Life right now is difficult, especially here in San Francisco where things are constantly shifting. It's like sand beneath our feet: each time we take a step, we can feel the sand slip us back ever so slightly. So we take another step hoping not to feel the slip backwards. Still, we feel its drag. It's exhausting and at times immobilizing.
In times like these, renewal becomes crucial to our survival. It is what keeps us grounded ensuring that we can actually take the necessary steps towards justice and respect and knowledge and healing. And renewal is one of the core components of the #TakingAStand project.
Renewal also cannot be separated from our struggle. It must be an integral, fully realized part of our activism.
At #TakingAStandSF, we stand for the full implementation of SFPD's Community Policing General Order, which was passed in September 2011. If the General Order had been fully implemented, four young men would not have been brutalized by SFPD. If the General Order was active policy and not just paper policy, SFPD would behave very different today. It's wall of silence would be broken and transparency, accountability, and mutual respect would be the norm. Sadly, it seems the General Order is only a piece of paper.
But it is a piece of paper that the community (thanks to some amazing grassroots work by folks like Nina Parks and Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center) poured a lot of time, energy, and heart into. The core tenants of the General Order are strong, vibrant, and vital. It includes problem solving, shared responsibilities, partnerships, and community involvement. These are words that hold meaning in our communities, a meaning that is transformative and just.
So some of the good folks behind #TakingAStandSF (Nina Parks, Dregs One, and Anthony Julius Williams, and me and introducing Jason Boyce) have created a unique personal and professional development series rooted in renewal that explores aspects of the Community Policing General Order. It is called ACTIVISM: within & without, and it provides simple, easy-to-do activities that use arts and wellness practices to breath life into the General Order. The goal is simple: to empower communities (in all of their configurations) to define the General Order in their own words and perspectives so we can begin to hold SFPD accountable to their own policy.
I invite you to join us at this workshop and become a part of a growing movement dedicated to restore justice in our communities through art, action, media, healing, education, and culture.