Beloved Community,

I hope this message finds you all safe and healthy. My heart is heavy during this time of unrest and upheaval and the Project Pilgrimage staff stands in solidarity with all people who fight against white supremacy, systemic racism, and the senseless violence and murders of black men and women across the country. I am moved by the countless protesters around the world who have lifted their voices and so courageously marched for lasting social change.

The vibration we all feel right now is being produced by we the people taking action to advance the movement. Being part of revolutionary change is a long game and it’s imperative that we find ways to stay engaged after this moment subsides. We must show up at the local level and hold our elected officials accountable for the kind of racism and injustice that poured down on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and dozens of others.

I am angry, frustrated, and broken. I’m afraid for my own children and for the young people in our Pilgrimage community. The mission of Project Pilgrimage is to build community across difference and from the beginning, this work has been fraught with challenges. With every trip, we work hard to reckon with our history of racial injustice. The emotions of this moment must propel our collective and ambitious work through learning from each other, healing together, and fighting side by side for the world we want.

For our white friends looking for ways to help, here are some thoughts: support black, brown, and disenfranchised people by hearing their demands, protecting them at protests while prioritizing their voices in the confrontation, and respecting their leadership. Write a check and then write another to organizations committed to anti-racism work. Project Pilgrimage, BYRD BARR Place, NAMI Seattle, and NAAM are local, black-run organizations that are working against racism, both when the hashtags are trending and when they are not.

We remain stuck in a global pandemic and the tragedy we bore witness to in Minneapolis has further revealed symptoms of the larger disease of racial difference. In the face of insurmountable challenges, we remain radically hopeful. 

Our voices matter. Our rights matter. Our pain matters. Our love matters.

Black. Lives. Matter. 

Felicia Ishino
Executive Director, Project Pilgrimage

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