The Joyous Justice Podcast

Episode 117: The 5 Core Challenges We See in Justice Work

December 01, 2022 April Baskin Episode 117
The Joyous Justice Podcast
Episode 117: The 5 Core Challenges We See in Justice Work
Show Notes Transcript

There are MANY amazing people doing change-making work, and there are some chronic challenges playing out. In this week’s conversation, we’re digging into these five core barriers: stress and anxiety, lack of confidence, isolation and loneliness, not knowing the next steps or how to move forward, and the fragmentation and compartmentalization of our living, learning, and leadership. 

It is for this reason that we’re offering “Roadmap to Resilience,” starting December 5th.
Register for this live, online workshop and find out more info:

The phrase “white supremacist delusion” comes from Sonya Renee Taylor. Learn more about her and her work:

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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?

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Of course, every situation and every leader is different and unique. And also, there are some core challenges that come up again and again. Today, we're thinking about five of the key challenges changemakers and would be change agents face
you're listening to the joyous justice podcast,
a weekly show hosted by April Baskin with Tracie Guy Decker.
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. Hi, Tracie, welcome back from vacay. 
Thanks, April. 
I was just mentioning to you earlier in our conversation before we started recording, while it was partially terrifying to have you gone for a week, during the actual week itself, something about it just felt so right and good to know that you were spending time with family and in your old stomping grounds and doing fun things and resting and exploring the world and just engaging your mind and heart and spirit in different ways and doing your workouts and hotel gyms and just do a new fun things. But it's great to have you back too. So
it's good to be home.
Yeah. Okay, so in just a matter of days, or maybe it's actually already underway, and it's not too late. If you want to sign up, we will be in the midst of a live nine day workshop with four core days and then five bonus days for those who want to ask more questions. Here's some case studies engage in group coaching, just have more unscripted time with us? Yeah, I'm really excited roadmap to resilience. What's our what's our tagline for it? Or what's the line underneath that brokenness? broken world?
Neat moments of brokenness without breaking yourself?
That's it mean moments of brokenness without breaking yourself? Yes, exactly. So yeah. So you know, I just thought it would be worthwhile for us as we enter this week, of spreading the word of welcoming all of the people who have signed up to discuss together here and to share with you our beloved listener Hi. Why, like, why, why host this live workshop? Why are we doing it? What is it addressing, resolving that's happening in the world because we are smart, brilliant. I want to say busy, but I'm trying to contradict busyness, but, you know, smart, brilliant women who are navigating and demanding schedules and circumstances who both deeply care about justice. So why a workshop, a live workshop called roadmap resilience of all the many things we could do, right? And we came up with some pretty solid answers that we wanted to share with you and hope that it resonates, inspires and or helps you feel less alone, and also perhaps make you realize, like, Oh, this is I should sad, I should visit Joy's and sign up for this. And or I think this would be great for my mom or my friend or my entire team or a committee in my congregation. Okay, so here's what we want to say about this. Why roadmap to resilience. I want to give a little bit of background here. And then we'll get into of many, many different reasons. Some of the things that we're thinking of is that there's a lot at stake. stakes are high right now. There is a lot that's happening in our world. Yes, there's a lot of joy and abundance in different ways, but also, whether we look at a politically environmentally in terms of social justice movements in terms of strife happening around the world. There are a lot of challenges and issues that we're facing. And in some ways, this isn't new. And it also is continuing to some of these dysfunctions and dysfunctional dynamics are getting worse over the passage of time and or just aren't getting resolved. And I think most of us agree that we all do. deserve better, and that we would like to move things forward in powerfully healing productive ways for for collective wellbeing for a personal well being and for the advancement of the issues and values that we care most about. So pragmatically why I'm why we created roadmap to resilience, why we propose this, why we're offering this is because, yes, there's a lot of good people on this planet, there are a lot of really wonderful activists who are doing incredible work. And in my experience, and in Tracy's as well, there are chronic barriers, and challenges that seem to undermine social justice work. And even just doing good work in the world in general seems to undermine the sustainability of that work, we see a lot of people who engage in this work getting hurt, or exhausted or confused and disoriented. And collectively, I would say both, I'm excited by some of the progress we're seeing. And I think it's safe and rational to say that overall, given the amount of challenges we're facing, right now, in general, we're