Below is the edited transcript of the video above:

Ocean Robbins: Welcome to this Food Revolution Conversation. I’m Ocean Robbins, co-founder and CEO of Food Revolution Network. And we’re right here in the present day to speak about wholesome, moral, and sustainable meals for all and what it takes to get to the “for all” a part of that mission.

We’re going to have a look at meals, fairness, and alternative with a deep dive into a really particular neighborhood that has a profound significance in my coronary heart and life and in addition in our nationwide story within the United States. That neighborhood is Selma, Alabama, birthplace of the voting rights motion. The place the place, in 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, demonstrators have been overwhelmed as they sought to peacefully march for the appropriate to vote.

People died that day. Selma grew to become a flashpoint for a nationwide motion that led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act. And to today, each single yr, there’s a Bridge Crossing Jubilee on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I’ve been honored to go a few occasions the place individuals march throughout that bridge to ceremonially symbolize the journey from slavery to freedom and from disenfranchisement to empowerment and constructing a brighter future.

Malika Sanders-Fortier & Ainka Sanders Jackson

Ocean Robbins: And two of the individuals who have been such inspirations to me, in my understanding of the dynamics of race, class, and freedom within the United States, and on the planet, are Malika Sanders-Fortier and Ainka Sanders Jackson. Their household has been main the civil rights battle for a lot of a long time. They in all probability each attended rallies within the womb. They grew up on this battle, and now they’re main it ahead.

And they’re pricey associates of mine too. I’ve been so blessed to do some deep work — significantly with Malika — however with each of them through the years, and to know their spirits, their ardour for justice, freedom, love, and liberation for all beings. And so, it’s an unimaginable honor to have this time to catch up with two outdated associates and in addition to convey their knowledge to you. Let me let you know somewhat bit about these wonderful individuals.

So Ainka Sanders Jackson is the manager director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation at Healing Waters Retreat Center in Selma, Alabama. She’s a co-founder of the Nashville Campaign to End the New Jim Crow. She’s helped manage mass incarceration boards for judicial, district lawyer, and mayoral candidates. She was the vp of the Children’s Defense Fund Nashville Freedom School Partnership Board, and in addition a frontrunner on the Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration Task Force for Nashville Organized for Action and Hope. And she’s offered on the largest mayoral discussion board Nashville has ever held.

Malika Sanders-Fortier serves as a state senator for the state of Alabama. She represents District 23. She’s an lawyer for her household’s groundbreaking legislation workplace, Chestnut, Sanders & Sanders, and former govt director of the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. She received her BA from Spelman College and her legislation diploma from Birmingham School of Law.

So that’s somewhat bit about their skilled background and what they’re as much as. Malika, Ainka, thanks a lot for being right here.

Malika Sanders-Fortier: Thank you for having us.

Bloody Sunday

selma to montgomery march historical marker

Ocean Robbins: Well, I’m thrilled to be right here with you. And let’s begin by speaking somewhat bit about the place you’re. You are in Selma, Alabama, proper now. And it’s a really important place in our nationwide journey. Can you inform us somewhat bit about what Selma means to you?

Ainka Sanders Jackson: Yes. I’ll begin within the context of sharing concerning the present group that I direct, the Selma Center for Nonviolence Truth and Reconciliation, which Malika and others helped to co-found.

In 2015, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery march. That weekend, when individuals have been right here from all around the world, and President Obama was right here, the KKK allegedly distributed 30,00zero recruitment flyers.

We had two murders that Sunday, two extra in lower than a month in a city that’s lower than 20,00zero individuals.

Ocean Robbins: Wow.

Ainka Sanders Jackson: In 2014, our county was the poorest county within the state. In 2015, Selma was probably the most harmful place to stay in Alabama. And in 2016, it was the eighth-most harmful place per capita in the entire nation. So this place the place nonviolence overcame violence was thought-about the eighth most harmful place per capita within the nation.


Ainka Sanders Jackson: We imagine that damaged relationships have led to damaged economies, resulting in damaged communities all in want of therapeutic.

And so, our founders got here collectively and mentioned that we wanted to deal with violence in all its types, whether or not or not it’s racial, whether or not or not it’s bodily, or whether or not or not it’s financial violence. And we frequently don’t consider poverty as being a type of violence, however we imagine that issues that dehumanize others are violent, together with poverty.

