In our first official episode as the Joyous Justice Podcast, we take a moment to reflect on what the phrase “joyous justice” means–in both our lives and leadership. While the phrase itself might seem oxymoronic in a world where many assume that pursuing justice requires the justice-seeker to suffer, we know that joy and justice must be paired together. We articulate the benefit and beauty of a justice pursuit that aligns our healing with the healing of the world.
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Listen to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAwaNWGLM0c
Discussion and reflection questions:
1. What in this episode is new for you? What have you learned and how does it land?
2. What is resonating? What is sticking with you and why?
3. What feels hard? What is challenging or on the edge for you?
4. What feelings and sensations are arising and where in your body do you feel them?
You're listening to the Joyce Justice podcast,Tracie:
a weekly show hosted by April Baskin with Tracie Guy Decker.April Baskin:
In a complex world in which systemic oppression conditions us to deny others and our own humanity, let's dedicate ourselves to the pursuit and embodiment of wholeness, love and thriving in the world and in our own lives, it's time to heal and flourish our way to a more joyously just future. This episode is going to be the first episode that we transition into the next iteration of the phenomenal body of work that Tracie and I have lovingly and mindfully co created together in the launch of... that gut way too long. Anyway, today is the launch of our first episode of the next iteration of our podcast, which is now the Joyous Justice podcast! Woohoo! Y'all ready for this? All right, my cool factor is quickly going down or maybe going up depending upon how you are not vibing. With that, but yes, we are diving in and into this first episode of the Joyous Justice podcast, which some of you might be confused, because as we've already named before on a previous episode, some of you might be thinking that that's what this podcast is called anyway, because it is a podcast of our joyous justice company and effort and movement that we are lovingly cultivating. And so we wanted to follow our tradition that we've established and also honor what has worked in the past for us, which is kicking off the episode, by grounding and narrative, by grounding in introducing ourselves in this case, by talking about how this expansive and bold vision that joyous justice, that phrase and this company that it embodies, how does that filter and show up in our living for each of us. And, and also perhaps share, you know, share a little bit of personal narrative about why that mission is compelling for us. And we wanted to do this, because Tracke and I, over two ish, two plus two ish years have developed a really powerful partnership that has a lot of points of alignment, and a lot of points of different lived experiences, different forms of analysis. And generally, for us, given all of the alignment that we have, it's a point of strength. But occasionally, friction comes up around some of these things. But ultimately, because of the ways we've invested in our relationship, and our own mindfulness practices, they consistently lead us toward deeper friendship and more robust analysis that we each have and that we co create together on the podcast. And so in honoring that tradition that we've established, we want to carry that into this episode. Tracy, is there anything you want to add there or clarify? You're shaking your head. Nope.Tracie:
Okay, so what does Joyous Justice mean to us? And specifically, so then shall I dive in with what Joyous Justice means to me? Or I'm just I'm feeling I'm okay. Yeah, I want I want your voice in here. As a part of the intro, like, I'm happy to lead it. I'm happy to be the Afro-Indigenous person who set the tone to contradict white supremacy culture. But I would also love for the beauty of your voice to fill the space before we dive in.Tracie:
Love it. Thank you. Yeah. Yes. So I'm actually excited to see how this conversation unfolds in a sort of taking turns and sharing what does justice means for our life and leadership? Because I think one of the things that seems to happen for us is that you have these big, bold, beautiful visions that are somewhat abstract. And because of the way that I think I'm like, Okay, I think this means this thing, and I bring it down into a metaphor or an actual moment when I can be like, is that this moment where this happened? Is that kind of in the direction that you're saying? And you can be like, yes, yes, that's exactly it. Or sometimes you're like, No, that's not actually what I mean. Yeah. And or no way that the way that we kind of back and forth on that and are different. You know, like, I've a good friend of mine use the metaphor of like a lighthouse versus like a flashlight. Like, you're the lighthouse like seeing everything. And I'm like a flashlight. And I have to kind of direct my flashlight on here on what does that mean in this scenario? Exactly, exactly. And so I'm excited to see how are, you know, lighthouse and flashlight kind of interact on this particular question about how joyous justice shows up in our lives and leadership. You see, friend?April Baskin:
