Lesson 7: Inventorying Our Power

The theme of our sixth session was Inventorying Our Power.

“We urgently need to bring to our communities the limitless capacity to love, serve, and create for and with each other. We urgently need to bring the neighbor back into our hoods, not only in our inner cities but also in our suburbs, our gated communities, on Main Street and Wall Street, and on Ivy League campuses.” ― Grace Lee Boggs

Today’s session was spent filling out this worksheet. Previously, when we talked about intersections, we did so as a way of thinking about what kinds of power we each have, in order to best use that power in support of creating a more just world. This worksheet makes that concept concrete. It’s organized into four sections: physical resources, financial resources, personal resources and social resources.

What do we have or know that we can pool with the things that our neighbors have or know to make change in the world? Many of us are cash or resource poor, but maybe we have a skill that we can use or teach to others. Maybe we can’t walk in marches because we don’t have physical health, but we can offer our home for organizing meetings. Some of us have large networks of friends or family, or access to groups who will trust our words when we try to communicate about our desire for social change. The list is potentially endless, and will be different for everyone.

Those of us who do have a larger share of concrete, capital resources are perhaps already thinking about what that means, in the wake of our discussions about settler colonialism and racial inequity. Owning possessions and land in this context is a tricky thing. The most defensible use of any excess is to distribute it, to right the imbalances that put it into our hands in the first place.

Once you’ve filled out the worksheet, I encourage you to explore the links below. This is a complex idea, and my angle represents just one way of thinking about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjlNIr7UIPA

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/04/Grace-Lee-Boggs-American-Revolution

http://ellabakercenter.org/about/who-was-ella-baker

http://organizingforpower.org/people-power-2/

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