Collective Liberation & Intersectionality

Actuality – the impact, the truth, the implementation of the vision imagined

Intentionality – intent is distinct from impact; being direct on the goal, knowing that how something sits with others can vary

Intersectionality – approach to understanding how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities overlap & intertwine to inform each other within/across constructed systems of power

Collective Liberation – the work of people coming together in unity with diversified tactics to transform and change what is, towards what has never been


“As a part of our liberation, the Earth teaches us that everything—E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G—is connected. The soil needs rain, organic matter, air, worms and life in order to do what it needs to do to give and receive life. Each element is an essential component. “Organizing takes humility and selflessness and patience and rhythm while our ultimate goal of liberation will take many expert components. Some of us build and fight for land, healthy bodies, healthy relationships, clean air, water, homes, safety, dignity, and humanizing education. Others of us fight for food and political prisoners and abolition and environmental justice. Our work is intersectional and multifaceted. Nature teaches us that our work has to be nuanced and steadfast. And more than anything, that we need each other—at our highest natural glory—in order to get free.”

—Dara Cooper

 



Get quiet enough to listen. I sat down at the computer prepared and ready to write to you all about collective liberation and intersectionality but, I am convinced there is something urging to be written on the page before that conscious is shared. I tend to overthink the words I write. I have an ever-revolving loop powered on in my mind that thinks about the hurt of the world, the reality of the world, the change occurring, the movement-building being waged and connected in every locale, the heart’s yearning for love to be received just as it is given, the seemingly insignificant moments that create power, and the stillness that connects perspective with action. I have to sit long enough to be able to silence the noise and listen to any truth demanding to be heard, to be given space and provide that foundation.

I urge you to take a moment and reflect. What does collective liberation conjure for you? What do you envision? What is the actuality taken up in relation to the intentionality? How is intersectionality a guide within collective liberation? Why is intersectionality a theory to be approached with purpose and not misapplied?

Intersectionality was directly termed for the analysis of black women, to understand the junction that gender and race created, in a legal realm, back in 1989 by Kimberle Crenshaw; however, the designation has come to more broadly, yet specifically, discern the intersection of oppressions and privileges across identities in systems of power and marginalization. So, why would I talk about intersectionality and liberation in such proximity of one another? Intersectionality is a tool and theory to pinpoint positionality in which individuals and collectives can then indicate the means and strategies for liberation – liberation meaning recognizing all the trauma, oppression, and human struggle as connected and the truth that working together is a way to implement the world we want to live. We have to be willing to recognize the grandness within each of ourselves, the beauty that we are of the earth – we hold our own sacredness, our medicine, our teaching, and the instinct to heal, transform, and change. We all have a role in this imagination and creation and when we each understand the complexity and vulnerability to sit with our humanness; we have the courage and capacity to be and unbound ourselves with those walking beside us. No act of resistance is completely independent of another – all strategies and folks are necessary in varying capacities from the writers to artists to entrepreneurs to community organizers to mothers to fathers to dreamers to doers. We all have to sit with our truths and be honest with where we visualize a change, we have to promise to show up, and never leave.

I begin with this invitation of thinking because The Marigold Project is a foundation established to support and amplify the work of people, organizations, and communities in local, state, and national spheres who are organizing and doing the work of dismantling, shifting, and creating spaces and tangibilities of resistance, towards a new direction against systems of exploitation. The work of alignment, of solidarity is collective liberation and to highlight this certitude is vital for the connections and words you will read across these pages as we louden those around us.

With love,
Olivia