In episode five of season two, Tim and Tuesday venture into the heart of their change work: equity. How do we distribute power and wealth? How do we relate across lines of race, class, and gender, and how do we keep these considerations on the table in all of our work and in our working relationships?
Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.
2.05 —— SHOW NOTES
- Tues: We have different pasts, as groups of people, and those pasts are often based on ways we have been structured unequally. There will be those that work for and those that receive the benefit. Often those divides are quite deep and often you are on one side or the other. These past legacies of inequity that we carry with us that make our current state (the present) very different.
- Tues: When we say we work for equity, we are working to try to acknowledge and understand how that past impacts the present, see current reality, and then begin to plan and work toward a future where those gaps between people are moving closer together. We need to work with relationships, systems and structures.
- Tim: The divide between oppressor and oppressed — our work tries to bridge that – the grey area in the middle.
- Tues: Generally, very few of us fall entirely on one side or the other of oppressed and oppressor. We have multiple identities. As a black, biracial woman, I would have the experience of race — being marginalized or oppressed — and yet I am straight and have all of the privileges that come along with that. The grey area that you are talking about, Tim, is how we allow the multiplicity of people to come into the room so that we can work in that grey area. We are trying to get people to see each other’s complexity. We need to see both sides of the divide to actually move forward.
- Tues: There is beauty in the oppressed experience and hardiness and resiliency. When I look for strength, I am looking to my Black ancestors.
- Tim: There is also a real “leaning in” that we bring. When issues of equity arise in our work, or in the teams we are working in, we often perk up and dig in when normally it’s the other way around – people try to move over it or move through it. We never avoid it.
- Tues: We have an unwavering belief that we’ll find a way forward together.
Song: “B.L.M,” by The Specials
Poem: “The Tree Did Not Die” an essay by Omid Safi
“Hundreds of years ago a single large redwood grew here. Then disaster struck. The trunk of the large redwood was killed, perhaps by repeated and severe wildfire. From here you can see the original tree trunk still standing upright, now a dead and blackened snag.
Despite such terrible damage, the tree did not die. Below the ground, its massive root system was full of vitality. Before long, hundreds of young, bright green burl sprouts began to come up around the circle formed by the root crown of the original tree. Some of those sprouts have grown into the full-sized trees that today stand in a circle around the original trunk.”
We are this charred tree and the family of trees ground around it. We are the roots, the burning, the healing, and the regrowth. May we see this family circle around us, friends.
May it be that despite such terrible damage, the tree of our life does not die.
May it be that there is a vitality in our roots, and that the charred tree of our experiences gives birth to a hundred new blooms dancing around us, newer versions of ourselves that leap to life from what we would have deemed to be our death.
The tree did not die. May our hearts not die.
The tree did not die. And may our families not die.
I don’t want to die, not yet, not now, not for awhile. I want to dance with my children at their weddings and tell stories of love and resistance to their as of yet unborn children. But my time will come, and so will yours. When that time comes, may I have, may you have, may we have deep and ancient roots that are filled with light and vitality, so that new life, new soul, new light sprouts from the charred portion of our being.
The tree did not die. And our ancestors live in us. We are who we are because they loved us, through and after their earthly life. They live in us, through us, long after their bodies are charred and returned to the Earth.
The tree did not die. The new trees are the old burned tree, and they grow out of the roots it put down. May we witness this growth out of our being. May there be new loved ones circling us, as we circle our ancestors.
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Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.
Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source