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Reflections from Thang’s Seeding Change Summer

Please find the full text of Thang’s reflection beneath the images. There are left and right buttons on the images to view more.

What is something that you learned from the fellowship that you would like to share with others?

The number one thing I learned is that organizing work is difficult. We come in with rose-tinted lenses and want to be impactful to our community, but we are not reaching the ocean. It’s good to understand where your organizing comes from and understand why you organize. Organizing comes from love for your community. From love, you begin to organize for those around you. I believe in self-loving and self-care, but I also believe in community healing, it’s the most enriching resource. You’re also healing your community. When we come to movement spaces, we want to commit the least amount of harm, how do we do that? It takes community, and courage from everyone. A lot of people are burnt out from organizing, it’s good to see each other out.

What was a highlight from the summer?

Building a community with like-minded folx in community spaces, I never imagined being with a robust community. I was able to see the world in many ways. So often capitalism and racialization splits us into different parts, but no, we are a root of the same tree. We’re not split into different pieces. We are not something that can be squeezed, we need an abundant perspective. My cohort empowered me and allowed me to see the world in a hopeful way that I never saw before. That’s the good thing about SCF, whether you’re new to organizing, like me, it challenges me to transform into something that is possible.

Did you learn anything about yourself this summer with Seeding Change?

I learned a lot about myself, and things that I didn’t want to learn about myself. I learned what I wanted and what I want to make out of this space. There’s a lot tangled inside of us. This is a journey of healing, movement building is healing and imagining a different world from the system we have now. It mandates that we transform from within before we transform the outside. Being in this cohort gave me the language and the tools to untangle what’s inside of me. I learned that I had so much potential when I removed the capitalist mindset. I learned what I need to heal from so that I can transform the world. 

Is there a learning that you would like to implement into your community (home, campus, student orgs)?

One thing that seemed small, but I never implemented was access needs. I never tied disability justice to organizing in this way. Ask folx where they are coming from and what they need from us. I see that a lot from the staff, when I was quarantined. I was cared for and was asked about my needs. That was so powerful and transformative. I implemented that into my community. Checking up on people seems mundane, but when it’s not modeled, it’s not powerful. That is something that I will always carry with me. 

Anything else you would like to share?

Advice for future fellows: Whether you’re in organizing for a long time, or that your organization thinks it’ll be good for you to be in Seeding Change, make the space you need. I believe the staff will be there every step of the way. You have to be responsive to voice those concerns. For example, if you don’t know what you need from organizing, let the staff know, they are willing to help. For folx in movement building for a long time, voice that it’s not new to you, but also how it’s new. Refrain from the perspective of how you can receive it, but think about how you can teach it. Think about the ways workshops are being led and what you can take away from that. Layering what you learn is helpful. My advice is to make the experience yours, that will make it worthwhile. Also voice when it’s too much, let them know your capacity. This is a community of love and understanding. The SCF staff and community will support you every step of the way.