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Eco-ing the Narrative: "Community" is...

Eco-ing the Narrative is a mini writing series I'm beginning with the goal of providing perspective on popular or desired concepts in this realm of environmental justice work. Actions are powerful, but our narrative also plays a critical role in building power and pursuing liberation. It shapes our mind, our way of seeing, our sense-making. Through this series, I also hope to strengthening my leisurely writing capacity and capability.

 

In the application for a program I recently applied to, I was asked about how I define"community" and how mine has shaped who I am today. I really sat with these questions, because this word means so much to me. Here was my response:

"To me, community is (like) love. It is a concept with various interpretations, one that is often hard to define yet essential to happiness, health, and well-being; an experience that requires consistent and intentional cultivation and care.


In the ebbs and flows of life, community remains a steadfast companion, even when society would have us believe otherwise. It is the hidden treasure that glimmers amidst the chaos, reminding us of our inherent interdependence. It is a beacon of hope, a sanctuary of belonging, and a catalyst for growth.



My community, the fusion of my family and my beloved island-nation, The Bahamas, is the foundation upon which my identity rests. Their values—those I have accepted, challenged, redefined and even rejected—have served as the foundation in sculpting my character. Through them, I have learned the power of resilience, compassion, and the importance of standing tall in the face of adversity. They have also taught me to (deep belly) laugh often and in not taking things too seriously.


Beyond the realm of blood ties, my community extends to my chosen family of friends who have woven themselves into the fabric of my life, and I in theirs. In our laughter, shared adventures, and heartfelt conversations, I discover joy, loyalty, and the boundless potential for personal growth. They are the kindred spirits who hold space for authenticity, acceptance, and collective evolution.


My community, though strong, is not immune to the trials of our time. The looming threats of climate change and hyper-individualism cast shadows over the harmony we cherish. We collectively face the specters of environmental and social degradation while working to connect across various timezones. In response, my community emerges as warriors of change, steadfastly committed to forging a just and sustainable future. These perhaps aren't qualities and connections they immediately recognize in themselves, especially when doing things that perhaps seem mundane, but whether venting about relationships, body-doubling through assignments together, creating space for all forms of rest with one another, or cooking meals, this is the beauty I see. Their dedication fuels my own resolve to advocate for environmental stewardship and social justice, inspiring me to fight for a world where every voice is heard.


Through their existence, dialogue, and actions, my community has taught me a lot. They remind me daily of the values and people worth fighting for, and of the future that we strive to create."



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