Isn't the episode already so much better with what Tracy just added? Like? Just so good. Thank you, Tracy. I knew I needed that. And I think I think our friends needed that too. Thank you. All right, Tracy is in the building. Now we know. April and Tracy are here and present. Okay, so what is joy? So I can talk about this y'all for like a week. This could be like a nine hour podcast. But I have to remember this asked me about all of it, or like the perfect answer. So I'm just gonna try. I don't even know if it's worth it. But I'm gonna try for brevity here. So what does joyous justice mean, to me, it is the culmination and collection of all of the best bits for living and leadership and resilience and purpose that I've come to know, through my multifaceted journey as an afro indigenous Jewish woman of color who has lived in nearly every region of the United States who has experienced poverty and lived on welfare for a number of years, who has extended owning class family, who has just had in the initial years of my life, and also in my young adult life, and a typical and a typically broad range of experiences. And as I was navigating all of these things, there are different points of view. Now I'm weaving into story. And I'm not just saying what Joyce justice means to me, but we'll just roll with it for the moment. I needed tools over the years, that were incredibly resilient, and adapted and adaptive and I needed beliefs that were not just mono cultural that held up and all the different spaces and all the different facets of my community from Southern black and indigenous working class to middle class family members to working class Jewish family members working class descendants of Pennsylvania coal miners living in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to my white Ashkenazi Jewish family who has a range of class statuses and very, very northeast culture i and and also I'm excited now this new iteration of the podcasts and I get to play with the different accents that I like to do, and y'all can decide how good or horrible they are. But I've accrued many. So back to the actual question, what does joyous justice mean to me, in my living in my life and leadership? So all of these different eclectic experiences I had that I'm excited to talk more about as it's helpful for learning for getting to know me for hopefully helping you not feel alone in your journey. It birthed from a very, very early age because of some extreme adversity. My family and I went through and seeing really beautiful people I love go through horrific things. I was realizing last night Tracy as I was getting ready for bed, that I just started that I started to develop my political analysis around first grade when I was listening to my favorite song, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation and at the toward the end of it, she like has this refrain where she's like, like, Save the Children like say it for the children say it for the children. And I used to like sing the song because it was all about justice and helping people all over the world thrive and through dance, let alone and I hadn't developed my love of dance yet. I didn't have the competence for that, but in time, I would become an avid and passionate dancer. But I remember being in my bedroom in Blacksburg, Virginia singing to the song and not just hearing the words but realizing oh my god like what she based on what she's saying their other their kids who are suffering there was like a lot of kids who are suffering. And those kids are like me. Oh, there's other people who've had difficulty like I've had or even worse, like and my in the My pain in that moment. And my desire for healing in that moment went from just me until like this meta form, right? Almost like the metta meditation and prayer, like expanded out to kids I hadn't met yet, like, Oh, they're having a hard time too. And it actually isn't about me like there's other people in need, and I want to help them and, and my healing and their healing are aligned. I didn't have fancy words for that. But I got it in my mind as a little kid then. And then I started focusing and noticing other themes like that and other songs like the Quincy Jones back on the Black Album that my mom would play all the time, including the adult sexy time songs, which was awkward as a kid, it wasn't awkward at times. But when my friend Josh was in the cars, like do we really have to listen to the song right now? And at that point, the tape was like really old, it'd be like warbly let me lay beside you. Oh, boy. Like luminary heavyweight musicians, okay. Anyway. What does joy is? It means my entire purpose of my life, but like, what does Joy's justice mean to me, in my life and leadership, what joyous justice is about is to say that there is injustice in this world. And it is important, it is imperative for us to as consistently and as lovingly as we can pursue justice, to pursue wholeness, to help others in our world to address and eliminate systems of oppression, although I like to focus on the alternative to the oppression and countering it through that, but we can get into those nuanced conversations later. But there are these different dynamics that are harming people. And I want to shift that and work for collective liberation