Organizing In The Time of Pandemic
Over the past week, I've spent some time thinking about the implications of this moment for a practice of organizing that is deeply relational -- eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul.
I shared some thoughts this morning with our Clergy Caucus members and thought I'd share with ya'll:
- Leverage Technology To Relate- As Pastor Tommy Grimm said in a recent meeting last week, if you thought relational meetings were a radical tool before, they are even a more radical tool now. Rather than seeing technology as a threat to human interaction, relationships, or our democratic practices, consider making a phone call or video call with someone you've been meaning to meet with. Schedule a relational meeting or check in with folks to see how they are doing, to provide support or encouragement.
- Research-- Maybe you've been meaning to dig through the City and County budgets or check out that link to an article/podcast/documentary/book that I sent you last year. Consider taking some time to learn about an issue that you find deeply resonant.
- Reflection and Evaluation- We've had a busy start of the year, no? For those of us with the luxury of uninterrupted time, take a moment to reflect, perhaps journal, meditate, and take time for care of self and your beloveds.
- Connect Relief/Charity to Action -- I know Durham CAN institutions to be people of deep care and action. And I would not be doing my job as your Lead Organizer if I didn't encourage you to think about the issues you would like see changed before the next pandemic: Durham Public School students physically cut off from the support systems they rely on for meals, internet access, computers, transportation, social/emotional support; employees whose jobs do not provide an option for remote work or paid leave; small business owners who are facing the reality of shuttering their businesses; overwhelmed, overstretched and under-resourced health professionals; neighbors whose options for food supplies are constrained by the reality of food deserts. How might these plant the seeds of issues we organize around in the coming months and years ahead?