A few months ago, I received a call from a young woman named Gaberila about the possibility of us coming down to her region in Southern California to do a training.
“I’ve never been an activist before, but after Trump’s election, I knew that I needed to do something,” I remember her telling me at the time.
“I started looking online for trainings so I can figure out what to do,” she went on. “It started with a selfish tone, because I didn’t know a lot about activism and I wanted to take a training that would help me. But as I started talking to people, I realized that A LOT of other people were feeling the same way – wanting to do something but not knowing what.”
Gaberila has been a tour de force since our first conversation. As someone who has never organized before, she quickly found funds to cover our travel, found a training location, and began building relationships with organizations all over her region.
The registrations started to trickle in, and we are now looking forward to a packed audience of new and old activists from all over Ventura County and beyond.
Gaberila told me that when she was little, “My mom would always put on movies about the holocaust and other social injustices. People look back at those times and say, “that’s terrible, if I were around in that time, I would have done something to fight it.” It’s easy to say those things in retrospect, but while those things were happening, too many people sat around and did nothing. I told myself that if I were ever in that situation, that I would do something.
My dad is Palestinian, and even though I saw him face discrimination, it was still easy to live in blissful ignorance. But when Trump was elected, I knew millions of people were in danger, and I had to do something.”
There are people like Gaberila – budding leaders in an emerging movement for justice – all over the country. As an organization grounded in a Gift Economy, money will never be a reason why we can’t work with people like her.
I look forward to updating you about this workshop after the weekend is over. In the meantime, please continue to share our updates with your friends, communities and networks so that we can continue to expand our Beloved Community.