Technically, next week (November 18th) will be my 30th birthday, but it’s just a technicality. I actually had my 30th birthday back in May. It was the first surprise birthday party I’ve ever had, and since it was six months before my technical birthday, I REALLY didn’t see it coming. I showed up to the Peaceful Uprising office for a “meeting,” and I was shocked to see the place packed with my friends ready to celebrate my birthday. It was a pretty good bet that I wouldn’t be around to celebrate my technical birthday, so the folks at Peaceful Uprising wanted to get it in while they had a chance.
It was a wonderful party, but it was much more than that for me. It showed me that Peaceful Uprising was succeeding in one of our most important goals: building a genuine community. Joshua Kahn Russell once talked to me about building a “movement that holds people.” By that, he meant a movement that genuinely values people instead of treating them as resources, a movement where people know they are truly supported. Josh knew that people will only take the necessary bold actions if they feel like a part of something much bigger, rather than isolated individuals.
In 2008, Peaceful Uprising did not exist. When I jumped into that auction, I had no idea who would be there to catch me. But people came from many different paths to form this activist community that holds one another. Of all the accomplishments of Peaceful Uprising in the past few years, I think the community they have built might be the most important. Longtime activists from around the country have told me how impressed and envious they are of the PeaceUp community. We know that things will get much worse before they get better, and the strength of our relationships and our community is what will keep us moving forward in those difficult times.
Other than pictures and cards, there’s not much that I can receive for my technical birthday next week. Since PeaceUp has already taken care of my birthday, my birthday wish is that you take care of PeaceUp. Think about what you can give to Peaceful Uprising. Please become a monthly donor, donate supplies, or just stop by the warehouse to see how you can help. I greatly appreciate all those who have been sending their support to me in letters, cards and donations, and I hope you’ll share some of that love with PeaceUp.
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