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Breathe, Push and MARCH...

“The parts of the [civil rights] movement we recognize so well now were not born from a single decision, but a complicated and messy evolution of ideas and spirits, coming together after a long, hard struggle to triumph in moments when the odds seemed the longest.”

– Andrew Aydin, co-author with Congressman John Lewis of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series MARCH

Dear Friends,

The first Women’s March in 2017 was led by four co-chairs. This month, the Women’s March convened a Steering Committee of 32 diverse women leaders to help guide policy goals and moral vision. Our founder Valarie Kaur has accepted the invitation to serve as a voice for revolutionary love within this fierce movement of women.

In joining with the steering committee of the Women’s March, the Revolutionary Love Project commits to advocate for all vulnerable communities. We commit to march against antisemitism and all forms of racism, bigotry and hatred. We choose to march because we believe in the power of a movement of women, and know if we do the hard, messy work of coming together, our #WomensWave will rise high enough to break down any wall in our way.

Scroll down to read an excerpt from Valarie’s essay in Together We Rise, a compilation of essays by activists who participated in the 2017 Women’s March, the largest single-day global protest in history. Then learn how to join a march near you on Saturday, January 19th, and find out about a community care mediation tool we’ve developed in partnership with the tech team at Binaural Dream — BREATHE & PUSH.

We believe that love can center our movement and anchor our activism. Thank you for standing — and for MARCHING — together with us! You can click here for Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to march!

See you in the streets,
The Revolutionary Love Team


THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM VALARIE KAUR’S ESSAY IN THE NYT BESTSELLER TOGETHER WE RISE: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE PROTEST HEARD AROUND THE WORLD:

On Election Night, the future never felt darker. Each hate crime, incitement to violence, and deadly proposal during the election season had hurt me from the inside. As a new mother to a little brown boy, I had to confront the painful truth: our generation of activism had not made the nation safer for my son.

The last time I remember being in so much pain was on the birthing table. The gripping despair I felt on election night brought back the pain of my labor so sharply I could not ignore the parallel. I began to ask a question that became the only shape my mouth could make: What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? 

I got my answer on the day of the Women’s March, carrying my son in my arms into the streets of downtown Los Angeles. In an instant, we became part of one roaring river of music and longing, grief and outrage, defiance and joy. Women across the U.S. and around the world marched that day, holding up signs that answered my question: This is the darkness of the womb. We were birthing something new. Millions were choosing life over death in one collective breath.

Then it began: the onslaught of executive orders, Muslim bans, border walls, pipelines, budget cuts, and hate crimes harming the most vulnerable among us, including my Sikh community. We have barely had a chance to breathe between the crises. But my own family´s century-long history here reminds me that white supremacy, nationalism, and racism are as old as the U.S. Policy wins alone will not solve the conditions that gave rise to this presidency. We need a new public ethic to birth a new future, a public ethic of Revolutionary Love.

As a lawyer, I have cringed at the word love. American culture too often mistakes ¨love¨ for the experience of falling in love — that delirious rush of oxytocin that happens to us if we are lucky. If this is our only definition, then of course love is too fickle, sentimental, and ephemeral to be a political force. But after I became a mother, I saw love with new eyes, redefined.

Love as mothering is a form of sweet labor that transforms and births anew. Love is not any one emotion but employs many emotions in that labor: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.

Historically, the labor of love has been confined to the domestic sphere. Yet mothering is not biologically determined but a capacity within each of us. Spiritual geniuses from Buddha to Jesus, Mohammed to Guru Nanak, called us to practice love beyond family and tribe. Social justice leaders from Gandhi to King to Day grounded their movements in love to free the oppressed without hating the oppressor. Such love disrupts the status quo, confronts injustice, and shifts collective consciousness.

The Women´s March was a declaration of love. This Revolutionary Love—love for others, opponents, and ourselves—is the call of our times.

 

On January 19, 2019, we’re going to flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us. Click here to download and print Revolutionary Love signs to take with you to the march.

Find and Join a March Near You
 

We believe that the only way we can sustain our labors for justice through the challenges of 2019 is by caring for our bodies and minds. So we’ve worked with the tech innovators at Binaural Dream to bring you a new tool for the new year, “BREATHE & PUSH” — a meditation pack designed to support deep breathing as we work for justice. The pack consists of 4 musical compositions: Breathe, Push, Transition, and Labor with Love. It works as a powerful daily meditation practice.

We invite you to start meditating with us! Listen to “Breathe & Push” for free between now and MLK Day, Monday, January 21st. Just download the app and click on “Breathe and Push” at the top to get started. Or click to listen to a 30-second sound bath on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Download the iOS App Now

* The Binaural Dream app is currently only available for iOS. Android coming soon!


