Justice for All blog launch, 2023:
Reflecting on the “miracle” year that was and projecting the “magical” year to come, I am most struck by the radical hospitality, hope, and love of the Cuban people we encountered in the first ten days of December 2022. Part of a Witness for Peace education tour across much of northern Cuba, comprised of 18 truth seekers from Oregon, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New York, the trip broadened my conception of spiritual, personal, and historical connections – and the limitless possibilities that can spring forth from intimate encounters and exchanges within, across, and between cultures.
With more to say on the Cuban experience itself in future writings and presentations, my main takeaway from the ten-day tour is the remarkable resourcefulness and resilience of a neighboring island population with whom the United States government has been at war – economically, militarily, and psychologically – since 1960, the year after the Cuban Revolution succeeded in overthrowing the U.S.-backed military dictator Fulgencio Batista (1952-1959). Setting aside the ongoing propaganda battle, still firmly planted in the Cold War Era that technically ended in 1991 (!), I know we can learn so much from Cubans’ compassion, hopefulness, and endurance. For me, saying and acting on “radical hospitality, hope, and love” is not enough; it needs to be both an organic, personal commitment and process, as well as an aspirational goal to wrap around the universal transformational justice goals that unite us in common vision, mission, and strategy.
So, I choose to call 2022 a “miracle” year not only because of what Cubans can teach us, but also for what we accomplished at OnePayerStates.org and JusticeforAll.global (including our breakthrough 05/20-21 Denver OPS hybrid convention, and 08/27 and 11/19 Intergenerational Justice Summits), and the Pennsylvania Midterm Miracle that likely spared the Keystone State (aka, birthplace of our Republic, Declaration, and Constitution) from plummeting into American-style Fascism 2.0 (see https://americanfascists.us), similar to Texas and Florida. Through a mostly grassroots, non-partisan, education and voter turnout campaign, our team of door knockers, phone bankers, and texters swept to victory up and down the ballot. That’s the most prosperous election I’ve been a part of in five decades. In addition, the electoral education and GOTV work I did with Andrea Miller and her team at Center for Common Ground, focused on rural BIPOC communities in nine Southern states, helped produce several more miracle outcomes.
Last, I hereby crown 2023 a “magical” year, as we continue to translate our electoral successes into policy gold: health, healthcare, economic, racial, gender, climate, housing, legal, electoral, and educational justice for all.