And so, Dr. Bernard Lafayette — who was a frontrunner in Nashville sit-ins, the Freedom Rising Selma Movement, and who Dr. King appointed to the Poor People’s Campaign, who was additionally our board chair and a co-founder — in our very first board assembly, he mentioned that there was unfinished enterprise within the Civil Rights Movement, and we wanted a Selma 2. So we are saying Selma Finishing the unfinished enterprise of bridging the lives and constructing the Beloved Community. And I’m so grateful to be a companion on this constructing and being within the Beloved Community with my sister right here in Selma.

Ocean Robbins: Oh, I’m getting chills. Selma We’ve received some unfinished enterprise to maintain, don’t we? Well, thanks a lot for main that ahead. Malika, something you wish to add about what Selma means to you?

The Soul of a Nation

Malika Sanders-Fortier: So, Ocean, you and me and Selma go approach again.

Ocean Robbins: Yes.

Malika Sanders-Fortier: I feel it’s been perhaps a few a long time because you even got here right here to Selma. And from the primary second I feel that we’ve talked, I’ve shared my dedication to unity, justice, mercy, and forgiveness in Selma.

And I imagine that that’s related to our nation’s consciousness. In 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson gave a speech (linked right here) in a joint session of Congress presenting the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And he did that proper after the Selma to Montgomery march. And proper after the homicide of Reverend James Reeb right here in Selma. And in it, he talked concerning the soul of a nation. He in contrast it with the soul of a person. That you’ll be able to acquire the entire world, you’ll be able to have navy would possibly, and you may have wealth, and you may have all types of issues, however if you happen to forsake your soul, what do you actually have? That’s the query he raised.

It’s actually highly effective as a result of I actually do suppose that in that second, you form of see the soul of Selma being related to the soul of the nation.

And so, after we combat for the Beloved Community right here in Selma, we don’t simply do it for Selma, we do it for our nation, and we do it for our households, and our neighborhood, and for all that we maintain pricey.

Liberty and Justice for All

edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama

Ainka Sanders Jackson: Which is de facto vital as a result of after we take into consideration the phrases liberty and justice for all… I imagine that we’ve by no means been a United States of America. And Selma actually symbolizes that in its principal bridge.

Edmund Pettus was the Grand Dragon of the KKK. Our main bridge is the Edmund Pettus bridge. It’s named after him. And so it’s just like the Civil War and civil rights are embodied on this one historic construction that… And most individuals don’t know that Selma was a stronghold for the Confederacy, making a lot of the uniforms and artillery solely subsequent to Richmond, Virginia. So when the Union troopers took over Selma, actually inside per week, the conflict was over.

So Selma has a historical past of being a stronghold, and that bridge has been a stronghold. It’s why the League of the South is taken into account a hate group. Two years in the past, they held a flash mob on the bridge. So we by no means had any fact and reconciliation after the Civil War. And many individuals are holding on to that ache, and we haven’t healed. And we’re going to have to discover a method to heal if we’re to maneuver ahead to be a United States of America, and so we are able to actually have liberty and justice for all.

Black Lives Matter

Ocean Robbins: You know, as you have been simply speaking, I used to be fascinated about this form of false dichotomy that we see between what I’ll name the Black Lives Matter motion and the All Lives Matter message.

Recently Food Revolution Network got here out with a really forthright assertion about why we help Black lives and that Black lives matter on this world. And it was beautiful to me how many individuals responded with “All Lives Matter,” as in the event that they have been contradicting us.

But I don’t see the contradiction. Of course, all lives matter. That’s a elementary fact. But we’re not appearing prefer it proper now. As a nation, we’re usually not appearing like Black lives matter. And so, if we actually need all lives to matter, then we have to pay some consideration to the lives which are being disrespected and disregarded by insurance policies and by practices that proceed to impoverish communities and other people throughout this nation.

The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Ocean Robbins: And I see you all saying, “Look, what’s going on here. This is wrong.” And you’re additionally doing it in a approach that’s welcoming, embracing, and inclusive. To me, that could be a legacy that we’ve all been blessed with from the Civil Rights Movement — exhibiting that you simply actually can, non-violently, stand for one thing stunning in a approach that challenges injustice boldly. And that you are able to do so in a approach that invitations everyone to reclaim their humanity as a participant in that motion — fairly than creating extra of the violence and separation that simply creates extra enemies.

Abraham Lincoln mentioned, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.” And that’s one thing I’ve at all times felt coming from you all in your work.

Malika Sanders-Fortier: Dr. King mentioned that “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” And so, I feel it’s vital, on this second, on this very vital second, that we embrace the sunshine; that we manifest the sunshine; that we be a light-weight to 1 one other.

