Our own Director of Organizing, Brian Johns, discusses the benefits of talking with friends and family about subjects like racism at Thanksgiving with Amanda Hendler-Voss, author of the website, “Soul Edges.”
From the article:
“If anyone knows how to break the silence around a divided table well, it’s a community organizer who crisscrosses Virginia, a state divided by pockets of deep blue amidst a crimson sea. Virginia Organizing is a grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. At the crux of its work, Virginia Organizing is about building relationships, so it’s no surprise that connecting with others is, according to Brian Johns, “key to everything.”
“If you build a relationship,” Johns advises, “you can better relate to that person and figure out the best way to engage them in conversation. For example, I worked on an anti-hydrofracking campaign with folks who never would have identified themselves as progressives or environmentalists. They were involved because they were worried about their water quality. However, after meeting lots of folks and starting to build relationships with them through the campaign, these same folks wanted to make a statement supportive of immigrants when that issue came up at a Board of Supervisors meeting. Since they met folks in the immigrant community, it was much harder to deny their rights and humanity.””
To read the full article, click here.