Our vision for the Wind and Warrior gathering is to strengthen movements for justice by aligning social activism and community spiritual practice.
Many who are engaged in frontline struggles already know that a fundamental overhaul of our economic, political and social system – driven by profit, defined by the interests of the ruling race/class/gender/culture, and fueled by the (mis)use of land, labor and bodies of black and brown people around the world – is necessary. So many of our comrades already fight selflessly to challenge the system, call out the race/class/gender in whose interest it serves and work to create new socio-economic and political relationships at the local level with ultimate aims of scaling up. The odds are stacked against those most vulnerable to violence, oppression and myriad injustices in many, many forms. In some places, communities are winning, change is happening and justice is being served. And in other places, the struggles continue.
As activists and as people initiated to indigenous spiritual systems, we (the coordinators) asked ourselves what, in addition to what we are already doing, can we offer to the larger fight for systemic change? Some of us have met and worked with social and environmental activists who expressed an interest in deepening their spiritual practice individually and in community with others. And as spiritualists, we came to know others who wanted to deepen their activism and direct their spiritual work toward societal improvement. Additionally, we acknowledge the immense need for healing within movements at the individual, interpersonal and community levels. We wondered what could happen if we brought folks like these together to explore how greater alignment of activism and spirituality together and within each of us can lead to greater impact on our communities, movements and beyond.
These questions inspired us to create a space that would bring together people who could explore answers together. Rooted in the spiritual traditions of Africa, what we aim to do with the Wind and Warrior gathering is to...
- Draw from lessons of the ancestors and call upon the energies of those who have elevated to assist us in our struggles;
- Share skills and tools to nurture, heal and strengthen the mind, body and spirits of those engaged in movement building;
- Create a common assessment of movement opportunities for collective action; and
- Develop a toolkit for collective action that summarizes key discussions and lessons of the gathering.
As a result of having engaged in the Wind and Warrior gathering, participants will share lessons, skills and tools with their organizations and communities to continue building stronger people's movements that are empowered by and rooted in the cultural and spiritual traditions of their people.