Be the Change
There can be no growth without discomfort. By coming together in solidarity we have the opportunity to create the world we wish to see. To BE the change that is needed in this world. But this requires work on all of our parts - to be more aware and intentional in the ways we hold space and relate to one another. It means that we need to have a solid foundation in the values with which we choose to live life. Sometimes this can happen as we simply sit in the quiet corners of our meditations. Other times, it is necessary to take a stand, and voice the truth.
A difficult truth
There’s a confrontation that is happening across North America and the world around racism and xenophobia. #StopAsianHate and #BlackLivesMatter have become rally cries for all of us to pay attention. But the conversation that is happening is much more complex, and goes much further back in time than any hashtag in existence.
The history of the oppressions we are dealing with today, are generations deep.
The idea of being “colorblind” is not a solution.
The effort or claim toward being “colorblind” actually bypasses the problem - it can effectively add to the problem by erasing the beautiful textures of the rich cultures, distinctions, and histories of persons of color.
An interesting dynamic can be observed when the idea of colorblindness is placed next to the history of racism toward Asian and South Asian communities in particular - which has in large part been that of erasure. Racism toward these and other communities of color often go unnoticed or downplayed. Oftentimes their narratives are brushed to the side or are just simply missing.
In 2020, the upsurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement helped to raise our collective consciousness around anti-Black racism. Though these issues are not new (Black people have been fighting against the violence on their bodies and communities for over 400 years), a new generation has been waking up to the reality of how these issues impact the Black community and other communities of color. It’s important to note that many spaces and people, not just the police, also play a hand in perpetuating anti-Black racism, even other communities of color.
It’s important to keep in mind that all of these issues are connected. There are critical intersections and nuances to these dynamics. When we zoom out it’s critical that we name, acknowledge, and address the core issues that are at play.
The anti-Black racism that killed George Floyd and the anti-Asian racism and misogyny that killed 6 Asian women in Atlanta this month, must include naming and contextualizing white supremacy. There are also various layers of issues at play in these cases, such as patriarchal misogyny, capitalism, and classism.
The issues we are facing as a human society is one that didn’t just happen overnight. They have been centuries in the making, rooted in colonial history. So if we hope to heal our world, we need to understand that it’s going to take some time as well. It’s important that we are kind and compassionate with one another as we grow.
At this point I would like to bring our attention to some of the core values that we have at Interfusion. Because it’s not enough to just be against something, it's also important to be creating alternatives with direction toward a better future.
Keep in mind that the dance of being fully aware of and informed about the social issues of today/history, in combination with creating new ways of being are necessary to integrate. It’s critical that we don’t engage one without the other.
Growing and grounding in our values
At Interfusion Festival we are committed to standing for and creating spaces of equity and inclusion. Where no matter where you are from you can come here, and feel safe. But this is not something we can just declare to make it so, we must co-create it as a community.
To help us do this, outlined below are a few of our core values as an organization, to help ground us in the ways we can move forward as a collective.
One of our core values at Interfusion Festival is ‘Universal Love’ – in this case, it can be understood as loving with the heart of the divine for all that exists in creation. This includes other people, no matter their race, creed, gender, socio-economic status, etc.
‘Humility’ is another one of our core values. When we are navigating the work of addressing issues such as anti-Black or anti-Asian racism, it is especially important for those who wish to be allies in these fights to listen. Humble yourself to really listen to those most affected. You may gain important perspective on things that you may not have had to experience yourself, and thus might be unaware of. Just because you haven’t experienced something personally, doesn’t mean it’s not real.
‘Non-Judgement’ is a core value that allows us to be kinder to one another. Non-judgement also includes the eradication of pre-judgement. So many of the world’s oppressive power dynamics and systems are built on centering stereotypes and placing value judgements on people who fit certain profiles based on race, gender, class, etc. When we prioritize non-judgement we provide a space where we can begin to move past these stereotypes, and the harm that can be done to people as a result.
‘Caring’ is a value at Interfusion that allows us to prioritize the well-being of everyone in our community. To turn a blind eye to an issue that impacts our sisters and brothers is the opposite of caring. It doesn’t mean that you need to interject yourself and jump into the heat of the action when it’s not appropriate either, but it is about learning to empathize with those around you, even if they don’t look like you or share the same cultural norms as you do. In this way, going back to the value of humility, being humble and listening as an ally are important things to learn to embody – out of care for your fellow humans.
‘Courage’ is critical. It takes courage to speak out, to take a stand, and call things out, name it, and address it. We encourage you to have courage when faced with uncomfortable issues such as social injustice. “Positive vibes only” can sometimes be used to bypass challenging emotions. Which can sometimes silence and shut out important aspects of the work that is here for us to do. We must find the courage to be ok with discomfort, and face things head on if we wish to make a difference regarding the issues around oppression that are being discussed here.
‘Curiosity’ is one of the most important in all of this work. Remain curious, there is always more to learn. Try your best not to be resolved in a place of self-righteousness, but practice curiosity with some healthy doses of non-judgement and humility involved. You may be surprised at what you have to learn.
We see your heart, dear light. We know that many members of our community come to Interfusion to find a sense of home, to heal, to grow, and to become better versions of ourselves. That’s why it is especially important for us to have these honest and uncomfortable conversations.
At Interfusion we are dedicated to this journey of growth, and, we are still learning too. Change doesn’t happen overnight - but with sustained dedication and commitment over time, we have the power to make a difference.
We hope that as a community you will join us in this mission. And we ask for your patience and love as we grow, even if we make mistakes.
Let us extend earnest and deep humility, non-judgement, caring, courage, and curiosity with a heart for universal love to one another, and every single person in our community.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, and we have the power to create the change we need in our world, by first healing and working on ourselves, as well as cultivating healthy and safe spaces for our communities. It’s not always easy, but definitely worth it.
So, we invite you to join us. Let’s do the work. Let’s heal ourselves, our communities, and our world, together.