not making enough progress, or not making as ideal of amount of progress as, as we need to be making in order to lead to large scale pivots, and shifts in our lives and also in our movements and in our societies in order to move our communities and societies in the direction we want to. And that direction being a direction of collective liberation in which there is greater social justice and well being available to everyone. And there's safety and anything else you want to add to that Tracy wellness, that people can engage in meaningful work, that they can have enough food to feed their family that they can have a home, and that our environment and our world, that the harm is significantly reduced. It's being done to our planet, and we start living in ways that are much more in concert with what is good for the collective of humanity and also for this beautiful blessed planet we live on. I think that covers all have it. All that. Yeah, well, that. Oh, that. Yeah. And so now we wanted to think about five ish or share five ish patterns that we see that contribute to individuals and movements, their collective efforts or desire for collective wellness and belonging and justice, what gets in the way of us being able to actualize it. And we want to share these different things as symptoms, hoping that you can notice and see like, oh, yeah, those are things that are definitely happening. And all of these dynamics are issues that the insights and frameworks that we teach within roadmap to resilience, and our other programs really powerfully counteract and resolve often or bring much closer to resolution and put people on a path where they start to feel and see that they not only have clarity around what they're doing, but they're also able to make the progress they want and have energy and rest, too.
Yeah. So the first one that we wanted to talk about was a stress and anxiety. So perhaps this
is something you might have seen show up.
I feel like part of me feels like well, this goes without saying, of course, we're all stressed and we all are anxious. And then I realize oh, that's not actually helpful for me to say that. And also, it's not that that's what my hesitation was.
Right? And it's not true. Lots of people think that everyone is stressed out, and most maybe argue because I'm also actually not everyone is stressed out. And that actually doesn't have to be our default mode of being.
And specifically the way that I want to remind myself and our listeners that specifically the way that stress and anxiety gets in the way of that more joyous and just world that April described is in my mind, it really comes down to basic like biology, right like stress anxiety response, the fight or flight fawn or freeze is like it's an urgent moment where like the saber toothed Tiger is going to I know we didn't actually humans didn't exist at the same time a saber toothed Tiger, but whatever the big predator is going to attack. And so our physiological response allows us to get out of danger. And now the stress that we have from the deadlines and the political news and the all of the things that we have to
people pleasing the way to people's expectations, so many different sources, all of those things, right external pressure,
are creating the stress responses in us today, like there isn't actually that, oh, my gosh, I need to run away from the bear, which for our ancestors happened and then called. And living at that heightened state all the time is not actually the way this body was designed to, to work. And therefore it does, in fact, get in the way of our best thinking. Because in those moments of run away from the bear, it wasn't about best thinking it was about get out of danger. So I just wanted to like, remind us all that, that it's, it's not just sort of, Oh, you don't need to be stressed. It's not just feel good. There's no pragmatic, a lot of very specific biological, physiological reasons why this, the constant state of stress and anxiety that many of us are feeling is getting in the way of our best lives and our best world
thinking capacity to work with other people. And we're going to dive into this one a lot more in the very first day, this is where we're starting. Our workshop experience is diving in on providing some resources and reframes to start to shift this and one of the things that the reason why I thought about say that is because one of the things that I thought to say something that we'll be diving into more deeply into in the workshop itself. But the other thing that I would add to what Tracy said that was already just beautiful, whole, whole and wonderful as it was, is that in all of this time, and space and energy, that stress and anxiety takes up and specifically when it happens in key moments, it diverts us from being able to access different opportunities to shift our circumstances that keeps us it clouds our vision and keeps us from noticing that we do always have the power of choice. And often it has so much momentum that we miss miss that. So on day one, but we're not going to go through the full itinerary for it. But on day one, we're going to start to demystify that experience and start to offer tools and insights that can help reground people and be able to not only stem the harm, that all of this stress and anxiety is causing, but actually start to make space for new possibilities and opportunity that in the absence of that there is room for the second piece that we thought to cover. That's something that often keeps people from making the progress they want is in one way or another a lack of confidence.