Ainka Sanders Jackson: I simply wish to learn one different quote from Dr. King. It really is on the shirt that I’m carrying in the present day. It says, “The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a Beloved Community. The end is reconciliation. The end is redemption.” And so, nonviolence actually, actually helps us to create the Beloved Community. And you’ll be able to’t create it if you happen to’re not being it. We usually say that the Beloved Community is not only a vacation spot, however it’s a journey.

Ocean Robbins: Yes. Thank you. Chills once more.

The Impact of Racial Disparities

woman holding sign saying racism is a pandemic too

Ocean Robbins: I wish to tie this into meals and well being as a result of, in fact, that’s our mission at Food Revolution Network.

Statistically, within the United States, the darker your pores and skin shade, the extra probably you’re to be a sufferer of police violence, to develop up poor, to be denied loans and promotions and housing alternatives, to be impacted by redlining, and to stay in a neighborhood with polluted air and water. Also, the extra probably you’re to lack entry to nutritious and wholesome meals and to undergo from weight problems, kind 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart illness, and all the different power illnesses which are so prevalent in the present day.

And now, right here we’re within the time of COVID-19. Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at 3 times the speed of white Americans. It looks like the individuals who can least afford it are being probably the most impacted, as is so usually the case when challenges hit our society. And at Food Revolution Network, with a mission of wholesome, moral, and sustainable meals for ALL, we wish to shift a few of these dynamics.

I might love your perception into what boundaries we should overcome. And extra importantly, what can we do? How will we deal with a few of the root causes which are fueling this well being disparity, and this chance disparity?

There’s the outdated saying that an individual with their well being has a thousand goals. An individual with out it has however one dream — and that’s to get it again. When you’re struggling, while you’re hurting, while you’re exhausted, while you’re in disaster, then you definately don’t suppose long-term — you suppose in survival response mode. And that impacts your skill to arrange for the long run. You don’t save water when your home is on fireplace. Lots of people are in that form of disaster response mode, which impacts the flexibility of future generations to get a head begin. So in that context, what do you suppose we are able to do?

Health Risks of Race

Ainka Sanders Jackson: I wish to go straight to that query, however I feel some context can be useful first.

So this pandemic — not the one about poverty, not the one about racism, however coronavirus. There was an article within the New York Times that confirmed the locations that have been most in danger for having main penalties to the communities primarily based on their well being. And of 12 locations, seven of them have been within the Black Belt of Alabama. And Malika represents the Black Belt, and Selma is throughout the Black Belt. So seven out of 12, and Selma was quantity 5.

This is vital for a lot of causes. One, we’re a part of a company known as GirlTrek that encourages Black girls to stroll. We say to take a Harriet trek — stroll to avoid wasting your self; then come again to get others. And they’ve a TED speak that talks about how racism is killing Black girls. This is vital as a result of if you happen to stage the enjoying subject — by consuming proper, exercising, schooling, all these issues — we nonetheless don’t fare as properly due to the stress of racism.

Ocean Robbins: Yes

Food Insecurity in Selma

Ainka Sanders Jackson: The heart isn’t a direct service group, however we’ve needed to do sure issues throughout the pandemic as a result of individuals are much more in disaster. I had lengthy heard concerning the meals insecurity in Selma, however I actually had no thought how unhealthy it was. We have meals deserts. And we don’t have public transportation, which makes it worse. So if you happen to solely have grocery shops on the far sides of city and no transportation to get there, it’s actually problematic.

So we began giving out recent produce. We’re speaking about zucchini and squash, not sugary cereals or any of that. And we begin giving it out at midday. By eight:00 within the morning, individuals are already lined as much as get it, hours prematurely — for zucchini and squash. The first time that that occurred, it simply hit me in such a tough method to see individuals actually so hungry for meals that they’re actually prepared to attend for hours to get it. So the meals insecurity right here is extraordinarily, extraordinarily excessive.

Ocean Robbins: Yes.

Malika Sanders-Fortier: This is certainly a problem right here in Dallas County, the place Selma is positioned. But I might say much more so in a few of the different rural counties that I symbolize. At least there’s a grocery retailer or two or three right here, however there are little cities that I symbolize the place there’s no grocery retailer. There are shops that don’t carry any recent fruits or greens.

Building a Food Cooperative

Malika Sanders-Fortier: And a part of why it’s heartbreaking is as a result of the one factor we’ve within the Black Belt are individuals and land. Part of our need in constructing the Beloved Community is for individuals to embrace the land, embrace the blessings that we’ve been given, and to work collectively and heal collectively to make issues higher for ourselves in relationship and in partnership with others. Because we’ve land. We actually are passionate and enthusiastic about constructing a meals cooperative — farming and gardening and doing the issues that may assist to fill within the void of wholesome meals.

