Concrete, consistent and simple...

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Art by Sophia Zarders, an illustrator and comic artist from Los Angeles, who illustrates powerful figures that fight for justice, resistance and feminism.

2016 has been a perplexing year, both upsetting and inspiring, tumultuous and reflective, enervating and numbing. We have found ourselves in the middle of multiple contradictions, many of which have presented new challenges and opportunities.

As a community, driven by our humanity and love for each other, we are ready to Rise, Love, and Resist. Can you support our work for peace and justice?

This week, at one of our many Local Peace Economy gatherings, the room filled with anxious and grieving members of our community. But as we went around the room for suggestions about how to address the future, with all of its unformed, unknowable and complex issues that have heightened our fears, we noted that it was the concrete, consistent, and simple actions that resonated. Everyone left knowing what their next step is — which is not waiting for next year, but starting this week — and they left empowered, filled with joy and love. Today, more than ever, it’s time to root ourselves, our movement, and our goals in our principles, and ACT.

In our Local Peace Economies, we come together to talk about issues impacting our communities, including homelessness, violence, just transitions, sustainability, oppression, exploitation, and more. Through a combination of dialogue and practice, we have begun shifting ideologies and challenging the way in which we understand ourselves, our responsibility towards each other, and the impact of our decisions in a globalized, interconnected world. It is only through decolonizing our minds from the “either-or” frameworks that dictate our ideological options, that we can begin to imagine and build peaceful, just and humane possibilities/communities. We continue to learn valuable lessons about the power of community, restorative circles, and the often forgotten capacity of us all to restore peace, knead our disagreements, and build love and solidarity.

We are committed to creating strong and transformational spaces that will provide life and support to all people. As Dr. King put it, “we are not free until everybody is.” Building Local Peace Economies is about strengthening relationships, connecting with each other, recognizing our interdependence, collaborating, envisioning together, and creating life.

“Now is the time we must shake off the great mantle of night which has enveloped us, and reach for the light. The new day which is dawning must find us determined, enlightened and resolute.” — Frantz Fanon

Thank you for all you do to create spaces that build a culture, an ideology, and a practice of love. Reach out if you need help with your next steps. Support the work for the building blocks to peace.

Onward to peace filled and just transition,

Ann, Ariel, Farida, Jodie, Mariana, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Paula, Samira, and Susan

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