Okay, I want to add a few more, I want to add my stank on this one. So I have a bunch of ideas. So you talking about this. And our, our conversation on the podcast to this point like, there's like multiple things here that I want to not take too much time on, but that I want to drop into the mix here. So one is also that, again, as I mentioned that these things compound a bit. So I also Tracy started out by talking and I did to sort of talking about, in some senses, the newer person here who's like, I don't know where to start, or what to do to do next. And I will also want to speak to the person who might be more experienced, or even a veteran social justice person, who might be like, I may not know where to go next, like I'm in it. And also, I don't, I don't know what to do, or I don't know where to go next, that may be more rooted in an accumulation of too much unhealed pain, of an accumulation of certain defeats of a core strategy that you've been working toward getting undercut, and not having an ability to pivot.
And I'm not having bandwidth to pivot because there's too much disenfranchisement or just like discouragement, depending upon where we are in the placement of this right, if someone with some privilege might be just just discouragement, for those of us who also experience marginalization, it might actually be that we just got disenfranchised, in the midst of fighting for something, or and or both, right. And so this is something that I see happening a lot everywhere from folks who want to get involved and just feel like they just don't know enough or they're not sophisticated enough, or like cool enough, or, and or they don't necessarily resonate with all of the social justice language. And what I want to say is, is I don't know if you're listening to this podcast, but if you are, I'm so glad you are here. Because enjoy us justice world, we both can help people cultivate a particular vocabulary if they want and also to, it's not required. There are many different ways to do this work, I believe that our movements should be diverse. And to me, it's much more about how we're thinking and how we're feeling and how we're showing up. And, and so if you're worried about some of those different components, please come to our free workshop about roadmap to resilience, because I think that that's also just another way that hurt shows up that a lot of people who have accumulated a lot of hurts, they get, they can be sensitive at times about certain ways things are that are the the ways that they can get sensitive about the ways that people articulate certain things. And that's something that if it's like very offensive or problematic, well, we'll help you to know that. But if it's not like,
it's fine, like one thing at a time, it's cool. And we can balance rigor and compassion simultaneously. But back to not knowing where to go next. This is something that a number of my beloved's and former clients and current clients have been reaching out recently around saying, like, I'm noticing, there's just a lot of brokenness in movement space. And I really want to be advancing love in this work. And I'm noticing a real lack of it. And what I need to say to this person, what are those facts, I need to respond to this person to say, like, to me, actually, you are entering the eye of the storm. And you're doing really great work if you're starting to see some of the core places of brokenness. And this is a time where it's really critical to fortify your own inner strength, and your own sense of love and self love and collective love. And then get a little bit more analysis to understand what's happening, buckle down and keep going. And if that's where you are in this work, if you're not a newbie, if you're not feeling stuck, but you're just feeling fatigued, and a little resigned, then roadmap to resilience will hopefully reinvigorate you, you might feel a little jaded as you're hearing something, but hopefully over the course of the journey, it will reinvigorate you and give you a number of different ideas of Oh, yeah, that's the place where I can get more resource and support. And with this insight, actually, let me just try it and see and I and we will be excited to celebrate with you on the other side of having taken some of these interventions and steps to regain reinvigorate yourself and to relieve some of the suffering that you've experienced. And the last piece that I want to say about this, because there's lots of different facets of this when I realized but you know, we got to keep moving
is another element of not knowing where to start or go next is not being in deep relationship or having confidence around what you want.
But that being clear about what elements of Justice are important to you, like there's lots of information out there and one of the things that can help you delineate it is being more clear about knowing what you want. And also to that is something among the many different things that we're weaving throughout this roadmap to resilience is teaching some strategies to help Have you clarify that because as you know that, that helps you start to be able to discriminate in a good way to decipher and sift through and say, Okay, that's important, but that actually isn't my slice of the word. So I can listen in, but know that that actually isn't where I'm making my intervention. So I can actually stay focused here, right. So that's another element of this to another sub symptom of not knowing where to go next, or not knowing where it is, where to start, even, is not being anchored in or maybe you know it, but you got competence around believing that that is worthy that You are worthy, and that that is worthy and worthwhile. Which is, if that's the case, come to roadmap to resilience. And finally, we saved the best for last, arguably, well, we can debate it, you can, if you disagree, but we saved a really great one for last me say it that way. Tracy, do you want to share what it is?
Yes, sure. So one of the one of the symptoms that that is pervasive for folks, is a compartmentalization or fracturing, of support and learning
and living leadership and justice work.
And just being right. So
your your life compartmentalization of your life,
you're expected to, you know, be a body in the gym, and to be a spirit in the synagogue or the church or the mosque and to be an activist in temple. I said, or temple Thank you. And, or to be, you know, to be an activist in movement spaces, and as if those are three separate beings, when in fact, obviously, you aren't and
then so and then and then also, like self care when maybe never or like, Yeah, whenever that happens, and, and like taking care of our hearts also, whenever that happens,
yeah, or maybe not, right anymore? Not or maybe
for some of maybe a handful of people. Actually, that is something that they also work on.
Right, right. But not as I certainly was not taught to do those things all as the same person, right, I've had to find my way. In some part with your help some I've sort of figured out on my own. But that kind of compartmentalization
is normal and common, but also,
