Dwelling In Hope: A Commitment to Action
Written by Elizabeth Tannen, Congregational Organizer
I used to think that showing up for social change was other people’s work.
For most of my adult life, I centered my life around my individual pursuits: like many Americans, I was raised with a values system that taught me to put myself first: my ambition, my career, my family ahead of my shared communities, my shared cities, my shared natural environment.
My parents were good people who taught me to be kind to others and to not be prejudiced against people not like me; as Jews, historically persecuted for our identity and faith, an opposition to any kind of bias was core.
But being against bias is different than being for solidarity: and solidarity is how we actually make change.
At Beacon, we proclaim a bold vision: that all people have a home.
None of us can know for sure what it will take to get there. But we know a few things, all of which have motivated us to plan a rally on Sunday, November 15th at the State Capitol—Dwelling in Hope. That afternoon, we’ll stand together as faith communities united in action.
We know it will take commitment—our democracy only works if we make it work, which means continuing to show up and continuing to expand our base, the number of people we invite into this movement. We know this commitment to action is our main source of hope.
We know it means staying in the fight regardless of who is in power: as we await final vote counts for both local and national races, we know that neither party has solved this problem when they could have, and the only way that progress happens is when large numbers of people create the public will to create the political will to force action.
We know that having unhoused people in parks and beside highways as winter approaches is not inevitable: it is the consequence of specific policy decisions—many of them rooted in racism and disproportionately impacting neighbors of color. And if specific policy choices created this situation, different policy choices can change it.
We know we have enough. Our culture teaches us to default to a scarcity mentality: the idea that there isn’t enough for everyone to live with dignity. We know that’s a lie: in our wealthy state, our government can access plenty of resources and find plenty of wealth to go around—we just need to make different decisions about how we gather and distribute that wealth that actually reflect people-centered values.
My favorite thing about being part of movement work is the core principle that there is room for everyone: no matter your gifts, no matter your interests, no matter your limitations, there is some way for you to support this work.
And so whether you join us in person on the 15th, whether you watch from home on Facebook Live, whether you call your legislator or write your legislator or go to a meeting or help arrange a meeting—I hope you’ll join us at the rally and beyond, as we go into the 2021 session committed to act boldly and powerfully together.
Will you show up for home? Register for Dwelling In Hope: Faith Communities Rally For Home, taking place November 15.