As you all know, we’ve been incredibly busy recently. In October alone, we pulled off 25 events to prepare us for the election; none of which was on our calendar on October 1st!!! We could not have done any of it without huge support from over 80 people who played active roles in our work, for which we are so grateful.
Over the years, we’ve learned some hard lessons about burnout. We have learned that if we are not taking care of ourselves, we are not in a position to be able to serve our community. We also know that part of the voice that tells us that “we can’t slow down, we need to keep working” is indoctrination from the capitalist mindset that is causing so much pain and suffering on our precious planet.
As an organization committed to integrating nonviolence into our work as deeply as possible, we know that not taking care of ourselves and continuing at a pace that capitalism demands is an act of harm.
We have therefore decided to take an entire month off, from December 11th to January 11th, 2021.
As an organization, we want to model what it means to take care of ourselves so that we can be in service. We also want to walk with the humility to know that the world isn’t going to collapse just because we stop answering our emails for a month.
We are not resting only to recover from a busy fall. We are also clearing our minds so that we can be discerning about our work moving into 2021. Because, let’s be clear, we are still facing multiple crises.
We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, the outgoing president’s refusal to concede is further polarizing this country, and perhaps most importantly, we cannot forget that we are still facing an existential threat from the climate crisis.
Given this, we have decided to commit the majority of our resources in 2021 to helping launch the Yet-To-Be-Named Network. In the first quarter, we will be launching a series of trainings that will deepen people into the Network’s DNA.
We also know that the end of the year is a time when many people donate to various causes. And while we have visions for growth moving forward, part of our practice in the Gift Economy is to not take more than what we actually need. And we are grateful to say that for right now, we are financially secure and feeling abundant.
We therefore want to make an ask that you may not be used to hearing from a “nonprofit,” which is to consider how much you would want to offer in support of our work, and to give that amount to these two incredible organizations:
Sogorea Te Land Trust: An urban Indigenous women-led project working to return land to the Ohlone people, the original caretakers of the land referred to as the San Francisco Bay Area.
Black Organizing Project: A Black member-led grassroots organizing project working for racial, social and economic justice in Oakland, CA.
The “constant growth” mentality of capitalism, which we view as unsustainable and ultimately violent, often seeps into nonprofit organizations, including ones committed to social justice. We are not interested in that. What we are interested in is our commitment to reparations, and to supporting Black and Indigenous leadership.
So if you were considering writing us a check for the end of the year, we ask that you forward that generosity to these two incredible groups.
As we move into 2021, we see a lot of hardships ahead. But we also move into the year feeling more confident than ever in the strength of our relationships and the resilience of our community. We are grateful and humbled to know that we will be working with you all to create beauty in the midst of so much chaos.
Wishing each of you health, safety, rest and (even if it is momentary), true peace.
astrid, Chris, Kazu and all of us at East Point Peace Academy