“So while trusting that and waiting for revelation, we do the next right thing. We tell the truth. We march, make dinner, have rummage sales to raise relief funds. Whoever arranges such things keeps distracting us and shifting things around so we don’t get stuck in hopelessness: we can take one loud, sucking, disengaging step back into hope. We remember mustard seeds, that the littlest things will have great results. We do the smallest, realest, most human things. We water that which is dry.” – Anne Lamott
What do we really mean when we say love conquers all? Given all the fights we have to fight for the sake of justice, equality, truth, and freedom, how can we transform love into a force that would bring change and goodness for all?
If we want to fight hunger, abuse, and discrimination in the name of love, it’s necessary to educate ourselves in order to effectively engage with the political and socio-economic underpinnings fuelling these oppressive forces. This requires consistent, informed, and brave choices too.
Here’s a list of valuable links to pages containing a wealth of information and insights on allyship, equality, and poverty. May these readings allow you to move forward with informed, grounded, and loving intentions that will benefit the oppressed, silenced, and marginalized.
The Spiritual is Political by Omid Safi
Yes, the process is messy and fraught with potential pitfalls and dangers. But let us keep seeking the spirit in the very midst of the messiness of our societies.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Performative Allyship is Deadly by Holiday Phillips
Simply “saying stuff” is easy. You know what’s hard? Not buying stuff you want because the supply chain is violent. Turning down a job because the company employs child labor in Africa. Calling out other white people when they say something clearly racist. That shit is hard. But if you want to be a true ally to BIPOC, you have to be willing to do it.
The Neuroscience of Inequality by Mike Mariani
Noble, a 40-year-old from outside of Philadelphia who discusses her work with a mix of enthusiasm and clinical restraint, is among the handful of neuroscientists and pediatricians who’ve seen increasing evidence that poverty itself—and not factors like nutrition, language exposure, family stability, or prenatal issues, as previously thought—may diminish the growth of a child’s brain. Now she’s in the middle of planning a five-year, nationwide study that could establish a causal link between poverty and brain development—and, in the process, suggest a path forward for helping our poorest children.
What is Freedom of Speech? by Amnesty International
Any restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be set out in laws that must in turn be clear and concise so everyone can understand them. People imposing the restrictions (whether they are governments, employers or anyone else) must be able to demonstrate the need for them, and they must be proportionate.
Four Ways to Deconstruct Systems of Oppression by Janice Gassam
The advent of social media has increased our interconnectedness, allowing us to gain a deeper appreciation of other people’s experiences. Each of us has the power to create changes that can reverberate beyond our own spheres of influence. What are some things we can all do to deconstruct oppressive systems and amplify the voices of the marginalized?
A list by Charter for Compassion: Questions to consider to help you identify marginalized groups
Five Ways to be an Ally to Marginalized Groups by Young African Leaders Initiative
The best way you can help end exclusion and isolation is to work on being a strong ally. That means educating yourself on the privileges your own group enjoys to better understand the perspectives of members of marginalized communities.
Frequently asked questions about gender equality by UNFPA
LGBT Rights by Amnesty International
By embracing LGBTI people and understanding their identities, we can learn how to remove many of the limitations imposed by gender stereotypes. These stereotypes are damaging across society, defining and limiting how people are expected to live their lives. Removing them sets everyone free to achieve their full potential, without discriminatory social constraints.
Equality: Why it Matters (United Nations Sustainable Goals)
Inequalities based on income, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, religion and opportunity continue to persist across the world, within and among countries. Inequality threatens long term social and economic development, harms poverty reduction and destroys people’s sense of fulfilment and self-worth. This, in turn, can breed crime, disease and environmental degradation. Most importantly, we cannot achieve sustainable development and make the planet better for all if people are excluded from opportunities, services, and the chance for a better life.
How to Refuel When You’re Feeling Emotionally Drained by Monique Valcour
Emotional exhaustion lies at the heart of burnout. As your emotional resources are used up in trying to cope with challenging situations — such as overwhelming demands, conflict, or lack of support at work or at home — your sense of well-being and capacity to care for yourself and others is diminished.