Begin with the End in Mind
When you hear the word Beloved Community, what comes to your mind? What do you envision? Simply list all the words that come to you – don’t give it much thought, just write what pops into your head.
Now, think of a child in your life – boy or girl. What do you want for them? What do they need to grow into strong, healthy, loving beings? Again, write these things down.
I have asked these questions of numerous groups I have found myself a part of as a presenter, facilitator or convener. Here are just some of the words that have come up:
LOVE, TRUST, OPENNESS, COMMUNICATION, CARING, NURTURING, NATIVE LANGUAGES SPOKEN, ROOTED, BALANCED, EQUALITY, TO BE LISTENED TO, INTERGENERATIONAL, POWER, VOICE, RESPECT, NON-VIOLENCE, INCLUSIVE, MULTI-CULTURAL, RELIGION, SPIRITUAL, CONNECTED, HEALING, OPPRESSION-FREE, SONGS, CLEAN ENVIRONMENT, EVERYONE HAS WHAT THEY NEED, EACH RESPONSIBLE FOR EACH OTHER, RECIPORCITY, DANCES, HUMILITY, SAFE, PROTECTED, VALUED, UNITED, COMFORTED, ACCOUNTABILITY, CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENTIAL, HONORED, CHERISHED, BEAUTIFUL, HOME, SUPPORTED, TRUTHFULNESS
These groups have been diverse--from service providers, youth, community members, healing retreats, state and national gatherings. It is amazing to see familiar words/themes come up. The words and images are not so different or far off from what my MEV cohort family came up with in our visioning which I shared in an earlier blog.
Over the course of this past year and some months through the Move to End Violence, we have been in process of transforming, re-thinking, and figuring out ways to re-invigorate the violence against women and girls movement. During this same period I have been in process with my team of Reproductive Justice Warriors of selecting and enhancing an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention model for Native American youth.
What has surfaced for me as we look toward a Beloved Community, a place where all our children are able to grow into whom they were meant to be – powerful, loving, caring, and nurturing beings, is that we have to Begin With the End in Mind.
Dream, vision, and plan. We are in process toward our End. Our vision and dream is Beloved Communities. Our plan – one heart, one person, one community at a time. Statistics show that violence has touched all our lives in one form or another. There are those among us who are most vulnerable and none of us are immune. It takes willingness on all of us to be vulnerable and courageous at the same time, to say no to violence in all its forms and to take action. One action is to support the work of your local community organizations working to end violence against women and girls and another is to evaluate your actions and intentions in your relationship to others. Move to End Violence – JOIN US.