Reclaiming a Relationship with the Land

cotton field ready for harvest

Ocean Robbins: Recently, I received to interview Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York. She’s the writer of Farming While Black. She really devoted her ebook to her nice, nice, nice, nice — many generations again — grandmothers who braided seeds into their hair earlier than they boarded slave ships. They have been making an attempt to convey with them seeds for the long run — and to convey their ancestral data of how one can develop meals.

You all are primarily based within the south, the place slavery has its roots. And it was essentially all about agriculture. Enslavement created centuries of pressured relationship with the land. And I take into consideration what a journey it have to be to beat that legacy and to reclaim a relationship to the earth once more. Is that one thing that you simply resonate with? Is it one thing that you simply really feel is a vital piece to work on in your neighborhood?

Ainka Sanders Jackson: It’s so vital, however it’s additionally so onerous. We simply have been throughout the river and crossed the bridge and noticed cotton. And Malika checked out it and noticed magnificence, however all I may consider was ache within the second.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Ainka Sanders Jackson: And so, if, after I see cotton, my first feeling is ache and flashbacks to traumas that didn’t occur to me immediately, then there’s loads of therapeutic that has to happen to ensure that the reclamation of a wholesome relationship with land. But like Malika mentioned, two of the best assets we’ve within the Black Belt are the individuals and the land. And so, we’ve to do some therapeutic and a few tilling to have the ability to heart that.

Black Farmers Case

Ocean Robbins: You know, within the yr 1900, Black farmers held about 14% of the land within the United States. By the top of the 20th century, it was round one %. They misplaced 93% of their land in the middle of the 20th century — and that wasn’t by likelihood. And it wasn’t simply because individuals stopped eager to do it. Quite a lot of it was due to preferential mortgage therapy from the USDA explicitly favoring white farmers over Black farmers who had the identical financial situation and the identical land. They would give loans to the white farmer over the Black farmer. And this grew to become so systemic and so pervasive that it led to huge lack of land and livelihood.

Your household’s legislation agency, which you continue to work at, Malika — along with your senatorial duties — has been one of many leaders in addressing this and really led the lawsuit towards the USDA to attempt to create some accountability. Can you inform us somewhat bit about that?

Malika Sanders-Fortier: We have been one of many corporations that took this on. The Chestnut in our agency title, Chestnut, Sanders & Sanders, is J.L. Chestnut, who was Dr. King’s lawyer when he would come to Selma. J.L. Chestnut has a protracted historical past in civil rights. He was the primary Black, African-American lawyer in Selma. We’re making an attempt to get the courthouse named after him even now. And he was one of many main leaders of the lawsuit, alongside with my father, Hank Sanders.

They went all around the nation, signing up farmers. Because in spite of everything of that point, farmers have been really in a position to get a judgment and start to form of get well from the lack of all of that land.

And so, the Black farmers case was a method of chipping away at that ache, chipping away at that injustice in order that we may start to reclaim not simply the land bodily, however the sense of worth for the land.

Covert Racism

Ocean Robbins: Yes. It appears to me that over the centuries, white supremacy needed to grow to be extra covert to be able to keep in operation. Some of probably the most blatant types of racism have grow to be unacceptable in our society as we’ve advanced. We not suppose, most of us, that it’s okay to discriminate on the premise of pores and skin shade. Now, it nonetheless occurs on a regular basis, however we don’t suppose it’s a good suggestion. And nobody desires to confess it publicly for probably the most half, aside from very excessive teams. Obviously, you deal with a few of these teams in your neighborhood who are usually not afraid to talk it publicly. But within the bigger nationwide dialog, we don’t wish to admit that there’s racism in any respect in some circumstances. And we like to consider it prefer it’s up to now.

The Beloved Community

black and white human hands in handshake

Malika Sanders-Fortier: Really the Black Lives Matter plea for assistance is an American name for assist. Our nation isn’t properly. We are usually not complete. We are usually not okay. And we have to be. We have to heal collectively. We have to pay attention to one another. We want to like one another. We should be affected person with each other. We have to work by these points and actually discover options collectively. Because loads of these points are very nuanced.

