Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting with a great group of community members to talk about justice. At the latest MRG Justice Social my daughter and I spoke together, for the first time publicly, about our mutual and different perspectives on what it’s meant to live our lives honed by a multigenerational quest for racial, social and economic justice in Oregon.
We gathered together as a mixed crowd of young and older– African-American/Black, African, Native American, European/white, Latina. We rubbed elbows with those who have lived long in Oregon as well as some newly arrived. As I shared the microphone with my daughter, there were many encouraging, reflective and sobering moments about all that she’s learned, and her take on what is worth fighting for.
She lovingly shared tips from her grandma, the late Bobbi Lou Gary, and grandaddy, Frederick Douglas Gary, Jr., and from me. I discovered that in many ways we are the same: eyes, smiles, even the dimples (but hers are deeper!). I also learned that her perspective is fresh, focused, yet not all-consuming. She’s taken up the justice mantle to continue change, but she and her generation have changed the way they are doing the work; working on justice and balance.
When she said that she “chose to do justice work and have a life,” her younger peers nodded in affirmation, even gave high fives. It was a reflective moment on how we each think about our justice work and our worlds, and how we think about ourselves as socially just people doing social justice work.
I found myself laughing as we talked about my childhood memories when my parents shared their expectations of me and my sisters; their pride and belief that their four little girls were ‘chosen’ to change the world – around us and for us.
It was a magical, exciting and engaging evening of reflection, good memories and imagining what would come next. I hope you’ll join us at MRG’s next Justice Social on May 23rd and continue the conversations that lead us all to do justice together.