Oh my loves.

“They’re going to keep killing us.” This was my first thought after the news broke about the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. Terror and fatigue.

I’ve organized around white supremacist hate for 21 years, since before this gunman was born. The killings have become more frequent, more effective, and more efficient at taking life. I got the news while working on a memorial video on the white supremacist mass shooting in Oak Creek 10 years ago, revisiting all that pain. How to feel fresh grief when we are already in grief? How does the heart expand, instead of shut down?

Revolutionary love is the choice to labor for others, opponents, and ourselves. What is your role right now?

Will you focus on others? Grieve with Black people, show up to local vigils and gatherings, listen to the stories, fight for anti-racist policies, build new relationships of solidarity. Do one thing in your sphere of influence — your school, workplace, house of worship, or home — to stand in love.

Will you focus on opponents? The gunman cited “replacement theory” in his manifesto, a theory that nearly one in three Americans believe. Reach out to the colleagues, neighbors, relatives in your life who subscribe to this dangerous and racist belief. Open a channel for deep listening, share stories, stop the spread of misinformation.

Will you focus on your body and your people? If you can feel how this shooting touches trauma in yourself and in people you love, this is the time to make space for healing. Grieve and rage, wail and scream, rest and breathe. Be with people who make you feel safe. Let in softness and love into the places that ache. Together, we survive this.

You can go deep into any of these practices for free on our See No Stranger Learning Hub

I’m doing a grief practice this weekend. I invite you to join me. Know you are not alone.


Where do you notice feeling grief in your body? What is the quality of that grief? What is the shape of grief inside of you? If it feels uncomfortable, take another deep breath and stay with it. Breathe through it.

What does your body need to be brave with this grief? What do you need to feel it and to move through this energy? What rituals are you called to? Who do you need by your side.

Who have you not yet grieved with? Whose story have you not fully let into your heart? What community’s struggle have you not fully taken in? Notice what is happening in your body. If your fists tighten, or your heart beats fast, or if shame rises to your face, it’s okay. Breathe through it. Trust that you can. The heart is a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. You don’t need to know people in order to grieve with them. You grieve with them in order to know them.

What do you need to do to be able to grieve with them? What vigils or marches need you? What houses of worship are you ready to visit? What phone call are you ready to make? You can begin where you are, with a simple text or email, saying to someone “I’m here for you.”

You can find our complete toolkit on grief as a practice of love here.

Grieving with Buffalo

#1 Honor the legacy of those killed. Say their names and learn their stories. Celestine Chaney, Roberta Drury, Andre Mackniel, Katherine Massey, Margus Morrison, Heyward Patterson, Aaron Salter,  Ruth Whitfield, Gerri Talley, Pearly Young. Pray for the injured: Zaire Goodman, Jennifer Warrington, and Christopher Braden. Read more about the victims here.

#2 Support the community in Buffalo. Follow the lead of the folks on the ground for where to donate money, food, and other resources. Instagram accounts of local organizers to follow for updates include @ColoredGirlsBikeToo@BuffaloCommunityFridge, and @VOICEBuffalo. You can donate to a community food and mental health fund here.

#3 Take care of yourself. If you are a person of color directly impacted by the events in Buffalo, whether because this attack took place in your community or because it has activated grief, trauma, and terror from other experiences of white supremacist violence, there is help for you. Reach out to your loved ones and let them know how you are feeling and what you need. You are not alone. See below for ways to gather virtually with us this week. Folks in Buffalo can find resources within the community here.

This special event convenes Asian American voices Cathy Park Hong, Mira Jacob, Yanyi, and our director Valarie Kaur to discuss safety and solidarity in a time of grief and danger. Hosted by our friends at One World and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. RSVP here for the Safety and Solidarity panel discussion.

Watch this panel convened by our friends at Faith in Public Life. Faith leaders and historians came together in the immediate aftermath of Buffalo to provide some religious and historical context for the modern proliferation of white supremacy and the violence it causes. Valarie Kaur joined Rev. Jen Butler along with Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Rabbi Sandra Lawson, Lisa Sharon Harper, and Dr. Robert Jones in this hour-long conversation.

Header artwork by @jtknoxroxs on Instagram.
Photo collage of the Buffalo shooting victims that were murdered from CNN.