Police officers have a really harmful job. Going into locations with individuals they don’t know — it’s comprehensible that they’re on guard. And on the similar time, whereas they should be protected, that safety can’t be over and above the safety of standard residents. It has to go hand-in-hand. We must have options that have in mind the wants of the entire. And we simply imagine that within the Beloved Community, there’s a win-win chance. It doesn’t must be — you lose, I win.

And for thus lengthy, even from the inception of slavery, and the economic system of slavery, there was this win-lose. We have to win, so that you get to lose. And the query is, how will we shift that in each system and each establishment in order that it’s not primarily based on a win-lose, or lose-win, however it’s primarily based on a win-win, and it’s based on love.

So that’s what the Beloved Community is all about. How do you create establishments and methods which are primarily based on love for all? For all.

Becoming a Co-liberator

Ainka Sanders Jackson: And that is vital as a result of they’re speaking about it being an American factor and never only a Black factor as a result of our liberation is tied up into each other. You can’t be free, Ocean, if we’re not free. When individuals dehumanize others, it dehumanizes themselves.

And it’s totally different while you see your self on this. That we’re so tied and related, that I’m not simply doing this for you. I’m doing this for us. Like, that my household, my neighborhood, our economic system, our psychological well being points, the whole lot is dependent upon how we’re collectively. And so, after I see it that approach, then I’m not simply an ally, however I grow to be a co-liberator. We are so related and tied collectively that each of our lives are dependent upon this. And so, while you view it as that, you’re all in. It’s not simply typically; it’s not only a petition. Your life is dedicated to saving your life and the lives of those that are in your neighborhood.

Lighting the Way for Future Generations

three young multi-racial friends standing together with arms on shoulders

Ocean Robbins: I’m seeing a trajectory from hostility to ambivalence to allyship to co-liberator.

The journey from hostility, which has created methods of violence towards individuals. To ambivalence, which sadly perpetuates extra of the identical, given the context we’re ranging from and have all been born into. To allyship, which typically seems like “let me help you.” Which is, I feel, a very vital step. But then, co-liberation is how do we actually create the Beloved Community? And how will we get our palms soiled? How will we present up on this – recognizing that our liberations are interconnected.

And that’s what’s so transferring to me concerning the spirit you’re standing for, and why I feel that is vital. This isn’t only a Selma dialog, though Selma is critically vital. This isn’t even only a nationwide dialog; it is a human dialog. What form of individuals are we going to be? What form of legacy will we go away for future generations?

And we’re at a degree in historical past, I feel, the place silence or turning away is not an possibility if we care about future generations. Because we are able to see the place the established order leads. And it’s not fairly. But we are able to additionally see one thing else is feasible. And you all are lighting the way in which for that.

Vegetarianism & Social Justice

Ocean Robbins: I’ve yet one more query. Malika, you’ve been vegetarian, I imagine, for so long as I’ve identified you. And I’m curious if that’s related to your values round social justice or the way it ties to what we’re speaking about in the present day.

I feel at a really intestine stage, it’s so vital that we’ve a wholesome respect for all times — for all dwelling issues. Because if in case you have a respect for all dwelling issues, and also you honor and respect all dwelling issues, then it turns into a lot more durable to trigger hurt… – Malika Sanders-Fortier

Malika Sanders-Fortier: I went off to varsity in Atlanta, Georgia. And that’s after I realized about being a vegetarian and what it meant. And I feel it’s as a result of, on the deepest ranges of who we’re in our spirit, we all know life. Life is aware of life. And so, after we violate that, it may be a slippery slope. And so, in that sense, I didn’t have an evaluation approach again then. But I actually did have, simply at a intestine stage, as a youngster, a discomfort with something that snuffed out life.

I feel at a really intestine stage, it’s so vital that we’ve a wholesome respect for all times — for all dwelling issues. Because if in case you have a respect for all dwelling issues, and also you honor and respect all dwelling issues, then it turns into a lot more durable to trigger hurt even while you’re offended and even while you’re upset and even while you’ve been wronged and even when there’s an injustice. I feel that it is a second that it’s essential that all of us have an elevated sense of honor and respect for all life.

Violence Begins with Disconnection

Ocean Robbins: Yes. Thank you for that. So true. Our mutual pal Coumba Toure from Mali, West Africa, mentioned to me as soon as, “All violence begins with disconnection.” At the second you disconnect with anyone, it turns into potential to commit any stage of violence, from ignoring anyone or disrespecting them or not listening to them, during to homicide. Because all of these are gradients. And all of them begin from a root place of disconnection the place we stop to acknowledge the inherent dignity — the inherent worthiness of one other being.

