During the past few months, communities across the country have marched and protested to advocate for social change. With many looking for answers during a time of unrest and anger, on Oct. 20, Sikh racial justice activist, civil rights lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, and educator Valarie Kaur spoke to more than 70 Ithaca College students and community members about working to make positive change.
Kaur, author of the book “See No Stranger: A Manifesto of Revolutionary Love,” is best known as the founder of the Revolutionary Love Project, a movement that encourages people to use love to power social change and to labor for the world they want.
She started the evening by inviting students to take a breath and imagine an ancestor standing behind them. “This ancestor has been waiting for you just to get quiet enough to hear this piece of wisdom that will allow you to be brave with your life in this time of history,” she said.
The Zoom chat box was flooded with students sharing the name of the ancestor they thought of and the wisdom that they received from them.
Kaur then reflected on the past several months, discussing the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus, the demonstrations calling for justice for Black lives, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the anxieties surrounding the upcoming presidential election. She told students that society is currently experiencing what she calls “the darkness of the tomb and the darkness of the womb,” death and despair around us also mean that a new world is waiting to be born.