throughout our work. I often talk about collective liberation, a number of people really dive in on sexism or racism, we often have a heavy focus the first two years of our episode of our show, we really focused on a podcast, we really focused on racial justice. But also for me why we call joyous justice, not joyous racial justice is because at the heart of it all, I think there are some specific oppressions that really anchor and hold a number of other oppressions in place. But I want to work for the eradication and the dissolution of all of the different system, different forms of oppression that consistently in a variety of different ways, serve to tell people that they are inadequate, that they are not fully deserving of being treated with the highest levels of humanity and respect. I want to work for justice. And I want to contradict the message is that a lot of oppression, that oppression that injustice has indoctrinated many of us with, like we don't get to be deserving of having big dreams for ourselves, and that we're not fully deserving of wellness because on some level, some of this stuff is really just our fault, which I don't buy into. I do buy into radical compassionate, self responsibility, but that's different than taking the blame for systemic oppression in our lives. No thanks. Not here for it. So what does choice justice I'm gonna I'm gonna let it hear y'all. You know, I really had that lovely little dream of hat being concise. But what does joyous justice mean to me in my living in my life? Okay, I gave you some of the back context a little bit in this present moment. Joyous justice is about leveraging all of the different sources of power, and passion and thriving that we can and unapologetically nourishing ourselves. Because to me, all of these different pieces are interconnected and we are best positioned to advance advanced justice, when we ourselves are nourished and thriving, when we engage in spiritual self care, when we engage in energetic work for those of us who are into that which I am or who are curious, you know, I am interested in a counter oppressive and liberatory approach to the law of attraction and mysticism, which in my mind, I've come to realize in the last few years is deeply intertwined with decolonization and understanding that through our body through energy through our six sense, our intuition, our gut, our heart. Different messages we receive through our dream and sleep state that there are many different ways of knowing. And part of how white supremacy and patriarchy and colonization, one of the impacts of that was to detach many cultures, from their indigenous roots around different ways of knowing around being able to engage across species, not necessarily always, although, at times very much reading their minds, but just, but just having being interconnected. Part of how oppression thrives is by dividing us and separating us. And so joyous justice is a really ambitious vision of how can we hold our biggest, boldest dreams for ourselves and our world. And the best way, the best pathway we can build to that is starting to align with that energy now and caring for ourselves and each other increasingly well. And in the places where we don't do it, having both a rigorous analysis, and also profound compassion, that these things didn't just happen in a vacuum, there's some really legitimate, reasonable reason why we are not aligning with our stated values. And it's not through shaming, or punishment that we're going to get in more alignment. It's through looking deeply and loving ourselves, and loving each other, and still having boundaries in different ways. But also saying, I'm going to love myself and my other person or in time, I want to be able to it's not, it's not about forcing anything, but I want to love and dance, and celebrate my way to the better world that we are creating. And also a part of that is engaging in healing. So in a nutshell, that's some of my thinking about Joy's justice and some of my personal narrative around that. Tracy, I would love to hear some of your thoughts about this. And I think other folks would love to hear your thoughts and perspective about this. Thanks, April.Tracie:
I think that we're, we're aligned in a lot of ways. And and I express it in my flashlight that way, right? Yes, yes. So it's like, clearest, at least right now the clearest articulation that I can do, I think, for me, Joy's justice is about putting people first. And it's about making justice, work sustainable. That's, that's ultimately like, how it shows up and what I mean. I mean, a lot of people say put people first, like, of course, that's what justice work does. But I'm people too. And that's the piece that I don't think that I had before I started working with you, April, I believed that I needed to suffer in order to advance justice. And not just like, not just like sort of that empathetic suffering, where you see others suffering, and then and you are diminished, not just that I actually thought I needed to be sort of punished, or it wasn't quite punitive. But there was definitely a martyrdom, kind of a complex that was happening for me that I needed to sacrifice in order to work for justice. And that is just not sustainable. And, and, and what's bigger than that. It's not just about