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Invitation: A New Mediation Tool for the Movement

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
– Audre Lorde

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We believe that the only way we can sustain our labors for justice through the challenges of 2019 is by caring for our bodies and minds. And we want to move beyond self-care to community care. So we partnered with tech innovators at Binaural Dream to bring you a new tool for the new year…

We are so excited to announce “BREATHE & PUSH” — a meditation pack designed to support deep breathing as we work for justice in our lives and in the world. The pack consists of 4 musical compositions: Breathe, Push, Transition, and Labor with Love. It works as a powerful daily meditation practice.

We invite you to download the app for free, click on “Breathe & Push,” and start meditating with us! We are making a commitment to meditate once a day in the lead up to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 21st. Are you in?

This is our first collaboration on an app. Click to listen to a 30-second sound bath and tell us what you think on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you like it, there’s more to come!

Excited,
Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, Julianna, Melissa and the Revolutionary Love Fellows

LISTEN TO “BREATHE & PUSH” FOR FREE BETWEEN NOW AND MLK DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 21ST. JUST DOWNLOAD THE APP AND CLICK ON “BREATHE AND PUSH” AT THE TOP.

Download the App Here to Listen
 

WHAT IT IS
Four meditation tracks available on the app called Binaural Dream — a first-of-its kind unguided sound meditation app designed for iOS phones. (Android coming soon). The tracks consist of 10 to 30 minutes of music. No words. Just sound.

HOW TO USE IT
Listen to the track called Breathe when you need rest, Push when you need energy, Transition when you need moral courage, and Labor With Love when you need all of the above.

WHY IT WORKS
Music and sound are ancient tools to regulate the nervous system. Binaural beats are a kind of music meditation that uses different tones in each ear to cultivate different brainwave states. The “Breathe & Push” pack uses a progression of delta, theta, and gamma binaural beats to promote relaxation and healing. It is composed in the key of A minor, a scale associated with grace, maternity, and the sacred.

OUR STORY
The meditation series is designed by tech innovator and musician Sanj Brar. Last year, Sanj saw a need for better wellness tools and left his job at a Fortune 250 company to create DreamThink. (Read the story here: “This NYC Start-Up Launches to Create the Perfect Unguided Meditation App”.) Sanj’s sister Valarie began to listen to their app Binaural Dream during a difficult pregnancy and draining period of activism. Music meditation soon became a daily practice. She shared it with her team at the Revolutionary Love Project. “Why aren’t there more meditation tools designed to support movements for social justice?” we wondered. The partnership between the Revolutionary Love Project and DreamThink was born. This collaboration is our first experiment.

IF YOU LIKE IT…
The app is available for free, and the “Breathe & Push” pack is available for free until MLK Day. If you want more, subscribe to access the full library of meditation packs and listen all year. Proceeds will be donated to the Revolutionary Love Project! Just follow the instructions on the app.

Click Here To Get The Free App
 

SPREAD THE WORD!

CLICK HERE TO TWEET:

Find out more about the app, and send us feedback about your experience. We would love to know if tools like this are useful to you in the work of Revolutionary Love. 

 

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Are you one of the #Beloved200?

Dear Friends,

As we approach the end of the year, we want to thank you for journeying with us! Our founder Valarie Kaur recorded this video to say thank you — and put out a call: Will you be one of our #Beloved200? Watch the 1-minute video here:

beloved-video

Click to join the Beloved 200

YOUR DONATION MAKES OUR WORK POSSIBLE.

Together with Valarie, we envision a nation and world where love is a public ethic in our communities and institutions. The mission of the Revolutionary Love Project is to produce stories, curricula, media, and mass mobilizations that support this moral vision. In the works right now: books, films, television, courses, retreats, and grassroots campaigns that take us through 2020 — all aimed at reclaiming love in our lives and activism as a force for justice.

Many think that we are a bigger organization that we are. Our projects have ranged from contributing to Emmy-award winning shows to curating hundreds of campus dialogues to mobilizing thousands in the political process. We’re a tiny team that relies on committed volunteers. And we make every cent stretch. We crunched the numbers and realized that we need only 200 monthly donors to pledge $15/month to ensure basic operations far into the future. That’s it, and we’re already 60% there!

If you want to see more of this vision in the world, can you become a Monthly Donor? Click here to donate $15/month and become one of our beloved 200!

We will mail you a beautiful postcard featuring original art of our movement as a thank-you gift — and you will be the first to know of the work we produce in the coming months. If you’d like to make a larger tax-deductible donation, just reply to this email and we’ll get you the details.

