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16 Days of Activism: The Stories That Inspire Our Work

Nov 24, 2015

As we approach the end of 2015, it's once again time for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. As we pause to consider “activism” and to take stock of our efforts, it is sobering to realize that we are still having to make the case that “Black Lives Matter,” that women should have access to contraception, that one should be able to attend college or serve in the military without being raped, that climate change is a deeply disturbing fact, that terrorism, whether in the home or in the street, is an affront to every faith tradition and that we are all a year older. How is it that we stay on these paths, seeking justice, safety, equality and healing?

As we approach the end of 2015, it's once again time for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.  As we pause to consider “activism” and to take stock of our efforts, it is sobering to realize that we are still having to make the case that “Black Lives Matter,” that women should have access to contraception, that one should be able to attend college or serve in the military without being raped, that climate change is a deeply disturbing fact, that terrorism, whether in the home or in the street, is an affront to every faith tradition and that we are all a year older.

How is it that we stay on these paths, seeking justice, safety, equality and healing?

I am reminded of E.B. White: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”

So as you are planning your days ahead, we offer 16 Days of Activism with a simple idea. All of us have a story, probably many, of why we do this work. Our culture would tell us it’s not “normal” to spend our lives looking suffering in the eye and seeing it, speaking out against it, and working for change. I think most of us would agree that the people who have done exactly that are the ones who have created  a better world. We have only to look at the prophets and teachers of our faith traditions to see that this is indeed sacred work.

So we’re sharing The Stories That Inspire Our Work. These stories serve to remind us, and hopefully to inspire us, so that we can continue to plan our days to include activism.

To quote the powerful writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.” (from The Danger of a Single Story).

We hope that you’ll join us each day as we offer up a selection of blogs, videos and other learning opportunities. And we’d encourage you to share your stories of how you came to join in this work.

16 Days Our 16 Days of Activism can be viewed at:
http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/resources/awareness-month-resources/16days

 

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
www.FaithTrustInstitute.org
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