Love and solidarity: My commitments in the current political context

IMG_4006In my last blog I had promised to begin unpacking a series of seeming  tensions between a “critical” stance (i.e. focused on naming and changing power relations in the world) and a more “spiritual” one (i.e. focused on compassion, love and acceptance).

I don’t have it in me to do this right now. I’m not feeling balanced enough, in the current national state of affairs. I’m struggling to find a way forward, grounded in love and solidarity.

So for now I will simply post my new post-election commitments. I share them in order to make them public, hold myself accountable, and encourage you to form your own commitments as well.

My commitments

(1)Rethink my priorities in terms of where I spend my time, energy and money.

(3) Work imagesin coalition with others to respond to the matters of the day, taking action on immediate items (e.g. defending immigrant rights), and being prepared to respond to whatever comes up. Be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to respond to hate, with love and a firm stance of solidarity for anyone who is attacked.

(3) Spend more time writing for larger audiences, not just academia, and not just the echo chamber of like-minded peers on social media. I will also rethink WHAT I write about, working hard to connect the everyday work I do in schools and communities with the larger issues of the day, and the historical lessons I’ve learned going back to 1980s Central America Solidarity work.
(4) Begin immediate monthly donations to these and other groups: ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Black Lives Matter, the Sierra Club, immigrant rights groups, “tithing” a percentage of my income to support causes that are under attack. I will continue to donate any income I generate from public talks to scholarships for immigrant youth. Now it feels more important than ever to put my money where my mouth is, and to support groups who are speaking to life and death issues of the day.14956575_10212005201469508_6008722053703342377_n


(5) Check my carbon footprint and tax my own carbon use: See This I say to Donald Trump: Not everyone tries to get away with paying as little tax as possible. carbonfootWhile I don’t like my tax dollars going to funding the U.S. war machine, I do believe in paying taxes to offset my use of the world’s resources, and if the government isn’t going to tax me, I will just have to tax myself.  I am gravely concerned that the Trump presidency can set us back on the ticking clock to stall Climate Change in ways that we simply cannot afford.


(6) Spend more time with people in the world: building community, forming connections, lImage result for community building imageooking people in the eye,  listening hard: less time talking and more time listening and FEELING.

(7) Reinvigorate practices of daily meditation, including the practice of “tImage result for tonglen imageonglen:” breathing in the pain of the world with the wish of releasing it.


(8) Reinvigorate practices of self care in order to stay in this work for the long haul.

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3 thoughts on “Love and solidarity: My commitments in the current political context”

  1. Hello there!
    I am so happy to have found your work. I am in an accelerated teaching credentialing program in Austin, TX. In conjunction with the certification I am earning a Masters in Education and am currently enrolled in a Bilingualism in Education course at Texas State University taught by Dr. Kiyomi Sanchez Colegrove. I am developing a research proposal to study these children translators/language brokers . I grew up in Southern California in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, still have deep roots there and married a Filipino immigrant who grew up in East LA. I loved growing up in So. Cal. and my intercultural exposure has shaped who I am and my complete love and acceptance of all people. My thoughts that the language brokering practice was harmful to children have been awakened living here in Central Texas and witnessing the reluctance and sometimes direct hostility, of parents to communicate with me, in the role of an English speaking soccer team mom. The realization that the practice is definitely complicated but not necessarily harmful is a relief and I enjoyed watching your Vimeo video detailing the work in your book which I am going to get on Amazon now! Your work is a gift and I look forward to a greater understanding of the practice and being able to incorporate the understanding into my teaching career. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! It’s always gratifying to learn that our work is useful and inspirational to others out in the world. I apologize for the slow response on approving your post – I get a lot of SPAM comments, and sometimes some genuine ones can slip by. I’d love to hear what you do for your research proposal…On my website there’s a brochure for teachers, parents, and kids about language brokering – feel free to download and use it with your future students and parents. All best, Marjorie

  2. You could detefinily see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

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