Building an Authentic Community of Practice

Blog, Roles Toward Collective Care

The Power of Collective Care

A man and a child in Palestine are planting flowers in tear gas canisters.

A Palestinian man and child plant flowers grown inside of spent tear-gas grenades deployed by Israeli Occupation Forces against local Palestinians.

My values of Community, Connection, and Authenticity are traits that help me to connect to, empathize with, and feel a sense of duty toward the people that I engage with. I also live in a way feels authentic to me- inauthenticity is intolerable to me and because of this, I have found that others feel comfortable to be authentic around me. I genuinely care what people feel and I am interested and curious to know about them and this makes me a good listener. People are able to feel my level of care which makes them feel safe to work with me on a problem or ask me for assistance. Even if I do not know something, I am confident in my ability to research or find a path forward, especially when I am working with others. I also love skill and resource sharing. I am especially equipped to share information and assistance regarding higher education because I have worked in many roles and have many years worth of institutional knowledge and experience even as a college student myself. I contribute not only because I have the skills, but also because it brings me joy. Since community and connection are two of my top internal and personal values, it is motivating for me when I expand them out into the world and in service of dismantling various systems of oppression.

I am new to the world of music making but I have been thinking a lot about how to align my ethical stance with the art I make. Nothing is inherently liberatory, especially not art or music, not even protesting. I think a lot about the “Israeli” settlers that organize raves around Gaza to prevent humanitarian aid from getting in to the people in Gaza. They are dancing to music that has no explicit ethic but is being used to support the suffering and genocide of Palestinians and in that way the music upholds what bell hooks calls the “ethic of domination”. I think its important for artists to take an explicit ethical stance because we all live in this social world together where groups of people situated at the bottom of the social hierarchy experience dehumanization and oppression. In terms of a challenge I foresee in my community role, I think because I am outspoken and passionate about social justice, some people may feel called out by me. However, if you are in my community and have an intention to align yourself with an ethic of love- I would call it getting called in. I would not want to alienate someone in my community that is willing to critically reflect on their privileges based on the system of social hierarchy and stand in solidarity with those who are harmed by that same system. I know this is harder for some people than it is for others and that many people are unwilling to let go of their privileges and this makes them remain in a state of ignorance about the world and this type of cynical ignorance is intolerable to me.

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