Alicia Garza: How to Prepare for 2020
Who’s ready for 2020?!
As we head into the next decade, many of us are already worn down, discouraged, and exhausted from the rapid-fire struggles of the past three years and beyond. We are still feeling the freshness of the cries of “don’t let this become the new normal!” from early 2017, while witnessing the bizarreness of it all come to pass. For many of us, finally entering the year 2020 doesn’t exactly come along with a sense of ease.
Healing Justice Podcast is building infrastructure to support the relational, emotional, and physical needs of folks committed to the work of social justice. HJP has curated the voices of leaders all over the world about how we can move through intensifying times with powerful focus, strength, grace, and victory. And the challenge of how to prepare ourselves for 2020 felt deeply personal and political, emotional and tactical, spiritual and strategic.
That’s why we at HJP reached out to Alicia Garza — principal at Black Futures Lab, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter Global Network, and leader at National Domestic Workers Alliance and Supermajority — to guide us into the new year. Alicia partnered with HJP to create an audio/visual practice that is not just rooted in the individual, but guides us through articulating the political contributions we want to make in the coming year.
As Alicia shares in the podcast:
2020 is quickly approaching, and along with it, one of the most important elections quite possibly of our generation. For those of us who are working for social change, 2020 is an opportunity for a rematch, but it can also produce a lot of anxiety. There’s a lot at stake with this upcoming election — not just for who is in the White House, but for the direction of this country for at least the next decade.
Anxiety, fear, sadness — those are all reasonable responses to a high stakes situation. What helps me navigate anxiety about the unknown, or the really scary things that are approaching, is to let my vision of being successful guide me towards what I actually need to do in order to be successful.
I find myself better able to navigate choppy waters effectively if I’m clear about my purpose and the role that I’m playing. Clarity inside of chaos can help us find direction when it seems like everything around us is unstable.
As activists and advocates for social justice, we are often called to reflect on our own lives, and how we want to mobilize for the good of ourselves and our communities. At the turn of each year, however, that reflection for the next 365 days is even more intentional. We deserve to think about this upcoming year from a place of grounded hope, and to make the space to vision what we dream for our own lives, as well as the powerful and focused political commitments we want to make.
As folks striving toward a new world, we have to be committed to grounding ourselves in serious contemplation of what justice and political commitments we want to prioritize as the year changes.
Have you thought about the intentions you want to set for yourself as we kick off this new decade, both personally and collectively?
For your consideration, here are three prompts Alicia uses to guide us through her New Year’s Practice:
To try it for yourself, you can set aside 30 minutes either alone or in a group. You can do this exercise with your team or organization, too. Visit the practice page to listen to the audio (also findable under ‘Healing Justice Podcast,’ or wherever you listen to podcasts) and download the accompanying visual guide to print and use as a worksheet.
1. Clarifying our vision: What are we working toward? What happens this next year in our wildest dreams?
2. Transforming ourselves: What habits and practices will we need to release and cultivate to play the role we want and need to play in 2020?
3. Asking for help: What support will we need, and who can we ask?
We join you in your commitment to your personal and collective good this next year and are grateful for your presence and contributions in our movements for social change. Reflection and planning help us get clear about our most powerful roles, move distractions and busyness out of the way, and allow us to move with purpose.
Let’s go together!
Kate Werning (she/her) is the founding Director of Irresistible, a media project supporting the healing and sustainability of organizers & social justice leaders worldwide. She has worked as an organizer for the past decade, is a lead trainer with Momentum, and founded Hoop House collective home in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently sheltering-in-place with her family in Wisconsin. Headshot by Emily Hlaváč Green Photography