With love,
Amy, Elizabeth, Julianna and all of us at the Revolutionary Love Project

P.S. Valarie went into labor 4 days after recording this video. We are excited to announce that Baby Joy is safely here! May we all continue to labor with love for one another and the next generation…

HERE’S JUST SOME OF WHAT WE’VE DONE TOGETHER IN 2018:

  • 200+ watch parties and dialogues on how to practice love in the face of hate and white nationalism, based on Valarie’s TED talk “3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage” (1+ million views)
  • 2,000 voting parties organized by the #VoteTogether campaign and partners like us to get out the vote during the midterms.
  • 550 partners + 120 thought leaders + 50,000 members engaged in online action campaigns throughout the year plus —
  • 14 million+ people reached online in our annual Valentine’s Day campaign with #LoveArmy and partners to #reclaimlove as a force for justice.
  • Emmy win for a groundbreaking episode on Sikhs in America we contributed to on CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell.
  • Mai Bhago Leadership Retreat to equip Sikh women justice leaders in partnership with Auburn Seminary & The Sikh Coalition.
  • Inspiring panels at the Revolutionary Love Conference hosted by Middle Collegiate Church with thought leaders such as Parker Palmer, America Ferrera, Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Van Jones, plus —
  • First-ever Revolutionary Love Concert featuring Ani di Franco, Ari Afsar, and more artists, producing music to root our movement in joy.

IN THE WORKS RIGHT NOW: BOOKS, FILMS, TELEVISION, COURSES, RETREATS AND ACTION CAMPAIGNS THAT TAKE US THROUGH 2020.

WILL YOU CONTINUE THIS LABOR OF LOVE WITH US?

Click to join the Beloved 200
 

#beloved200-Josh-800D

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Joy is an Act of Moral Resistance — Your Holiday Treasure Chest

The government shuts down upon threats of a wall. A child dies in the custody of U.S. officials at the border. The President orders sudden troop withdrawals that provoke global instability. All this took place in the last week alone.

Some may see the holidays as a time to retreat from the cascade of crises facing our nation and world.

We choose to see the holidays not as a time to try to escape but as an opportunity to ground ourselves in joy. Joy returns us to everything that is good and beautiful and worth fighting for. Joy gives us the energy to continue our labors to make a viable life and more just world. Joy comes when we draw our attention to the present moment — a child’s laughter, a neighbor’s cookies, a lit candle. In a time such as this, joy is an act of moral resistance.

We believe that it is always possible to find joy, even in the midst of grief and outrage, when we come together in community. Just a few days ago, our friend Rev. Katharine Henderson delivered the messages of love and support that many of you sent to the families of the Tree of Life Synagogue in the wake of the mass shooting by a white supremacist. We had collected these letters alongside our partners Auburn Seminary, the Sikh Coalition, and the Sikh community of Pittsburgh. They were delivered at an interfaith gathering in the form of a book that you can read here. Communities like these show us that it is possible to claim life and joy, even in the face of hate.

So this week, we send you a song, a sermon, and a piece of news that invite you to open your hearts to allthe demands of love — grief, outrage, and joy. May these sources provide nourishment during this holiday. We will be here on the other side to continue the labor with you. #BreatheAndPush

– Amy, Melissa, Julianna, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

A SONG: “WE WON’T SLEEP”

Watch our beloved sister and partner Ari Afsar perform “We Won’t Sleep” with her Hamilton co-star at TEDx. The song is an anthem of Revolutionary Love — a full-throated call to joy and resilience in the movement. You can also catch a glimpse of the song at the Chicago Women’s March here.

“We won’t sleep. They’ll try to get us. We goin’ reach. We’ll reach out for love. We won’t sleep. Not till it’s over. Even with the blurry eyes, baby we won’t compromise.”

 

A SERMON: “BUILDING A NEW AMERICA”

WATCH/READ/LISTEN to the most powerful sermon we have heard this year by our prophetic sister Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR Los Angeles:

“These are trying times, but we must not let exhaustion or cynicism dull our senses. Our history has taught us: either you work to dismantle oppressive systems, or your inaction becomes the mortar that sustains them. Together we must build America anew: fierce, fair, and full of promise, equipped to hold us in all our diversity, complexity and beauty.”

A PIECE OF NEWS: LOVE KNOWS NO BORDERS

This article in The Nation shares fierce wisdom from our friend and sister Rev. Traci Blackmon who joined more than 300 faith and moral leaders at the border last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Rev. Blackmon tells Jesus’ story as a way to bear witness to cruelty at the border and declares “love knows no borders.”

