Written by Kitty Hu (Communications & Administration Intern, Fall 2020)
“Part of my resilient practice is to hold onto hope. It’s not rainbows and unicorns and blind optimism,” offered Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream, in an IG live conversation last week with Deepa Iyer, BMP’s Director of Movement Building, as part of the Solidarity Semester. She continued, “It’s a very centered commitment to the discipline of hope.”
Greisa emphasized the importance of building solidarity not as a performative gesture, but as the only way to do this work in the long run.
“The systems we are fighting are interconnected themselves,” explained Greisa.
During the IG live, Deepa described the various social change roles that individuals can embody within the social movement ecosystem and explained that solidarity is not about collapsing experiences to produce a simplified homogeneity, but instead recognizing collective struggles and similar histories of resistance among unique communities.
“We are part of a lineage,” stated Greisa. “Part of what I do at United We Dream is to ensure that I am creating the conditions for the line to move through me and into other people.”
As young people mobilize globally around issues of race, climate and inequality, it is more important than ever to center those with lived experiences and build communities of care. Deepa suggests finding people, both within and outside of movement spaces, who can ask you hard questions and encourage you to reflect internally.
The Solidarity Semester is not over yet! For the next few weeks, the semester will continue to offer free online trainings for young leaders interested in or already taking part in movement building. Hosted by Building Movement Project and Solidarity Is, the Solidarity Semester aims to amplify solidarity principles, deepen social change roles, and serve as a space for youth leaders and activists to take action in their own communities.
Check out the syllabi, past recordings, and other Solidarity Semester materials (like the graphic notes below) here.