How to Reject Division and Embrace Belonging

During times of great division, we can easily forget that we are all intricately connected. Can we find a true sense of belonging when we are disconnected from each other and the planet? We must make a conscious effort to lean into connection and community. Only then will we find a sense of belonging and achieve the harmony necessary to solve the issues our world is facing, together.

This week, we’re sharing three presentations about belonging from Yuria Celidwen, john a. powell, and Angela Glover Blackwell.

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Yuria Celidwen – The “Ethics of Belonging” of Indigenous Traditions

“In community we pause, we open, we nourish, and we become.”

Yuria Celidwen is of Nahua and Maya descent from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, born into a family lineage of mystics, healers, and poets. Her scholarship centers on Indigenous forms of contemplation and has evolved into a broader perspective she calls the “ethics of belonging.” It has become evident that when we pay attention to the world around us, all we hear is urgency. It is time for community reflection. Yuria shares two core guiding principles from her scholarship, “Kin Relationality” and “Ecological Belonging.” She explains how these concepts can help us access an ever-expansive unfolding of a path of meaning and participation rooted in honoring Life.

Watch Yuria’s Presentation

john a. powell – Belonging without Othering: The Story of our Future

Western culture has for the last several centuries built a society founded on three strong separations: our separation from ourselves, our separation from the other (or the person we call the other), and our separation from the Earth. But, according to john a. powell, one of our nation’s long-time leading experts on civil rights, structural racism, poverty, and democracy, Director of the groundbreaking Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, the reality is that we’re not separate. We’re deeply connected to each other. Our challenge is that in order to emerge from the existential crises we face and to birth a far more humane civilization, we now need to look deeply at ourselves and our social structures to overcome the separations that have been inculcated into us for so long and rediscover our fundamental connection to each other and the entire web of life.

Watch john’s Presentation

Creating a World Where Everyone Belongs: From a Change of Heart to System Change

In this moment of radical transformation, shifting the societal pronoun from “me, me, me” to “we” may be the single most transformational pivot we can make in order for anything else to work. Our destiny is ultimately collective. How can we overcome corrosive divisions and separations that are tearing us apart and create a world where everyone belongs?

In this program, we dip into a deep conversation on this topic between Angela Glover Blackwell and john a. powell, two long-time friends and leaders in a quest toward building a multicultural democracy.

Listen to the Podcast

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Recommended Watch: WILD HOPE

WILD HOPE is a new series of short films that highlights some intrepid change-makers who are restoring our wild places with localized activism, sparking new hope for the future of our planet.

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