision. Our founder Valarie Kaur has accepted the invitation to serve as a voice for revolutionary love within this fierce movement of women.

In joining with the steering committee of the Women’s March, the Revolutionary Love Project commits to advocate for all vulnerable communities. We commit to march against antisemitism and all forms of racism, bigotry and hatred. We choose to march because we believe in the power of a movement of women, and know if we do the hard, messy work of coming together, our #WomensWave will rise high enough to break down any wall in our way.

Scroll down to read an excerpt from Valarie’s essay in Together We Rise, a compilation of essays by activists who participated in the 2017 Women’s March, the largest single-day global protest in history. Then learn how to join a march near you on Saturday, January 19th, and find out about a community care mediation tool we’ve developed in partnership with the tech team at Binaural Dream — BREATHE & PUSH.

We believe that love can center our movement and anchor our activism. Thank you for standing — and for MARCHING — together with us! You can click here for Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to march!

See you in the streets,
The Revolutionary Love Team


THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM VALARIE KAUR’S ESSAY IN THE NYT BESTSELLER TOGETHER WE RISE: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE PROTEST HEARD AROUND THE WORLD:

On Election Night, the future never felt darker. Each hate crime, incitement to violence, and deadly proposal during the election season had hurt me from the inside. As a new mother to a little brown boy, I had to confront the painful truth: our generation of activism had not made the nation safer for my son.

The last time I remember being in so much pain was on the birthing table. The gripping despair I felt on election night brought back the pain of my labor so sharply I could not ignore the parallel. I began to ask a question that became the only shape my mouth could make: What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? 

I got my answer on the day of the Women’s March, carrying my son in my arms into the streets of downtown Los Angeles. In an instant, we became part of one roaring river of music and longing, grief and outrage, defiance and joy. Women across the U.S. and around the world marched that day, holding up signs that answered my question: This is the darkness of the womb. We were birthing something new. Millions were choosing life over death in one collective breath.

Then it began: the onslaught of executive orders, Muslim bans, border walls, pipelines, budget cuts, and hate crimes harming the most vulnerable among us, including my Sikh community. We have barely had a chance to breathe between the crises. But my own family´s century-long history here reminds me that white supremacy, nationalism, and racism are as old as the U.S. Policy wins alone will not solve the conditions that gave rise to this presidency. We need a new public ethic to birth a new future, a public ethic of Revolutionary Love.

As a lawyer, I have cringed at the word love. American culture too often mistakes ¨love¨ for the experience of falling in love — that delirious rush of oxytocin that happens to us if we are lucky. If this is our only definition, then of course love is too fickle, sentimental, and ephemeral to be a political force. But after I became a mother, I saw love with new eyes, redefined.

Love as mothering is a form of sweet labor that transforms and births anew. Love is not any one emotion but employs many emotions in that labor: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.

Historically, the labor of love has been confined to the domestic sphere. Yet mothering is not biologically determined but a capacity within each of us. Spiritual geniuses from Buddha to Jesus, Mohammed to Guru Nanak, called us to practice love beyond family and tribe. Social justice leaders from Gandhi to King to Day grounded their movements in love to free the oppressed without hating the oppressor. Such love disrupts the status quo, confronts injustice, and shifts collective consciousness.

The Women´s March was a declaration of love. This Revolutionary Love—love for others, opponents, and ourselves—is the call of our times.

 

On January 19, 2019, we’re going to flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us. Click here to download and print Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to the march.

Find and Join a March Near You
 

We believe that the only way we can sustain our labors for justice through the challenges of 2019 is by caring for our bodies and minds. So we’ve worked with the tech innovators at Binaural Dream to bring you a new tool for the new year, “BREATHE & PUSH” — a meditation pack designed to support deep breathing as we work for justice. The pack consists of 4 musical compositions: Breathe, Push, Transition, and Labor with Love. It works as a powerful daily meditation practice.

We invite you to start meditating with us! Listen to “Breathe & Push” for free between now and MLK Day, Monday, January 21st. Just download the app and click on “Breathe and Push” at the top to get started. Or click to listen to a 30-second sound bath on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Download the iOS App Now

* The Binaural Dream app is currently only available for iOS. Android coming soon!