And what I actually hear you saying is that for you, animals grew to become part of your ecosystem of life. And you didn’t wish to take that life if you happen to didn’t have to.

Now, everybody has their very own sensibilities round meals and the place we draw these traces. For some individuals, even greens have screams. And to different individuals, they really feel like they might simply not be a cannibal, however that consuming monkeys is okay. And all of us have someplace, I feel, within the spectrum of our personal sense of what’s us, what’s me, what’s the neighborhood that I’m going to name a part of me — and the place will I draw that line.

In my work, I wish to assist us broaden our circle of compassion in each respect, in our meals selections, in our life selections, in how we present up on the planet as a result of I feel that our humanity is deepened after we achieve this. And I’ve loads of respect and loads of compassion for everyone drawing that line in the way in which that is smart for them. And I do wish to problem all of us to consider it as a result of when we’ve animals being tortured in manufacturing facility farms, I feel that the act of consuming flesh from that system desensitizes us to violence of all types. And I wish to assist us grow to be extra delicate and extra attuned in order that we are able to grow to be simpler in doing one thing totally different.

Closing Thoughts

multi-racial hands in circle huddle

Ocean Robbins: Well, we’re nearing the top of our time right here for this dialog. And I’d love to listen to from every of you if in case you have any closing ideas you’d wish to share as we transfer in direction of completion right here. Malika, how about you first after which Ainka?

Malika Sanders-Fortier: Well, one, I simply wish to say thanks a lot, Ocean, for inviting us. And we’re simply very spiritually related. And so, we simply imagine that God is doing one thing actually wonderful in heaven. And we simply must stroll it out right here on Earth.

And so, we’re enthusiastic about doing that with this meals cooperative. We’re enthusiastic about doing that and therapeutic relationships within the State Senate. Quite a little bit of the work that I’ve been doing is round bringing Democrats and Republicans collectively for these therapeutic conversations to like each other. Because I actually do imagine that our options will come finest after we are working hand-in-hand collectively, deeply listening to 1 one other, and loving each other. And it is a second in our historical past that’s calling and screaming for options. And I imagine love is the inspiration of these options.

Ocean Robbins: Oh, bless you. Thank you. Ainka?

Get and Stay Connected

Ainka Sanders Jackson: I used to be chatting with a prime legislation enforcement individual within the state yesterday about legislation enforcement and violence inflicted. And I talked about that disconnection, not seeing themselves in that individual or not seeing the God in that individual. It’s really easy to do issues. It’s why when somebody assaults you, they are saying, “Look them in the eye. Tell them about your family; ask about theirs.” To get a connection.

And so, we’re all strolling round on this nation disconnected as a result of we’ve had a price system that claims me, myself, and I, as an alternative of we. Desmond Tutu mentioned that, “America doesn’t even have the language for truth and reconciliation.” He talked about ubuntu, which suggests: I’m since you are. And so, that’s connection that we are able to construct upon.

And so, my problem with individuals is to get related. Use your life, labor, affect, funds, and experience. Be related with somebody. And so, whether or not that’s you getting related to us in Selma, or getting related with your neighbor subsequent door that you simply don’t know their title, get and keep related.

A Commitment to Love & Nonviolence

Ocean Robbins: Beautiful. Well, we actually are speaking about reconnecting ourselves with our primary humanity — with our place within the bigger ecosystem. I see you embodying that in politics, embodying that in relationships between legislation enforcement and neighborhood, embodying that in taking a look at meals and financial alternative.

And Selma, the birthplace of the voting rights motion, has introduced extra freedom and extra alternative to so many. And I feel that Selma goes to convey a form of peace that comes from that connection. Not a peace that’s complicit with a poisonous establishment, however a form of peace that comes from understanding our humanity, forging actual relationships which are constructed on belief and mutual self-interest and collective well-being.

And I thanks a lot for the braveness, and for the love and integrity you’re bringing. I can solely think about, with all that you simply’ve seen and all that you simply’ve confronted in your lives, how straightforward it might be to let anger and cynicism take over. And but, I really feel such a gentle return to a dedication to like and true nonviolence embodied in your work. And it’s palpable; it’s profound; it’s stunning.

And for all of us meals revolutionaries who could also be working in a special area, let’s keep in mind this message in the present day. And let’s put it into motion in our lives.

Whatever circle you stroll in, wherever you’re employed, no matter you do, whoever you work together with, let’s take one thing that we’ve realized from these sisters and put it into motion in our lives. Malika, Ainka, thanks a lot.

Ainka Sanders Jackson: Thank you.

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