Learning our way through this defining moment

Like many of our colleagues, friends and fellow citizens, we have been dismayed by recent incidents of violence against innocent people that have gone unchecked and not brought to justice yet again. We are heartened by the overwhelming public yet peaceful outcry against these acts, against the prejudice and systemic racism that underlie their existence, and by the express unwillingness to have these conditions persist. They have been allowed to continue for far too long.  

It has been said that there will be no peace until the person who has not been wronged is as indignant as the one who has. We have taken note of a new phenomenon that gives us hope and the courage to take the stand that this time shall  be different:  that of a passionate commitment to make this pain our own, to learn about and internalize what we are witnessing, so that this stops now. Once and for all. For good.  

It has also been observed that the only emotion in which true learning can take place is love, the allowing of another to arise as a legitimate other in our experience (Humberto Maturana, “The Biology of Love”). May this learning be taken so deeply to heart in every one of us, out of this most recent human tragedy arising from America’s persistent racism, that we commit individually and together to learn how to transform our fear of ‘the other’ into love for all. 

This won’t happen in the abstract. We can only transform how we see and think and act one step at a time, every day, as we make a conscious choice about our next interaction to intend something different; to do something different. This includes dialogue, understanding and appreciating the history and direct experience from which each of us acts; doing things together that promote our knowing each other. We need to actively educate ourselves and those close to us about the history and the conditions that have contributed to these continuing injustices to identify leverage points and actions we can take in our communities to right them. We are ready and willing to bring everything we have to that aim. 

We at 4QP are taking some specific actions to contribute to this future to which we aspire:

  • In our continued commitment to diversify the field of Emergent Learning practitioners, we are  experimenting with new ways to build capacity in Emergent Learning that make it more accessible to a broader range of social change agents, and particularly now for those who are directly addressing this current social transformation.
  • We are already in the process of building an “advanced practice” cohort that will explore the intersection of Emergent Learning and equity.
  • We are launching a Community Resource Center to make available a wide range of materials at no charge that can be used to support shared thinking and learning around the questions that matter to communities most affected by the events around them.

And yes, renewing our commitment to conserving our democracy by voting as if our lives depended on it; and also by actively participating in the exercise of these principles at every level of our civic engagement, learning our way together into the ‘more perfect union’ to which our constitution aspires.

We invite you to join us in these endeavors.

— Heidi, Jillaine, and Marilyn

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