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Invitation: A New Mediation Tool for the Movement

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– Audre Lorde

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We believe that the only way we can sustain our labors for justice through the challenges of 2019 is by caring for our bodies and minds. And we want to move beyond self-care to community care. So we partnered with tech innovators at Binaural Dream to bring you a new tool for the new year…

We are so excited to announce “BREATHE & PUSH” — a meditation pack designed to support deep breathing as we work for justice in our lives and in the world. The pack consists of 4 musical compositions: Breathe, Push, Transition, and Labor with Love. It works as a powerful daily meditation practice.

We invite you to download the app for free, click on “Breathe & Push,” and start meditating with us! We are making a commitment to meditate once a day in the lead up to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 21st. Are you in?

This is our first collaboration on an app. Click to listen to a 30-second sound bath and tell us what you think on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you like it, there’s more to come!

Excited,
Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, Julianna, Melissa and the Revolutionary Love Fellows

LISTEN TO “BREATHE & PUSH” FOR FREE BETWEEN NOW AND MLK DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 21ST. JUST DOWNLOAD THE APP AND CLICK ON “BREATHE AND PUSH” AT THE TOP.

Download the App Here to Listen
 

WHAT IT IS
Four meditation tracks available on the app called Binaural Dream — a first-of-its kind unguided sound meditation app designed for iOS phones. (Android coming soon). The tracks consist of 10 to 30 minutes of music. No words. Just sound.

HOW TO USE IT
Listen to the track called Breathe when you need rest, Push when you need energy, Transition when you need moral courage, and Labor With Love when you need all of the above.

WHY IT WORKS
Music and sound are ancient tools to regulate the nervous system. Binaural beats are a kind of music meditation that uses different tones in each ear to cultivate different brainwave states. The “Breathe & Push” pack uses a progression of delta, theta, and gamma binaural beats to promote relaxation and healing. It is composed in the key of A minor, a scale associated with grace, maternity, and the sacred.

OUR STORY
The meditation series is designed by tech innovator and musician Sanj Brar. Last year, Sanj saw a need for better wellness tools and left his job at a Fortune 250 company to create DreamThink. (Read the story here: “This NYC Start-Up Launches to Create the Perfect Unguided Meditation App”.) Sanj’s sister Valarie began to listen to their app Binaural Dream during a difficult pregnancy and draining period of activism. Music meditation soon became a daily practice. She shared it with her team at the Revolutionary Love Project. “Why aren’t there more meditation tools designed to support movements for social justice?” we wondered. The partnership between the Revolutionary Love Project and DreamThink was born. This collaboration is our first experiment.

IF YOU LIKE IT…
The app is available for free, and the “Breathe & Push” pack is available for free until MLK Day. If you want more, subscribe to access the full library of meditation packs and listen all year. Proceeds will be donated to the Revolutionary Love Project! Just follow the instructions on the app.

Click Here To Get The Free App
 

SPREAD THE WORD!

CLICK HERE TO TWEET:

Find out more about the app, and send us feedback about your experience. We would love to know if tools like this are useful to you in the work of Revolutionary Love. 

 

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Are you one of the #Beloved200?

Dear Friends,

As we approach the end of the year, we want to thank you for journeying with us! Our founder Valarie Kaur recorded this video to say thank you — and put out a call: Will you be one of our #Beloved200? Watch the 1-minute video here:

beloved-video

Click to join the Beloved 200

YOUR DONATION MAKES OUR WORK POSSIBLE.

Together with Valarie, we envision a nation and world where love is a public ethic in our communities and institutions. The mission of the Revolutionary Love Project is to produce stories, curricula, media, and mass mobilizations that support this moral vision. In the works right now: books, films, television, courses, retreats, and grassroots campaigns that take us through 2020 — all aimed at reclaiming love in our lives and activism as a force for justice.

Many think that we are a bigger organization that we are. Our projects have ranged from contributing to Emmy-award winning shows to curating hundreds of campus dialogues to mobilizing thousands in the political process. We’re a tiny team that relies on committed volunteers. And we make every cent stretch. We crunched the numbers and realized that we need only 200 monthly donors to pledge $15/month to ensure basic operations far into the future. That’s it, and we’re already 60% there!

If you want to see more of this vision in the world, can you become a Monthly Donor? Click here to donate $15/month and become one of our beloved 200!

We will mail you a beautiful postcard featuring original art of our movement as a thank-you gift — and you will be the first to know of the work we produce in the coming months. If you’d like to make a larger tax-deductible donation, just reply to this email and we’ll get you the details.