like, Oh, you'll burn yourself out. It's more than that. Because when I started really integrating the wisdom of joyous justice, and the wisdom of your sort of focusing on healing, and doing some of the internal healing work, I show up better as a justice worker, right. I'm a better justice seeker, because I'm taking care of myself, and because I'm working on some of the internal healing. And so that, for me is like the clearest articulation is about people first. I'm a people. And that makes the work sustainable and more effective, not just like, okay, so you pace yourself. It's not just about pacing yourself to actually be more effective. It's by remembering that people come first and I'm, I count as a person. So those are sort of the clearest ways and I see it show up in like, in justice weighs but also just in my living, right, like, and I think regular listeners to the podcast know that I exercise regularly. When, as part of my joy is justice, living and leadership. The Workout is a priority. I schedule it every day. And try I'm able to show up in partnership with you, and in partnership with my spouse, and as a parent to my kid more effectively, and more grounded in my values. Because I say I'm sorry, I can't do that right now. I need to work out. Right? And it's not I'm not spending hours in the gym, but I'm making sure that I spend some time every day to move. And I wasn't doing that before like that before I started working with you. That would often be the first thing that would stop happening. name when I was super busy or felt kind of crunched, and well, and the consequences of that was that, you know, everything suffered, and the people I was in relationship with suffer because I wasn't showing up as my best self. So, and that's just like a very that's like my very small macro version of, I think the broader wisdom of choice justice. Yeah, that was a lot. Smaller not. No, it was Poli. It was good.April Baskin:
Probably brought our listener potentially some like relief. But even if they enjoyed what I shared, like, oh, yeah, okay, tracking that. And that ties to a lot of what April was saying. And I think, you know, for me, it's interesting. And we're in the midst of I'm going to be working on and refining, tighter talking points and stories about this. When we speak about it in this way, there's like a way in which it just asks me in my mind, the way my mind interprets it is like, trying to summarize the library of content. And so hopefully, some of you just really love that. And if you felt like a little overwhelmed, don't worry, because we as we get into specific subjects, it'll get, it'll still be big and visionary, but it will get much more specific and tailored down to the specific needs of if we're responding to a question you asked or an issue that's happening. For me, I think part of my neuro spiciness, my ADHD and other ways that my brain works is that I hold a ton of knowledge and summarizing, it feels very difficult at times. So yeah, I am passionate about us advancing joyous justice, because I want us to be supportive of contributing to existing movements, and perhaps cultivate our own movement of sorts in a way that is diverse and multi dimensional, and gives people space to be in a state of actively and powerfully pursuing justice and us helping you with that, and or being someone who's like, I'm nowhere even close to joy, but I love. I love the leadership that I'm seeing within this community within this movement. And I see people who are being sincere, who aren't saying positive vibes only, but generally, are higher vibe. And I would love to be able to access that sincere place of feeling good. And if you just want to be in the community for that space, and I think for a lot of people, if it's more like, yeah, I need a little of both at different times, I needed to have a holistic, comprehensive, resilient suite of tools to help me navigate the high stakes complex, at times, soft and gentle, the variety of moments that I live in, in my life, that in some ways are quite different from others, but I think ultimately, also align really closely to the different facets of people's living. And I want to put forth and I want us to put forth strategies and messages, practices and ideals that can help you throughout consistently across the different parts of your living, that are in service of your well being and justice, that deeply embody and empowered, powerful, both and through and through in different parts of our living so that we really do an integrated, embodied we've we advanced and integrated and embodied modeling of what decolonization looks like. And in my mind, there's like the journey to get there. And throughout that journey, and the destination of where we're getting to, in the work of colonization is coming home to ourselves, our ancestors, what we in our hearts know to be true about how we are meant to be treated and how everyone else is meant to be treated, how this planet is meant to be treated. And, and how to embody that in the day to day that is ultimately what our work is about. And it's anchored in our personal stories and journey along the way and the expertise and wisdom we and hopefully different guests we will bring on bring and the both end of end will also be sharing and just you'll just see at times when we make mistakes and how we navigate that with a skill and ease and or maybe not ease but support that makes it easier and that there are ways to soften the rough edges of the intense task of being a human and as much as we can we want to do that. Traci feel like you're like burning to bring your brilliance of that the space I'm not burningTracie:
