People ask — how do we work for change? The answer is that change happens on the ground — in the very soil that has been cultivated and then stolen from our black and indigenous siblings. The battlegrounds are our neighborhoods. And this is being played out in vivid color here in the Ridgecrest neighborhood as a black, middle-school activist is being threatened by numerous racist neighbors. And it seems Shoreline Police are responding as the system is designed to — by favoring imagined threats from white folk and dismissing real threats from black folk. We must decide whose streets these are. Are these streets for the white, the privileged and the power-brokers or are these streets for everyone?
We have been told that we have little power to affect change and have thus given up the gift of what it means to be a citizen, to love our neighbor, and to be responsible to a place and to the flourishing of all the diverse people who live here. We must pick up our God-given vocations to be cultivators, creators, and architects of our own places. The power to create a new foundation of equity lies here on the ground.
Decisions that affect our entire community are being made by a small group of people - in school board rooms and city planning meetings. Decisions that shape and affect our lives together here — decisions about zoning and who owns the land, small businesses, walkability, parks and sidewalks, human services, mental health, and policing. If we do nothing, the powers of greed, white supremacy, capitalism, and imperialism will continue to wreak havoc all while singing us a siren song. We must WAKE UP and SHOW UP. We must no longer abdicate our power. We must begin to tear down and dismantle systems that are not working for all. And we must reimagine together a new future. One that I believe Dr. King imagined as God's dream for the Beloved Community and one that The Practicing Church embraces wholeheartedly.
If you live in Shoreline, I urge you to follow Black Lives Matter - Shoreline (or the chapter in your community) and show your support. Get involved, give, write emails, and attend rallies and protests. Use your voice to amplify the voices of black and indigenous leaders already on the ground doing good work in your neighborhood! Support courageous and passionate neighbors like these Shoreline youth who are putting their hearts, souls, and bodies on the line to reimagine a new future!
Together we can lean into the radical way of Jesus to love our neighbor, dismantle oppression, disrupt empire, and fight for justice!
Won't you join us?
by Jessica Ketola