With love,
Amy, Elizabeth, Julianna and all of us at the Revolutionary Love Project

P.S. Valarie went into labor 4 days after recording this video. We are excited to announce that Baby Joy is safely here! May we all continue to labor with love for one another and the next generation…

HERE’S JUST SOME OF WHAT WE’VE DONE TOGETHER IN 2018:

  • 200+ watch parties and dialogues on how to practice love in the face of hate and white nationalism, based on Valarie’s TED talk “3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage” (1+ million views)
  • 2,000 voting parties organized by the #VoteTogether campaign and partners like us to get out the vote during the midterms.
  • 550 partners + 120 thought leaders + 50,000 members engaged in online action campaigns throughout the year plus —
  • 14 million+ people reached online in our annual Valentine’s Day campaign with #LoveArmy and partners to #reclaimlove as a force for justice.
  • Emmy win for a groundbreaking episode on Sikhs in America we contributed to on CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.
  • Mai Bhago Leadership Retreat to equip Sikh women justice leaders in partnership with Auburn Seminary & The Sikh Coalition.
  • Inspiring panels at the Revolutionary Love Conference hosted by Middle Collegiate Church with thought leaders such as Parker Palmer, America Ferrera, Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Van Jones, plus —
  • First-ever Revolutionary Love Concert featuring Ani di Franco, Ari Afsar, and more artists, producing music to root our movement in joy.

IN THE WORKS RIGHT NOW: BOOKS, FILMS, TELEVISION, COURSES, RETREATS AND ACTION CAMPAIGNS THAT TAKE US THROUGH 2020.

WILL YOU CONTINUE THIS LABOR OF LOVE WITH US?

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Joy is an Act of Moral Resistance — Your Holiday Treasure Chest

The government shuts down upon threats of a wall. A child dies in the custody of U.S. officials at the border. The President orders sudden troop withdrawals that provoke global instability. All this took place in the last week alone.

Some may see the holidays as a time to retreat from the cascade of crises facing our nation and world.

We choose to see the holidays not as a time to try to escape but as an opportunity to ground ourselves in joy. Joy returns us to everything that is good and beautiful and worth fighting for. Joy gives us the energy to continue our labors to make a viable life and more just world. Joy comes when we draw our attention to the present moment — a child’s laughter, a neighbor’s cookies, a lit candle. In a time such as this, joy is an act of moral resistance.

We believe that it is always possible to find joy, even in the midst of grief and outrage, when we come together in community. Just a few days ago, our friend Rev. Katharine Henderson delivered the messages of love and support that many of you sent to the families of the Tree of Life Synagogue in the wake of the mass shooting by a white supremacist. We had collected these letters alongside our partners Auburn Seminary, the Sikh Coalition, and the Sikh community of Pittsburgh. They were delivered at an interfaith gathering in the form of a book that you can read here. Communities like these show us that it is possible to claim life and joy, even in the face of hate.

So this week, we send you a song, a sermon, and a piece of news that invite you to open your hearts to allthe demands of love — grief, outrage, and joy. May these sources provide nourishment during this holiday. We will be here on the other side to continue the labor with you. #BreatheAndPush

– Amy, Melissa, Julianna, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

A SONG: “WE WON’T SLEEP”

Watch our beloved sister and partner Ari Afsar perform “We Won’t Sleep” with her Hamilton co-star at TEDx. The song is an anthem of Revolutionary Love — a full-throated call to joy and resilience in the movement. You can also catch a glimpse of the song at the Chicago Women’s March here.

“We won’t sleep. They’ll try to get us. We goin’ reach. We’ll reach out for love. We won’t sleep. Not till it’s over. Even with the blurry eyes, baby we won’t compromise.”

 

A SERMON: “BUILDING A NEW AMERICA”

WATCH/READ/LISTEN to the most powerful sermon we have heard this year by our prophetic sister Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR Los Angeles:

“These are trying times, but we must not let exhaustion or cynicism dull our senses. Our history has taught us: either you work to dismantle oppressive systems, or your inaction becomes the mortar that sustains them. Together we must build America anew: fierce, fair, and full of promise, equipped to hold us in all our diversity, complexity and beauty.”

A PIECE OF NEWS: LOVE KNOWS NO BORDERS

This article in The Nation shares fierce wisdom from our friend and sister Rev. Traci Blackmon who joined more than 300 faith and moral leaders at the border last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Rev. Blackmon tells Jesus’ story as a way to bear witness to cruelty at the border and declares “love knows no borders.”