“In an extraordinarily powerful speech near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour service, the Rev. Traci Blackmon, a St. Louis–based minister with the United Church of Christ and a steering-committee member on the Poor People’s Campaign, talked of how the “brown-skinned Jesus, seeking refuge in a foreign land,” would not have been admitted into Trump’s America. How ‘his family might have been greeted with tear gas or rubber bullets, or, worse yet, he might have been taken from his mother’s arms.’ Blackmon told the gathering that they were ‘compelled to show up and guide this country to our moral selves. When laws are co-opted for greed and political gain, and used as weapons of disenfranchisement, then people of faith and of moral character are compelled to resist in the interest of preserving our humanity.'”

ARE YOU ONE OF OUR #BELOVED200?

We are over halfway to our goal of partnering with 200 people to become monthly donors and pledge $15/month to sustain our work. Thank you! Our donors receive a thank you gift + will be the first to learn about the work we produce before it’s released. If you haven’t yet donated, please click here to join us!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE & JOIN THE #BELOVED200
 

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America Ferrera & John Paul Lederach — Your Holiday Treasure Chest

“We have all felt the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love.”

– Dorothy Day

The long loneliness. A longing for home that eludes us, for a world that is not yet but somehow still must be. Sometimes the longing can feel like a heavy burden. But what if we imagine this longing as a flame that flickers within each of us, calling us together and toward each other, even when (especially when) the world feels dark? 

Dear Friends,

This week, we draw inspiration from two people whose light in the world ignites new stories and new ways of being — actress and activist America Ferrera and celebrated peace-builder John Paul Lederach.

Listen to America Ferrera and John Paul Lederach in a conversation that stretches our imagination and helps us see social change in generational terms. 

Interviewed by the masterful Krista Tippett for her On Being podcast, America Ferrera describes her childhood spirituality as “groping in the darkness,” an approach that has served her well at this time in our nation. “We’re trying to push something new into the world,” she says. “We’re trying to bring something through that’s never been brought through, and it’s hard. And we have to continually remind ourselves that our discomfort and our grappling is not a sign of failure. It’s a sign that we’re living at the edge of our imaginations.”

John Paul Lederach then introduces us to the concept of the 200-year present. He asks, “Who was the oldest person who held you? Think of them, then calculate back to their birthdate. And then think about the youngest member of your extended family and imagine that they will live a long life… You were held and touched, and you will touch the lives, of people that cover a 200-year present.

Might the spaciousness in these ideas help us keep laboring in the dark? We invite you to listen to their full conversation and let us know what you think!

– Amy, Melissa, Julianna, Elizabeth, and the Revolutionary Love Team

P.S. Keep scrolling down for more ways to breathe and push with us this week, including standing with migrant families at the border in a week of action called “Love Knows No Borders,” happening now.

LISTEN TO THE ONBEING PODCAST NOW
 

 

America Ferrera’s new book American Like Me is a stunning collection of stories of artists, activists, and culture-makers who reflect on life between cultures. In them, we see glimpses of the new America longing to be born — multicultural, multiracial, multifaith and rooted in a revolutionary love. 

If you have a story about growing up in America between cultures, share it on Instagram with the hashtag #americanlikeme Make sure to tag @americaferrera — she’s sending a signed copy to her 10 favorites!
More info here.

“We are the kids with no key chains, daughters carrying histories in the gaps of our teeth. We are the sons of parents who don’t speak of the past, inheritors of warrior’s blood and mad bargaining skills. We are the grandchildren of survival: legacies delivered from genocide, colonization, and enslavement. We are the slayers of ‘impossible.’ We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors’ dreams wearing the weight of their sacrifice on our backs. Our love is radical; our unstraightened hair, a tiny revolution. We are here to survive, to thrive, to live. We connect to our roots clumsily, unknowingly, unceasingly. We call ourselves ‘American’ enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all. We take fragments of what was broken, severed, or lost in history, and we create whole selves, new families, and better futures. We live as citizens of a country that does not always claim us or even see us, and yet, we continue to build, to create, and to compel it toward its promise.” — America Ferrera

 

 “LOVE KNOWS NO BORDERS: A MORAL CALL FOR MIGRANT JUSTICE” WEEK OF ACTION

This week, more than 100 faith leaders are taking part in a nonviolent direct action at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. You can join them at the border — or at a solidarity event near you. Together we are calling for humane policies that respect the dignity of all.

FIND AN EVENT NEAR YOU TO SUPPORT MIGRANTS AT THE BORDER

 

ARE YOU ONE OF OUR #BELOVED200?

We are over halfway to our goal of partnering with 200 people to become monthly donors and pledge $15/month to sustain our work. Thank you! Our donors receive a thank you gift + will be the first to learn about the work we produce before it’s released. If you haven’t yet donated, please click here to join us!

give-2

The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE AND JOIN THE #BELOVED200
 

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