it's exhausting. It is absolutely exhausting. And it is not sustainable, you know, to, to keep kind of sectioning off pieces of oneself. Especially when different different places are sort of saying that other part of you, that's less important. I don't care about that part. Right, that the body that you've got, I don't I don't care about that body doesn't matter. Right. And that's just not, it's not sustainable, because we are whole beings.
Yeah, and, you know, it's interesting, I'm gonna go a little meta here for a second, you know, like this is, this is at the heart in some ways of why it's been hard for me to quote unquote, like, pick a niche or a specific intervention, because part of my intervention or offering to the field to the world through joyous justice, is actually to contradict that foundational framework is that as a multiracial person who's lived in every almost every region of the United States who came from an interfaith family, who is Interspiritual, I am so clear that we need different threads. We need to weave these things together to have a holistic experience in our living and our life and our leadership. And so, the roadmaps in roadmap to resilience, we're giving you a taste of what it's like to work with us at joyous justice, where we're not just helping you gain some empowerment, we're not just helping you think about practices, and rhythms that can weave daily healing can weave healing into your daily life, we're not just helping you think about really powerful, effective strategic leadership. What we are offering you is a process a system that accounts for all of these variables. And as you work through the process, you get to take one work on one step at a time and at the end of it have accounted for a range of different elements of your experience in a way that at first might be like a little much because it's like oh, but as you start to move through it, you're like, oh, actually, this is handling all these other things, all these other things that I am doing, either get boosted by it or become irrelevant, because I've taken care of it in one fell swoop of working through a process that is not compartmentalized, that is integrative, that is holistic, that accounts for your spirit, and your body, and your emotions, and how to manage your mind effectively, and how to think about the different circumstances you are navigating how to understand contemporary and historical oppression, and the ways that it plays out, consciously and unconsciously in daily life. And so that's a symptom, that we're also really I am very excited to work with you all on. And I'm continuing full disclosure to think about how to talk about it. Because it's really a typical because most of the world is deeply compartmentalized. And part of what I'm saying and offering is you don't actually have to, I'm not saying you have to change overnight, but you don't have to compromise this anymore. You can actually have a resource and a tool that helps you ease fully on your own terms in ways that make sense for you that's customizable for you. Be able to move through these different things, and clarify what you want, clarify what you need. Clarify, where's the intervention that you can provide? And how can you position yourself, to mend your own brokenness, to avoid brokenness, so that you are best equipped to navigate with peace and clarity and wise discernment increasingly, over time, the challenges that we face, in our lives and in the world? Yeah, I think, ultimately, what I hope that we will communicate through the roadmap to resilience workshop is yeah, a lot of shits gone down. A lot of us have bruises and scars. But we are mighty, and we are sacred. And when we come together and support one another, we are incredibly powerful as individuals and all the more so as a collective. And yes, these symptoms are very real, and they are happening, but actually with the right tools and the right process in place that we can make our own and move through which we're going to be teaching and sharing over the course of roadmap to resilience. Actually, a number of those symptoms can dissolve, can can. And what I found I've found through learning these tools myself and also teaching them to our clients in different containers that we've hosted over this past year, is that it doesn't necessarily sometimes it resolves issues in a person's life immediately. But even if it doesn't, the relief and the forward movement is so empowering, like oh my gosh, this isn't a fixed reality, I can actually be less stressed. So if you think so just all that to say I'm not saying that this is a chair, or it's an overnight thing. This is teaching. It's almost like choreography. It's new choreography to help you navigate and dance and move toward justice and the ways that you want to dance and move. But some basic steps that can help you avoid different things and start to anticipate other challenges and understand what's happening in your world. So that you can become a badass, peaceful warrior, or mystic or whatever noun you like. I don't use a lot publicly, but I really resonate with warrior. That's what I'm here to do. But um, yeah, anything else you want to add Tracy?
It is not too late. Y'all sign up for roadmap to resilience, we will put the link in the show notes. It kicks off on Monday, December 5.
Yep. And if you have a hard time accessing the show notes, if you just go to Joyce There's a big button on the homepage where you can click and just show your name and email and you will be registered and you will get for over the course of four days we will have one hour sessions that will be chock full of insight and resources and interactive opportunities. We will be sending you a super wonderful workbook. If you are a studious workshop participant and you want to engage or you just want to be able to track your experience, not necessarily fill it out but have that we will be sending that to you as well. And then we have five additional bonus days for q&a for interaction for conversation with you to help deepen the learning and explore other possibilities with you around what you want based upon what you've learned over the past few days. So yes, as Tracy said, it's not too late. It's never too late. Feel free to join us and sign up and and or share this with your network. We would really appreciate it if if this sounds exciting to you or if you think this would be a helpful resource. Please feel free to share and if you want help thinking about that you can always is email us at Hello at joyous Or actually if you want to just use the contact page on our website. You can also follow up if you have any specific questions about participating in it and or bringing your community and if you're a community leader. Take care much love. Thanks for tuning
in. To learn more about joyous justice LLC, our team and how you can get involved with our community. Check out the info in our show notes, or find us at joyous
If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love. Subscribe wherever you're listening. Tell your people share what you're learning and how your leadership is evolving. Stay humble, but not too humble.
And keep going because the future is ours to co create