“In an extraordinarily powerful speech near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour service, the Rev. Traci Blackmon, a St. Louis–based minister with the United Church of Christ and a steering-committee member on the Poor People’s Campaign, talked of how the “brown-skinned Jesus, seeking refuge in a foreign land,” would not have been admitted into Trump’s America. How ‘his family might have been greeted with tear gas or rubber bullets, or, worse yet, he might have been taken from his mother’s arms.’ Blackmon told the gathering that they were ‘compelled to show up and guide this country to our moral selves. When laws are co-opted for greed and political gain, and used as weapons of disenfranchisement, then people of faith and of moral character are compelled to resist in the interest of preserving our humanity.'”

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America Ferrera & John Paul Lederach — Your Holiday Treasure Chest

“We have all felt the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love.”

– Dorothy Day

The long loneliness. A longing for home that eludes us, for a world that is not yet but somehow still must be. Sometimes the longing can feel like a heavy burden. But what if we imagine this longing as a flame that flickers within each of us, calling us together and toward each other, even when (especially when) the world feels dark? 

Dear Friends,

This week, we draw inspiration from two people whose light in the world ignites new stories and new ways of being — actress and activist America Ferrera and celebrated peace-builder John Paul Lederach.

Listen to America Ferrera and John Paul Lederach in a conversation that stretches our imagination and helps us see social change in generational terms. 

Interviewed by the masterful Krista Tippett for her On Being podcast, America Ferrera describes her childhood spirituality as “groping in the darkness,” an approach that has served her well at this time in our nation. “We’re trying to push something new into the world,” she says. “We’re trying to bring something through that’s never been brought through, and it’s hard. And we have to continually remind ourselves that our discomfort and our grappling is not a sign of failure. It’s a sign that we’re living at the edge of our imaginations.”

John Paul Lederach then introduces us to the concept of the 200-year present. He asks, “Who was the oldest person who held you? Think of them, then calculate back to their birthdate. And then think about the youngest member of your extended family and imagine that they will live a long life… You were held and touched, and you will touch the lives, of people that cover a 200-year present.

Might the spaciousness in these ideas help us keep laboring in the dark? We invite you to listen to their full conversation and let us know what you think!

– Amy, Melissa, Julianna, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

P.S. Keep scrolling down for more ways to breathe and push with us this week, including standing with migrant families at the border in a week of action called “Love Knows No Borders,” happening now.

LISTEN TO THE ONBEING PODCAST NOW
 

 

America Ferrera’s new book American Like Me is a stunning collection of stories of artists, activists, and culture-makers who reflect on life between cultures. In them, we see glimpses of the new America longing to be born — multicultural, multiracial, multifaith and rooted in a revolutionary love. 

If you have a story about growing up in America between cultures, share it on Instagram with the hashtag #americanlikeme Make sure to tag @americaferrera — she’s sending a signed copy to her 10 favorites!
More info here.

“We are the kids with no key chains, daughters carrying histories in the gaps of our teeth. We are the sons of parents who don’t speak of the past, inheritors of warrior’s blood and mad bargaining skills. We are the grandchildren of survival: legacies delivered from genocide, colonization, and enslavement. We are the slayers of ‘impossible.’ We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors’ dreams wearing the weight of their sacrifice on our backs. Our love is radical; our unstraightened hair, a tiny revolution. We are here to survive, to thrive, to live. We connect to our roots clumsily, unknowingly, unceasingly. We call ourselves ‘American’ enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all. We take fragments of what was broken, severed, or lost in history, and we create whole selves, new families, and better futures. We live as citizens of a country that does not always claim us or even see us, and yet, we continue to build, to create, and to compel it toward its promise.” — America Ferrera

 

 “LOVE KNOWS NO BORDERS: A MORAL CALL FOR MIGRANT JUSTICE” WEEK OF ACTION

This week, more than 100 faith leaders are taking part in a nonviolent direct action at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. You can join them at the border — or at a solidarity event near you. Together we are calling for humane policies that respect the dignity of all.

FIND AN EVENT NEAR YOU TO SUPPORT MIGRANTS AT THE BORDER

 

ARE YOU ONE OF OUR #BELOVED200?

We are over halfway to our goal of partnering with 200 people to become monthly donors and pledge $15/month to sustain our work. Thank you! Our donors receive a thank you gift + will be the first to learn about the work we produce before it’s released. If you haven’t yet donated, please click here to join us!

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The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.

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