have one but one thing that you said that I, I'm going to lift up, you started to say like, you know if that feels overwhelming, I just want to sort of say like, one of the things that I I love about our framing is, is on sort of healing for ourselves and the world. And we recognize that healing takes time. And so I am definitely one of those people who I would see like, you know, an exercise guru, or a diet guru or a mindset guru, like, whatever the sort of expert was. And I'd be like, that makes sense. I can't do that I'm not there. And then I would like kind of get a lot smaller in my shame, and then run away from whatever that thing was. Because I knew I couldn't get there. I or I wasn't there. It felt out of reach, whatever that thing was. And one of the things I love about our approach is that the whole point is that it's healing. So you're not expected to be there right away. It's you're not expected to, you know, this, this work of healing takes time.April Baskin:
Nothing illogical to write like, like, yes, actually, that's totally that goal, or where you want it to be is totally logical. And that's not where you are right now. And that's actually okay. Like, yeah, it's okay, my take time to heal. Yeah, like that would be a new skill in and I see, I even while I was running away, I knew it was irrational, but I just didn't, it felt to me, it felt too much of a stretch to even like, start. Yeah, this could be like a piece for a future podcast. But like, I just want to name that, that I want us in different ways in this podcast to claim the like, reclaim different concepts. Like I find it fascinating that the words like logic and irrationality are often used to target women and people of color, like, Oh, they're so irrational, they're not logical or like, and also like magical thinking is such a bad thing. But paradoxically, from a more liberated or decolonize, you're moving in the direction. decolonize adjacent perspective is actually, that's funny, because what you think of what we're calling what I do is magical thinking is actually, me just honoring the sensations and the knowing within my body. And I think your culture, oppressive culture, like that's magical thinking that you're constantly pushing people to do to be in a place where they they are not at all, but you don't call that magical thinking, even though that's actually like your irrational thinking, which is what that is, you call that reasonable expectations, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, you know, all of these things that may actually are completely illogical and make no sense. But so many of us have these different messages within us and with time, the different facets and of our work, we want to support you in dissolving those and or letting them be but cultivating watering seeds of better thoughts, and better frames that place us in the center of being deserving of care and celebration, and resourcing that positions us to be the most balanced, peaceful, empowered and impactful. people and leaders we can be. So yeah, let's do this. So excited to be on this journey with y'all.Unknown:
And, please, if you have any questions, we're just at the outset of this. So we just covered a range of different things. If there was anything that especially resonated with you, please feel free to reach out and let us know also, if there was something that we spoke about that you relate that you were thinking, what Tracy alluded to earlier, what Tracie mentioned earlier, like, Oh, I love that idea. But I'm like I would love for you to help build a pathway for me there around this thing that you said, please feel free to be in touch with us our doors open. Tracy, how is our door open person who knows who manages logistics better than I? Well, if you go to choice, this is a.com. Yes. Our website contacts page. Yes, thank you. I will put a link in the show notes as well. Yes. Yes, that yeah, that's the best way and it heads straight to our email and we would love to hear your thoughts about this. Your curiosities, anything if you're like, Heck, yes. I like swearing, but I don't know how I feel about on the podcast, but doing them. If you're like, Yes, I'm here for this. Please feel free to let us know. And obviously if you're in our personal world, you'll just follow up by text message or whatever. But much love to you and we will see you next time.April Baskin:
Thanks for tuning in.Tracie:
To learn more about Joyous Justice LLC, our team and how you can get involved with our community, check out the info in our shownotes, or find us at joyousjustice.com.April Baskin:
If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love.Tracie:
Subscribe wherever you're listening.April Baskin:
Tell your people. Share what you're learning and how your leadership is evolving.Tracie:
Stay humble,April Baskin:
but not too humbleTracie:
and keep going.April Baskin:
Because the future is ours to co create.