One Week After Christchurch…

One Week After Christchurch…

Dear Friends,

Last Friday, a white supremacist opened fire in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 men, women and children, injuring many more. Our response has been fierce and unflinching —

Together, we have collected more than 12,000 messages of love and solidarity for the Muslim communities of New Zealand and supported fundraising efforts that have raised more than $2.3 million for the victims’ families. We are now working with allies on the ground to deliver your notes directly to the families and community in Christchurch. If you have not had a chance to write your message, please click here.

Kia Kaha is a Māori phrase used by the people of New Zealand as an affirmation. It means Stay Strong.

Our teammate Amy Olrick, Senior Associate of the Revolutionary Love Project, lives in New Zealand with her family. She has witnessed the impact of this solidarity on the ground and how we can “Stay Strong” together. In the wake of the massacre, she reminded her children that solidarity means to “go where we felt love calling us, even if we felt scared, and even if it puts us at risk.” Read Amy’s powerful essay published in USA Today.

Amy shows us that the labor of revolutionary love is a muscular, demanding practice sustained over time. We have been grieving together. Now we organize together. This act of terrorism is a direct result of white supremacist ideologies fueled by political leadership in the U.S. and a powerful weapons lobby. Coming up, we join our allies to:

  • Demand that the DOJ work with local law enforcement and the FBI to establish a better reporting mechanism for hate crimes and bolster security for Muslim American communities. (Add your nameto the letter.)
  • Support the NO BAN Act, introduced to repeal the Muslim Ban and create new standards to stop discriminatory bans in the future.
  • Produce curricula that teaches students and communities how to respond to hate and bigotry with muscular, demanding love and solidarity in action.

We need your support more than ever. If you are moved, please make a donation in any amount. Make a monthly donation of $15/month to join our #Beloved200 and receive a thank-you gift and direct updates and previews from our team.

In the last few days, our team sent each other videos to help us keep working through the night, even through our own heartbreak. We decided to share these videos with YOU below with the hope that you might find solace and energy. Scroll down to watch the fierce haka ritual dance in action, witness a survivor send love to his wife’s murderer, listen to a Rabbi’s rousing speech against white supremacy, and hear a chorus of voices echo the greeting that the gunman received at the mosque before he began opening fire: “Hello Brother.” Join your voice to theirs. Send a message to the families here.

In the name of the 50 people we lost, we remain steadfast in our labors for love and justice. Kia Kaha.

– Valarie, Amy, Elizabeth, Julianna, Melissa, and the rest of the Revolutionary Love Team

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This is Mucaad Ibrahim. He is three years old, the youngest of the 50 people killed in the massacre in the mosques in NZ. I imagine his parents trying to get the family out of the house to get to worship on time — come on, baby, we’re getting late, where are your shoes? I want to look away. I keep my eyes on his face and choose to grieve someone else’s son as if he were my own. I will write his family and community a message. I will tell them that I will hold Mucaad’s face in my heart whenever I get tired in the fight against hate and white nationalism. Join me.

Here are some of the thousands of notes we have collected for the survivors and the victims’ families:

Watch this full-throated statement of solidarity from our sister in the movement Rabbi Sharon Brous:

“I want to be very clear that this attack was perpetuate in the name of an ideology. The ideology of white supremacy, which is a cancer that threatens to destroy not only this country but our world. The cancer that has wrapped itself around the spine of our nation and which we now export willingly to anyone who will receive it. This cancer has wreaked havoc and caused devastation across the generations, across the oceans, and no amount of human suffering will satisfy those whose hearts are inclined toward racialized hatred.”

Witness the ceremonial Maori dance called the haka performed across New Zealand in tribute to the families:

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And New Zealanders came together to honor the victims. Watch students across the country perform the haka, a ceremonial dance of the Maori people, as show of commemoration and respect.

Watch how a survivor whose wife was killed in the mass shooting chooses to extend love even to the gunman:

Farid Ahmed survived the shooting in Christchurch, but his wife was killed by the gunman. Watch his stunning statement on how he sees the gunman as a wounded person, extends love to him, and refuses to bow to hate and fear.

“Hello Brother” were the last words of a victim at one the Christchurch mosques. To honor him, more than a hundred people around the world came together to echo his words:

Many of us are experiencing the horror of this tragedy in our bodies, especially if we belong to Muslim, Sikh, or immigrant communities.

What do you need to do in order to feel safe? How do you need to grieve? How might protect your capacity for joy even in the midst of pain? Who can you breathe with today? For carefully crafted resources and support, visit the Muslim Wellness Foundation and The Family & Youth Institute.

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The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.