Ever since joining the Life Together community in August, my life has been a whirlwind. It is hard to believe that this year of beautiful growth and deep relationship building is almost over.
Honestly, it felt both weird and exciting to commit to living in the Boston area after four years of college here. In the last nine months however, I have come to a newfound understanding of Boston that isn’t so heavily saturated by the college experience. It’s actually quite refreshing. Working in Dorchester, I have learned a lot more about institutional racism than I did sitting in many a sociology classroom during undergrad (and those were some amazing classes too!). Being in close relationship with young people who are experiencing institutional racism has forced me to recognize the need for my own continued consciousness raising around class and how that might bifurcate black experience.
I am constantly challenging myself to take a good long look at myself and to call into question my own complicity in white supremacy and then to ask what can I do about it. These are hard questions and it is all too easy to get caught up in my head space. Through the love and support of the Life Together community, I have been able to drop into my heart space. To give myself permission to cry, feel anger, and feel the despair of this broken world. I have also been challenged to drop into my feet and think about what it means to take action where I am, with what I have. This isn’t just the work of a tenth month service year. This is life-long work!
I love my site placement at Dorchester Bay Youth Force and the Youth Jobs Coalition. Lock’s smile, Dan’s humor, Keturah’s kind spirit help keep me going even when the odds aren’t in our favor. No day is perfect, but every single day is good. That’s a whole lot to be grateful for.
Last week I had the opportunity to sit across from a dear friend and Life Together alumni Cicia to chat about an organizing project we are working on and I remember telling her how am struck I was by the goodness of our own humanity, the goodness of the work we are doing and how it feels like life.
I came to Life Together at 21 and somehow already burnt out, done with Christianity-- tired of being a sinner, scared of what I would have to give up to be a saint. I found life here; in the transformative power of community, I found new life! So in many ways, even though it’s May, I feel like it’s just the beginning.