By Lauren Harwyn and Kanyon CoyoteWoman Sayers-Roods
envisioning DARC-ED guidelines
- Support indigenous sovereignty and restorative justice for black, brown and indigenous people of color through direct action such as fairly paying teachers and artists and supporting community-led grassroot efforts.
- Examine whiteness as a myth that needs to be dismantled and decomposed. We embrace the complexity of the many ancestral cultures and different ethnicities from Europe instead of the monolith of calling oneself “white.” We create a future where “white” doesn’t exist anymore. We understand that there are many other myths that have been created that support whiteness such as “empire,” “the west” and “civilization” that must also be dismantled and decomposed.
- We choose to get out of the waste stream of capitalism which is always calling us to buy more and waste more. Our culture calls people back into self-sufficiency and community resiliency by reclaiming and remembering the skills that we need to take care of ourselves and our communities. We envision moving away from centralization and industrialization and instead into diverse, locally-managed systems. Waste is a process of industrialization and capitalism that we refuse to participate in. We envision solutions that do not waste people or planet.
- We are accomplices in ending the racialized pressure of the police state and its manifestations in violent policing, mass incarceration and the criminalization of drugs. We recognize that our justice systems have always benefited the people in power and perpetuated colonial superiority. We are inspired by and support regenerative ways of creating justice, led by the communities who are most affected by this system.
- We respect and embrace uncolonial ways of knowing. These ways of thinking, beliefs and practices that are not approved by “western science” or “western logic” are numerous, diverse and valid and may include concepts that directly challenge “western” assumptions and beliefs. We listen to non-colonial ways of knowing and investigate our own biases as well as our own ancestral ways of knowing to rejuvenate the diversity of ways to witness and understand the world and our experiences within it. We give those people and beings who are ignored and diminished in this world– people of color, queer people, children, elderly people, people experiencing migration or fleeing violence, plants, animals and spirits—our listening and respect. We recognize we ourselves have limited time but that there will be future generations who look to what we have done and we think about the impact we have as future ancestors.
- Whatever we do, let our choices and actions be driven by a desire to create and support healthy life cycles in every place and among all groups. We are in opposition to the destruction-driven path of dominant culture which denies death and decomposition to the detriment of the cycle, creating a perpetual death cycle instead of one which is capable of regeneration. We are in conversation with Life as we make decisions and seek solutions, remembering that everything in and around us is inseparable from the natural world. We work in cooperation with Nature rather than against Nature.
- We choose to recall and speak true histories. We are an unstoppable force against historical and cultural amnesia. We choose to remember, reclaim, truth-tell and act as accomplices in calling on others to remember as well. We will respect oral histories and other suppressed and lost records of knowledge to find connections, bringing information from the forgotten past to the present, thereby making truthful futures possible. True history needs to be remembered so we can learn from the past, building on the good and dismantling the evils that we are currently building upon without awareness or acknowledgment. We recognize that witnessing as many diverse perspectives as we can brings us closer to the truth. We recognize we are responsible for assessing the accuracy and historical moment of the resources we draw from.
- We use our privilege to stay aware of what is ongoing in marginalized communities so we know what is needed to be co-creators of the visions that are coming from within those communities. We break the cycle of outsiders dictating change, holding our appropriate place in the circle without dominance or superiority. We use our privilege to break boundaries in our closed circles and make those circles safe and welcoming to people and voices who may be excluded.
- We hold ourselves and the “white” people around us accountable to shifting culture by using our powers, skills, talents, gifts and choices to make these changes felt in the world. We call on our representatives, communities and corporations to align with anti-racism and decolonization as core values.
- We recognize that within all of the layers of our own ancestry that even if we are far from our ancestral homelands, we still have a responsibility and connection to the earth. Even if we have been labeled “white,” we have equal right to connect to the earth and to our own ancient threads of indigeneity. We align with our ancestral connections for our own personal joy, growth and healing as well as the wellbeing of those around us.
- I recognize my personal responsibility and accountability in the world. My actions cannot be excused by anyone else or couched in any group affiliation. I speak for myself and recognize that I am both a part of larger community and not the spokesperson for anybody but myself. I take responsibility for my needs, biases, reactions and wellness so that I know how to both hold and be held within community.