Social Justice, Empathy, and Revolutionary Love

This article contains the content from the 5/07/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

We’re living in an era overwhelmed with disconnection, rage, and grief. Valarie Kaur, founder of the Revolutionary Love Project, has recognized these emotions as the foundation for institutional hate — nationalism, racism, and more — but also as the starting point to break a cycle of trauma.

But love and empathy should play an essential role in work outside of social movements, too. All people can find courage and resilience in love, no matter their background or industry, and this practice can help create a more equitable future for all.

This week, we take a look at the powerful role of love and empathy in overcoming the challenges of life.

Six Essential Aspects of Empathy – A Conversation with Karla McLaren

In this conversation between award-winning sociologist Karla McLaren, M. Ed and Bioneers Senior Producer Stephanie Welch, we learn about Karla’s work to teach us that there are various aspects of empathy and how valuable it is to learn the language of emotions.

Read more here.

New Podcast Episode — Laboring for Justice: See No Stranger

In a world that’s unraveling from climate disruption and gaping inequality, another climate crisis confronts us: the climate of hate and othering. In this new Bioneers podcast episode, award-winning scholar and educator Valarie Kaur says to overcome racism and nationalism, we must not succumb to rage and grief.

As someone who has spent much of her life challenging horrific injustices and intolerance, Kaur learned the lesson that historical nonviolent change-makers understood: Social movements must be grounded in an ethic of love. She founded the Revolutionary Love Project, and has emerged on the national stage as one of the most important voices of the American Sikh community.

Read more and listen here.

See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur: Pre-Order Your Copy!

Bioneers invites you to mark your calendars for June 16, the upcoming release date of Valarie Kaur’s new book, See No Stranger: a Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love. Show your love by pre-ordering a copy today.

Enjoy this inspiring passage below:

“You may say: It’s too much — all this grief, all this violence and injustice, it’s too hard. You are right: The mind can comprehend one death, but it cannot comprehend thousands, especially when one’s own community, nation, or ancestors played some part in causing the death. Mother Theresa once said, ‘If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.’ And so, begin with one.

Can you choose one person to practice wondering about? Can you listen to the story they have to tell? If your fists tighten, or your heart beats fast, or if shame rises to your face, it’s ok. Breath through it. Trust that you can. The heart is a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.” — Valarie Kaur

Tribal Sovereignty at Risk: Alexis Bunten and Danielle Hill on the recent Mashpee Wampanoag Decision

The U.S. Government kneecapped the federally recognized Mashpee Wampanoag tribe by de-establishing their reservation trust land in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen in on this fascinating conversation between Alexis Bunten, co-director of Indigeneity for Bioneers, and Danielle Hill, Mashpee Wampanoag tribal citizen and co-founder of Wisconsin’s Singing Trees Farm Collective. They discuss how this decision connects to a broader legacy of tribal termination, how capitalism and racism figure into this tragic decision, and much more.

Read more and watch here.

This Is Not a Rehearsal: Handling Grief, Empathy and Hope During the Pandemic

Self-quarantined and isolated in her apartment in Brooklyn, author Hala Alyan is more aware than ever of humanity’s interdependence—suddenly exposed as a raw, pulsing nerve. With all of us inescapably together as we move through this pandemic, how, she asks, can we make room for grief, empathy, and hope?

This story was originally posted on Emergence Magazine. Essay by Hala Alyan. Illustration by Michelle Urra.

Read more here.

Perspectives on the Pandemic from Bioneers

For decades, Bioneers has been uplifting solutions and inspiring movements for a more just world. The COVID-19 pandemic has, practically instantaneously, dramatically changed the shape of our lives. While the virus itself is considered “novel,” its emergence, spread and the varied global response has unmasked systemic realities that are certainly less than “novel,” including issues that many in this community have been working on for decades.

Explore this Bioneers media collection dedicated to COVID-19, which features leaders in diverse fields, from medicine to conservation to climate justice and more.

Browse the collection here.

More from

  • Thanksgiving in the Cosmos: The Next Enlightenment | In this Bioneers audio special for Earth Day, we take an experiential journey into cosmology, consciousness and change. Featuring Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View; and Chief Oren Lyons, Native American leader from the Onondaga Nation.
  • Time to Rescue Main Street: How Congress Can Reboot the Real Economy | In this open letter to congress, Ellen Brown, founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute outlines four immediate actions that will prevent financial catastrophe in our communities and set them up for future fiscal health.
  • A Plea: Utopian Aspirations vs Avoiding Catastrophe (Opinion) | “If you’re in the midst of an argument with other passengers while driving directly toward a steep cliff, common sense would dictate that you should all agree to pause fighting temporarily to at least stop, or to turn the vehicle in another direction.” —J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer
  • Uplifting Youth: An Interview with Irene Juarez-O’Connell of FoodWhat | In this interview with Arty Mangan, Director of the Bioneers Youth Leadership and Education Program, we learn more about Irene Juarez O’Connell’s work as the Programs Manager for FoodWhat, a youth empowerment and food justice organization that was named the California nonprofit of the year in 2019.

This article contains the content from the 5/07/2020 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

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