2017 has revealed so much to all of us. From evidence of rising and emboldened white nationalism, to witnessing the consequences of an unmitigated climate crisis, we’ve seen, heard and felt it all.
At The Leap we believe that rather than fight each individual instance of injustice, one at a time – from fossil fuel infrastructure, to the murder of an unarmed person of color by police, we must work to bring systemic changes through an intersectional approach. We believe that coming together to uplift the most marginalized, the most neglected and those suffering the most, puts us in a better position to uplift everyone.
The idea of coming together is what took me to Lowndes County in rural Alabama. When I met Cathy Coleman-Flowers, who showed me around and introduced me to her community, not only was my life changed, but so was my approach to organizing. As Ms.Cathy taught me, “if we can fix the raw sewage, extractive energy and mass incarceration situation in Lowndes, we can do it anywhere in the world” – and she’s damn right.
The last place many people would expect to find an African American New Yorker is on a farm in Nebraska. But this is exactly where I found myself for one week this summer, learning more about how degenerative agriculture is hurting communities, the land and our climate at the same time.
When I broke bread with farmers of all ages from Del to “Old Man” Randy, I saw people ready to stop injustice by producing more nutritious food, and access to it, in a way that heals the land, protects the water and sequesters greenhouse gas emissions. As Nancy Connor told me, “I just want agriculture to get back to what it used to be about, growing things.”
These are more than stories for me, they are relationships and trust that inform why I do this work. Consider a one time gift to The Leap this holiday season, so we can continue our part in delivering the gift of justice through systemic change.
Happy new year, and justice for all,
Anthony for The Leap